Montreal Gazette, 1 December 1880, page 5
St Andrew’s Day
The Celebration Yesterday
The Annual Meeting – The Sermon in Crescent Street Church
Our Scottish citizens are celebrated for the fervour with which they celebrate their national anniversaries, and the recurrence of any of the days in which the children of the land of “brown heath and shaggy wood” take delight is ever looked forward to with interest in Montreal. They are always pleasant occasions, and happily they are frequent. It is only a short time ago since we were called upon to record the festival of Halloween, and to-day the pre-eminently national festival of St Andrew, the patron saint of the land of “mountain and the flood” invites attention. The mode in which it was observed was characteristic; business in the morning, Divine service in the afternoon, and pleasure in the evening. Nor was the Scottish emblem wanting on the occasion, for the purple heather was to be frequently seen on the dress of the Scotch people, who are distinguished perhaps above all others by an abiding love for their fatherland.
The annual meetings- Caledonian Society – Special meeting
The annual meeting of the Caledonian Society was held in the lecture room of Crescent Street Church, at 2 o’clock. The President, Mr Thos Robins, occupied the chair.
After routine business, it was moved by Mr Wm Angus, seconded by Mr James Wright, and unanimously resolved, “That the sum of $100 be donated to the charitable fund of the St Andrew’s Society.”
It was then resolved on motion of Mr P Fulton, seconded by Mr J Wright, “That the President, Mr Thos Robins and the secretary, Mr J Hood, be a deputation to present the amount at the St Andrew’s Society meeting.
St Andrew’s Society
The annual meeting of the St Andrew’s Society was held immediately after that of the Caledonian Society, for the installation of its officers elected at the meeting on the 4th November.
The Committee of Condolence, in reference to the death of members of the Society reported.
In reference to a sum of £34 13s 6d Canadian currency, handed to the Society some twenty-five years ago, on the death of a Scotchman named Gilchrist, it was reported that the amount, with interest, in all, $334.62 has been made over to the heirs of the deceased, who have attained their majority.
The deputation from the Caledonian Society to acquaint the meeting with the resolution of that Society, voting the amount of $100 to the charitable fund of the St Andrew’s Society, were received, and a vote of thanks passed to the Caledonian Society.
At the conclusion of some routine business, the meeting was adjourned, and the members of the two societies attended the service in Crescent street Presbyterian Church.
The Annual Sermon
In the afternoon the Rev AB MacKay preached the annual sermon to the members and friends of St Andrew’s Society in Crescent Street Presbyterian Church, taking as the basis of his address the character of the Apostle Andrew as set forth in the 1st and 6th chapters of St John’s Gospel. The preacher said that it was sometimes rather difficult to find a suitable subject for a special occasion, but their subject stared them in the face that afternoon; what could he more appropriate at a meeting of St Andrew’s Society on St Andrew’s day that to direct their attention to the character of St Andrew, or, as all the children of God are saints, we will say simply “Andrew”. There are, he proceeded, a great many traditions about Andrew. He is the patron saint of Russia as well as Scotland. But these are mere cobwebs of the dark ages, and we will go back to the fountain head and see what the bible says about Andrew, and seek to imitate him. There are few characters more worthy of imitation. The first characteristic we notice in him is that he put himself in the way of getting good. There was a great movement in connection with the preaching of John the Baptist; and amongst those who went to hear the rough preacher was Andrew; who, however, was not like the fickle crowd, but became one of John’s disciples, and stuck to him through thick and thin. The Scotch people as a whole imitate St Andrew in this. They are pre-eminently a religious people, a church going and Sabbath keeping people. Yes, like Andrew, Scotchmen are noted all the world over, for their pertinacity, clinging to the faith which they have inherited from their forefathers; but they do not all at all times put themselves in the way of getting food. Some attend church only once on a Sunday, and this as a mere matter of form. But Andrew did more than put himself in the way of getting good; he did something better than follow John, who was only “a voice crying in the wilderness,” a finger post pointing to the lamb of God. As John cried, “behold the Lamb of God,” Andrew left John and followed Jesus. We should imitate Andrew in this also. A great company of Scotchmen follow Andrew when he merely puts himself in the way of getting good, but that company becomes much smaller when Andrew follows the Lord Jesus Christ and takes Him for his Saviour. Scotchmen are great seekers. Here they are in Canada; they are in India, and all over the world, doing the world’s rough work, and sometimes governing the world, seeking glory and happiness. Andrew teaches us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness when all other things will be added to us. Jesus had had his eye upon Andrew, and when he saw him following Him, He said : “What seek ye?” Andrew answered, “Master, where dwellest though?” when Jesus gave the wonderful invitation, “come and see me,” an invitation to the fisherman Andrew from the Son of the Highest to dwell with Him,, and to get solution of the difficulties that beset his soul. Jesus receives ever true seeker in like manner today. We have heard of the philosopher who jumped out if his bath and ran through the streets, crying “Eureka, Eureka, I have found it” but how much more blessed are those who, like Andrew can say “We have found the Messiah.” Then Andrew confessed the truth. Having found the Messiah, he could not hold his tongue, but overcame his natural reticence, and went and told others, and was the honored instrument of bringing his brother, Simon Peter, to Christ. A glib-like chatter about the highest things is very offensive, and should be reproved. There is too much lip-religion in the world, not there should be nevertheless, a fearless acknowledgement of God, for it is written: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shall be saved.”
The Rev gentleman referred in proud terms to men like Rutherford, Knox, Chalmers, Livingstone and Duff, who had rendered Scotland famous throughout the world. He alluded in eloquent terms to Scotland’s many glories and precious memories, and concluded by expressing the hope that all the families represented in that Church would meet in unbroken ranks around the throne of God.
The annual ball was held at the Windsor Hotel and proved what everyone anticipated it would be a grand success and from the hour of 10 o’clock when most of the guests had arrived the noble dining room which has been the scene of so many gatherings of a similar character presented a very striking appearance. The tout ensemble as the visitors entered the room was as may easily be imagined an extremely brilliant one, and though there have been larger gatherings, especially those graced by royal or vice-regal presence, it is a question whether any have excelled that of last night in beauty. The fact that amongst those present there were a number of officers of the 5th Royal Scots in full highland uniform, in addition to those of other battalions, lent to the scene that peculiarly attractive character which their bright and picturesque dress never fails to impart.
Shortly after 9 o’clock a procession was formed, the president of the Society and invited guests, preceded by the stalwart pipers of the 5th Royal Scots, in full uniform, at its head, and entered the ball-room, and a few moments after the following programme was commenced, Gruenwald’s excellent orchestra furnishing the music: –
- Strathspey …”Miss Drummond ofPerth.”
Reel……………”Cameron’s Got his Wife again.”
- Quadrille………..”Bonnie Dundee”
- Waltz……….”Tres Jolie”
- Galop……… “Flamina”
- Lancers….”Lord of Lorne”
- Cotillon….”the Campbells are Coming”
- Strathspey …….”Marquis of Huntly”
Reel “The Devil amang the Tailors”
- Quadrille…… ‘Edinburgh”
- Galop ….”Raquet”
- Waltz….”Brune ou Blonde?”
- Lancers….”Little Duke”
- Cotillon “March of the Cameron Men”
- Waltz … “A Toi!”
- Strathspey….”Lady Mary McKay”
Reel ….”Duchess of Roxburgh”
- Waltz….”Fleurs de St Petersburg”
- Lancers,…. « Minnet »
- Waltz….. « Le Retour des Hirondelles »
- Galop…. « Carambolage »
- Waltz….. »Les Sirenes »
- Sir Roger de Coverley
The guests present numbered probably one hundred and fifty, and the gathering partook much of that family nature, the more welcome because so rare on occasions of the sort. Every one knew every one else, and there were but few of those sets and cliques which occasionally mar the true enjoyment of a public ball. Another feature of the ball was the presence of a number of debutantes in society of whom we may justly say that they will fairly uphold the reputation of Montreal belles for beauty and grace. Concerning the dresser while there were none particularly striking, it may be said that as a whole there was much display of taste, and a number of costumes were of a most elegant nature. The fact that a spectator fails to remember the details of a costume which had taken his fancy, has often been cited as proof that the fair wearer was well dressed, inasmuch as the effect, as a whole, was pleasing to the eye without their being anything of a marked nature. So of an assemblage of the fair sex it may be said, with equal justice, that where the eye failed to remark any particularly noteworthy dresses, the presumption naturally is, that all were well dressed. And of the ladies present last night, we many say truly that their costumes as a whole were thoroughly elegant and tasteful; and as we have already remarked, the scene, in which their rich costumes blended with the military uniforms, both contrasting with the somber black of the civilian, was a very brilliant one. Nor was its brilliancy confined to the ball-room itself the corridors and salons each contributing their quota, and the richly furnished rooms peopled for the nonce with loungers resting from the pleasurable fatigues of the stirring Scottish music, or the ravishing melodies of waltz floated through the hall, with dowagers and chaperons, and last with the inevitable wall flowers who don’t dance, afforded throughout the evening, or rather the night, a vista the charm of which it would be difficult to surpass. From the opening of the programme until the hour for supper was announced, every dance was indulged in with zest, those of a national character, the reels, strathspeys and the cotillions, calling forth any amount of energy. Soon after midnight the President and pipers led the way to the supper room, where was laid out a sumptuous banquet in that recherché style for which the Windsor is so well know. Amongst the viands, it is needless to say that the time-honored haggis had a prominent place, and roused the usual enthusiasm. Though there were no set toasts, one was proposed, which was in every way appropriate, that of the new President of the St Andrew’s Society, Mr James Stewart, a sentiment which Mr. Rawlings, President of the St George’s Society, gave in most fitting terms, and to which Mr Stewart responded very happily, calling forth much applause. After supper, during which the usual “extras” found many a participant who preferred dancing to the more prosaic indulgences of the board, the programme was resumed and kept up until what may so fittingly be called in the present instance the “wee sma’ hours.”
The Invited guests included the presidents of the various national societies, and amongst those in the room, who wore the badge of office, we noticed Messrs Edward Rawlings, President St George’s Society; Thomas Robin, President Caledonian Society; Hon TJJ Loranger, President St Jean Baptiste Society; FB McNamee, President St Patrick’s Society; Wm Wilson, President St Patrick’s National society; John H Mooney, President Irish Protestant Benevolent Society; WC Munderlob, President German Society; and W J Ingram, representing the St Andrew’s Society of New York. His Worship Mayor Rivard was also invited. The Corporation was represented by Alds Gilman, Hagar and others.
To refer again to the ladies’ costumes it is not our purpose to enter into any detailed descriptions. There seemed so decided a preference on the part of the great majority of ladies that their names should not appear in print. We may perhaps, however, be pardoned for mentioning one or two which specially arrested our glance, as beckoning more than ordinary elegance. Amongst these the heliotropes velvet Princess robe, trimmed with satin of a similar shade, and rich Valenciennes lace, worn by Mrs Alderman Mooney, was particularly handsome. Mrs JR Hutchins’ costume of deep maroon silk, with trimming of acre silk and lace was a favourite [illegible] coming. Miss L Bethune wor a charming dress of similar shade, and Miss Geraldine Bethune appeared in white as did also Miss C Abbott. But were we to continue, it would be difficult to know where to stop, and so reluctantly when we recall the beauties of many a ravishing toilette, but advisedly perhaps, when we consider our inability to do them justice, we leave the subject and the ball concerning which we have only to repeat once more, that the St Andrew’s Ball of 1880 was a great success.
Owing to the fact that there was no correct list of those present obtainable, we are unable to give the names of those who attended.