Montreal Daily Star, 3 July 1882, page 2


Dominion Day

The 15th Anniversary and how it was celebrated


Saturday was without doubt the most dismal Dominion Day the people of this city have experienced since that day was set apart as a national holiday, fifteen years ago.  There was no doubt about its being a rainy day.  No person, however hopeful, who gazed at the dull London city in the morning could venture to prophesy that “It would clear up before long.”  In spite of the weather there were a large number of persons who determined to carry out the programme they had previously laid down.

The City.

The streets looked decorated, and but a few pedestrians were abroad.  The police officers were all closed, and nothing betokened a gala day, except the flags clinging damply to their respective staffs.  A detachment of the Garrison Artillery fired a salute from St. Helen’s Island, at noon.

Cricket Match.

A number of old countrymen and Canadians turned up at the Cricket Ground, but the match had to be abandoned on account of the weather.

Lacrosse Match.

Wind and weather soaking the hardy St. Regis Indians, and the equally inundated Shamrocks, turned out prompt in time to play the match agreed upon.  As might have been expected there were few spectators.  The Indian team was composed of George Square (Captain), Joseph Louis, Ron Cook, John Oak, Thos Oak, Joseph Narle, Louis Thompson, John Cook, Matthew Lee, Jacob Jodga, Charles De~~~ and Richard Simon.  The champions had the usual team in the field.  The ball was faced, and both parties were speedily wet through.  The ground was as slippery as ice, and numerous were the tumbles on both sides.  The first two games were short and sweet, being taken by the Shamrocks in a minute and a minute and a half respectively.  The third game was hotly contested, the ball went flying through mud and rain from one end of the field to the other until after 40 minutes of play the Indians scored their first goal.  The next game was also taken by the Indians, making two apiece.  Shortly after the next game had been started, the Indians were obliged to leave to catch their train, and the match was declared a draw.

Highgate Springs.

Notwithstanding the rain a large number of people attended the excursion of the Montreal and Trafalgar Lodges and Maple Leaf Chapter, IOOF Manchester Unity, to that delightful resort Highgate Springs.  The party occupied two cards divided into two trains and several arrived at their destination in due course.  But the heavens seem to have been opened and most of the party were afraid to leave the shelter of the cars.  A number, however, explored the grove, drank of the mineral spring, played tenpins, etc., etc., and managed to pass a pleasant time.  On the return a few of the excursionists got slightly elevated by liquor procured while the train was waiting at St. John and created a disturbance.  Two of the party were arrested at Point St. Charles.

Excursion to Brome Lake.

The military excursion and picnic under the auspices of the Montreal Field Battery Association, was, perhaps, taking the unfavorable weather into consideration, one of the most enjoyable events of the day.  The steamer “Montarville” was advertised to leave the Island Wharf at 8am for Longueuil, but at that hour the rain came down in torrents and, although some two hundred people had already assembled, prepared to brave the elements, the question was discussed as to the advisability of postponing the excursion.  But all on board seemed not only willing, but anxious to go, and as the numbers of excursionists were rapidly augmenting, it was decided to start at 9 o’clock.  By that time nearly three hundred persons were on board, including many members of the Battery, a few other volunteers, the remainder being composed of the general public, who are to be congratulated at turning out in such numbers in such weather in order to testify to the popularity of the Montreal Field Battery.  Under the inspiring strains of “Bonnie Dance” and other selections from the band of the Montreal Garrison Artillery (Col Oswald) which accompanied the excursionists, the boat started, and made the pleasant run to Longueuil, arriving there amid another pulsing shower; but the best of good humour prevailed.  A rush was made for the five cars awaiting the party; all were soon comfortably seated, “all aboard” was sounded, and the second stage of the journey was commenced.  The run to Knowlton was very pleasant.  The scenery all along the route is classed among the most picturesque in the Province, and although seen under somewhat unfavourable conditions, owing to fog, and rain, was much enjoyed by lovers of beauty in Nature.  The gallant Col. Stephenson and his efficient aid, Lieut. JS Hall, jr, were indefatigable in looking after the comfort of their guests, seeing that they were all provided with seats and furnishing them with light refreshments, and what might under other circumstances have been a most disconsolate crowd indeed, proved on their arrival at their destination a very merry, though withal, somewhat wet party.  Knowlton was reached shortly after 1 o’clock, and a rush was made for the hotel, where host Browne furnished a first class dinner to all who presented themselves.  Many of the fair sex, however, were rather averse again to facing the rain, which continued to fall, and while they remained comfortably seated in the cars, their escorts, husbands and lovers, made sundry journeys to many of the pretty houses in the village in search of tea, milk and other refreshments.  It was a rather amusing sight to see sundry of these individuals carrying teapots of steaming tea, quart measures of milk, with the pockets of their coats plethoric with cups, saucers, &c., but all of this added to the merriment of the party.  After dinner, dancing was participated in at the hotel by all who fancied “tripping the light fantastic toe,” while others rambled around the pretty village, which, although seen at its worst, presented a very agreeable aspect.  Those, again, not afraid of getting a ‘ducking’ took boats and explored the romantic Brome Lake, while a few, who had made some what extensive preparations for a few hours’ fishing, angled after the finny tribe, with which the lake is said to abound.  Nor were theses latter altogether unsuccessful, for one ardent fisherman managed to hook a couple of magnificent pickerel, the largest measuring nearly two feet from tip to taff.  The excellent programme of games that had been prepared had to be abandoned.  During the afternoon the Garrison Artillery band discoursed sweet music in different parts of the village, to the delight not only of the excursionists but also of the villagers, who cheered them to the ~~~o.  At 5 o’clock the band played “God Save the Queen” and “Auld Lang Syne,” and amid the ~~~ of the villagers and the waving of handkerchiefs by the departing guests, the train steamed out of the station.  The homeward run was made in three hours and a half, the excursionists arriving at Longueuil at half past 8.  The “Montarville” was in waiting, the transfer from the cars to the boat was soon made, the boat started, and Montreal was reached about 9 o’clock.  Thus ended a most successful day’s outing.  Too much praise cannot be given to the Committee of Arrangements, especially to Colonel Stevenson and Lieut. Hall, the latter of whom was a host to himself, and it is greatly owing to his exertions that what under other auspices would undoubtedly have turned out a failure, was brought to a successful termination.  It is said that the Field Battery Association purpose giving another excursion to the same place at no distant day, when it is to be hoped they will be favored with “Queen’s” Weather.