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Fussy Fiances, Montreal, 1919

Montreal Standard, 1 March 1919, page 17

Fussy Fiancés


They are a trial, for their idea of being good lovers is to be perpetually hovering round their beloved with endless attentions and suggestions.

To the girl of yesterday, this may have been less trying than to her energetic and independent sister of to-day. It wearies the latter to be ‘fussed,’ as she ungratefully calls it. She hates being made to look ridiculous, and so every lover ought to take care not to fall into this snare of ‘fussiness.’

Love is not a hothouse plant; it thrives best in the open air and sunshine. Fun and comradeship are good for its growth; they make for a true understanding and appreciation that help to keep it sound and sweet forever.

Let a man who is in love, therefore, see to it that he treats his sweetheart wisely as well as lovingly’ that he respects her wishes, and does not try to rule her life for her as if she were a helpless child. She is not, and she will resent his doing so. He must drive her with a loose rein, and allow her liberty without a too jealous supervision. Then he will be rewarded by a love romance that will not fade with the waning of the honeymoon, as, alas do many romances that promised well.

Montreal Caledonian Games, 1880

Montreal Daily Star, 23 September 1880, page 2

The Caledonians

Conclusion of the Games

Towards the conclusion of the games yesterday a very great number of spectators had gathered, and the events excited considerable enthusiasm. The dancing was capital. To complete the success of the day the Committee of Arrangements managed affairs so well that every event was reached in good time, and the whole was over before six o’clock. The following were the results of the later games (the bowling match eventually came off):–

Running hop, step and jump- Thomas Aitken, New York, 1st 44ft; M Macdonald, 2nd 43ft 2 1/2in; Alex Miller, Montreal 3rd 42ft 10 ½ in.

Running high leap- EW Johnson 1st, 5ft 4 in; Wm Robertson, 2nd 5ft 3 in; AC Reid 3rd 5 ft 2 in.

Running long jump – Thos Aitken 1st, 21 ft 1 ½ in; AC Reid 2nd, 19 ft 0 in; EW Johnson 3rd 18ft 6 in.

Standing Long Jump- EW Johnson 1st 10ft 9 ½ in; M Macdonald, 2nd 10 ft; J Newton 3rd 9ft 9 in.

Standing High Leap- EW Johnson 1st 4 ft 8 in; M Macdonald 2nd 4ft 7 in; DC Ross, 4 ft 6 in.

Vaulting with pole- Thomas Aitkin, 1st 9 ft 4 in; Wm Robertson 2nd 8 ft 10 in; Alex Miller and John Anderson, equal, 8 ft 4 in, divided 3rd prize.

Pony race – Thomas Irving’s “Rosebud”; 2nd J Irving’s “Minnie;” 3rd, Douglas Lorne McGibbon’s “Princess Louise.”

One mile race- (amateur) CJ Patton, 1st; Geo Maclains, 2nd.

Half mile race- (Members only) J Newton 1st; M Jeffrey 2nd.

Two mile race – Three starters, Irvine, Platt and Raine. The two first gave up at the end of the first lap, and Raine was left alone to trot around the track nine laps, for which he received $20.

Best dressed gentleman in Highland costume- (at his own expense) John Duncan, 1st; hon mention, Alex McGibbon, Esq and Peter McNeil, Pipe Major 5th Royal Fusil.

Best Piper (in Highland costume) reels, strathreys and marches- M Munro, 1st; John Duncan, 2nd.

Highland Fling- JL Henderson, Toronto 1st; George Mathieson, Hamilton 2nd; AR Macdonald, Ottawa, 3rd.

Ghillie Callum- Alex Niven 1st; George Mathieson 2nd; RP Niven 3rd.

One hundred and fifty yeards (members only) – J Newton 1st, M Jeffrey 2nd, A Miller 3rd.

Quarter mile hurdle race- Thos Aitkin 1st, Geo Irvine 2nd, AC Reid 3rd.

One mile (open) – J Raine 1st, Geo Irvine 2nd, E Corcoran 3rd.

Hurdle sack race – Thomas Aitken 1st, W Dewitt 2nd, N Dewitt 3rd.

Dumbrod Match – 1st Alex Brodie, 2nd Thos Finn

Bowling Green Match – 1st J Chartorie, 2nd Peter Fulton. Prizes for this match were presented by the President.

Florence Wadham – and the story behind a bad poem, 2015

I was looking over my family tree, particularly the Windham line, and realised that I was really being a bit sexist in my focus.  Here I had the line of my illegitimate many greats grandmother, but I was concentrating on her male ancestors.  I had the names of their wives, which I admit is good considering how far back I was going, but I was ignoring their histories, their lines.  So I sat down and started a simple google search on their names.  After all the Windhams were a bit well off, and socially up there, so the wives should be too.

I Googled the name Florence Wadham Windham, and there it was this amazingly florid poem about her, and a specific moment in her life.

Lady Wyndham’s return

by Lewis H. Court. Exon

On Watchet town the night had closed
Down by the Severn strand.
And from the grey embattled tower
The bells had chimed the vesper hour.
Far echoing o’er the land.

Saint Decuman’s upon the hill
Kept ward above the town.
And through the silence of the night
The stars like lamps of silver bright
Their magic rays flashed down.

The vale that slept below the shrine.
With many an elm tree tall.
A stillness held with nothing broke.
Save where_from Warren’s stunted oak_
An owl its mate did call.

But ‘neath the manor’s ancient roof
By Kentsford’s murmuring wave.
The noble house of Wyndham kept
A mournful vigil, and they wept
As round a new-made grave

And well indeed they might, for late
Their fair lady had died:
And in the proud ancestral hall
She slept beneath her snow white pall
With the lilies by her side.

She was of gentle lineage born
And to her lord most dear.
A scion he_of an ancien clan.
Who now_a broken-hearted man_
Long lingered by her bier.

He thought him of those golden hours
When he the maiden wooed,
The wedding morn, the nuptial feast.
The blessing of the ancient priest,
The chancel where they stood.

Now all had vanished as a dream,
His fondest hopes were gone.
No more those lovely eyes for him
Would shine; his own with tears grew dim
There in that desolate dawn.

At length the day of burial came.
And through the leafy lane
Along by Snailholt’s silent bourne
They bore her body that sad morn
Up to the ancient fane.

And there in a grim and mouldy vault.
Where many a Wyndham lay,
They left her for the long, long rest,
Her white hands crossed upon her breast.
And went their homeward way.

Again the gathering shades of night
The little town obscured:
The old church on the breezy mound
Stood silent in its holy ground,
Its dim vault well secured.

At hour of midnight not a soul
In Watchet town kept ward,
And while the simple town folk slept
A stealthy figure slowly crept
Across the sacred sward.

And down the stone steps to the vault
With furtive glance he made:
Into the lock his rusty key
He ventured, noiseless as could be,
And startled, half afraid.

The great door yielded: in went he.
Awhile alarmed he hid;
Then lit his lantern for the quest,
Seized on the leaden burial chest
And wrenched away the lid.

For well he knew a wealth of gems
Those dainty fingers wore:
And one. a ring a ransom worth,
Too rich to moulder in the earth,
Which she would want no more.

And those were days of dire distress
For men of low estate:
And glittering gold and sparkling gem
Could have no further use for them
Whom death had dealt their fate.

With thoughts like these his wavering will
The guilty sexton steeled.
And resolute followed yet the quest
Till, flashing from that peaceful breast.
The gems were clear revealed.

He seized the slender fingers white
And stiff in their repose.
Then sought to file the circlet through:
When, to his horror, blood he drew.
And the fair sleeper rose.

She sat a moment, gazed around.
Then. great was her surprise.
And sexton, startled, saw at a glance
This was not death, but a deep trance,
And madness leapt to his eyes.

The stagnant life stream in her veins
Again began to flow:
She felt the sudden quickening.
For her it was a joyous thing,
For him a fearsome woe.

He sprang, and like a madman fled
From the accusing vault,
And made his way among the tombs
As one chased by a hundred dooms.
Who dared not call a halt.

The lady beckoned him in vain.
He was too scared to heed.
She would have given him his price;
He cleared’the churchyard in a trice.
Spurred by his desperate deed.

And never came he back again.
Nor could the people tell
His whereabout; but legend tells
He followed the pathway up Five Bells
And leapt into a well.

The lady Wyndham left her bier,
And by the lantern’s aid
She scaled the damp stone steps and found
Her way across the holy ground
And straightway homeward made.

All down by Snailholt’s silent meads
The ghostly figure passed,
And through the list’ning grove below:
The startled kine that watched her go
Sprang up with fear aghast.

She reached the Manor lawn at length.
Paused at the porchway hatch;
And then. as one held in a dream.
Her face as pale in the lantern’s beam.
She lifted clear the latch.

But bolts and bars were safely set:
She gave a gentle knock:
Then louder; and at length she heard
A sound, as though someone had stirred.
And it was one o’ the clock.

Now sleep that lonesome night forsook
The sorrowing husband there:
He heard the river murmuring by,
And marked the mute stars in the sky
That seemed to mock his prayer.

Hour after hour he wakeful lay
And all disconsolate,
When, suddenly, he heard a sound.
Then the baying of his faithful hound
And the click of the court-house gate.

Then knockings at the great hall door
And a most plaintiff call:
He rose and oped the casement wide,
And through the darkness he descried
A ghostly figure tall.

The lantern in her hand she held,
Her robe was spectral white:
Here surely one had come from the dead!
His heart it thumped with a great dread:
It was an awesome sight.

What wonder such a vision made
His knees together knock!
Yet fear should not his soul unman,
So down the oaken stairs he ran
And seized his old flint-lock.

Some rustic knave or fool, thought he.
Is playing me this prank:
And if he is not soon away
Begad! I’ll make short work of his play:
Yet half in fear he shrank.

He threw the parvise casement wide
And rang the challenge down,
“Who art thou? Answer, or I’ll shoot!”
The figure stood a moment mute.
And fearful of his frown.

Then eagerly she made reply,
“Shoot not! I am you wife.
Come down, I pray you. let me in!
For the night is chill and my garb is thin.
And God gives me back my life.”

The voice was hers beyond all doubt:
His wife it was who spake.
Ah! That the dead should come again
To haunt the ways of troubled men
And other troubles make.

“Death held me not: it was a trance.”
She cried. “Oh. tarry not!
This winding sheet about my breast
Yet wears the embroidered Wyndham crest:
Pity my helpless lot.”

He bounded down the great hall stairs
And opened wide the door:
Clasping her in a fond embrace.
He wiped the tears from that sweet face
He had thought to see no more.

She told him all the ghostly tale
Of the vault, the sexton’s flight,
The file that made her finger bleed,
The venture down the lonesome mead,
The grim and terrible night.

So there was joy that early dawn
in the Squire of Kentsford’s hall.
Joy as of hearts all newly wed
For one who has risen from the dead
To bear him sons withal.

And sons she after bore him, twain.
To keep the Wyndham name:
And many a year she lived to grace
His board and hearth, and all the place
Resounded with her fame.

And still in old St. Decuman’s
The tablet may be seen,
Which bears the name of the lady fair
And her two children sculptured there.
To keep her memory green.

The basic story behind the prose is this, Florence Wyndham became ill, and her family, believing her dead, buried her in the vault at the church in Watchet, Somerset.  A sexton of the church decided to rob her of her jewellery after the funeral.  He opened the casket and tried to get a ring off her finger, and woke her up.

Read more here:   and here:

Picture of her tombstone in Watchet, with her husband John Wyndham.


The Chicago Macdonalds – Exploring a bit, 2015

Macdonald Family of Chicago (bef 1910)
Macdonald Family of Chicago (bef 1910)

I decided to update my family tree a bit to see if I could find more about the Macdonalds of Chicago.  I had a family history written by a cousin from the early 2000, but I wanted to see what kind of documents had turned up on Ancestry, to fill in some blanks.  So here are some of my finds.

Firstly I will provide a bit of context.  Aeneas Vincent Macdonald married my great-grandfather’s sister Jane Frue Leitch in 1879 in Stormont, Ontario.  From material I found Aeneas appears to have worked as an accountant/ clerk.  Sometime in the early 1890s he and his growing family moved to Chicago, where most of the stayed – and likely still are.

The Tree:

Aeneas Vincent Macdonald (@1856, Cornwall – 1920, Chicago) married 18 August 1879, Jane Frue Leitch (@1857, Cornwall – 1910, Chicago)


  1. Eugene Lochlan Macdonald (7 Sep 1881, Cornwall – 15 Oct 1946, Kankakee, Ill)
  2. Aeneas Macdonald (1885 – ?)
  3. Julian Leitch Macdonald (29 Mar 1882, Cornwall – 20 June 1939, Chicago)
  4. Carolyn Nicholas Macdonald (8 Sep 1888, Cornwall – 20 Feb 1942, Chicago)
  5. William Dunbar Macdonald (@1893 – 13 May 1944, Chicago)
  6. Roderick Macdonald (21 Oct 1891, Chicago – ?)
  7. Vincent Macdonald (28 Jun 1896, Chicago – 23 Apr 1947, Chicago)
  8. Agnes Frue Macdonald – Macfarlane (7 Sep 1898, Chicago – 12 Jul 1984, Oregon)
  9. Leith Christine Macdonald – Hansen (@1902, Chicago – 2 Jul 1962, Chicago)

As you can see by the few question marks – I have some blanks yet to fill.  (Any assistance greatly appreciated on this).  But what I did find was interesting.

Julian Leitch Macdonald was described in the family history I have as being with a lady named Lillian, but not married to her.  She is listed though as his wife in his death information.  Curiously enough though, there is a marriage listed to a Grace E Goodrich in July of 1913.  Where is Grace?  Also interesting, in his draft form for WWII he listed his profession as a theatrical scenic artist – self employed.

Eugene Lochlan Macdonald is listed in the 1930 census as a resident of the Kankakee State Hospital, and it is there he died in 1946.  I googled it, it was a mental institution.  Very sad.  I would like to know more about him, and his life before this institutionalisation.  He was buried with his mother in Chicago.

William Dunbar Macdonald’s WWII draft document states that he was self-employed at the Carnival, Chicago.  On the back of the card, where scars and the like are usually listed (like that of his brother Vincent, who had a scar on his back) it states that both legs were amputated 4 inches below the knee.  Which explains his height of 4’8”.  In the Illinois death index his profession is listed as Sand Carver.  What is a sand carver?  Is this an act at the Carnival?  I should also note that he gives his address as his sister Leith Hansen, and puts her husband George as the person who would always know where he was.  Very curious about this!

Carolyn Macdonald was an interesting character – she was a ob-gyn, at a time when women doctors was not common.  Very awesome, and inspiring.  And Leith Hansen her sister, became a lawyer when her children were teenagers – sharing a practice with her husband. Both women of intelligence and courage.


So that has been my latest foray in genealogy.  More questions made than answered, but serious fun.





Exceptions to the rule: Scottish naming patterns and the case of Nicholas, 2015

Exceptions to the rule: Scottish naming patterns and the case of Nicholas, 2015.

When Ryan Reynolds and his wife Blake Lively announced that they were naming their daughter James, there was a flurry of comment about the appropriateness of giving a girl a ‘boy’s name’ in the media.  According to some these is a recent “Hollywood” trend, and open to a lot of mocking.

For me though, this is not a recent trend, but a common occurrence in my Scottish family. My great-great grandmother was called Nicholas. And she wasn’t the first in the family, nor the last. Nicholas Bryden was born in Williamstown, Upper Canada (Ontario) in 1827 to William Bryden and his wife Agnes Newall. She married William Leitch and with him had 7 children.  4 of her granddaughters were called Nicholas either as first or middle names, and 2 of her great-granddaughters, and even one of her great-great-great granddaughter has it as a middle name.  It was family tradition.  And according to tradition the women were known as “Nixie.”

I often wondered where this name had originated.  I thought for sure Nicholas Bryden was named after some lamented uncle and the name stuck. While that might be the case, it is likely much further back.  Nicholas Bryden was named for her mother’s sister, Nicholas Newall (1798 -1872 Scotland), who was named after her mother Nicholas Murphy, who was born about 1754 in Aucherhay, Borgue, Scotland.  It might go back further than that.

And it is not confined to the Leitch family, but the other Newall descendants in Ontario: the Browns and the Copelands.  So really, the naming girls with “boys names” is not that new a thing, but rather an odd Scottish naming tradition.

William Leitch and his wife Nicholas Bryden c 1860
William Leitch and his wife Nicholas Bryden c 1860



The Halloween Festival – Montreal, 1869

[Posted on Canada Day because of the Patriotic Songs included in the accounts!]

Montreal Gazette 1 November 1869, page 2

The Halloween Festival

The Caledonian Society’s Festival was as great a success this Halloween as on any previous occasion. The Theatre Royal was crowded, and not one in that large and fashionable audience could have regretted the manner in which the evening was passed. The programme was of choice variety, and was so excellently rendered that it would be difficult to say which excelled. The applause was enthusiastic and frequent, but always deservedly so.

“Hail to the Chief,” by the piper, announced the entrance of the President and guests. Mr D Rose, the President of the Society, ably fulfilled the duties of Chairman.  Among the guests were Andrew Robertson, Esq, President of the St Andrew’s Society; FB McNamee, Esq, President of the St Patrick’s Society; MP Ryan, MP; E Cartier, QC, MPP; AW Ogilvie, MPP; AA Stevenson Esq; A McGibbon, Esq; and others, and several ladies.

The Band of the PCO Rifles played as overture.

The President’s Address.

The President then said:-

Ladies and Gentlemen – I feel great pleasure in welcoming the friends of the Caledonian Society to our annual Festival. As years roll round, and we pass from boyhood to manhood, and manhood to old age, with all the cares and troubles of life pressing upon us, yet the days of our boyhood come back, reminding us of the pleasant memories of lang syne, as each succeeding Halloween comes round, and although we do not now “Burn our nite and hand our Halloween fou’ blithe” as in the days gone by, yet the Caledonian Society trusts, that by their Annual Festival on this evening, they help to keep green in the memories of many here those enchanting scenes of youth, and by meeting together one night in the year help to strengthen the cords that bind the hearts of Scotchmen to the native land.

It is a source of great satisfaction to the members of the Society to find that their efforts in affording instruction and amusement are so well appreciated by the citizens of Montreal, if we are allowed to judge from the large numbers that always attend our celebrations.

It is now fourteen years since the Caledonian Society was instituted, having for its object the encouragement and practice of Scottish games; the cultivation of a taste for Scottish history, poetry and song; and to unite more closely Scotchmen and those of Scottish descent, and although many other Societies have sprung into existence and copied in many particulars its manner of getting up Gatherings and Concerts, yet during all these years the citizens have so well appreciated the efforts of this Society that not a single Gathering or Festival has proved a failure either in attendance or financially.

The Society during the past year has increased its membership, and the last Gathering has been the most successful ever held since its formation. I may here mention that two of our members went o’er the border to compete at the Gathering of the New York Caledonian Club, and carried off between them no less than twenty-one of their principal prizes, thus reminding our American friends that the “men of the north” are still able to compete successfully with their southern friends.

The Society intends applying at the first session of the Provincial Parliament for an Act of Incorporation, so that they may be enabled to purchase sufficient land in their corporate capacity for holding their annual Gathering. As this marks a very important era in the history of the Society, I would appeal to the young Scotchmen of Montreal, who have not yet joined, to come forward at once and got themselves enrolled as members, and help to swell the ranks until it shall embrace all the Scotchmen of Montreal.

A new feature has been introduced into the Programme this year in the shape of a Canadian Patriotic song. Coming as we do from the “land of Song”, the Committee could not help observing the scarcity of Canadian lyric poetry, and in order to encourage our poets and musicians to direct their attention to this subject, instead of the usual Halloween poem, they determined to offer a prize of fifty dollars for the best Canadian Patriotic Song set to music. In response to our advertisement forty-nine songs have been received, sixteen set to music. These were referred to a Committee of three gentlemen to adjudicate on their literary merits. The Committee’s report will be read this evening. The song will be read by Professor Andrews and sung by Mrs Weston.

The Committee feel confident that the Programme that has been prepared for this evening’s entertainment will meet your hearty approbation.  It is useless for me to say anything in regard to the talents of such a distinguished artiste as Mrs Weston, as she is well known to the citizens of Montreal by her recent visit, having captivated the hearts of all those who heard her on that occasion. As this is the first appearance of Mrs Kedelle before a Montreal audience, I must congratulate those present on the rich treat that is in store, and have every confidence that the high estimation she is held by her friends will be fully endorsed to you.  In regard to the gentlemen that are to take part in the evening’s entertainment it is not necessary for me to refer to them as they are so well known and highly appreciated in this city.

The Award

Prof Andrews read the following award and the prize poem, in the second part of the programme:

Montreal, 29th October, 1869

Dear Sir—In accordance with the request of the “Caledonian Society,” we have examined a number of poems received in competition for prize of fifty dollars.  [Illegible] to our judgement , and after a careful perusal of them, we are unanimously of opinion that the poem with the motto of “Mun do it” is entitled to the Premium.

In making this award, we are [illegible] compelled to add that the rival rhymes of this year are far inferior in merit to the Halloween verses of former occasions.  Many of the forty-nine songs, though apparently designed for [illegible] competitions, are in reality little better than unsuccessful burlesque, and had a second prize been offered, as in previous years, it would have been difficult to select a poem worthy of the honour. We can hardly account for these facts, except on the supposition that the poetical genius of many of the competitors has displayed itself hitherto only in the expressive Scottish dialect.  The use of this was necessarily interdicted in the production of a purely Canadian lyric.

We have the honour to remain, dear Sir,

Yours faithfully,

John Jenkins, DD

A de Sola, LL D

Geo Murray BA, Oxon

To JT Henderson, Esq.,

Secretary to the Caledonian Society.


Canadian Patriotic Song

[Dedicated to the Caledonian Society of Montreal]


Let other tongues, in older lands,

Loud vaunt their claims to glory,

And chant, in triumph, of the past,

Content to live in story;

Though boasting no baronial halls,

Nor ivy-created towers,

What past can match thy glorious youth,

Fair Canada of ours?


We love those far-off ocean Isles

Where Britain’s monarch reigns,

We’ll ne’er forget the good old blood,

That courses through our veins,

Proud Scotia’s fame, old Erin’s name,

And haughty Albion’s powers,

Reflect their matchless lustre on

This Canada of ours!


Long may our country flouris, then,

A goodly land and free!

Where Celt and Saxon, hand in hand,

Hold away from sea to sea,

Strong hearts shall guard our cherished home

When danger darkly lowers,

And with our life-blood we’ll defend

This Canada of ours!


Mrs John F Kedelle, late of Edinburgh, made her first appearance in Montreal, and was warmly received. She sang the “Piper o’ Dundee” with great effect, and was encored and gave another Scottish song.  She also sang “Within a mile o’ Edinburgh town,” “Logie o’ Buchan,” and “Bonnie Dundee.” Mrs Kedelle has a pleasing voice, and one that is very effective in Scottish ballads.

Mrs Weston was warmly welcomed.  She sang the grand aria “Cape Fatal” and received as much applause as when she first appeared before a Montreal audience with the celebrated Boston Quintette Club.  An enthusiastic encore was gracefully answered by “the Merry Sunshine.” Mrs Weston also sang “Waiting” and the “Star of Glengarry,” being encored.

After Prof Andrews read the poem it was sung by Mrs Weston in a highly creditable manner, though she had first seen it Saturday morning.

Mr Lamothe is always popular and successful, and though he may never have worn kilts, his songs “Draw the Sword, Scotland,” and “Scenes that are Brightest” were deservedly applauded.

However, people may talk about “jokes” and “surgical operations” and so on, it was quite evident that the humorous and comical is no small element in Scottish character.  Mr Huret told the melancholy story of “the bashful young man,” exciting the laughter event to tears of sympathy of the audience, and then the pit would not allow him to hide his blushes behind the scenery till he had related in his own inimitable style his experiences at “Mrs Jones’ evening party,” and how he was “Dancing Mad.” Then, as if that was not enough, Prof Andrews convulsed every one by recounting “Mansie Wauch’s first and last visit to the Theatre.” The Professor’s reading was so natural that it was perfectly irresistible and afforded great amusement.

The Band of the P CO Rifle Brigade, between the parts, played selections of Scotch, English and Irish airs. They were most delightful, and increased if it were possible, the high opinion already entertained of the Band and the alacrity and carefulness of its conductor.

The Ghillie Callum was danced in full Highland Costume by Mr Nivin, and his Highland Fling were greatly admired and received encores.

Mr D Weir played the bagpipes very creditably.

Mr AJ Boucher presided at the place with his usual skill.

The Festival concluded with “Auld Lang Syne” in which all joined.


Patriotic Song

The Following is one of the many poems called forth by the prize offered by the Caledonian Society, and though the bard was not successful, we have no doubt he would like to be “Known to fame,” and therefore it is presented to the public. –

Fine country, fertile, flourishing,

Full of fruit and vegetables nourishing!

When Fenian foes were vanquished quite,

And ran away with all their might,

Who would not fight for such a land,

As long as he’d a leg to stand?

It’s lakes are deep, it’s streams are wide,

And girt by trees on every side,

In climate it’s not very much to boast,

For in winter you freeze and in summer you roast,

But in stream or lake, in heat or cold,

It’s a better country than the old,

And I’d rather on whisky and pork live here,

Than in England on beef and table beer!

It’s people are rather a motlew crew,

But to the old Flag they’ll be ever true;

The cowards who write for Annexation,

Shall be kicked o’er the bounds of this loyal nation,

And the Yankees who think to be masters here

Will find they hate got the wrong sow by the ear!

Then all unite with heart and hand

To keep for ourselves this mighty land,

And in honour and in truth, in fame and reknown

To preserve this brightest jewel in the British Crown!

Beauty Advice – Let Go, Montreal, 1919

Montreal Standard, 1 March 1919, page 17

Let Go!

It is a beauty secret that you can have for nothing.  And, unlike most things one gets for nothing, it is worth untold gold.

Perhaps you don’t quite understand what is meant by letting go?  It is simple enough.

When one is up and about, especially in these strenuous days of war and anxiety one is strained and taut, like a tightly-stretched string.  That is all right for our work, but it is exhausting to our vital energy.  So that, every now and again, we, if we are wise, will snatch a chance of relaxing the poor strained nerves.  It may be only for a moment, but it will do wonders in the way of refreshing one.

Lift your eyes from your typewriter, take a few long, deep breaths, close your eyes and allow your limbs and nerves to go quite limp.  Even if you can only spare a few seconds once or twice in the day, it is well worth while.  And, if you can lie down flat on the floor for a few minutes and relax all over during your working day, you will reap the benefit.  But at least you can straighten up, close your tired eyes, and generally “let go” for a moment.  Practice the art of letting go, and it will soon become easy; it is an invaluable aid to health and beauty.  And, unlike so many aids, it costs absolutely nothing!

Etiquette- can women go alone to a man’s apartment? 1937

Apparently I have been going about this courting thing all wrong!

Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage by Emily Post, New York and London, Funk & Wagnalls Co, 1922/37.



May a young woman go alone to a man’s apartment?

This question is more often asked and harder to answer than any other question of the present day.  Considered solely from the point of view of etiquette, the answer is NO. considered in regard to a girl in her teens or to a young woman who is not very worldly-wise, the answer is No.  in fact, it is a question that


Had not even a proper place in the earlier etiquette editions of this book.  But times have changed, and the point of view of the modern world has turned from the consideration of etiquette as applied to society, and exacted that young women with professional careers – young women of new independence – be considered too.  Therefore, this greatest question that has followed the disappearance of the chaperon must be included in a chapter such as this.


How far may a girl run after a man?

Cat-like, she may do a little stalking! But ‘run’? Not a step.  The freedom of today allows her to go to meet him half-way, but the girl who runs, runs after a man who runs faster!

To be sure she can invite him to any sort of party, so long as it is not just a sit-at-home party of two.  She can say even to one who has been lately introduced to her: ‘come and see me sometime I’m almost always home after five” – or whenever she is likely to be at home.


Ugliest Woman Contest, London, 1919

Montreal Daily Star, 6 December 1919, page 19



Eight entrants for the title of the ugliest woman in London were judged at St George’s Hall (On the left) Miss “Leydon” the winner (On the Right) The runner-up


Unique competition held in London recently – lots of competitors

London –Nov 15 (by mail) St George’s Hall yesterday was the scene of a pathetic exhibition in which eight women displayed their ugliness in the hope of being chosen by a committee of Pressmen as the “ugliest woman” in London.

There were over thirty applications.  Among them were several facetious letters suggesting the name of “friends” and there was one from a mistress recommending her maid.  Only eight of the applicants however, faced the judges.

The remarkable fact was that only three of the eight received any votes, and one of the competitors was actually offered a position in the beauty chorus of Mr De Biere, who has been advertising for the ugliest woman in London to assist him in a new production.

The exhibition began by the introduction of a tall woman in red, swathed in black headdress.  She was carrying a sandbag, and was toying with a green vase.

Several of the women were well dressed, and try as they would, ugliness was far from them.  Four of them were married, and explained that their husbands knew all about it, and were quite willing for them to make a living by their ugliness if possible.

The winner of this extraordinary competition, who chooses to be known as Miss Leyton, of London, received 14 votes out of a possible 19, and seemed quite pleased with her achievement.

In a chat afterwards she explained that she was a music teacher, and had but a few pupils at 12s a quarter.

“I have never tried to improve my appearance,” she said, wistfully, “I don’t curl my hair, or powder.  Mother always said I was ugly, and in fact, it was she who advised me to go in for it. She said there was no harm in trying.  People say my three sisters are good-looking.

“I have plenty of friends yes, and one or two sweethearts.  My appearance was no drawback to them.  I’ve never thought much about it.  But I consider it an honour to have been chosen as the ugliest woman in London.

Perhaps the explanation lies in the words of one of the unsuccessful candidates, a lady with white hair, wearing furs and a feathered hat. “I can’t make any capital out of being good-looking” she said, “and I wanted a job.”

Montreal Fireworks, 1880

Montreal Daily Star, 23 September 1880, page 2

The Pyrotechnic Display

A scene of splendour which thousands of people admired

Successful as the past displays made by the Fireworks’ Committee have been, that of last evening on Dominion Square excelled every thing heretofore attempted by them.  At an early hour the square was filled by a vast multitude, who amused themselves by promenading and light conversation until the bands arrived, when less walking was indulged in.  Presently the first bomb exploded with a loud detonation.  This was succeeded by a shower of rockets which illuminated the heavens with the brightest of many colored fiery tints.  The set pieces were remarkably beautiful the falls of Niagara having an appearance of realistic grandeur which those who saw will not soon forget.  Wheels within wheels revolved with startling rapidity, the explosions at intervals serving to heighten the scene of beauty, which could not, however desirable, remain “a joy forever”.  A tricolored paper balloon was sent up, which at first swayed heavily as it caught the briskly blowing wind, but gradually it settled itself and floated gracefully upward and onward in the direction of the Victoria Bridge. It was watched by the multitude until it resembled a twinkling star in the distance, and finally disappeared from view. Another very fine set piece was a ship which rocked upon imaginary waves and was fired upon from a fort, the balls from which were thrown through the rigging of the doomed vessel and finally dismantled it, although a faint but ineffectual fire was given in return. All things considered the fireworks have proved to be a decided success, and those who were present last evening on Dominion Square will not regret the time they spent in admiring the beauties of the pyrotechnic display, as well as letting the Citizen’s committee know that their efforts to amuse have been appreciated.  The brass bands played several capital selections throughout the evening.

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