Gilliandr's Blog

Random Historical, Social and Cultural Moments


Social commentary

Acadian identity, 1872

Courrier de Canada, 22 Avril 1872, page 3

Le Moniteur Acadien

Voila une publication qui rend a la canadienne française dans les provinces maritimes les plus grands services.  Née a l’événement de la Confédération des provinces britanniques du Nord en 1867, elle a déjà passe glorieux de courageuses luttes pour les intérêts des populations acadiennes, qu’elle n’a cesse de défendre contre les agressions injustes des ennemis de notre race.

Le « Moniteur Acadien » a exerça dans ses quatre années d’existence une influence bienfaisante et salutaire parmi ce peuple martyr que plus d’un siècle de dispersion et de persécution n’a pu anéantir qu’il a été pour nos frères des provinces maritimes comme un drapeau de ralliement sou lesquels tentes les branches de al grand famille acadienne sont venues se ranger pour combattre pour la grande canse nationale; il a été le porte-voix des plaintes, hélas! Trop bien tondee de cette poignée de braves contre le mauvais traitements de la dominations étrangère; il a été le signal d’un salutaire réveil politique au sein des ramifications Acadiennes dispersées ca en la sur les cotes du golfe, et aujourd’hui grâce en grand mesure a cet organe de l’opinion publique, nous avons la satisfaction de voir, au Nouveau Brunswick, a la Nouvelle-Ecosse et dans l’Ile Prince-Édouard, les descendants des premiers colons de l’Acadie abandonner l’insouciance on les avaient plonges les difficultés inouïes de leur existence parmi des races étrangères et souvent ennemies dans lesquelles ils sont si étroitement concernes.

En effet la Législature du Nouveau Brunswick ne contient pas moins de quatre acadiens français; députés par les comtes de Westmoreland, Victoria, Gloucester et Kent; le comte de Prince en envoie deux a l’assemblée de l’Ile au Prince Edouard; et dans la Nouvelle-Ecosse, Digby et le Cap Breton élisent, sinon les français du moins des hommes sympa thétiques aux Acadiens.

Aux Communes fédérales MA Renaud représente le comte de Kent.  Et nous devons dire ici que les Acadiens doivent se félicitera du choix de ce dernier pour les représenter aux Communes Canadiennes; leurs intérêts se sauraient a coup sur être mieux a avis.

Tont dernièrement encore le « Moniteur Acadien » a montre sa grand utilité d’une manière éclatante dans la question de l’Éducation qui agite le Nouveau-Brunswick depuis plus d’un an. Unissant sa voix a celle des Évêques et du clergé, le « Moniteur » proteste au nom du droit et de la justice contre l’usurpation indigne et impolitique commise au détriment de ses coreligionnaires par le gouvernement local, et ses efforts ont si bien tourne que les députés de deux comtes Acadiens, on du, pour échapper a l’indignation et an mépris publics, renoncer a appuyer ce gouvernement, qui les avait jusqu’alors comptes au nombre de ses amis.

La mission du « Moniteur Acadien » est belle, noble et grande; puisse-t-il s’en acquitter a l’avenir comme par le passe.

Pour nous, canadiens nous ne pouvons rester indifférents aux progrès qui s’accomplissent chez nos frères de l’Acadie et nous suivons avec le plus profond intérêt l’amélioration qui s’opère dans leur existence nationale.

Issue d’une commune patrie, frères par le sang, la langue et la religion, les Canadiens et les Acadiens doivent s’aider mutuellement et les uns se réjouir de l’avancement des autres. Réunis sous un même gouvernement par l’union de 1867, que les Canadiens ont plus que tous les autres contribue a faire consommer, nous devons leur tendre une main secourable chaque fois qu’ils auront besoin de nous.

Aussi les injustices faites au Acadiens dans la question des Écoles leur ont-elles acquis nos plus vives sympathies.  Nous sommes avec eux de cœur et nous les applaudirons dans leurs efforts pour obtenir le redressement de leurs griefs, nous les aiderons dans la mesure de notre position.

[Communique au « Courrier de St Hyacinthe »]



Announcing the publishing of the Trip Diary of Elizabeth Strickland Leitch, c 1908


In 1908 Elizabeth Strickland Leitch, wife of Judge James Leitch, kept a diary of some travel she took that year.  Her first trip was to the American south starting in Washington, DC and moving down to Florida.  Her next trip was to New Brunswick for a small coastal vacation, and on her return she went to Montreal to visit family.  Her last trip in this diary was to a summer hot spot in Prince Edward Island.

During these trips she made comments on the places and the people she met, all the while talking about her family – children and others, whom she kept in touch with almost daily while she was away.  The diaries are interesting commentaries, providing a look at how a prosperous older Canadian couple moved about,  what society they kept, their personal lives, and their feelings towards each other and their family.

I want to thank my cousin Deidre Bower for her giving me access to this precious  diary in 2008, and allowing me to transcribe it at that time.  I also want to thank her for her permission to publish the transcription on my blog page.  The link you will find above.  I wanted to share this diary with family and interested historians.  It is an interesting work, and deserves some consideration in relation to Canadian history of the early 20C.  Elizabeth Strickland Leitch was a woman of her time, and a part of a social network of politically connected conservatives in Ontario.  Her husband was a friend of Ontario Premier James Whitney, and had been appointed to the Ontario Railways Board two years before this diary was written.

I have annotated the diary through endnotes in order that those reading the document can understand some of her references to friends and family members.   This includes my great-grandparents Minnie and Will [which for me makes them feel much more real than their formal names Mary Jane and William) and my grandfather Hugh, whom I never met.  I hope that these prove useful to those reading the material.

page 46-7






Orange Celebration, Montreal, 1877

Montreal Daily Star, 5 July 1877, page 2

The Orange Celebration

A deputation of Orangemen waiting upon then mayor yesterday for the purpose of making affidavits respecting certain parties, whom they said threatened violence.  His Worship directed the deputation to the Police Magistrate.  A formal request for protection on the 12th inst during “a peaceable religious ceremony” has been made.  The Mayor replied that, as the Orange body is not legally constituted, the members can only be accorded the same protection “that every citizen is individually entitled to under ordinary circumstances.” His Worship expresses the hope that the celebration will be held wholly indoors.

Children’s faults, Montreal, 1911

Montreal Standard, 1 July 1911, page 14


Children’s Faults


Don’t keep on harping about a child’s faults; don’t keep on telling him how naughty  and stupid he is; it doesn’t do any real good for it will awaken resentment in his heart.  Use love and patience and never lose your belief in a child.

Hebrew Graduates of McGill, 1880

Montreal Daily Star, 8 July 1880, page 2

The Hebrew Graduates of McGill

In the appointment of Mr Lewis A Hart as lecturer in McGill University upon the theory and practice of Notarial Deeds and Proceedings, the public will recognize another instance of the wisdom and liberality which has long distinguished the University in the choice of its servants.  The appointment is [illegible] pledge to the friends of civil and religious liberty that no prejudices of class or creed find place in our chief seat of learning. Mr Hart is of the Hebrew faith, and his name is but one of a  list which has already done honour to McGill.  Between thirty-five and forty years ago and at a time when the leading schools of the mother country had their doors closed to all but the faithful, in other words to all who could not or would not subscribe to the thirty-nine articles, McGill took the initiative in the enlightened and liberal course which she has since held, by appointing to a professorial chair the Rev De Sola, then as now esteemed generally as a semitic scholar and writer.  The step, as such steps must, proved to the advantage of the University. The graduates of Hebrew faith have since been neither few nor far between, and have in many different fields reflected honour upon their Alma Mater.  Only a few sessions back a graduate in the medical school, Dr Vineberg, went out from the University leaving behind him a reputation even deeper than was explicable by his having carried off the Holmes gold medal, and already he has made his mark in a distant land. A recent number of the Waimate Times, Canterbury, New Zealand, refers to him in the most honourable terms in connection with his work in hospital there, and with the details of a remarkable surgical operation there performed. Scarcely less favourably known in our midst is Dr Levi.  In England, Mr I Ascher, a graduate in law, has obtained a favourable reputation for his literary work, some of his writings having called forth the unqualified commendation of Longfellow. Both here and in Quebec, also, several graduates in arts are showing that a liberal culture may go hand in hand, and is well nigh essential to an elevated position in the commercial world.


College Fashion, 1922 – Etiquette

Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage by Emily Post, New York and London, Funk & Wagnalls Co, 1922/37.


If the college should happen to be in a warm climate, naturally foulard dresses or cotton prints would take the place of the warm woolens. But a college that is, let’s say, snowbound for many months, it is important that the clothes be warm and that warm gloves, low-heeled shoes and galoshes be included. Nothing could be more unappealing to a boy than a girl in such unsuitable clothes that she can take no part in any outdoor sports.  High-heeled evening slippers in which to walk on frozen snow, and think fluffy clothes when the thermometer is zero, will not impress any boy as alluring, but will make him wish he hadn’t handicapped himself with such a nuisance.

[Hmmm – so clearly the education was not the important part of college – fashion people – fashion and getting a husband]

Snobbery is not vice but virtue, Montreal, 1930

Montreal Gazette, 24 Jan 1930, page 9

Snobbery is not vice but virtue

Is laudable quality, as it denotes ambition, says Prof Du Roure

Famous Persons Cited

Gene Tunney Victim of Anti-snobs, declares lecturer at meeting of Ligue de la Jeunesse

Snobbery should be regarded not as a vice but as a virtue, for it is a sign of ambition, which is undeniably a worthy quality.  So affirmed Professor Rene Du Roure, of McGill University, in addressing a largely attended meeting of La Ligue de la Jeunesse Feminine yesterday in the rose room of the Windsor Hotel. The persons who should be regarded with contempt are not the snobs, but the anti-snobs or “snobophobes,” the lecturer declared.

Noted persons given as examples of snobbery by Prof Du Roure, who remarked, incidentally, that snobbery was more commonly found in women than men, numbered four, of whom three were men.  They were the Duc de Saint-Simon, Jean de la Bruyere, Madame de Sevigne and Marcel Proust, the last being termed by the lecturer, “the prince of snobs.” Saint-Simon’s snobbishness could be attributed to the fact that although he held a dukedom, it was of recent date he, in fact being only the second holder of the title. De la Bruyere had shown himself in the family of the Prince de Conde- because this brought him into an aristocratic environment which otherwise he could not have penetrated.  Madame de Sevigne although an aristocrat had revealed herself as a snob in one of her letters to her daughter concerning her attendance at a play given at a school at St Cyr, and attended by the King and Madame de Maintenon.  Madame de Sevigne had shown in her letter that she had paid no attention to the play but had been concerned with observing the duchesses, who were seated in the row in front of her, and recorded in detail a conversation between herself and the King.

Proust, a man of good bourgeois family, showed himself preoccupied with the idea of frequenting aristocratic society as evidenced in “A la Recherce du Temps Perdu.”

Gene Tunney was cited as a victim of anti-snobbery, when on returning to America, he had refused to see more than a couple of his former associates of the boxing ring, who would have taken him in triumph to the nearest ‘speakeasy’ said Prof Du Roure.  This recently acquired “high hat” conduct had brought him undeservedly the execrations of his acquaintances, although he should have been admired for it.

Those who follow the domestic life of Jiggs and Maggie are apt to sympathise with Jiggs are apt to sympathise with Jiggs, often frustrated in his attempts to consort with friends of days before his rise to affluence, and to disapprove of Maggie in her attempts to make him cultivate the acquaintance of counts of more or less authenticity.  But Maggie is right, the lecturer felt.

The meeting was opened by the president Miss Helene Grenier, and Prof Du Roure was introduced by Miss Madeleine Kent.  A vote of thanks was proposed by Miss Annette Dore.

Nervous Troubles, Montreal, 1902

Montreal Daily Star, 31 May 1902, page 16


Nervous Troubles

There is no torture more acute and intolerable than nervousness.  A nervous person is in a state of constant irritation by day sleeplessness by night.  The sufferer starts at every noise, is worried by a feeling that something awful is going to happen; is shaky, depressed, and although in a constantly exhausted state, is unable to sit or lie still.  If you are nervous or worried or suffer from combination of languor and constant irritation, you need a nerve food and nerve tonic, and Dr Williams Pink Pills for Pale People are absolutely the best thing in the world for your.  You will find after taking them that your feelings of distress and worry are being rapidly replaced by strength, confidence, and a feeling that you are on the road to full and complete health and strength.

Get rid of your nervousness in the only possible way – by building up strong, steady nerves.

Miss Ina Doucet, Bathurst, NB says:- “words fail me to adequately express what I owe to Dr Williams Pink Pills.  I was attacked with la grippe, the after-effects of which took the form of nervous exhaustion.  The least noise would startle me and I would tremble for some time.  I used several medicines but they did not help me, and as time went on I was growing worse and was so nervous that was afraid to remain alone in a room.  I slept badly at night and would frequently awake with a start that would compel me to scream.  The trouble told on me to such an extent that my friends feared for my recovery.  At this time an aunt urged me to try Dr Williams Pink Pills and after using eight boxes I was completely restored to health, and I feel that Dr Williams’ pink pills saved my life.  I sincerely hope my experience will benefit some other sufferer.”

Always look at the box when you ask for Dr Williams’ Pink Pills for pale people.  If the full name is not on the box, you are not getting what you ask for.  Refuse all so-called “Just-as-good-as” and if you have any trouble getting the pills, they will be sent you by mail post paid at 50 cents a box, or six boxes for $2.50 by addressing The Dr Williams Medicine Company, Brockville, Ontario.16ds31may1902- ad.jpg

No Typhoid in O’Keefe’s Beer, Montreal, 1906

La Presse 6 May 1906, page 27

Cause beer cures everything!


Pas de Typhoide dans la bière O’Keefe

Toutes les bières O’Keefe sont absolument pures et hygiéniques.  On ne sert que du meilleur orge, du meilleur malt, meilleur houblon et de pure eau filtrée.

Pour etre doublement certains, nous faisons filtre l’eau avant le brassage, filtrer de nouveau ayant l’embouteillage, et finalement pasteuriser.

Nous avons une Biere pour tous les gouts

Good label Ale – pour ceux qui aiment une biere  rich et cremeuse – egale a n’importee

O’Keefe’s Special Extra Mild Ale – pour ceux qui trouvent les bieres ordinaires trop pesantes.

O’Keefe’s Pilsener Lager – La biere legere dans la bouteille claire, pour ceux qui aiment un breuvage de temperance leger

O’Keefe’s Star Beer – que ne contient pas 1 ¼ pc d’alcool

Commandez de la O’Keefe aujourd’hui – la biere qui est toujours OK

O’Keefe Brewery Co Limited – Toronto

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: