Victoria Daily Colonist, 24 April 1888, page 4
St George’s day
Englishmen celebrate the Good Saint’s Day in true British Style – at the Banquet Board
Every seat at the round table of the Clarence was filled last night at the annual dinner of the St George’s Society. A larger gathering had never assembled in the large dining –room of that well known hostelry. The tables literally groaned beneath the weight of the good things provided by the mine host Richards and a typical British banquet was the result of the chef’s exertions. To the affable steward, Mr WH Shaw, much of the success which attended the dinner must be attributed. Calla lilies in full bloom, as well as many potted plants, graced the table, but beyond this no attempt was made at decoration. Ex-Mayor Fell presided, having on his right and left Mayor Grant and United States Consul Stevens, respectively. Mr W McNiff, president of the Pioneer’s Society, occupied a seat immediately to the right of the Mayor. Mr CE Redfern did justice to the vice-chair. Rare music (piano and violin) was discoursed throughout the evening. Ven. Archdeacon Seriven asked a blessing. The following was
Crab-salads, olives, celery
Boiled Salmon, Anchovy Sauce
Beef with Yorkshire Pudding, Sucking Pig
Spring Lamb, Saddle of Mutton
Asparagus, Peas, Tomatoes, Cauliflower, Potatoes
Plum Pudding, Blanc Mange, Vanilla Ice Cream, Lady Fingers, Macaroons, Fruit
The President read regrets from the Lieut-Governor, Lt-Col Holmes, Hon Theo Davie, and the Senior Naval Officer.
“the Queen and Royal Family,” by the President. Music: “National Anthem” followed by three loyal cheers and “a tiger.”
The President of the United States” by Vice-President Redfern, Music “Star Spangled Banner”
Lieut-Col Stevens was greeted with cheers. He only wished President Cleveland was here tonight. He would have liked to have seen him witness the hearty manner in which the toast of his health had been honoured. He would have liked that he could see Victoria’s many natural qualities, the beauties of Beacon Hill, of Shawnigan Lake, of the Gorge, of Swan Lake and the countless glories lying around on all sides. He hoped he would yet live to see them. He was glad to know that harmony still continued, notwithstanding the fisheries entanglement, between the two sister nations, and was delighted to say “all goes well.” (Cheers)
“His Excellency the Governor General” by Mayor Grant. Lord Landsdowne was eulogized and his political career narrated. His great success as Governor-General of Canada was told and regret at his early departure was expressed. Music “Rule Britannia”
“His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor,” by Mr Edwin Johnson, who made a very neat address. Governor Nelson, he said, is one of the most popular governors we ever had. He extolled his fine personal and social qualities, and judging by the enthusiasm which followed his brief remarks, Governor Nelson is personally respected and esteemed by each member of the representative gathering which assembled last night to do honour to Britain’s patron saint. Music “ The Minstrel Boy” and “For he’s a Jolly Good Fellow”
“Army, Navy and Volunteers,” by Mr JJ Austin, who spoke of the value of the three services, making especial reference to the noble conduct of the volunteers during the Northwest campaign. Music “Red, White and Blue.”
Hon JH Turner was loudly called for and felt that the duty of responding to this toast devolved upon some gentleman more intimately acquainted with the service than himself. He could call to mind the heroic deeds of the volunteers, encamped on Beacon Hill, on many a cold night, in defence of the government buildings – he had done his duty, if it was a peaceful one. Some people said he was a traitor, but he thought few believed it, he believed in the glorious old flag of St George, was true to it, and if necessary would die for it. (Loud Applause).
Three hearty cheers were given for the Hon Mr Turner.
Mr Fred Miller also responded on behalf of the navy and volunteers, as well as Gunner Foster of “C”Battery, who in the absence of his officers, made a capital speech in which he expressed his thanks for the many kindnesses at the Battery had received at the hands of the citizens of Victoria.
Song, “My Ancestors were English”by Mr E Allen, MPP.
“Mayor and Council” by Mr N Shakespeare, who briefly spoke of the council as a body in felicitous terms and administered a very liberal dose of “taffy” to the Mayor, winding up with a eulogy on the councillors generally. Music: “We’ll may keel row.”
Mayor Grant thought discussion was desirable, and it was only by arguing out the different questions that came before the council to a conclusion that the happy medium could be attained. He thought the motto should be: “Let us help ourselves.” The citizens should assist the council in making the place desirable, in introducing capital, and in advancing the interests of Victoria.
Ald Braden was never so happy in his remarks. Every councillor, he thought, tried to do his best for his ward, as was natural, and if there was a little fighting occasionally, outside all were good friends.
Ald Powell made a practical speech. The aldermen had endeavoured to do their duty, and while there were grumblers in the city, the mass of the people sympathized with them in their efforts to guard the public interest.
Song: “The Muskateers,” Mr G Fairbrother.
“the Day and all who honor it” by ex-President MWT Drake. A brief history of the life of St George was given and the speaker dilated in warm language on the glories of the British. Civis Romanus Sum was the boast of the Roman; “I am an Englishman” is a nobler one (Cheers). Music: “The Englishman”.
Song: “For he is a jolly good fellow”
Col Stevens on “a question of privilege” made a vigorous address, eulogistic of the flag of St George, which was followed by loud applause.
President Fell made a splendid after dinner speech.
Song: “the Englishman” Mr Fred Miller.
“The Clergy” by Ald Powell, who made the hit of the evening in his reference to Britain’s glory – the Bible, and her Christianizing influence, through the clergy, the world over.
Responded to by the Ven. Archdeacon Scriven who said he had lived long enough in this city to thank God that his lines were cast in such pleasant places. It was a lovely city, and he hoped to make his home here. On behalf of his brother clergymen he thanked all present for the hearty manner in which the toast had been received.
“Sister Societies” by Mr G Fairbrother. Music: “Auld Lang Syne.”
President AJ Smith of the St Andrew’s and Caledonian Society, responded in a stirring speech and did ample justice to his “brithers the world over”.
Mr T Russell was obliged to rise to his feet and say a few kindly words of thanks to the heartiness with which the toast was drunk.
Mr W McNiff, president of the Pioneer Society, made one of his characteristic speeches, witty, eloquent, and to the point. He closed by thanking the gathering for honouring in so marked a manner “the leading society of the province” (cheers) “Muldoon, the Solid Man” was loudly called for and quiet could not be restored until Mr McNiff delivered it in his own unique manner.
Ex-Mayor Fell spoke on behalf of the BC Benevolent Society.
Song: Mr G Fairbrother, “There’s room enough for all”
“The Press” proposed by Ald Braden. Music: “Bid Me Discourse” song by WH Ladner, MPP. Responded to by Mr O’Brien of the Colonist, Mr Templeton of the Times, and Mr Beveridge of the Standard.
The President paid a fitting tribute to the memory of Hon Thomas White, one of Canada’s pioneer journalists.
Song: “The Ivy Green” H Mansell
“The Ladies” by Mr F Pauline, Music: “Here’s a health to all good lassies” Responded to by Mr J Orr, MPP, who described in song how St Patrick’s Day came to be on the 17th of March amid uproarious laughter.
This being Mr Orr’s birthday, Vice-President Redfern proposed his health, which was drunk with “no heel-taps” and cleverly responded to.
Songs: “Then You’ll Remember Me” Mr Redfern, “The Scarlet Flower” Mr T Flowin; “The death of Nelson” Ald Braden; “Harry Bluff” Mr James Fisher; “The Union Jack of Old England” Mr Henry Farrell; “In Happy Moments” Mr Martin; “Good bye Sweetheart, Good bye” Mr E Allen MPP; “The Red White and Blue” Mr S Harrison; “the Pilot” Chas Jenkinson; Piano solo, Mr Levin; “The Midshipmite” Mr F Pauline; “Blue eyed Nellie” Mr Farrell; “Old Black Joe” quartette; “Merrie England” Mr McNish; “God Save the Queen” and three cheers and a “tiger” for Her Most Gracious Majesty brought the pleasant evening to a close.
[For those curious, the F Pauline here is my great-grandfather’s brother Frederick Arthur Pauline]