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Random Historical, Social and Cultural Moments



Hail to the Chief- Sir John A Macdonald, Montreal 1877

Montreal Daily Star, 5 July 1877, page 3



Hail to the Chief


Torchlight Procession3ds5jul1877

On Saturday Evening, July 7th

To Welcome

Sir John A Macdonald

To Montreal


Members of the Liberal-Conservative Party who desire to take part in the procession will assemble at the following places at

Seven o’clock in the evening:

Eastern Division

Papineau Square and St James Market

Centre Division

Railway Crossing, Point St Charles, and corner McCord and Wellington Streets

Western Division

Corner St Lawrence Main and St Catherine Streets

From these points the Procession will march to Albert Street and there amalgamate and meet Sir John A Macdonald.

Route of Procession

From Chaboillez square along St Joseph to Colborne; along Wellington to McGill; along St James to St Lambert Hill; along Craig to St Denis; up St Denis to St Catherine and along St Catherine to Dominion Square, where an Address will be presented to Sir John and speeches delivered by the leaders of the Party.

P Kennedy

G Boivin

Grand Marshals.



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.

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






Victory Parade and Canada’s Spotlight Band, WWII

Coke World 2017 (20)

Saw this poster on display at the World of Coke in Atlanta, Georgia.  Had to grab a photo of it.  Will research it and come back later for more information!!!!

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.

Queen’s Plate, Montreal, 1843

Times and Daily Colonial Advertiser, Montreal 10 April 1843, page 2


The Queen’s Plate

We have authority for stating that the President of the “Montreal Turf Club” has received from the Governor General, His Excellency’s compliance with the request of the Club, that the Queen’s Plate would be run for, this year, over the Saint Pierre Course, near this city.

St Jean Baptiste Society Centenary, Montreal, 1934

Montreal Daily Star, 23 June 1934

10ds23june1934-cartoon sjb

1834 – The French Canadian National Society Reaches its Centenary – 1934

An interesting visitor joins in congratulations

St Andrew’s Day, Montreal, 1922

Montreal Gazette, 30 Nov 1922, page 12

St Andrew’s Day

This is a red letter day for Scotchmen, in which heather, bagpipes, Scottish national music and dances are indissolubly intertwined; the memory of Scotia’s patron saint being a very tender and sacred on to Scotsmen all over the world. Patriotism and clannish pride are marked characteristics of the Scottish peoples, which instead of lessening shows quite an opposite inclination.  Most people admire the irish for their fervent love of St Patrick; the English for their attachment to St George, and the Welsh their pride in St David, no less than the Scotch for their glory in the name of St Andrew. There was a considerable difference in the life work of St Andrew and other patron saints, just as there was in the times in which they lived and their nationality, but like his confreres, St Andrew brilliantly and nobly served his day and generation, leaving a pattern and example worthy of imitation.  The memory of great men who have nobly served their fellows is one of the most precious possessions that any country or people can have.  It is quite appropriate that the memory of St Andrew should be kept alive and green and the anniversary observed as the years roll on.  St Andrew’s memory will remain as an inspiration to Scotch folk throughout the cycles of time.

St Andrew’s anniversary in Canada always calls forth much enthusiasm and gathering of the clans, and the Scottish race are to be commended for the patriotism, fervor and zeal in not allowing the date to pass by unnoticed in Montreal.  Moses Harvey was right when he averred: “Great men are not the mere products of the times in which they live, the epitome of their age, the cessations of those formative currents of thought that are traversing the masses.  Great men are the gifts of kind heaven to our poor world; instruments by which the Highest One works out His designs; light radiators to give guidance and blessing to the travellers of time.  Though far above us, they are felt to be our brothers; and their elevation shows us what vast possibilities are wrapped up in our common humanity.  They beckon us up the gleaming heights to whose summits they have climbed.  Their deeds are the woof of this world’s history.”  Such a one was St Andrew of Scotland.

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