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Random Historical, Social and Cultural Moments



St Patrick’s Society Picnic, Montreal, 1871

Montreal Gazette, 3 July 1871, page 2.


The Pic-nic of this Society, no matte where it is held, whether at the Islands of Boucherville; the still more unromantic locality of St Lambert’s, or in the vicinity of the city, is always successful but never was it more successful than the pic-nic yesterday.  The scene of the picnic, if the term may be used, was on the grounds of Mr Jas Howley, on Upper St Antoine street, opposite Canning street, and better grounds for an occasion of the kind could not be found anywhere.  The grounds are in every respect as they were said to be, conveniently situated, pretty in appearance, well shaded, with a large stream of water running through, in which is it very pretty island. The grounds were crowded at one time during the afternoon there being no less than 4000 persons present. A large platform for dancing had been erected, and in the music of a very fair quadrille band, afforded ample accommodation for the numerous dancers who tripped the light fantastic toe until the pic-nic came for a conclusion. The land of the St Bridget’s Society played in excellent style.  The following list of games were contested for:

  1. 1st                    2nd

Running high leap ……………………………………………………….$3                               $2

Running long leap ……………………………………………………….$3                               $2

Race, in heats, 150 yards……………………………………………..$3                               $2

Boy’s race, 100 yards …………………………………………………..$2                              $1

Hurdle race, 3 ½ ft hurdles, in heats ……………………………$3                              $2

Irish Jig …………………………………………………………………………$3                              $2

Short race, 200 yards……………………………………………………$3                               $2

Standing leap……………………………………………………………….$3                               $2

Hop, step and leap ………………………………………………………..$3                            $2

Boy’s sack race ………………………………………………………………$2                            $3

The Society are indebted to Mr Howley for accommodation in one of the most suitable localities for a pic-nic, and the saving of several hundred dollars heretofore expended in the hire of steamboats.

At a late hour the picnic broke up, every one present on the occasion being sorry to part, and anxious to meet on the next occasion of the next pic-nic.  It is calculated that the Society will find themselves, on this occasion, considerably over six hundred dollars in pocket.


Marriage of Ida Hicks and Philip McLaughlin, Montreal, 1914

Montreal Daily Star, 17 October 1914, page 2.


The marriage of Miss Ida Evelyn Hicks, daughter of Mrs M Hicks, Argyle Ave, Westmount, to Dr Philip J McLaughlin, of Bridgeport, Conn., was quietly celebrated at a quarter to eight this morning in St Leo’s Church, which was decorated for the occasion with yellow chrysanthemums and palms. The Rev Father Gauthier performed the ceremony, and Miss Wright and Mr PR Cowan sang during the service. Dr William McLaughlin, of Bridgeport, Conn, brother of the bridegroom, was best man, and the bride, was given away by her brother, Mr JM Hicks, was unattended. She wore a blue broadcloth tailor-made suit with a corsage bouquet of orchids, and the bridegroom’s gift, a diamond pendant. Her hat was of black velvet with black Bird of Paradise.  Immediately after the ceremony, Dr and Mrs McLaughlin left for New York.

Villa Maria Closing Exercises, Montreal 1876

[Family stories have it that my great-great grandmother Margaret Cuddy won the math prize and her father John Patrick was so proud, he took her to Ireland as a reward.  There it is said she met her future husband Timothy Corley.  So here is evidence that she won the math prize, and she did meet Timothy in Swinford, Ireland.  Not sure what happened in the ten intervening years between award and marriage….  But here is the proof that she won the math prize.]

Journal of Education, July 1876, page 107

Villa Maria Convent School

The annual distribution of premiums, medals and honors to the pupils of this Institution, took place on the 22nd June.  The annual event was formerly counted among the most brilliant of the season, being witnessed by the elite of Montreal society who made a point to visit what was in former days the Vice-Regal mansion, eager to enjoy the treat there offered to the admirers of beauty, art and talent. It was, however, celebrated, without its usual éclat this year, owing to the death of the late Superioress, the well-known and lamented Sister of the Nativity. The exercises were conducted in private, a few only of the more intimate friends of the Institution being in attendance. The medals for general proficiency, presented by His Excellency the Earl of Dufferin were awarded as follows:- the silver one was awarded to Miss Josephine Perrault of Montreal; Miss Maggie O’Meara of Pembroke, Ontario, being almost equal in merit, received a handsome medal as a testimony of successful competition, from the Lady Superioress General.  In the contest for the bronze medal, Miss Hortense Murphy of Montreal, and Miss Marion Murphy of Quebec, were proclaimed the successful candidates in a class of nineteen.  The question of assigning it was decided by drawing; the higher number favoring Miss Hortense Murphy. The other young lady was compensated for her loss, by a beautiful wrought silver medal, presented by the Reverend Mother Superioress.  Congratulatory addresses were afterwards tendered by the members of their respective classes to the happy winners of those honors.  The Edward Murphy prize, a valuable microscope, with an accompanying treatise, was awarded to Miss Lizzie Brennan for success in the study of the natural sciences. The exquisite gold medal, presented by Mrs Edward Murphy, as the prize of culinary art and domestic economy, was taken by Miss Zoe Sache of Montreal.  This course is complete, and affords young ladies every advantage for acquiring a practical knowledge of housekeeping.  An address of thanks in the name of the graduating class was presented to Mr and Mrs Edward Murphy, whom this institution counts among its most distinguished and generous patrons. Medals for excellence of deportment were awarded to Miss Alice Collins and Miss Lena Kelly; for composition to Miss McLaughlin and Miss Gibson, and for mathematics and bookkeeping to Miss M Cuddy and Miss Marion Murphy.  The names of the young ladies who received the graduating honors are as follows: – Misses Josephine Perrault, Zoe Sache, Lizzie Brennan, Katie Donnelly, Maggie Cuddy, Alice Collins and Agnes Donovan of Montreal; Miss Maggie O’Meara of Pembroke, Ont; Miss Bruneau of Sorel; Misses Fortin and Slavin of St John’s and Miss McLaughlin of Portland Me.  A handsome volume was presented to each of the pupils.  This work is a collection of the reminiscences of their school life, and personal recollections of Sister Nativity, made by the young ladies of the Institution, and to which have been added several letters, received by members of her community or by the pupils themselves at the death of this venerated Superioress; also the obituary notices and accounts of the obsequies as given by the press, and selections from the “In Memoriam” written on this occasion. Beautiful and touching valedictories were recited by the young ladies of the graduating class, during which the deepest emotion was evinced by those sweet girls, who, in their turn, had now to cross the threshold of their well loved “Alma Mater” where they are preserved from the world’s blighting contact, far removed from its pomps and its vanities, and where they are taught to prize and emulate those more real and noble accomplishments which constitute true worth and dignity in women.

At the close of the séance the Very Rev Superioress, who presided, made a few feeling and appropriate remarks on the general satisfaction given by the pupils to their devoted teachers.  She bade them adieu and hoped they would enjoy their vacation, and announced that the Convent would re-open on the 31st of August.

To Robert Burns, [bad poetry] 1918

Montreal Gazette, 22 July 1918, page 3


To Robert Burns

“Bard of Caledonia”

(Gaed ayent the Bourne July 21, 1796)


O Scottish Bard! Hoo happy, syne, were ye

Yon time? Mang Scotland’s bonnie hills and brase,

Ye, pensive, roamed and dreamed, your homely lays,

Or, when wi’ jovial friens, ye mingled free.

An’ ghaists o’ care, wi’ cup an’ sang, mad flee,

Ken ye, that gane are a’ the ‘guid auld days,

Noo, grisly war his gory haun displays,

An’ grief, her veil, coosts owre the face o’ glee.


Ay, Rab, sic change, I’ troth, is owre the times,

Sma’ space hae we tae con thye weel lo’ed rhymes.


Whilk e’en maun lie unheedit I’ the fauld,

Wi’ mony ither treasures, new an’ auld,

Until ance mair sall break the dawn o’ Peace

Frae sorrow’s thrall, tae gie oor hearts release.


C Bradford.

Clan McLennan, Montreal, 1896

Glengarry News, 28 February 1896, page 4

The Clan McLennan

In our last issue we referred to the presence in town of Chief Ross, of the Clan McLennan, of Montreal, the purpose of which was to arrive at satisfactory arrangements with the directors of the Alexandria Driving Park Co, by which a monster demonstration under the auspices of the Clan might be held in the Park Grounds on Dominion Day.  A special meeting of the directors of the Driving Park was held on Tuesday evening when a most liberal offer was made to the Clan and which is every probability will be accepted.  On that day the Clan McLennan will run an excursion to Alexandria by special train and should the weather prove favourable the likelihood that over 1000 people will come from Montreal alone.  They will be accompanied we understand, by a magnificent brass band and a number of Highland pipers.  During the afternoon a splendid program of sports and athletic games will be carried out and everything considered this excursion should prove the event of the season.

Elocution lessons, Montreal 1878

Montreal Gazette, 19 Jan 1878, page 3



Mr Neil Warner

Is prepared to give

Lessons in Elocution


No 68 Victoria Street

Gentleman’s Classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday Evenings.

Ladies’ classes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday Evenings

Private Lessons if preferred

Instruction given at Academies and Schools on moderate terms

Mr Warner can be engaged to give Readings and Lectures at public entertainments

Annual Snowshoe Steeplechase, Montreal 1878

Montreal Gazette, 3 Jan 1878, page 3

St George’s Snowshoe Club

Annual Steeplechase

Saturday last will long be remembered as a “red-letter day” in the history of this club, not only in connection with the race across the mountain, but also for the thorough hospitality extended by its members to their friends and showshoers of other clubs, who, having availed themselves of the invitation, met at Prendergast’s Hotel after the race and did justice to a substantial supper in true snowshoer’s fashion.

The aspirants for the honor of winning one of the six handsome prizes met at McGill College Gate at 3:30 pm, but the start was not effected until 4:30 o’clock.  Quite a number of visitors and members of sister clubs assembled to see them off, and nto a few of the Montreal Club accompanied them over the mountain, while others went ahead with the object of seeing them come in at the home stretch.  The track was somewhat heavy.  The names of the winners and the time made by them may be seen from the following record:-

JC Bowden, time 22 m 40 s

Davidson, time 23 m

Matthews, time 24 m 30 s

Elliott, time 24 m 40s

McLean, time 26 m 29 s

Dyde, time 26 m 40 s

Mr JC Bowden, the winner of the first prize this year, was also the winner of the first prize last year.  He received a perfect ovation from his fellow members, which not only gave proof of his merit as a good snowshoer, but also testified to his popularity as a thorough good fellow in its most legitimate sense.  The event of the evening, however, was the supper, to which about one hundred persons sat down.  Capt Sully, president of the club, presided, and on his right were Lieut-Col Handyside and Mr Angus Grant, President of the Montreal Club, while on his left he was supported by Mr H Bryson, of the “Athletic,” and Sergeant-Major Lynden, “B” Battery, Dominion Artillery, Quebec.  Mr Neil Warner, Mr RS White and the representatives of the Gazette and Witness were also among the guests.

The following is a list of

The toasts

“the Queen” – National Anthem, solo by Mr Carter, and chorus

“The Prince of Wales and the Royal Family” – song “God Bless the Prince of Wales” by Mr Jarvis

“The Governor-General” proposed by Lt Colonel Handyside, and to which the following spirited chorus was sung in true hearty fashion.  The song itself was sung by Capt Sully”

“then hip, hurrah! We’ll drink his health;

May fortune never on him frown!

Here’s riches, honor, happiness, health

To that rattling boy from the County Down.”

“Our Country”- song, “Dear Canada, our Home,” sung by Mr Vesey

“The Army, Navy and Volunteers,” proposed by Captain Sully, and responded to by Lieut-Colonel Handyside.  During the interval Mr Neil Warner read the “Charge of the Light Brigade” with almost electrical effect, the guests rising t their feet and giving the reader a succession of rousing cheers.  A more magnificent piece of elocution we have never heard without exception.

“Our winter’s sports” was next proposed by Mr Jarvis, of the Witness, who made a very neat and appropriate speech.

The prizes were then distributed by Lieut-Colonel Handyside, and each recipient was awarded hearty cheers.

Our “Sister Clubs” was responded to by Messrs Angus Grant, Murray and Bryson, in suitable terms.

The remaining toasts were:

“The Ladies” – song and chorus.  Dedicated to the St George SS Club by “Paul Ford.”

Volunteer toasts, songs &c (In this and in all things else – )

“England expects every man will do his duty”

“The press” – replies

“Our own club” – club song and chorus

“Strap the snow-shoes on, my boys,

We’ll have another run”

During the evening the band of the Victoria Rifles came from the city to do honor to the club, and were received with great applause.

After the programme had been disposed of, the tables were removed, songs were sung (and by the way, we must not forget to mention the vocal comicalities of Mr Prince, and the excellent singing of Messrs Murray and Vesey), and impromptu dances got up for the occasion.  Space will not admit of giving the gist of the several speeches, which were unusually good.  We had almost forgotten to mention what the prizes were: the 1st was a gold medal, in the shape of a shield, having on its face a pair of snowshoes crossed.  The 2nd, a silver medal with snowshoes crossed, and worked in gold.  The 3rd a gold seal; the 4th a set of gold studs – the 5th, a set of silver studs; the 6th a silver fruit knife, and the 7th a wooden spoon to the last man in the race.  The first six prizes were manufactured by Messrs Savage & Lyman.

Altogether the race and its afterpiece were of the most pleasant character, and the party returned to town about 10 pm, everyone having thoroughly enjoyed himself.

The Orange and the Onion – New Ten Cigar, Montreal, 1911

Montreal Gazette, 24 July 1911, page 10



The Orange and the Onion

May both please the one who eats – but they do not both please those who perforce must whiff the odor.

For the sake of those around you sidestep those cigars which fall on the onion side of the line, and enjoy instead the refined.

Delicacy of aroma

Of the “New Ten” Cigar.  It spreads around the impression of a cultivated taste, with the ability to gratify it.

Try a change for the better –

The New Ten Cigar.

Demonstration of the Celebrated “Rengo Belt” Corset, Montreal, 1911

Montreal Gazette, 22 July 1911, page 18




The John Murphy CompanyLimited

Demonstration of the Celebrated “Rengo Belt” Corset

Miss Anderson, a New York Corset Expert is demonstrating the above and will be here all next week.  Ladies desiring to be fitted as well as requiring any information concerning same will be gladly attended to by Miss Anderson.

Appointments for fitting can be made by phone or letter.

We would like to mention one style being demonstrated which is made of a very fine quality coutil, guaranteed rust-proof steel, medium low bust, six suspenders and beautiful Finished.  Price $2.25 and $3.50.

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