Montreal Daily Star, 17 August 1895, page 11
The Caledonian Convention
The delegates entertained by Montreal Scotsmen
An enjoyable banquet on the steamer Three Rivers last evening—Mr Robert Reid’s tribute to Scott’s memory.
The delegates to the convention of the North American United Caledonian Association, which closed yesterday afternoon, were entertained by the Montreal Caledonian Society to a trip down the Lachine Rapids on the steamer Sovereign, and at 7:30 o’clock last evening some two hundred members and guests boarded the Three Rivers for a trip down the river. The newly-elected president, Mr Peter Kinnear, of Albany, was unable to be present, he having been suddenly called home. The steamer was very prettily decorated with bunting, and at the banquet which was tendered to the guests the plants and flowers were tastefully arranged on the tables. Mr James Wright, president of the Montreal society, occupied the chair, supported by Mayor Villeneuve, Mr Wm Simpson, first vice-president; Mr Nathan Ross, second vice-president, and Mr Peter Ross, secretary of the NA UCA.
After dinner the toasts of “The Queen,” and “The President of the United States,” and “the Governor-General” were proposed and enthusiastically honored.
In acknowledging “The Mayor and the Corporation,” Mayor Villeneuve expressed the great pleasure which it afforded him to be present. The Scotsmen in Montreal were a credit to that noble race; they included our best financiers and our greatest merchants. Wherever there was a Scotchman there was prosperity. The Scotch farmer had taught the French Canadians a good lesson in agriculture, and now the French Canadians were competing with them.
The president then proposed “The memory of Sir Walter Scott,” and Capt Moir of Scranton, PA, in an eloquent tribute recounted the impress which Scott had left upon his native country. He was delighted to have had the opportunity of coming in contact with the members of the Montreal Caledonian Society; their reception had been a royal one, and he hoped the Scotsmen of his own city would soon have an opportunity of returning the hospitality.
On the back of the menu card was the following poem, by Mr Robert Reid of this city:
Sir Walter Scott
Born August 15th, 1771
Gone is the minstrel! Yet his song remains;
Dead is the wizard! But the witching spell
He wove o’er Caledonia’s hills and plains,
While hill and plain abide, on them shall dwell
Tweed and Loch Katrine—fair in sooth they seem:
(What Scottish heart hath known them, and forgot?)
But half the light that lies on lake and stream
Fell from the magic wand of Walter Scott.
Then pledge me, friends as with one common tongue,
Pledge me, I say, with eye and heart aflame,
A bumper to the bard whose songs were sung
That all the world might learn fair Scotland’s fame.
Far from their native shore stern fate has hurl’d
Old Scotia’s sons to many a distant spot;
And there’s no nook or corner of the world
That will not hear to-night of Walter Scott.
“The President of NAUCA and delegates,” was acknowledged by Mr Wm Simpson, past vice-president, and “the Ladies” by Mr John Picken, of Milwauke.
With the Scotch music and Scotch dances everybody enjoyed themselves to the full until the steamer reached the wharf again, at eleven o’clock.
This morning delegates were driven through the principal streets of the city and to the Mountain park.