Montreal Daily Star, 1 November 1900, page 12
Braw Scotch Nicht
Caledonians an’ their Friens Held their Hallowe’en Fu’ Blithe Last Nicht
Auld Scots Sans an’ Dances
An address Tae Lord Stratchcona- Guid Speeches Gien by the Laird o’ Glencoe an’ Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Another Hallowe’en has come and gone and another night of jubilation has been added to the memories of the red-letter days which the young folks treasure up. It passed quietly; not quite so boisterously as in the olden time, but no one regretted that. Inside the homes the time-honoured games were played, and the mystic spells were indulged in to one’s heart’s content. Out-of-doors the principal amusement of the small boy was to dress up in his big sister’s clothes or at least to promenade, armed with a pea shooter that was more annoying than dangerous to pedestrians.
For forty-five consecutive Hallowe’ens the Caledonian Society of Montreal has gathered to listen to the “auld Scots’ songs,” to beat time to the skirl of the bagpipes and to applaud heartily the clever dancing of the lads-in-kilts. They did all of this last night and they did more. They had with them their honourary president, Lord Strathcona andMount Royal, and the presented His Lordship with an illuminated address.
When the curtain was rung up every seat in Her Majesty’s Theatre was occupied and over a hundred ladies and gentlemen were discovered seated on the stage, including: Mr Justice Davidson, Mr Justice Archibald, Mr and Mrs MJF Quinn, Principal and Mrs Peterson, Mr and Mrs Donald Macmaster, Dr James Stewart, Mr WE Doran, Dr JK Foran, Ald and Mrs F Robertson, Rev Principal MacVicar, Mr Recorder Weir, Rev Professor Ross, Mr and Mrs Geo. E Smart, Dr JT Finnie, Rev Prof Clarke Murray, Mr James McShane, Mr and Mrs J Fulton, Mr and Mrs Septimus Fraser, Mr Rasmussen, Capt and Mrs McMaster, Mr and Mrs JS Brierley, Major Lydon, Dr D McEachran, Mr and Mrs W McNab, Rev Mr and Mrs McKilliean, Mr and Mrs David Robertson, Rev Mr Heine, Dr WH Drummond, Mr JR Dougall, Rev Principal and Mrs George, Rev Hugh Pedley, Rev Mr Hopkin, Ald and Mrs Sadler, Mr and Mrs R Bickerdike, Capt Greaves, Mr and Mrs Arch McGoun, jr., Mr and Mrs John Allan, Dr and Mrs R Wilson, AJ Bowles, Dr and Mrs FW Kelley, M and Mrs David Robertson, Jonathan Hodgson, Dr and Mrs JH Mackenzie, Mr and Mrs AN Shewan, Mr and Mrs C McLean, Judge and Mrs Archibald, H McDiarmid, Mr and Mrs David Seath, Mr and Mrs James Harper, JA Cantlie, Rev and Mrs J Lyall George, Rev Mr and Mrs King, Miss McDougall, Lieut Col Stevenson, P Mackenzie, Jos. Richards, Alex. Murray, Mr and Mrs Sackville, S Bain, Rev Dr and Mrs Warringer, W Angus and Mr and Mrs Jas. T Stanger.
The Society’s pipers, J Mathieson andW Johnstonheaded the procession, consisting of the President, Mr JC MacDiarmid, the hon. President Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal and the presidents of St George’s, St Andrew’s, St Patrick’s, St Jean Baptiste, the Scandinavian and Irish Protestant Benevolent Society, and after they had taken their seats, a Scotch reel was splendidly danced by Messrs W Johnston, Fred Riddell, Robt. Niven and AN Fraser. Later in the evening Mr Johnston captured the audience with a well-executed sword dance. The gem of the programme was the work of Miss Amy Murray ofSterling, who only arrived fromScotlandlast week. She gave several numbers never heard inMontrealbefore—and this is refreshing, even at a Scottish concert. As an encore she sang “Bonnie Prince Charlie” and it was never sung with more spirit, even in the old Jacobite days. Miss Walker’s friends were glad to hear her again after an absence of two years inLondon, where she became a favourite. “The Scottish Blue Bell,” her best number last night, was rapturously encored. Mrs Coutts-Bain ofToronto, woreHighlandcostume and sang with feeling, though she wandered from the key noticeably in her duet with Mr P Campbell Donald, whose tenor voice was heard to advantage in “Bonnie Wee Thing,” which he sang very tenderly. Mr Miles R Bracewell was a distinct disappointment, and Mr JB McKay, the elocutionist scarcely came up to expectations.
There was an interesting break in the musical programme, between the first and second parts, when Mr Robert Reid recite the inspiring lines he wrote when Sir Donald Smith was elevated to the peerage. Mr Reid then read the address to His Lordship from the Caledonian Society. The address welcomed Lord Strathcona to the forty-sixth celebration of the society as their honourary president and expressed the hope that he might live long enjoy the honours his services to the Empire andCanadahad won for him. The society was grateful for the interest he had displayed in their well-being and for the example he had set them. They saw in him the true type of theHighlandchief. He had used his great wealth to bind all classes of society together and seek the good of all. He had always the interests of the society at heart, and all his actions had been dictated by his desire for the well-being of the Empire at large.
His Lordship was visibly affected by the appreciative words of the address and made a modest reply in the course of which he remarked:
“Both as Scotchmen and Canadians you and I have cause to be proud, and are proud of our fellow countrymen, who, along with the other soldiers of our Queen, have devoted themselves in the war now we hope about to close, and who have shown that the instincts of the race are now not less patriotic than at any time in its history, giving an earnest that to all time they will do their duty loyally in support of the best interests and the dignity of the Empire.”
Sir Wilfrid Laurier was present during the second part of the programme and made a suitable speech. He avoided politics entirely and announced himself a Scotchman for that special occasion. “If I could not be what I am,” he said, “a Canadian of French descent, I would rather be a Canadian of Scottish descent.” He pointed out whatCanadaowed to Scotsmen in the development of trade and commerce and all that goes to make up a great nation and closed with a graceful tribute to the honourary president of the Society. Lord Stratchcona, who had done so much forCanadaand so much for the Empire.
The hearty singing of “Auld Lang Syne” and “God Save the Queen” led by Mr SS Bain, brought the 45th annual concert of the Caledonian Society to a close.