Montreal Daily Star, 26 January 1887, page 3


A Nicht wi’ Burns-  Although many causes were at work to keep away people from last night’s Burns anniversary celebration, a large number of Scotchmen with their wives and daughters and many friends of other race, were present in the Windsor.  The beautiful large dining hall was used for the concert and dancing, whilst the ladies’ ordinary was utilized for refreshments.  About half-past eight the President, Lieut-Colonel AA Stevenson, preceded by pipers Munro and Grey, entered the room, accompanied by Rev James Fleck, who was to deliver the address; US Consul-General Anderson; Mr Hugh McLennan, president of the St Andrew’s Society.  Mr WD Stroud, president of the St George Society and Mr D Barry, president of St Patrick’s Society.  The concert of course was mainly composed of Scotch songs, and Miss Tessier’s sweet voice was charming in these simple melodies different from those she is usually heard in.  The wildest enthusiasm was evoked by her rendering of Burns’ “Mary of Argyle,” which called forth a peremptory encores, as did also her “Annie Laurie.”  Indeed encoring seemed a very strong point with the audience, and prolonged the musical part of the programme a good deal beyond what was anticipated.  Miss K Macfarlane, the charming soprano, sang “Ye Banks and Braes” and “O Whistle and I’ll Come to ye, may lad.”  This Montreal favorite was as usual received with loud applause.  Mr Lloyd, a fine baritone singer made a great impression in “Anchor’d,” but had evidently not come prepared for a recall.  Mr T de G Stewart in a good tenor voice sange “There was a lad in Kyle,” “O’ a’ the airts the wind can blaw,” and “A Man’s a man for a’ that.”  Mr D Robertson roused the house in the “Laird o’Cockpen” to which he gave all its inimitable drollery.  The concert was nicely rounded off by Miss NP Melville with “Comin’ thro’ the rye,” which confirmed the impression made by a previous selection “Robin Adair.”  An unusual musical treat was Mr GR Joseph’s solo on the coffee pot, especially his imitation of the bagpipes at the end.  Mr Emory Lavigne presided at the piano completing the array of home musical talent, which certainly were in every way equal to the outside importations of former years.

Rev Mr James Fleck’s address on the poet of the evening was very neat and effective, ranging from the humorous to his deeply pathetic.  He established the claim to address the Scotchmen before him on his lineal descent from the “Jimmy Flack” of the poet’s “Hallowe’en” and proceeded to review Burns’ standing among poets.  He was not the poet of Scotland alone, but of the whole world, because of the great universal human heart.  He described the meeting of Burns and Sir Walter Scott, in which singularly enough a link was formed from a Canadian idea; he dwelt upon the temptations of the club houses of Edinburgh, which proved his ruin, but could not destroy his love for his mother, and he touched lightly upon his failings, denying that religion was absent from Burns’ heart, he was merely hostile to hypocrisy and religious pride.  The address was marked by many allusions to Burns’ most famous poems, and was delivered with perfect ease and grace.

The dancing was kept up till quite late, to the music of the 65th orchestra and the inspiring strains of the bagpipes.  Mayor Beaugrand and Madame Beaugrand were present during a portion of the evening.