Gilliandr's Blog

Random Historical, Social and Cultural Moments



Lord Nelson’s Monument, Montreal, 1807

The Ipswich Journal 15 August 1807, p 4

A Monument to the memory of Lord Nelson has been erected at Montreal, in Canada.  It is a pillar of solid stone, sixty feet high, surmounted by a figure of the gallant Admiral, in artificial stone, eight feet high, upon the capital.

Alligator peeking out from the snow on Nelson's Column in Montreal, 2015
Alligator peeking out from the snow on Nelson’s Column in Montreal, 2015

News from Montreal, 1866

Ottawa Citizen, 28 December 1866, page 2

From Montreal

Montreal, Dec 27th

One Louis Latour, painter, while engaged in painting the new fire police station at Point St Charles, fell from the roof and broke his leg.

Hon Mr McGee is to deliver an address at the concert of the Irish Protestant Benevolent Society on the 3rd of January.  It will be his last prior to his departure for Europe.

A woman was found dead yesterday in an unoccupied house in College street. She was lying on the floor, her face downwards, and frozen dead.  Her name is unknown, but she is believed to be one more unfortunate gone to her rest.

There was a fire last night in the Boot and Shoe store of S Anderson, 601 St Mary Street.  The stock was considerably damaged by water. How the fire originated is a mystery- supposed to be the work of an incendiary.

An attempt was made at rape on the person of a respectable looking young woman, in a field off Dorchester street, west, from whence cries of murder were heard to proceed.  It was at one o’clock am.  Messrs Ritchie and Dorwin, residents in the street, pinned the man, Daniel Mulhorn by name, and gave him into the custody of the police.  The young woman when relieved ran away.

Our police are over officious.  They upset a merry party of ladies and gentlemen who were enjoying Christmas in the home of a friend, a very respectable citizen, whom they dragged to the station without his boots hat or coat.  The Recorder, after hearing the statement of Mr HJ Clarke, Advocate, who appeared for the defence, severely reprimanded the police, and dismissed the case.

Novel Place Cards, 1911

Montreal Standard, 9 December 1911, page 26


Novel Place Cards


Attractive place cards are good sized paper dolls dressed in satin and tulle veil, and carrying a bride’s bouquet.  These are fastened to oblong paper standards so they can stand erect at each plate. Sometimes a figure of the groom is used for the girls, but the male costume is of a different period.  This will not be hard if period fashion books are found in a good library.

Another pretty idea is a big square of chiffon or thin lace tied into a bag with narrow ribbon and orange blossoms. Lay it open on a table filled with rose petals or rice to be thrown after the departing couple, then tie the ends so they drop in four points.  The name of the guest can be stuck in the top of these folds.

Simple cards, painted with orange blossoms or other appropriate flowers can have tied to them charms of tiny silver wedding bells or bride slippers.

No Procession on the 12th, Montreal, 1877

Montreal Daily Star, 11 July 1877, page 1

No Procession on the 12th

The Orangemen Patriotically Accede to the Request of their Fellow Citizens and Abandon the Procession in the Interest of Peace

A great weight has been lifted off the city by the patriotic conduct of the Orange body in acceding to the request of their fellow citizens, and abandoning , for this year, at least, their intention of walking to the church in procession on the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.  This resolution was not arrived at until a few minutes before midnight last night, and the deepest anxiety was manifested by large numbers of citizens who congregated in several places to know the result.  At St Patrick’s Hall the largest gathering with [illegible] and the heads of the Irish Societies were in session until a late hour.  The course that has been pursued reflects honor upon all concerned.  The sp[illegible] of wise concession and forbearance showed by the Orangemen deserve the highest recognition, and the Roman Catholics were among the first last night to acknowledge the spirit of conciliation that was manifested in the resolution arrived at.  Every one looked forward to serious trouble, if not loss of life if the procession took place, and the feeling that was prevailed for some time past in this community has been a profoundly painful one.  Much of the happy result accomplished is owing to the wise and moderate con [illegible] pursued by the leaders of the Irish societies, who suggested and succeeded in getting truly representative meeting yesterday [illegible] all our National Societies. The sensible speeches of those gentlemen, who met in the parlour of the St Lawrence Hall, and notably the observations of the chairman, could not fail to have effect in averting what was looked forward to as a civil war. Our city has been spared scenes of riot and disorder that would have fallen upon her like a nightmare.  Good sense has prevailed, and citizens now look forward to a long continuance of that peace, harmony and good will that should always prevail among a people and by the ties of a common Christianity and citizenship.  The matter has been acquitted in such a form that both sides can co[illegible] shake hands over the result, and no feeling of triumph or defeat be felt on either side.

We stated in last evening’s issue that the meeting in the St Lawrence Hall passed a resolution earnestly among the Orangemen to give up the procession.  This result was communicated to the leaders of the Orange Society by a deputation and a copy of the resolution signed by all the representatives of National Societies, [illegible] added to Colonel Smith and Mr Grant the latter County Master and Chairman [illegible] the mass meeting of Orangemen which was being held in the Orange Hall. These gentlemen promised to lay it before the meeting without delay and return as early as possible with an answer. The signers remained in session awaiting an answer, and the reports from time to time that arrive, up to the last kept up the most painful anxiety to know the result. At 11:45 pm all felt as if they could breath freely, as an advance courier armed with the pleasing news that the resolution was carried (although by a narrow majority) to abandon the idea of  having a procession.  Messrs. Grant and Smith followed soon after as the ambassadors of peace and evidently well pleased to come in that capacity.  The meeting to receive the report took place at once, with Mr Devlin in the chair.  The following is the substance of what occurred.

Mr Grant said there had been a large attendance of the membership of the order, who after discussion had come to a resolution, which had been carried by a small majority, not to make a public demonstration.  The committee would be served with an exact copy of the resolution which had been arrived at. The society reserved their right to march when they pleased, but there would be no procession on the 12th of July this year. The members would proceed to church about half past eleven and trusted that there would be no disturbance or endeavour to hinder them in the charge of their privilege and duty of going to church.

Col Smith said that he had only to say that this decision had been arrived at after earnest deliberation upon the requests of the societies. They had determined to give way but reserved their right to go to church. He trusted the societies would now do their duty and see that the Orangemen were not molested. The society had acted in deference to the wishes of their fellow citizens.

Mr Grant said he ought to state that a deputation from the City Council had this day waited on the Orangemen which had tended in a great measure to influence their decision.

Mr Devlin said it was only necessary for him to say that he congratulated the societies on the result which had been arrived at, which was calculated to sustain and continue the friendly feeling which had existed for years.  He regarded the result, not as a triumph of party, but as a triumph of peace, good will and fellowship, and as such he regarded it.  He would announce the result at another meeting this evening.  All might rest assured that the proceedings throughout had been conducted with good will as tending to the prosperity of the Dominion and of the city of Montreal.

Col Smith said that in light of the society had acted in the interest of peace and good will.

Mr Devlin said he considered the best thanks of the committee and of the citizens generally were due to the gentlemen who had waited upon the committee, and also to all who had cooperated towards this good result. The Irish Catholic societies did not desire to triumph over Protestants, but were actuated by desires for the best interests of the whole country.

Mr Kerry, St George’s Society, said before the meeting separated it ought to thank the gentlemen of the Orange Society present for the interest they had taken in the matter.  He thought a vote of thanks should be passed to them for their kind offices.

Mr McMaster, of the Irish Protestant Benevolent Society, in seconding the motion, said he had no doubt that the gentlemen had made many personal sacrifices for the peace of the city.

Several gentlemen having spoken in this sense.

Col Smith thought that the vote should be passed to the society generally.

Mr Kerry said he should be glad to amend his motion in that sense.

The motion having been carried.

Col Smith, in acknowledging it, said he hoped after all this would be considered brethren.  The meeting adjourned.

Laurin & Leitch Co – Montreal Construction and Conflict of Interest, 1915

Daily Mail, 30 December 1915 page 4

Court Ordered Quo Warranto Issued

Granted petition of Rodrigue Langlois to have Ald Bastien Appear before court

Justice Maclennan yesterday granted the petition of Rodrigue Langlois and ordered the issue of a writ of quo warranto against Ald Treffle Bastien, ordering the latter to appear before the court and show cause why he should not be removed from office.

The petition, which was presented by Antonio LeBlanc, counsel for Mr Langlois after setting forth the qualifications of Mr Langlois as a taxpayer and elector, alleges that Mr Bastien is interested in divers contracts, granted by the city to Laurin, Leitch and Co, particularly for the construction of the Park Avenue subway and the construction of a system culvert, which contracts were executed by the same employees and the same machinery as that of Laurin and Leitch, of which, it is claimed, Mr Bastien is a member.

The petitioner states that see these [illegible] the respondent has no right to sit as an alderman of the city of Montreal, in virtue of articles 28 and 33 of the Charter which prohibits a person doing contract work for the city from sitting as either Mayor or alderman.

JL Perron, KC, is acting for Mr Bastien.  He offered no opposition to the granting of the writ of quo warrante, but stated that he denied the allegations contained in the petition.

Mr Perron stated afterwards that as soon as the writ is served upon his client he would make a motion that the hearing on merits be proceeded with immediately.  His client, he stated had nothing to fear, and wished to have the matter disposed of as soon as possible.  Ordinarily six days are allowed after service for the filing of plea by a respondent, but Mr Perron is not disposed to wait the six days.  It is possible that the motion for immediate  procedure may be presented to the Court on Friday next.

Important Geographical Discovery, McKenzie, 1794

Northampton Mercury, 18 October 1794 p3

Important Geographical Discovery

We have received advice, by a private letter from Montreal of a discovery which has been recently made of the highest importance to the Commercial world. Mr McKenzie, a partner in the house of Frobisher, McTavish and Co of Montreal, has lately returned to Michilimakinac after an absence of near three years, during which he has been so fortunate as to penetrate across the Continent to the Pacific Ocean, and reach a place between King George’s Island and Nootka Sound.

This gentleman, whose persevering and enterprising mind well suited him for such an undertaking, in his travels through the North West country some time ago, to establish a more extensive intercourse with the Indians, and to traffic for furs, arrived at the banks of the river which took a western direction, and which he observed to rise upwards of two fee, by the influence of the tide.  In prosecuting a second expedition from Michilimackinac, after undergoing the unavoidable hardships attendant on such a journey, which was carried on in canoes along various rivers and lakes, and often through forests where men were obliged to carry the canoes, he attained the utmost bounds of the western continent.  This circumstance will, in the course of time, be of the greatest consequence to this country, as it opens a direct communication with China, and may doubtless yet lead to further discoveries.

The distance from Michilimakinac to the Western Coast is supposed to be 1500 miles, of which the Company had before established huts as far as 1000 miles.

Rev Mathieson of Montreal, 1838

Perthshire Advertiser 29 March 1838, p4

Rev Dr Alexander Mathieson from the McCord Museum of Canadian History
Rev Dr Alexander Mathieson from the McCord Museum of Canadian History

The University of Glasgow have lately conferred the degree of DD on the Rev A Mathieson, AM of St Andrew’s Church, Montreal, Canada, North America, at present on a mission to this country, regarding the participation of the Clergy Reserves by the Presbyterians, which has now become a valuable and important support to the Protestant religion in these provinces.


For more about Rev. Mathieson see his biography here

Passage to Canada, 1960

Mom at the Glasgow Airport waiting for her plane to Canada, 1960


This letter was written by my mom in September 1960 just after she had immigrated to Canada.  I am not sure who the letter was intended for, as it is a draft, and there is no name after the salutation.  I think it was for a friend as she mentions her mother and sister in the letter.  Mom kept the letter in her papers, so I am not sure if a version of it was ever sent.  It is possible she was just writing out her experience for her own pleasure, or she made a copy for herself, or that she intended to type it.  

September 26th 1960


Well at last I’ve managed to sit down and put down details of my trip and impressions to date.

When I heard on Monday, 29th August, that my sailing had been cancelled I had no idea of how or when I would get here.  Tuesday I spent 3 hours at the Cunard office with no date or passage fixed.  Wednesday it was the same thing and I arrived home at 2:30 pm feeling that I’d never get away.  Imagine therefore the scene at 4 pm when Cunard phoned to say there was a flight from Glasgow the next day if I could manage to be on the 10:50 pm train on my own.  I certainly couldn’t have managed it, but, with Mom and Beryl doing the donkey work, we managed to pack a case to go with my be air and the case to be sent on after by sea and the family got me on the train.

It was unfortunate that my first trip to Scotland should have been such a brief one.  I arrived at 8:30 and after a cup of coffee went to the Cunard office to settle arrangements and then had till 1:30 to see Glasgow.  All I had time to do was to see some shops, have lunch and then it was time to collect my luggage and get to the air terminal.

The plane took off at 5:40 and the flight was a first for the majority of people on board. The plane was a Boeing 707 of Varig Airlines (a Brazilian co) and the crew normally flew New York-Buenos Aires and Rio.  It carried 168 passengers and cruised at a height of 35,000 ft at 540 mph.  The interior was very tastefully decorated, the seats were upholstered in a rough weave of blue with a black fleck, the carpets were lilac and grey flecked and the paint work was in light grey and white.

The journey seemed to consist of eating and drinking as far as I was concerned and we started off with chewing gum as we took off.  About an hour later we had dinner served by two hostesses (very pretty Brazilian girls with nice legs) and two stewards.  The meal consisted of soup; steak, chills, peas and tomoatoes; salad; fruit salad, rolls and butter; and red wine, then coffee afterwards. After this till the end of the flight there was a constant supply of cokes, 7 Up, tinned beer, cookies and chewing gum – all this of course supplied for free.  We were also given a packet of 4 cigarettes and some matches, but we couldn’t buy any cigs on board.

The weather was glorious all the way till we got to the coast of Canada where it was misty.  However, the mist cleared as we got over Quebec and so I got a glorious view of the St Lawrence which even from the air looks gigantic.  So 6 ½ hours after leaving Glasgow we were over Montreal, but because of the heavy air traffic, we had to circle for 20 minutes before landing.  So it was 12:30 before we stepped onto Canadian soil – or rather tarmac.  On landing the watches had to go back 5 hours and thus it was only 7:30 there.

The immigrant had to fill out a form and were the last to go though customs etc.  We saw one official who just checked passports and smallpox certificates and then on to an Immigration official to whom I handed the sealed envelope and found out that it was a typed duplicate of the form I had just filled in and he tore the latter up.  I wasn’t in the least amused because half way through filling up the damned form my pen ran out and I had to search for a bottle of ink in my bag – much to the amusement of all around.

After this I claimed my luggage only having to say whether I was carrying any furs, valuable jewellery, liquor or cigarettes.  Since I hadn’t any of the first 3 and only 5 cigarettes I was through customs almost immediately.

The porter picked up my luggage and asked where I was going and when told I hadn’t got anywhere directed me to the Traveller’s Aid.  This is a service provided free in main stations in all the larger centres, and they help  you find temporary accommodation and if you don’t speak English or French they usually provide interpreters.  Anyway I got fixed up at that and caught the airport bus to Montreal.

[page 2]

Provide an interpreter.  Anyway I got fixed up at the YW and caught the airport bus into Montreal.

By this time I was dead beat and when I got to the YW I went straight to bed, for although it was only 9 pm there, it was 2 am at home and I hadn’t had any sleep the night before.  I still felt tired the next morning so when I checked the time my train I changed my ticket and got  a sleeper.  To add to my confusion about time the trains run on standard time, which was an hour earlier than local time, which had an hour summer time – anyway at 4:15 local time I was on my way to Edmonton.

The trains are extremely clean and the service is very good – the result no doubt of having 2 competing railroads.  You can either sit in seats below your sleeper or in the lounge car, where you can get drinks up to 12 midnight. In the tourist class, ie just below first, apart from the conventional type sleeper, they have roomettes, which have their own fold away bed, wash basin and WC.  There are 2 dining cars on the train; a diner, which is a restaurant, which I didn’t frequent!, and a dinette, which has a snack bar counter, which serves meals through the day up to 9:30 pm.

I managed to “acquire” 8 males through the journey, and got my drinks paid for.  After 1 bottle of beer I stuck to martinis & rye.  The beer was just like pop and with not as much taste, but I was told that beer outside Ontario is stronger – it needs to be!!!

In the 2 hours between Montreal and Ottawa you get farms (like at home), patches of forest land and small towns.  This was my first sight of Canadian houses which are not the least like in the UK probably because they use such a lot of wood.  Coming into Ottawa is very pleasant along the side of the river with gardens.  When you leave Ottawa you back out for a long way before proceeding down a side line.  From then on till 6 pm the next night you’re in Ontario and the scenery is predominantly fir trees and lakes.  When I went to bed the first night I had a wonderful view out of the window of a full moon shining over the trees & lakes and it was breathtaking.  The first day what grass I had seen had been very brown and parched, but on the second morning it was raining till noon and the grass began to look greener tho’ nothing near as rich a green as in the UK.  In the early afternoon we had a 10 minute stop at Sioux Look Out & here I saw my first American Indians – alas in western dress.

Winnipeg we reached at 11 that night, and had a 45 minute stop and I got off.  I walked around the station (stations are much cleaner and more alive than those of BR).  Soon after this you hit prairies (although you see more by the other route).  However, as we travelled through this at night, the only prairies I saw were in the morning when I woke up just before Saskatoon.  The fields looked very beautiful in the morning sun but I can imagine how boring they would get if you had to look at them far more than an hour.

The Alberta scenery I liked very much. Except that it was more vast it was similar to the UK with rolling grassland with shrubs.  So at 1 o’clock on the 3rd day I reached Edmonton.

The journey apart from being mainly eating and sleeping gives you an excellent opportunity to meet people.  Canadians are extremely friendly and soon get talking and their friendliness is not of the nosey parker type either.  Anything you want to know no matter how trivial it may appear will be forthcoming because they want you to know their country and its ways, and there is no doubt in their mind that you will like it.

Edmonton, itself is a very pleasant city.  The houses are well spread out on either side of the North Saskatchewan River.  Everywhere is very


Clean, largely due I should imagine to no heating by coal (or very little).  Alberta has a plentiful supply of natural gas (which it exports to the States) and most of the heating is by this.

One of the first thing that strikes you (or rather doesn’t strike you!) is the traffic.  It seems to go much slower than at home and the standard of driving seems generally to be a lot better.  More care is taken on intersections and cars slow down nearly to a halt.  In Edmonton pedestrians have right of way at all intersections not controlled by lights (which have a wait and walk light) and still find it strange to find cars stopping to let me walk over.  Equally there doesn’t seem to be as much jay walking because the law is just as firm on this.  I must say that the law is different in Montreal and there as in London or Birmingham, you takes a chance!

In Montreal I saw a few Volkswagen but only 4 British cards, a Minor 1000, Riley 1.5, Austin Cambridge and Hillman Minx.  Here I would say that 2/3 of the cars are the monster type. The rest are foreign. Volkswagens are popular but are outnumbered by British – Austin (Cambridge, 90s, Sprites & Healeys), Riley 1.5, Hillman, Jaguar, MG (Saloon & Sports) Triumph TR3 (I haven’t seen a Herald, although they are on sale here) Morris 1000 & Miniminor.

The big department stores (Hudson’s Bay Co & Eaton’s) are very much as at home.  The Bay, particularly, seems to have a lot of stuff imported from England though a lot of it should have stayed there. China like Wedgewood, Royal Staffordshire, Royal Albert etc are fine but there were far too many pieces of the crinoline lady in violent colours and gold paint type were around. I was talking to one lady about buying a Denbyware teapot, which she eventually bought and I’m sure it would last longer than the gold plastered rubbish.  In the clothes line, Scottish sweaters are fine but they have a lot of trash too.

In style clothes look very similar, though tailored clothes (coats, suits, dresses) seem to be of much inferior materials and are very expensive, eg a coat costing about 10-12 guineas costs over 90 dollars, ie about £30.  Court shoes are pointed as at home, but there doesn’t seem to be as great a selection in flat casuals & haven’t seen any louis heels yet.

The weather has been mainly glorious, we’ve only had 3 days rain in 3 weeks.  Although it’s very warm during the day the nights are beginning to get colder & temperatures of 35°F are quite common at night.

General wear for rain seems to  be plastic macs & rainhats or head scarves.  The first day it rained I used my umbrella and only saw 2 others in town, but I don’t think umbrellas are as pretty as in the UK, but they don’t have as much use for them.

The price of food is as a whole slightly more expensive – some things are the same price but others dearer. But of course wages are higher.

I have a job at the University but am moving around until they have a permanent post to offer me.  The University buildings vary from residences built in 1912 to buildings just completed.  Even the old buildings look better because they’re clean.  The atmosphere is the same as in the UK and the administration works on the same lines too!


October 16th 1960

In typical fashion I don’t seem to have been able to get down to writing this and as a result there’s been quite a gap between the first 3 pages and this.

I was informed when I started the University that I should be moving around but as it turned out I worked in one department all the time and as from Monday 17th October I shall be the departmental secretary due to the transfer of the present secretary to another department.

The Department is Mining and Metallurgy and is a smaller one than Maths & Physics at B’ham.  However, in spite of its size it has 3 Profs and one assistant Prof and a lecturer.  It has an active research team and I’m looking forward to having a fair amount of typing to do.  I have an IBM electric typewriter and am gradually getting used to it.  I find the proportional spacing of letters a pest when I make mistakes, but it should teach me to be more careful.

Our hours are 8:30 – 4:30 with an hour & quarter for lunch, Monday to Friday and during term time Saturday morning 8:30 – 12.  When you remember I found 9:30 an impossible hour to get to work you will be astounded to hear that except for 3 mornings I’ve made it for 8:30. I like the idea of leaving at 4:30 because it gives you a chance to spend a leisurely evening and if you want to go out in the evening have plenty of time to get ready.

Cinemas here are as in the UK except that they don’t open on Sundays and you can’t smoke. There are some drive-in theatres round town but up to the present time haven’t visited one. The films showing are the same as in London, and we get, it seems, as many British films as in the UK.  There is only one price of admission to a show and you can sit anywhere in the theatre –  I don’t know if this holds good for other parts of Canada.

As I said in the earliest part weather has been very good.  On the Thursday and Friday the week before last it was so warm that I went to work in a cotton dress & cardigan. Imagine my surprise therefore when I woke up on the Saturday to find it snowing.  It snowed from 7:30 am – 1 pm and by 11 am 3.7 inches had fallen.  It rained during the afternoon and with that, the sun on the Sunday all the snow had cleared.  And since then, except for last Wednesday when it rained all day, we’ve had warm sunny  weather.  When people had said that the snow would come suddenly and I’d wake up one morning and their it would be I thought they were kidding, but now I know better.

I have been extremely fortunate in getting a housekeeping room only 7 minutes walk from the University.  The four girls with rooms on the same floor and the family are extremely friendly – in fact it feels like being a member of a large family instead of renting a room somewhere.  I pay slightly less for my room per month than I did in London and I don’t have to pay for electric, gas or local telephone calls.  In the basement there is a washing machine& we can dry washing down there or in the garden depending on the weather.

A fortnight ago I went to a dance which I enjoyed. On the whole I don’t think the men dance as well as Englishmen – they’re too inclined to shuffle.  One thing they beat the Englishmen on there is manners.  After a dance you are escorted back to the side; a very pleasant change from being left in the middle of the floor by the average Englishman. A lot more of the men have cars and therefore it is common to get a lift home.

A thing I’ve really missed has been the flowers. The season is very short here and what flowers that were in the gardens when I arrived (asters, pansies & dahlias etc) have now been dug up in preparation for the winter.  Flowers are expensive to buy and I miss being able to get small bunches of anemones etc to put in my room Potted plants


To put in my room.  Potted plants are very popular particularly South African violets of which I have a remarkably fine specimen. In any case the plants would stand up to the heated rooms better than cut flowers I guess.

You now have a jumbled account of what I’ve been doing and what I think of things – I hope you’re able to sort some sense out of it at all.

Before I came I’d been impressed with the fact that life over here was different and thinking this I’ve not found it to be as different as I expected and therefore I’ve settled down very easily – far more easily in fact than I found it to settle in London.  Although basically we’re the same kind of people believing in the same kinds of things, Canadians do things differently and they have a different slant of things – once this is accepted and you don’t say ‘we do such and such in the UK! And realise that the Canadian way is much better for them the differences don’t seem so marked. I find that I now do my thinking a la Canadian and that the number of times I class myself as English are getting fewer. For example, when people ask me about things in the UK, I find it difficult to explain why we do things in a certain way.

One thing we have superiority in is our BBC television and our theatre and music. I haven’t seen any theatre productions in the main cities but have found that culturally Edmonton doesn’t have a great deal to offer. Of course Canada is a new country and its population’s small compared to its size and therefore it is more difficult to support symphony orchestras etc, within easy reach of most small cities. Of course it’s usually the way of things that when you have a wide selection of theatres within easy reach as in London you don’t go (I only went twice in 9 months) and then when you haven’t got them you suddenly think you’d like to go.

Television (ie CBC) is slightly better than ITV but is equally riddled with gangsters and westerns.  Last Monday I saw an excellent production of HMS Pinafore. It was a Tyrone Guthrie Stratford (Ontario) production.  It was far superior to the Doyle Carte productions I’ve seen.  I understand that another station is contemplated in Edmonton and it will be interesting to see what difference competition will make.

That’s all for now.  Best wishes to you all

[Signed] Sheila


Santa’s arrival in Montreal, 1919

Montreal Daily Star, 1 December 1919, page 7

Santa Claus Came Here by Aeroplane

And now resides at his castle outside Goodwin’s

Santa Claus came to Goodwin’s on Saturday in true chimney-pot style. Always by nature progressive, the children’s patron saint decided to keep abreast of the times and at 4.15 Saturday afternoon appeared from out of the skies and under the able pilotage of Harry Wilshire, landed safe and sound on Fletcher’s Field from an aeroplane.  Here, His Worship the Mayor, was waiting to welcome him and when Santa Claus, clad in white and gold, stepped out of the machine, the former presented him the key to the Castle of Golden Twinkles.

“I hope,” said the Mayor, as he made the presentation, “that this key will be large enough to open the doors of all the homes in Montreal and especially those of the poor.”

Santa thanked the mayor and proceeded by sleigh to his castle at Goodwin’s, as did thousands of his young disciples who had stood in the snow and slush of Fletcher’s Field for as much as an  hour to obtain a good position from which in witness his arrival.  Barely had Santa’s aeroplane touched the ground before swarms of little people accompanied by fatigued but obedient parents, rushed across the field and surrounded him and many of them did not leave his vicinity for over an hour and a half. When their white-whiskered and genial friend got into his sleigh they followed him to the store and when he disappeared inside they formed up on the sidewalk outside his castle and refused to move.

Santa Claus is now officially in residence. From 4 pm to 6 pm and from 7 pm to 9 pm, each day he will occupy his castle and from 9 am to 11 am, he will be in the toy department to consult with his young friends in his white fur reception costume.

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