Since the day is coming around soon,  I thought I would share this account of the first dinner in honour of St. Jean Baptiste held in Montreal in 1834.  The newspaper it appeared in, The Vindicator, was a pro-patriote paper, and so supported all the things that the dinner symbolised. 

 

Montreal, 1839

 

Vindicator and Canadian Advertiser, 27 June 1834

 

FESTIVAL OF THE PATRON SAINT OF CANADA

 

Tuesday being the feast of St. Jean Baptiste, a select party of gentlemen assembled at the residence of J McDonnell, Esq., to celebrate the day.  About sixty persons sat down to dinner, which was served up in the garden in most unique style.  Jacques Viger, Esquire, Mayor of Montreal, presided, and John Turney, Esquire, acted as VP.

The usual loyal toast having been drank, the following were proposed in succession, and drank with becoming honors, interspersed, and diversified with songs, and speeches and music suited to the occasion.

Regular toasts.

The People, the source of all legitimate power.

The day we celebrate.

The House of Assembly of Lower Canada, the faithful organ of the Canadian people.

The Honorable Louis Joseph Papineau, speaker of the House of Assembly, the able and zealous defender of the rights of the people.

Louis Bourdages, Esquire, doyen of the House of Assembly, the Nestor of Canada.

Elzear Bedard, Esquire, representative of the county of Montmorenci, the first mayor of Quebec, and proposer of the 92 Resolutions on the state of the province- and the 56 members who formed the glorious majority who voted them.

O’Connell and our Irish compatriots.

Jocelyn Waller (in solemn silence).

Daniel Tracey, and the three victims of the 21st May. (Solemn silence)

Messrs DB Viger and AN Morin, our agents in England.

Messrs Hume and Roebuck, and the liberal members of the House of Commons who support our interests.

Messrs WL Mackenzie, Bidwell and the reformers of Upper Canada.

Messrs Carson, Blanchard and Morris, and the reformers of other British colonies.

The institutions of the United States- they excite the admiration and the envy of the universe.

General Lafayette- (solemn silence)

Joseph Papineau, Esq., doyen of the notaries of this province, and one of the surviving members of the first parliament of Lower Canada.  At the patriarchal age of 82, he still enjoys all the strength of his intellect, and has the happiness to see his son, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, treading in his steps in his parliamentary career, and the people, and the youth of the country adopting and following those principles which he supported in and out of parliament.

Jacques Viger, Esq., first mayor of Montreal, and the common council of this city.  May they continue as the have gone on.

Bonaventure Panet, Esq., of Lachenaye, one of the two surviving members of the first provincial parliament.  A modern Cincinnatus, after having served his country at the Tribune, and in the camp, he concentrates the remainder of his days in cultivating the soil.

W Lyon Mackenzie, Esq., the first mayor of Upper Canada, and the common council of Toronto.  There, as here, in Quebec, the people have distinguished themselves by a judicious choice in the composition of their first municipal body.

The liberty of the press, and the liberal presses of this and their sister provinces.

The Quebec Canadien, the only faithful organ of the people of its district.  May it, by the force of the truth which it so worthily expresses, stifle all public misrepresentations and the calumnies of its antagonists.

Emigration- May the thousands of British subjects who seek as asylum every year on our shores from the abuses and oppression which they experienced in their native country, not establish any such amongst us, and may they find that welcome which is their due!  They will form with the inhabitants of Canada an impenetrable and irresistible phalanx against tyranny.

The Canadian clergy and their bishops- May they be always united, and give good examples to their flocks.  They will be supported and respected in making common cause with the House of Assembly and the people.

The convention of the district of Montreal.  The people have confided to its members the charge of watching over their interests which will not be neglected.

The constitutional meetings of the three districts which have supported the proceedings of the House of Assembly on the state of the province, and those who signed the petition in support of the demands of the House of Assembly.  Honor to those who have defended the rights of the people with so much patriotism, zeal and disinterestedness.

Our Vice President, John Turney, Esq.

“It is with good reason that he enjoys the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens.  He has rendered them eminent services, and he will do so again when the occasion requires.”  Then succeeded,

“The Canadian company of Montreal”

“The Medical Board of Montreal”  The Canadian retailing merchants, the liberal priests of the district.  It is fortunate for the country that they are a vast majority.  Agriculture.  The British North American Colonies- they are shaking off their supineness and demanding their rights.  May they obtain them.  The second company of volunteer Carabineers, and Mr De Bleury, their captain.  The artisans and working classes of Montreal and of the country in general.  May education continue to spread among these useful members of society, and may they procure the happiness and comfort which their labours deserve.  Mr. William Evans, farmer of the Cote St Pierre.  During several years he filled with talent and honour the situation of secretary to the Agricultural Society of this district.  The people and the agricultural classes ought never to forget his eminent services. 

The greatest harmony prevailed during the evening.  The company remained till a late or rather early hour, and departed much delighted with the evening’s entertainment, and well leased with urbanity, attention and hospitality of Mr. McDonnell.

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