Arch for St Jean Baptiste day, Montreal, 1884


Montreal Daily Star, 24 June 1885, page 4

St Jean Baptiste



(From our own reporter)

St. John’s, Que, June 24.  The French national celebration here to-day was a fair success in every way.  Trains from Montreal brought in about 4000 visitors, which is far from being the 35, 000 expected by the Society.  The town was very elaborately decorated, several magnificent arches being erected, and all the streets being tastefully lined with evergreens and maple boughs.  High Pontifical Mass was chanted at ten o’clock by Mgr Fabre, assisted by Rev Messrs Plamondon, of Lacolle; Charbonneau of St Armand; Chagnon of Champlain; Moreau of Montreal; and Gravel of Montreal.  Rev Mr Belanger, one of the vicars here, preached a very eloquent sermon.  He contended that patriotism and religion should live side by side, and the true love for the mother country is inspired by religion alone.  He recalled the high deeds of their French Canadian ancestors, and concluded by affirming that he was certain that now that all present had, at the foot of the altar, given new vigor to their faith, they would live a life of right and be rewarded with eternal bliss.

The Procession

After mass the trades procession was formed.  It was a very elegant one and elicited much favorable comment.  It contained a historical cavalcade, similar to the one in Montreal last year, together with the Harmony, Farnham, Burlington, Malone, St Albans, and St Johns bands twelve allegorical wagons and representatives from the different French Canadian societies of Farnham, Burlington, Malone, St Albans, Montreal, St Hyacinthe, Sherbrooke and St Johns.  Among the persons present from Montreal were Mayor Beaugrand, Ald Mount, Hon H Mercier, Messrs JY Emard, Chas H Guimond, C Curry, D Gagnon, A Lamalice, Jos. Leclerc, A Deschamps, A Lemieux, R Beulac, and Rev Messrs Rouleau and Dugas of Montreal, Blanchard of Malone, and Cloarke of Burligton.

The Speeches

After the procession speeches were delivered from the City Hall square, and at three o’clock a grand promenade concert was given by the City and Harmony bands of Montreal.  At six o’clock a grand banquet is to be held in the City Hall, and several of the prominent orators of the day are to deliver speeches.  The day’s celebration will be concluded by a display of fireworks on the common adjoining the military school.  To-morrow a regatta and horse and foot races and general sports will be indulged in.  Lt-Col D’Orsonnens received the guests desiring to visit the Military Schools, and was kind enough to place at the disposal of visitors several of his men.  Many availed themselves of the opportunity.