from the Weekly Guide June 25, 1897
The celebration of the 60th anniversary of the accession to the British throne of Queen Victoria has come and gone, but the event has been characterized in Port Hope by such an unprecedented demonstration as to give it life for many a day in the memories of both old and young in our pretty town. The proceedings of Tuesday, the gorgeous decorations, the proud mottoes, could not have attended an event of greater interest or more deserving honour.
THE PROCESSION TO THE METHODIST CHURCH.
A glorious occasion.
The Queen Honored by Hundreds of Citizens - An Excellent Address by Her. Dr. Crothers.
Over one thousand people Sunday afternoon gathered in the Methodist Church to praise and thank their God, whose will it had been to spare a Gracious Queen and Empress to reign over a vast domain for sixty years and with peace, prosperity and lasting good to her myriad subjects.
At 2:30 the members of the various societies in town — Sons of England, Oddfellows, Ancient, Independent and Canadian Foresters, Home Circle, A. 0. U. W., L. O. L., and others, to the number of about six hundred, foregathered at the drill shed for the purpose of marching in a body to attend service in the Methodist Church held under the auspices of the Sons of England. They were efficiently marshalled by Mr. H. White, Grand Master of L O. O. F., of Ontario, marching in twos by way of Queen, Walton and Brown streets to the church. The procession was the longest of its kind ever witnessed in Port Hope. When the advance had reached the juncture of Brown and Walton streets the rear had scarcely passed the post office, a distance of over a quarter of a mile. Arriving in the vicinity of the church the men countermarched, thus bringing the officers of the various societies, who had been stationed behind, to the front. Very few people, after this large body had been seated, could find room in the auditorium of the church. The galleries were filled with the teachers and children of the Sunday School and a fairer audience never assembled to do honor to a more auspicious occasion. Over one hundred people could not gain admittance to the church owing to the large number already assembled..
WALTON STREET, looking west from Cavan street.
The bright morning sun as it rose in the east, added glory to the scene and the hearts of a loyal population were filled with rejoicing. Surely Port Hope was the "prettiest town in Canada." The places of business throughout the town were richly clothed in evergreens, flags, bunting and Chinese lanterns, as were also the majority of residences. Decorations that cost hours of patient labour were plentiful. The humblest cottager on the most secluded street manifested his allegiance to Great Britain, and duly honoured this important occasion in its glorious history. Everybody sang that glad old refrain, "God Save The Queen". A look at the town from an elevated position showed a Union Jack floating from every point of vantage.
The program of the day opened with divine service in the Methodist Church conducted by the pastor of the Mill Street Presbyterian Church, Rev. Alex. Laird, who preached an able patriotic sermon from the text in Psalm LXXViii:2.5.
WALTON STREET, looking west from Queen street.
WALTON STREET, looking west from Ontario street.
WALTON STREET, looking east from Cavan street.
In the afternoon the children were largely to the fore. At the Central School many hundreds of them were arranged in procession three deep, he little tots to the fore with the Boys' Brigade, in command of Rev. Captain Dayfoot, forming an imposing and formidable looking guard of Honour. Behind these came the large scholars, boys and girls and a number of students from High School. Then followed, two deep, members of the various benevolent societies of the town to the number of about two hundred. The procession also included a conveyance in which were seated handsome maidens who, with their Queen were to participate in the grand old English Maypole dance. Their sweet faces and pretty dresses were, indeed, a feature of the parade. The children all carried miniature Union Jacks and waved them as only children can. As the cavalcade moved off headed by the 46th Regiment Band, the many people on the sidewalks saw a spectacle of their lifetime. By the way of Pine street, down Walton, up Mill and Ward to the park that triumphal gathering of about fifteen hundred happy subjects wended its way, a sight never to be forgotten. Certain it is that when the advance had reached the gates of the park, the rear had scarcely left Walton street, a distance of about a mile.
An evergreen arch had been erected over the park gate with a portrait of the Queen occupying a conspicuous place. As the procession passed through each male participant reverently raised his hat.
THE PROCESSION TO THE TOWN PARK.
Arriving at the park the children with their teachers marched to the summit of Port Hoe's natural grand mount and arranged themselves in order around the rostrum from which the speeches of the day were to be delivered. There must have been five or six thousand people present, and the sight was a pretty one.
At 3 o'clock Mayor Quinlan took the chair. In his introductory speech he said he had much pleasure in welcoming everyone to Port Hope who had come to join in honouring Her Most Gracious Majesty. He also expressed his great pride at the manner in which the citizens had displayed their loyalty in decorating the town and thereby giving it an appearance in keeping with the occasion.