Gilliandr's Blog

Random Historical, Social and Cultural Moments



12th of July, Montreal, 1877

Montreal Gazette, 6 July 1877, page 2

THE TWELFTH OF JULY – Many rumors have been circulated pro and con during the past few days relative to the Twelfth of July and an Orange parade on that day.  In an interview with Ald Wilson, Chairman of Police, the latter remarked that he did not apprehend any trouble on the day in question; in fact he thought there was much more speculation in than reason for the rumors to the contrary.  The following letters have passed relative to the affair, and were omitted accidentally from the Gazette of yesterday:-

[copy] Orange Hall, no 81 St James Street

Montreal, July 3, 1877

Sir – I have been instructed by the Celebration Committee to write to you, to inform you that the Orangemen of the city intend to celebrate the anniversary of the 12th July by having a peaceable religious ceremony at some place to be hereinafter named, if they are allowed so to do without being molested with on the way.

But having been threatened with violence, we ask and claim the protection of the police.

And we also intend to claim military protection, in order to assist the civil authorities.

I am, sir,

Yours, etc

John Hamilton

Secretary C Committee

To His Worship the Mayor

Mayor’s Office, City Hall

Montreal, 4th July 1877

John Hamilton, Esq, Secretary Orange Celebration Committee:-

Sir, I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday, in which you inform me that the Orangemen of the city intend celebrating the anniversary of the 12th of July, by a religious ceremony and procession.

I will state in reply, that I am advised that inasmuch as the Association referred to in your letter is not legally constituted, it has no right to claim as a body any further protection from the civic authorities than that which every citizen is individually entitled to under ordinary circumstances.

I may add, that in view of the excitement and ill-feeling which the proposed demonstration is likely to create in our mixed community, and the many threatening rumors which have recently reached me, and anxious as I am that the harmony and good feeling characterized the relations between the different creeds and nationalities, of which our fair city is composed, should be preserved, I would most earnestly and confidently entreat the Orangemen to reconsider their decision, and, as good and loyal citizens, to avoid in their celebration any outside demonstration which may provoke a conflict, the evil consequence of which could not but be most deplorable.

I have the honor to be, Sir

Your most obedient servant,

Jean Louis Beaudry

Mayor of the City of Montreal


Caledonian Games, Montreal, 1873

Alloa Advertiser, 20 Sep 1873 p2

The Caledonian Games at Montreal – the eighteenth annual athletic sports of the Caledonian Society of Montreal were held in Decker’s Park on 21st August, and were a great success.  Over 3000 people were present.  Great interest was taken by the Canadians in the games, more especially those regarded as more exclusively Scotch – putting the stone, Highland dancing, bagpipe playing.  At the dinner held at the close of the gathering, the President, Dr JT Finnie occupied the chair; and the Mayor of Montreal, Col Fletcher, Col Stevenson and a large company were present.  It was suggested that the society should devote its attention more to literary matters, and should bring out some of the most popular lecturers from Scotland; and this, we believe, is to be acted upon.

St Andrew’s Day, Montreal, 1822

The Scribbler, Montreal – 26 Dec 1822 pgs 4-6


Laprairie, 10th Dec

Mr LL MacCulloch

Saint Andrew, with his wintery robes, has been so ill received by his Mount Royal children [I never before knew St Andrews day pass in Montreal, without two or more public dinners.  It has been said that the chief persons of note of the Scotch nation, being all conspicuous unionists, and having been stigmatised as a Scotch faction, determined on discouraging a meeting on St Andrew’s Day, alleging that it would add to the popular opinion of their caballing together, and confirm that party-designation, by which they are now generally known.  The paltry and vulgar pride that prevented a ball taking place that evening, is exposed in the sequel; and well do such beggarly sentiments deserve exposure. LLM] that he has deigned to honour this place with a visit on his natal day.  A select party of his would-be sons assembled at Mr Campbell’s to indulge in the pleasures of national partiality, and to criticise wiser and better men than themselves, as well as to partake of the comforts of the feast. The room was decorated with numerous transparencies and emblems of the “native soil”.  (I cannot say whether they had a fiddle;) and the whole, the dinner particularly, did great credit to the landlord.  When it was on table, the hoarse tones of a hoarse bagpipe, summoned the party to the gorge. The gathering of the clans, seemed however, rather out of place, when the native countries of the guests are considered, and a Dutch medley might have been better. The gallant Old Buck presided, and filled the chair with the consequential dignity of a feudal chieftain, though he did not seem to be so much at home as when acting the quack-doctor before a dozen squaws in an Indian wigwam. Daddy Dull, who makes his scholars smart, was the nightingale of the day, and, occasionally giving a stave or two of the pathetic, made himself more agreeable, than when reciting his Sunday prayer, with his covenanting whine.  Mr Billytap was also one of the select, and, as usual, put too much brandy in his water: at his earnest request, the pleasure of his company was soon dispensed with, and (as the president did shortly after) he walked into the street, and laid himself comfortably down on a pile of wood near the door, where he slept for two hours, in a heavy rain, until he was as completely drenched without as he was within.  Mr Shortleg Donaldson, shewed his wit by his manners, but, being young and thoughtless, it is not surprising he should behave a little foolishly.  Another genius marshalled the decanters in a truly bacchanalian style, and displayed his soaking qualities so wonderfully, that one would have thought him a sponge. The rest were well Dunn up, and looked as Dow-dy as you please. Another distinguished guest had been invited, but to the great uneasiness of the party, did not make his appearance in due time: it appeared that, having set off in high spirits, the grocer found when he got almost within smell of the haggis, that he had put an old coat on, by mistake, so he thought it behoved Mac to lean towards home again to change it, and crossed the St Lawrence for the purpose.

After dinner, the jovial cup passed and repassed in flowing bumpers, to the numerous toasts which had been prepared for the occasion?  And certainly most of them were the worse for wear, and may easily be traced by looking over old newspapers; that, however is nothing, and is perfectly excusable, as the whole party could not have made them of their own, without pilfering.  But, Mr Scribbler, here comes the rub. I should not have thought it worth my, or your while, to have given you an account of a dinner, attended by eight or nine persons, and those almost entirely insignificant characters; had this party not been puffed in the Montreal Herald, where it occupied full half a column; and why? Because in the plentitude of their folly, these cacklers, wanting to have something to distinguish themselves by, gave amongst their toasts, one in favour of the union of the two provinces, and stigmatising the opposers of that measure as illiberal, designing and ignorant. Ignorant, indeed! But fools always think themselves wise men: the lord have pity upon these uneducated ninnies! But, it is right that every man should have and maintain, his own opinion, but, in social meetings, party questions should never be introduced.  However, without this, these eight or nine blockheads would neither have made a figure in the Herald, nor have been, by reaction, immortalized in the Scribbler.

As to the second part of the fete, suffice it to say that, its etoient tous fous naturellement, and as Sawney says, by the frequent tasting “the joys of the shell,” they were a’ fou. Burns’ much admired song on Bannockburn, was sung by the whole party, but the following parody, will better describe the finish.


Scots let’s nae gang yet to bed,

Till grog has filled each empty head,

Till a’ our senses far hae fled,

Till we nae mair can see.

This is the boozing hour of night;

Drink till a’ our eyes are white

Noise must be when fools unite,

Sae noisy let us be.

Wha wadna’ swill till roarin fou,

The beer that yon mon there doth brew?

And so we’ll a’ be drunk enow,

Then push about the bree.

Wha for Aundra loud wull ca’?

Wha for Bacchus gies hurra?

Like topers sup, like topers fa’

Then tak a dram wi’ me.

By rum, brandy, wine and gin,

By all the liquids, thick and thin,

We will drink till day peeps in,

For we shall not, shall not flee.


This bold resolution, however, was soon laid aside, when they were informed that it was Sunday morning, and that no singing or drinking would be allowed after twelve on Saturday night.  They then reeled off singing,


Bid McKay na’ longer blow,

Lay the noisy piper low,

To bed let us a’ reeling go,

Nid noddin a’ are we


Your’s faithfully,

Nicodemus Watch-em.

The Procession Question, Montreal, 1877

Montreal Daily Star, 13 July 1877, page 2

The Procession Question

[Opinions of the Press]

Some people have the habit of standing upon their rights, come what will.  It may be conceded that this disposition may be pushed too far in individual cases, and become so much temporary inconvenience.  At the same time, history is full of instances in which popular rights have been gained or maintained by just such dogged determination as that exhibited at Montreal on the part of Orangemen.  One is at a loss to know why a procession on their part should not be tolerated.  Such an incident may not be agreeable to the majority in Quebec, but in this world, and particularly in this country, we must give and take on matters of opinion in order to live together in reasonable harmony. – London Free Press

Whatever may be any one’s views of the wisdom or otherwise of holding an Orange celebration on the 12th of July, there is no room to question its legality, and being legal, those who engage in it are entitled to the full protection of the law. – Hamilton Spectator

The white feather of fear should never be shown by the authorities. The denial of any right is always a sufficient incentive to the strongest assertion of it.  Were the right to celebrate the 12th of July in their own way freely conceded to the Orangemen of Montreal by their Roman Catholic fellow citizens, it is not likely there would be such a fixed and strong determination to exercise it.  The avowed opposition to the proposed street parade of Thursday has had, therefore, the inevitable effect of inspiring Orangemen with a stronger resolution to carry out their purpose – if for no other reason than to vindicate their unquestionable right to do so.  If the Orangemen should, at the very last moment, reconsider their intention, they would be entitled the public appreciation of the sacrifice such a step would imply in the interests of the public peace, although a few may say that in such a self-denying course they had been actuated by fear.  If, however, they should hold their original intention to celebrate their anniversary by a procession, British law, which guarantees protection to every law abiding citizen, would be tarnished and dishonoured if it should fail to extend that protection to them.  At all events equal rights must be secured to every citizen of free Canada. – Whig

Out of deference to public feeling in the matter and not from fear of immediate consequences, they (Orangemen) can afford to abandon even yet that part of their programme which is most likely to give rise to disturbance.  While saying this we do not wish to be challenging in the slightest degree their right to walk the streets of Montreal.  They have not only a right to go in procession but also to be fully protected while they are in procession. – Globe.

Reflections on Christmas and our traditions, 2017

As Christmas draws near, I have been reflecting on how I celebrate Christmas, the traditions I attach particularly to the occasion, and how I understand Christmas and its significance in my life.  This rather deep reflection was prompted by the thought of the actual traditions I grew up with, and want to recreate this year, as I prepare for a holiday actually spent in my home, with family.  Where do my Christmas traditions come from?  Are they a combination of my parents’ childhood traditions, do they come from our religious life, are they influenced by the commercial and public celebrations of the holiday?

And this is where things get tricky.  It is hard to separate where bits and pieces of what make the Christmas holiday is for me, emotionally and culturally, and historically.  [I am a historian of celebrations and identity – so yeah, this kind of obsesses me in general.]

So I have asked myself a number of questions about what makes Christmas – Christmas, what elements are important, and how they have been integrated into my understanding and celebration of the holidays.  On this process of reflection, I have come to the realisation that I really didn’t ask my parents enough about their childhoods.  I would say that my Father was especially reticent about his past, and rarely talked about his family, particularly his parents, so I have little to go on.  But also I don’t think I heard much about how my Mom celebrated holidays as a child.  It could be that it was hard for her to talk about her childhood during the Second World War, particularly as she had been evacuated for a time, so might have missed some of the family celebrations.  Regardless, I only have hints and snippets to go by.  However the ‘traditions’ of Christmas came about in our household, they were treated as ‘traditions’, things which were essential to the season.

I will first broach the tender topic of religion.  Christmas is after all a religious celebration – the commemoration of the birth of Jesus, an important and pivotal event in the cycle of Christian life.  Religion is an interesting thing for my family.  My father was raised a Roman Catholic, and from what I can gather from things Dad said, and also comments made by other relatives, both his grandmothers were women of devout faith. His mother was also described to be strongly religious. My father, on the other hand, was what is often referred to as a “Lapsed Catholic.” He called himself an agnostic.  He was not a very religious man, but one has to acknowledge that he was raised in a relatively religious household, and this would have influenced him, and this should be evident in his celebration of holy days such as Christmas and Easter.  My mother, was raised in the Church of England, and during my childhood attended church semi-regularly.  She stopped attending Church when the Matins service was dropped. It is evident that for both of them, Christmas was at its core a religious celebration when they were growing up. When my brother and I came along, we were both baptised as Anglicans, and were encouraged to attend Sunday school.  My mother however also thought that faith was a personal thing, and did not force us to believe one thing or another, rather she wanted us to explore different faiths, read the Bible, ask questions, and see what worked for us.  I am not attached to a specific church now, as I find organised religion a bit uncomfortable, but I am mostly a believer in the larger sense of there being a God.

So is Christmas religious for me?  I guess it was more so when I was living with my parents.  I remember making a crèche with my Barbie and Ken doll.  My brother and I both participated in the Church Christmas pageant.  I think though for me, the faith element is best reflected in the way that Church music entered the picture.  My mother was deeply fond of Christmas carols and church music in general.  Every Sunday we would watch Sir Harry Secombe on his various hymn programs.  I think for her faith was intrinsically connected to music.  So the music of Christmas was, and is probably the most connected with faith – my Mother’s faith specifically.  The sounds of Christmas are those carols she enjoyed such as the Holly and the Ivy, the Boar’s Head Carol, I saw Three Ships, and Silent Night – All songs which were religious in both origin and flavour. Hearing them now I am brought back to Christmases with her, and the joy she took in the music.

With the great deal of discussion about how early Christmas seems to appear in the stores, it is clear that decoration is a sensitive subject.  I have to say that I absolutely love decorating the house for Christmas, and it is a great temptation to get into the spirit early.  I will confess one year I actually put up my tree in the first weekend of November.  My excuse was that I had purchased a new artificial tree and I wanted to make sure it was all working. [That is my story and I am sticking to it!]  But normally I control myself until the first week of December and put the tree up.  It will stay up until Epiphany which is January 6th or Orthodox Christmas on Jan 7th.  By then I am really ready to have some room again in the house.

Growing up we tended to put the tree up later, in the middle of December.  Dad would go out and buy a real tree, and we would decorate it with these lovely glass ornaments that Mom had collected.


There were also this cute trio of elves and these flocked teddy bears which were essential to the tree’s look. Dad always fussed about the tree lights – and made sure they were working, and colourful. He also installed some on the front window. The tree tended to stay up until Epiphany.  By then the tree was starting to look a bit sad, and dropping its needles.  One year though, the tree lasted so well Mom kept it up to Easter, although she had taken the ornaments down.  I don’t know if trees were really a tradition Mom had in England, though it seems that it was likely.  The collection of ornaments she had came from after she and Dad had married.  Dad never talked about Christmas with his family, so I don’t know how the Leitches did it before he was married.  He certainly did not keep any decorations his parents might have had.

In the battle between real and fake trees, I am firmly on the real tree side.  When we moved to Edmonton in the 80s Dad bought this rather nasty fake tree which shed more than the real ones.  Never happy with it, I manoeuvred it out of the house one year and started to make the effort to go buy a real one myself. Dad, being a rather careful Scot, never complained. As long as he didn’t have to bother, he was pleased. I really started to invest my efforts in decorating and Christmas in my teenage years, a habit my Mother indulged.  Every year she would buy me a dated ornament.  They now hang proudly on my own tree.  Because I have spent most Christmases as an adult away, visiting family, I have not been able to have a real tree, so I have had to settle for artificial.


I think that part of Christmas I like the best is the thought of reunion.  Christmas is a time when we get together and spend time as a family.  It all starts with Christmas cards – our means of communicating joy and friendship to those we are unlikely to see at the holidays – near and far.  I am a scary Christmas card person – I have a reputation among friends and family of being one of, if not the first card they receive in the mail for the season.  I get this from my Mother, she was the same; she had a massive card list.  When she married Dad, he handed her his list, and she added it to her own.  Most family members from both sides got their news from Mom and her Christmas card and letter every year.  I inherited her list when she passed away.  I mail out a lot of cards, and while I don’t always get the same number back, it doesn’t matter, I love sending happy wishes in the mail.

Christmas days started of course the night before when my brother and I would leave stuff out for Santa, and hang our stockings on the mantelpiece downstairs before we went to bed.  Santa, according to our father  preferred beer.  So we left out beer and cookies for Santa.  In the morning we would rush downstairs to see the empty beer mug and full stockings.  The stockings were full of candy and of course a mandarin orange.  After breakfast of pork pies (bought at Marks and Spencers when they were still in Canada), or when I was older my morning tea, we would be allowed to open the presents.  Dad would like the fire, and we would rip into the piles of presents under the tree.  After some of the paper was cleared we would play with our loot.

Mom would phone her sister parents in England in the late morning, and we would all get a chance to talk to them and thank them for their presents. In this day and age when calls overseas aren’t all that expensive it is hard to understand the special-ness we associated with these calls to our only living grandparents.  We did not talk often as calls were expensive, and had to be planned so that the parties were all at home to make sure we talked to everyone.

After the call Mom would retire to the kitchen and start cooking the meal.  We normally ate the Christmas meal around 2-3 pm.  Dinner was served on the lace tablecloth, using our best china, and silverware.  It was special.  There were candles on the table, and everyone had a Christmas cracker to open.  Once opened, we would sport our festive paper crowns.


The food was delicious, sumptuous, and traditional – to us.  The meal consisted of a turkey, stuffing, crispy bacon cooked on the turkey, cranberry sauce, corn with butter, roasted potatoes, sometimes yams, and gravy.  For dessert we would have an English trifle – sponge, raspberries, sherry, custard and whipped cream.  After such a delicious meal, we would sit down and watch television, which included the Queen’s message.  We always watched the Queen’s message.

If there was room hours later, for dinner we would have hot turkey sandwiches.  Then there were always the sausage rolls, Cornish pasties, and mince tarts.  Christmas was ultimately about the food.

I remember Mom once saying that her family never did turkey for Christmas – more often than not they ate goose, so this is clearly a Canadian adaptation to her normal Christmas menu.  The other foods were rather English, so this must have come from her childhood.  I am assuming that Dad, the Canadian in the marriage, had turkey growing up.  He never said. The crackers were definitely something Mom insisted on.  I still buy crackers for Christmas, and bring them with me when I go away for the holidays.

Of course in describing these traditions, I am drawn into the wonderful world of good memories, and see a lot of it tinged in nostalgia.  I am a bit disappointed in myself that I never asked more about how my parents celebrated the holidays when they were children, because looking back now I question, just how ‘traditional’ our Christmases were.  Both my parents are gone now, so these are Christmases past, and the mantle of continuing the traditions now falls to myself and my brother. Each of us have different takes on what is important for the holiday celebration.  I am more inclined to stick to the menu from the old days, while he is more likely to mix it up a bit, particularly with the protein.  Trifle seems to be important to both of us.  It would seem that we both did as our parents did when they were married, choose the traditions that we want to continue, and blend in new things which suit how we live, and who we live with.

I think that what I see in Christmas is continuity.  Even though I don’t always celebrate it quite like I did when I was a child, I celebrate it.  I try, as best I can, to incorporate many of the traditions from that time.  I connect the celebration with my family.  Christmas may be a religious festival, but at its heart, for me, it is a celebration of family and friends.  It is a means to connect meaningfully to those who mean the most to me, in a ‘traditional’ way.



St Andrew’s Day, Bombay, 1867


Stirling Observer, 10 January 1867, page 2


St Andrew’s Day in Bombay – St Andrew’s Day was celebrated by the Scottish residents in Bombay by a public banquet.  Upwards of 200 gentlemen were present.  The dinner seems to have been a great success, although not honoured by the presence of the governor, as had been anticipated; but the commander-in-chief was present, and his manner of bearing on this his first public appearance, in Bombay would appear to have created a favourable impression.

St Andrew’s Day, London, England, 1888

Whistable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 8 Dec 1888, page 7


St Andrew’s Day

Friday being St Andrew’s Day, the Patron Saint of Scotland, the band of the Scots Guards played a choice selection of Scotch airs under the portico of the courtyard at St James Palace in the morning during the ceremony of mounting and changing the Queen’s Guard.  The sergeants of the 1st Battalion of the regiment gave a dance at Wellington Barracks in the evening, and the annual dinners of the various London Scottish societies in the metropolis took place at night; while Mr Ritchie, MP, presided at the annual festival of the Scottish Corporation at the Hotel Metropole, and the usual Scottish National concerts were held at the Albert Hall and other places.

St Andrew’s Day, Montreal, 1880

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 Ball.

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: –


  1. Strathspey …”Miss Drummond ofPerth.”

Reel……………”Cameron’s Got his Wife again.”

  1. Quadrille………..”Bonnie Dundee”
  2. Waltz……….”Tres Jolie”
  3. Galop……… “Flamina”
  4. Lancers….”Lord of Lorne”
  5. Polka…..”Marietta”
  6. Cotillon….”the Campbells are Coming”
  7. Waltz….”Chantilly”
  8. Strathspey …….”Marquis of Huntly”

Reel “The Devil amang the Tailors”

  1. Quadrille…… ‘Edinburgh”
  2. Galop ….”Raquet”
  3. Waltz….”Brune ou Blonde?”
  4. Lancers….”Little Duke”
  5. Polka….”Gisela”
  6. Cotillon “March of the Cameron Men”
  7. Waltz … “A Toi!”
  8. Quadrille…..”Chilperic”
  9. Strathspey….”Lady Mary McKay”

Reel ….”Duchess of Roxburgh”

  1. Waltz….”Fleurs de St Petersburg”
  2. Lancers,…. « Minnet »
  3. Waltz….. « Le Retour des Hirondelles »
  4. Galop…. « Carambolage »
  5. Waltz….. »Les Sirenes »
  6. 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.




12th of July, Montreal, 1877

Montreal Daily Star, 12 July 1877, page 2

The Twelfth – Last Words

This is the Twelfth of July, the recognized anniversary of the Orangemen.  They intend commemorating it in a quiet, unobtrusive manner, by going to church and hearing a sermon.  They have made every concession asked of them by the public, and will display no insignia whatever.  They will offend, directly or indirectly, the prejudices of none and we therefore warn whoever may, in  spite of all that is done, be criminal enough to attack them, that the consequences will not be light.  We warn all persons disposed to violence, to beware of breaking the peace.


Montreal Daily Star, 13 July 1877, page 2


The Events of Yesterday

Upon the calmest consideration of the events of yesterday, and in view of the enormity of the disgrace cast  upon the fair name of Montreal, it is hard indeed, to coolly review the shameful disorders perpetuated under the very eye of authority, we cannot too strongly condemn the inaction which was observed from the first, by those in whose hands was reposed the care of the public safety.  Ample warning was given of the probabilities of the day, but no preparatory action, calculated to keep the streets clear and obviate the chances of a collision, were taken.  The Police force, as a fact was held back until after murder had been committed, and the mob held possession of the streets, and even then, when representative citizens waited upon the Mayor, and asked him if he had made any further arrangements for preserving the peace of the city, they were told “We are doing all we can to have good order preserved by the duly appointed civic force, the Police,” and when the Chief of Police, an officer whose hands appear to have been tied all day, stated positively that he needed military force to assist his limited organization, he was told by the Mayor that he was not inclined to call out the military. The deputation was treated cavalierly, the Police Superintendent snubbed, and all that was done was to send out a detective to see if the crowd were still in the streets.

The Mayor could not pretend that the elements of disorder had not been apparent from an early hour in the day.  It was made plain that the gangs of roughs who congregated in the streets were bent upon mischief, and waited only the first pretence of a cause to commence trouble; and upon the slightest demonstration of a color, not borne by Orangemen, but by unprotected women, they broke out, and the result was the murder of poor Hackett, and the thrashing of Mr Henshaw within an inch of his life. No precautions appear to have been taken to avoid a collision such as there was reason to expect, even with the Orangemen giving up their intention of walking; on the contrary, every latitude was given the disorderly, and despite the volume of force actually at hand to repress disturbance, it may be said that the mob was wantonly allowed to take possession of the city and work its nefarious will unopposed.  The citizens of Montreal will not, we are sure, allow such trifling with an immense responsibility to pass unregarded, but will call to a proper account whoever is chargeable with the prolongation of a period of disorder.

The Orangemen fulfilled their obligations to the letter.  They refrained from any act which might be construed into a demonstration.  They attended divine service, but not in procession as a body, and when it was over they withdrew in the same way.  Their path to and from the church was surrounded by roughs hungrily watching an opportunity of strife; while in the church hostile crowds were around the edifice, but the Orangemen offered offence by word, look, gesture or deed to none, and they must be held blameless.  The conduct of those who sought occasion of molesting them and devoted a day and a night finding it carries its own condemnation.  Henceforward, if party processions are to be longer tolerated, it will not be for good citizens to turn Orangemen from their design of parading, but to assist them, and teach those who seek to oppose them the sternest of lessons.

The mob held the streets yesterday, must never be permitted to repeat the outrage, be the cost what it may.

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