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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.


PT Barnum’s New and Only Greatest Show on Earth! Montreal, 1877

Montreal Gazette, 23 May 1877, page 3


PT Barnum’s New and Only Greatest Show on Earth!

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.


Twelfth of July, Montreal, 1877

Montreal Daily Star, 11 July 1877, page 2

Twelth of July

The responsible heads of the Orange Society have agreed to rescind the resolution on the books of the order to celebtrate the Twelfth of July by a public demonstration.  While reserving the Society the right of parading, they yield to the representations made them by a deputation of the City Council and of members of the various national and benevolent societies, and waive what they consider a right in favour of proceeding quietly and unobtrusively to Knox Church on Thursday, there to commemorate their festival.  The action taken by the Orange order is worthy of all praise.  They have listened to the voice of reason, and resolved to act as good citizens, to refrain from anything that would look like a challenge to those who oppose their existence, and to conduct their celebration, in short as becomes peacable and respectable members of a community, respecting the feelings and prejudices of their fellows of different faith or opinion. The thanks of the city are due to the Orangemen in the present instance.  By the exercise of self denial and a moderation of view they have arrived at a decision which certainly will save the city the scenes of violence and disorder which it had reason to anticipate, not at the hands of the Orangemen, but of those who opposed them, for their walking of itself would be a harmless matter.  They have chosen the better part, and for their wise and patriotic conduct they are deserving the commendable approval of the community.  They have, through their representatives at the meeting of last night, expressed a desire to live in a spirit of unity with their brethren of another creed and faith; let us hope that something beneficial will come of their amicable advances in this direction.

The conduct of the Orangemen in the present emergency contrasts more than favourable with the attitude of the Irish Catholic Union, a secret society of the class condemned by the Church.  The Orangemen gave way, not because they were afraid of the armed sections of the Union, but because of their respect for law and order, and of the rights of property.  The Union has maintained its position of menacing hostility throughout, and up to the last moment almost, Mr Devlin, who may be said to have spoken its intentions, prophesied bloodshed. He could not have spoken confidently in advance, if he did not know what the men who have been buying arms and ammunition intended to do.  If, as Mr Devlin in his speech has more than intimated, that the Irish Catholic Union is an organization bound to enforce its opinions by riot and bloodshed, and there is no such thing as getting over the full significance of his remarks, then it is a body of the most dangerously lawless character, worthy of no sympathy at the hand of any good citizen. Upon it, in the event of hostilities, on Thursday, (now rendered improbable) would have devolved all the responsibility, and upon the authorities would have fallen the necessity of extirpating it.  Such an order has no reason of existence in a community like ours, and the sooner those who are its moving spirits learn that they will not be permitted to inaugurate a reign of terrorism unchecked, the better will it be for themselves. We feel pretty sure that the honor and dignity of the Irish Catholic people require no such defence as this organization, revolver-armed, pretends to offer.

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.

St Jean Baptiste celebrations, Quebec City, 1872

[Love the part where they ban the use of firearms during the church service and the parade……]


Courrier du Canada, 21 Juin 1872, page 2

La Saint Jean-Baptiste

On est a faire des préparatifs pour célébrer lundi, avec tout l’éclat possible la fête nationale du Canada-français.  La démonstration, si nous sommes favorises d’un beau temps sera digne de Québec.

Nous invitons tous nos lecteurs a prendre part a cette fête si bien fête pour raviver le patriotisme et inspirer une espérance toujours croissante dans l’avenir que la Providence réserve a notre race sur cette grande terre d’Amérique.

Voici le programme du jour


Pour célébrer la fête de leur Patron, les Canadiens-français de Québec et des environs se rendront en procession avec Drapeaux, Bannières, et Insignes, à l’église de la Cathédrale de Québec, ou une Grand Messe sera chantée.

Heure et Lieu de Réunion

Les diverses Sections de la Société St Jean Baptiste, sous le commandement des Sous-Commissaires-Ordonnateurs sera réuniront dans leurs quartiers respectifs, et les autres Sociétés sous les ordres de leurs officiers, pour se rendre au de la rue de la Couronne, St Roch a 7 heures et demie AM.  Les Sections et autres Sociétés sont pries de premier, des leur arrivée au lieu de réunion, la place qui leur est assignée dans la Procession.

A 8 heures et demie précises, la Procession se mettra en marche et défilera dans l’ordre suivant :

Ordre de la marche

Un maréchal. La petite brigade canadienne, Capt Laberge.  La compagnie Union no 4, Capt Duschesneau.  La compagnie des Sapeurs no 1, Capt Grégoire.  La section des Séminaristes externes, avec bannière et drapeaux. L’Union Musicale de Québec, avec bannière et insignes.  Les élèves de l’École Normale Laval avec drapeau. Une députation des descendants des Hurons, en costume de guerre, avec deux étendards donnes aux Hurons par Louis XIV.  L’état Major et les Officiers de la Milice active. Le drapeau de Carillon, escorte par un détachement des Zouaves Pontificaux Canadiens. Le Corps de Musique de la Batterie B de l’Artillerie, sous la direction du caporal Walsh, avec la bienveillante permission du colonel Strong et des Officiers de l’Artillerie.  Le Commissaire Ordonnateur.  Quatre Haches d’Armes. La Bannière Principale de la Société avec Lanciers.  Le Trésorier General, le Président Adjoint, le Président, son Hon le Maire et le Secret Archiviste.  Le Comite de Règle en exercice.  Les Échevins, les Conseillers et les Officiers de la Corporation. Les Juges de Paix, les Officiers Publics, les Médecins, les Notaires et les Membres du Barreau. Les Élèves  de l’Université Laval.  L’Union St Joseph de St Colomb.  La compagnie des Voltigeurs, Capt Garneau.  La compagnie des Sapeurs Capt Plamondon. La Société St Jean Baptiste de St Sauveur.  Un Marechal. Le Grand Drapeau Blanc.  La Section St Roch, avec bannière et insignes. Au milieu de la section, un char portant un Jacques –Cartier et deux chefs Indiens. L’Union St Valier avec Bannière et insignes et trois chars portant des machines pour l’industrie des Corroyeurs. La Société Ste Cécile avec insignes. Le club Jacques Cartier. La Société bienveillante des Cordonniers, avec bannières et insignes, et un corps de musique en tête. Le Club des Chasseurs. La Société Bienveillante des Ouvriers de Québec , avec bannière et insignes.  La Section St Jean avec bannière et insignes. A la tête de Section, un char portant Samuel de Champlain, fondateur de Quebec.  La Chambre de Discussion.  La Société Typographique de Québec avec Bannière et insignes. L’Institut Canadien de Québec avec bannière et insignes.  La Section Notre-Dame avec bannière et insignes.

Marche de la Procession

Partant de la rue de la Couronne, la Procession défilera par la rue de la Reine la rue Grant Defosses de la Couronne St Valier Cote d’Abraham St George Richelieu Ste Genièvre St Jean D’Autent St Louis; elle s’arrêtera a l’Hôtel du Gouvernement pour saluer son Excellence le Lieutenant Gouverneur et a l’Hôtel de Ville pour saluer son Honneur le Maire et elle continuera les rues St Louis Place-D’Armes du Fort jusqu’à l’Archevêché ou le Président présentera les hommages de la Société a Sa Grace Monseigneur l’Archevêque puis la Procession continuera par la rue Buade jusqu’à la Cathédrale ou une messe solennelle sera chantée a 9 ½ heures  AM sous la direction de M Ernest Gagnon. Un sermon de circonstance sera prêché par un célèbre prédicateur.

Pendant la messe une quête sera faite au bénéfice de la Société.

Il est strictement défendu de tirer des armes a feu sur le parcours de la procession et dans le voisinage de l’église de la Cathédrale pendant la messe.

Les porteurs de Bannières insignes etc. sont pries de déposer dans la sacristie immédiatement âpres la messe les drapeaux insignes confiées a leur garde.

MM les Marchands constructeurs de Vaisseaux etc. sont pries comme Canadiens-français de fermer leur magasins chantiers le 24 juin pour permettre a leurs employés de prendre part a la fête.

Le comite de régie espère que les citoyens rivaliseront de zèle pour décorer les rues par les quelles passera la Procession.

CJL Lafrance                                                              Ant. Parant

Secrétaire-Archiviste                                       Com-ordinateur.

A Large Parade is Now Predicted for St Patrick’s Day, Montreal, 1911

Montreal Daily Star, 15 March 1911, page 19


Archbishop Bruchesi will Probably Join Procession as it Passes Cathedral

From present indications the change in hour of the annual St Patrick’s Day parade, instead of reducing the number of people participating in it, appears to have the effect of increasing interest. At least, such is the opinion of the marshals, who have received reports from the various parochial and national organizations as to the numbers in which they will be able to muster. It is found that even the remote parishes of the district will be able to send large representations to the parade.
Neither will there be any difficulty in securing music, as already ten bands have been engaged. The indications are therefore entirely favorable to a larger and more representative procession than usual. In fact, a record turnout is looked for.
His Grace Archbishop Bruchesi will officiate pontifically at High Mass in St Patrick’s Church. He will be assisted at the throne by Very Rev Canon O’Meara, pastor of St Gabriel’s: Rev JE Donnelly, pastor of St Anthony’s and Rev Luke Callaghan DD pastor St Michael’s. the decons [sic] of the mass will be Rev ML Shea, pastor of St Aloysius; Rev Thomas F Heffernan, pastor of St Thomas Aquinas. The sermon will be preached by Rev Thomas F Burke, CSP of New York.
It is probably that His Grace the Archbishop will view the procession as it passes the Cathedral and will likely join in and proceed with to the church.

St Jean Baptiste, Montreal, 1868

Montreal Gazette, 25 June 1868, page 2

La St Jean Baptiste

Yesterday the feast of St John the Baptist, the patron saint of Canada, was as bright and as sunny a day as the most fastidious Saint could desire.  The public took every advantage of the fair weather, and everyone donned his gayest attire (the French Canadian without a black frock coat and a beaver hat is a man with soul so dead, who never to himself has said &c) and went forth with a national maple leaf at his button hole and joy in his countenance.  Preparations were made in every French quarter of the city to do honor to the day.  Flags floated on every root and from every window, tiny bunting swung in the mild June air in many coloured festoons over the crowded streets.  The sidewalks were gay and green with maple trees, and thronged with spectators in festive attire, many of them disappearing behind white badges blazoned with our national emblem and enemy the beaver, with a dressing of maple leaves, or sinking under the weight of a collar gorgeous with the same.


Is a scriptural and a well-known saint, so well-known that our labours as biographers can be easily dispensed with. It is not quite so easy to say why he was named patron saint of Canada, unless we assign the exquisite reason that it was discovered on the feast of St Lawrence.  Very few indeed can tell the reason why, but we believe its true origin dates from a proclamation by one of the earliest Bishops of Quebec, who selected this patron because his feast was celebrated in the summer time, and again because he was the patron saint of many of the early colonists drawn from Bretagne.  Others again assign it a more ulterior signification and say it was selected because the early colonists and martyrs wished to be under the tutelage of a pioneer saint, of one crying in the wilderness of the “going before,” preceding the fuller and grander avatar of the nation.  It is a pretty idea; but much as we could wish to give the more poetical version, we think the other the more correct.  The feast of St John the Baptist was celebrated in Montreal by the society for the first time in 1834, the late Mr. Duvernay being credited with its paternity.  The society held an out-door fete in a garden, and we believe that after the melancholy manner of the times, it was celebrated by about three dozen and a half speeches.  On dit also, that on that memorable occasion a young student sung for the first time a song written by him at college, and entitled

O Canada, mon pays, mes amours

He was rather a clever young fellow, touched a little with Anglophobia.  Three years later a reward was offered for his head, and thirty-three years later he was elected a baronet of the United Kingdom by Queen Victoria.


Yesterday was the largest and the most brilliant ever seen in the city.  The programme was as follows:–

French and English flags

Scholars of the Christian brothers schools, four deep


Scholars of la Maitrise St Pierre

Grand banner of commerce

Societe des Commis-Marchands

Societe St Ignace

Societe St Michel des Saints

L’Union St Jacques

L’Union St Pierre

Societe St Antoine

Carpenters and Joiners

L’Union St Joseph

Congregation St Michel

Temperance society

Section St Joseph

Section St Jacques

Scholars of the Normal School

Scholars of St Mary’s College


Scholars of the Montreal College


Association St Joseph, by sections

The Literary Circle

L’Union Catholique

L”Institut Canadien

Sections de la Ville

The Chasseurs Canadiens


Detachment of the Hochelagas

The fourth and last detachment of Political Zouaves

Militia officers

The grand banner

The managing committee


The medical faculty

The secretaries and treasurers

The vice-presidents

The chaplains

The President of the St Jean Baptiste Society of Ottawa

The President

The President of the Canadian Pontifical Zouave Com.

St John the Baptist


The procession was under the guidance of a number of marshals on horseback and order was maintained by a detachment of city police.

In the ranks of the procession were to be noticed His Worship the mayor Mr. William Workman, Mr. George E Desbarats, the Queen’s Printer of Ottawa, and a multitude of prominent citizens.  Every French Canadian of any note walked in one or other of the societies forming part of the procession.  Among others was Alfred Larocque, the Canadian Papal Zouave, so sorely wounded in the fight at Mentana, now looking well and hearty, although with his arm in a sling, and bearing on his breast two medals and a cross, the mead of Canadian valor shown within sight of the walls of the city of the Caesars.  St John the Baptist himself was the attraction of the procession.  A little boy named Giroux, some 12 years old, pretty as a girl, with a lamb-skin draped around him, his limbs covered with gauze and wreathed with flowers, leaning on a shepherd’s crook, in a carriage drawn by four splendid gray horses, looking out of his round dark eyes upon the vast crowd above which he was slowly borne.  Such was the representation of Canada’s Patron Saint.  A child, that would grow to be a man, young yet even as our national existence, but capable in the days to come of achieving all that is possible.

            The number of people in the procession may be estimated at 4000, and in the streets at 12 000.  The procession formed at eight o’clock at the building of the Union St Joseph, St Catherine street, whence at 8:30 it defiled along St Catherine, St Lawrence Main, Craig, St Peter and Great St James street, to the Place d’Armes and


The church was decorated with all possible colour and richness.  Maple branches, their fresh green growing a little sickly, waved everywhere in the aisles; festoons of red, white and blue, with flags of every device, were hung overhead.  The church was crowded with worshippers, high over their heads as they knelt glittering the banners of the different societies.  Within the choir where the white-robed choristers, the officiating priests, in robes gorgeous and stiff with gold, and at the extremity the great altar, with its golden ornaments, its long tapers, its smoking censers of silver, its coloured lights, its crimson drapery.


Mr. Barbarin conducted the musical services with a choir of two hundred voices.  Haydn’s second mass was performed with an orchestral accompaniment.  At the offertory Lambillotte’s Justs est palma was sung by Messrs Maillet and Lamothe.  The great feature, however, of the music was the chimes, rung on a peal of ten bells, varying in weight from 500 to 5000 pounds and ranging from the ut to the second mi.  The chimes are rung from a keyboard, much the same as that of a piano, planned by Mr. JB Labelle, the well-known organist, and executed under the direction of Mr. Barbarin by Mr. Bougeault, architect.  The Carillon de Notre Dame is not new, by any means.  Its initial performance was on the occasion of its benediction on the 29th June, 1843, but since 1854 it has not been used.  On the eve of this festival it rung out the Angelus, and yesterday did good service.  Hundreds of feet aloft they tolled out “God Save the Queen,” joined by the grand organ, the immense congregation rising to their feet in loyal respect.  And when the service of Mass was over, and the long line of the procession was again filing from the church, merrily tolled out the good Canadian airs, A la Claire Fontaine, En roulant ma boule, and Vive la Canadienne.  The gayer national refrains were scattered down through the air and the sunshine upon the dwellers and the roofs of the city mingled with the familiar air of the graver National Anthem.

St Jean Baptiste Parade, Montreal, 1898

 Montreal Daily Star, 24 June 1898, page 6

St Jean Baptiste Celebration- the principal figure in the procession.

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