Montreal Daily Star, 24 April 1906, page 6
St George’s Day celebrated by England’s sons with enthusiasm
The St George’s Society celebrated St George’s Day, the feat of England’s patron saint, with a patriotic dinner last night at the Place Viger Hotel. The hall was very tastefully decorated with flags and bunting, in which the Union Jack and the red, white and blue of old England occupied conspicuous positions. Covers were laid for about eighty an the gathering was a most enthusiastic one. “St George and Merrie England” received all the traditional honors, and with speech and song the hours passed pleasantly by.
The toast of “the Governor-General” was honored, followed by that of “St George and Merrie England” proposed by Mr. Robert Meredith, second vice-president, who spoke of the Englishman’s pride in his nationality and his name.
The toast was responded to by the Rev. Dr Symonds, in an eloquent speech, in which he spoke of some of the things which were most deeply cherished, and concerning which Englishmen felt proud. It was possible to recall one or two of these excellencies of the English nation, not simply as a matter of pride, but because it was always good to remember the virtues which had made Englishmen what they were, and are, just as it was right and good, they should at times consider the deficiencies of their national character.
NEED OF UNITY.
After paying a warm tribute to the qualities of mind and heart of the present ruler of Great Britain. Dr. Symonds touched on the necessity, not only where the British flag flies, but wherever the British tongue is spoken, of the people standing more closely shoulder to shoulder, recognizing that nothing was really or truly great which was not great through the possession of unity. There was no greater gift any people could possess, and particularly a people like our own, just emerging from its infancy, just beginning to feel something of power and strength in its already mighty limbs than to earnestly seek to gain a real unit based upon courtesy and consideration and admiration for those gifts and virtues which each possessed.
The toast of “Canada” was proposed by Mr. CR Johnson, in a very patriotic speech and was answered by Principal Peterson, who said that we had a political constitution which was the envy of the world at the present moment.
“Sister Societies and guests” was proposed by the president, who remarked that that was the first occasion in the history of the society when there had been present a mayor of the city who was a life member of the society.
Mayor Ekers responded, congratulating the society on the good work it had done in the past. Montreal, he said, was particularly fortunate in having such a number of national benevolent societies, which he felt were all doing a good work.
The toast was also acknowledged by the representatives of the several societies present; and the last toast on the list was that of “the Press,” proposed by Mr. Victor Mitchell.
Mr. AW Atwater, president of the society, occupied the chair, and on his right were Mayor Ekers, Rev. Dr. Symonds, Mr. FJ Curran, representing St Patrick’s Society; Mr. W McNab, representing the Caledonian Society; Mr. Evan Jones, St David’s Welsh Society. On the left of the chairman were: Principal Peterson, of McGill; Lt-Col Gardner, representing St Andrew’s Society; Judge Lafontaine, representing St Jean Baptiste Society, and Mr. Thomas Gilday, the Irish Protestant Benevolent Society.