Montreal Daily Star, 1 Oct 1914, page 3

Edward VII in Montreal from:
Edward VII in Montreal from:

Work of Peacemaker will Prevail though Armies Battle Now

Huge crowd cheered wildly as brother of late Monarch unveiled statue in Phillip’s Square – Children sang patriotic air – speeches by the Duke, Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, Sir Alexander Lacoste and Mayor Martin

As the entwined Royal Standard and Union Jack slipped won from the huge bronze figure of King Edward VII, which crowns Phillip’s Square this morning, a gleam of late sunshine broke through the massed clouds and made a most impressive picture.

Round the Square, rank after rank troops were massed, troops to businesslike Khaki the [illegible] of the Highland Uniform, the [illegible] and scarlet of the Mount St [illegible]. Behind them in [illegible] masses loomed from kerb to wall hanging in the trees and ranged precariously on roots were those of the public who eager to do honor to the memory of the dead Monarch were unable to secure the coveted places in the stand.

The ceremony was scheduled for eleven o’clock and those who knew the punctiliousness of his Royal Highness were on hand well before the bell in the Cathedral Tower was sounding the first stroke when the Royal motor cars drew up within the hollow square formed by the troops. The first bars of the National Anthem were played and the Duke was making his inspection of the Highland [illegible] before the hour had struck.

On the stand a notable company was gathered when the Royal party, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught and Princess Patricia accompanied by Lady Villiers, and the military staff mounted the steps.  The royal standard flew to the top of the mast and the crowd at the farther ends of the square broke into renewed cheers Sir Robert and Lady Borden, Sir Francois Langelier, Sir Wilfrid and Lady Laurier, Sir Thomas and Lady Shaughnessy, His Lordship the Bishop of Montreal, Sir Alexander and Lady Lacoste, Sir Melbourne and Lady Tait, Sir Hugh and Miss Alice Graham, Mr and Mrs RV Mercier, Honorable Robert Rogers, Honorable CE Doherty, Honorable Louis Coderre, Honorable WS Fielding, Mayor Martin, HOnorable Rodolphe Lemieux, Colonel Denison, Major Anderson, and Major Leduc, together with scores of other prominent Montrealers rose and stood with bared heads until the Royal party was seated.

The great statue, swathed in the glowing colors of scarlet and blue, stood waiting, but the touch of a card. And the man whose brain had conceived it, and whose hand had given it being, Phillip Hebert, sculptor and artist to his finger tips, was there to receive the congratulations and the thanks of the city, made the more beautiful through his work.

All Traffic Stopped

Along St Catherine street, the cars had been stopped, and the dense crowd made vehicular traffic impossible by the comparative silence that resulted, the speakers voices had a better chance than usual, yet very few of the thousands who thronged the little square heard what was being said.  That did not matter so much as they had come to see rather than hear.

[illegible] was almost irresistible.  They got [illegible] several times before the [illegible] began and ther was a fine opportunity for a cheering outburst when the concealing flags fell from the statue.  The real joy of the morning came however with the singing of “O Canada” in English first then in French, conducted by two leaders who mounted the statue’s pedestal to do it.  First a choir of little girls sang the air to English words.  It is a shaky business singing before Royalty, as a [illegible] but the Montreal school children this morning very quickly recovered from the nervousness caused by their own selves, and shrilled out bravely.  Especially did the boys to the charge of the French version of the song enjoy themselves immensely and would willingly have gone on with the whole collection of verses [illegible] had it been so desired.

Speeches were short.

The speeches were not unduly prolonged, His Royal Highness as is his way, being notably brief and to the point in both French and English.

Following the short speeches the actual unveiling took place.  A small group, the Duke, Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, Sir Alexander Lacoste, Mr Hebert, Colonel Denison and Major Leduc descended from the stand, crossed the few yards of square and mounted the square stone base, on which the statue stands. The cording down the east face ,and with a word was handed to His Highness smoothly like everything about the ceremony, it worked. A slight tug, and as the flags streamed downward to the ground, the huge bronze figure gleamed dully in a sudden passing ray of sun.  it was the moment for which the crowd had been watching.  Those who had from the stand to see or hear what was passing had held their eyes on the hunting clad figures on the strong pedestal and as they saw it they took up their cheer which grew to a roar.

Little was left to do, the Duke shook hands warmly with Mr Hebert, and congratulated him in the success of his work.  The sculptor was the centre of a big group of delighted admirers, but Mr Hebert is pretty well seasoned to that sort of thing by now.

Mayor Martin in accepting the statue in the city’s name recalled how King Edward had always striven for peace.  He had feared a European war and had strived earnestly to avert it.  The statue would be a happy symbol of the union of the two peoples in the city, and erected to the memory of a great peacemaker, would be a lesson and an incentive to harmony and concord.  He solemnly undertook to keep and preserve the statue for all time to come.

[continued on page 12]

[insert image of page 12]