The Intelligencer June 4, 1918 (pages 1, 3)

“Veterans’ Day Great Success. Fine Weather, Big Crowds. King’s Birthday Celebration Fulfilled Every Expectation. Nature in her most kindly and glorious mood smiled on the Great War Veterans of Belleville in providing the finest kind of weather for the first serious effort at entertaining essayed by soldiers who have returned from active service overseas.

Old Sol in all his splendour, unmasked by threatening clouds, smiled down on a happy throng which gathered in Belleville from every part of the district to do honor to our gracious King on his birthday, and show due appreciation to the soldiers of the King, who cheerfully left their homes and crossed the sea, ready to suffer and to die if need be, that freedom should not perish from the earth and that the peaceful homes of Canada and the honor of womankind should be saved from the infamous domination of the Beast of Berlin.

The crowds came early and stayed late and from early morning all roads leading to Belleville were thronged with horse and horseless vehicles filled with many holiday-seekers, all possessed with but a single thought, to spend the day with the Great War Veterans of Belleville.

The business places and residences of the city were profusely decorated with flags and bunting, and the city never looked finer or more attractive to the thousands of visitors than on this memorable occasion.

The officers and members of the Association of Great War Veterans of Belleville, can feel justly proud in the success of the first celebration under the auspices of the organization held in this city. …

The celebration was formally opened with the big parade in the morning and the streets were crowded with spectators long before the advertised time for the procession to start. First came Mr. J. J. B. Flint as mounted marshal, followed by automobiles containing veterans of the present war whose disabilities prevented them from marching; then came the 15th Regimental Band playing martial music; next in order marched Belleville’s returned soldiers, led by Lieut. Col. E. D. O’Flynn. The veterans made a fine appearance notwithstanding the fact that many of them showed the effects of war in their physical appearance, although the spirit of determination which had carried them through much suffering and sacrifice, still burned as brightly as ever.

Gray-haired veterans of the Fenian Raid, Riel Rebellion and South African war marched with all the vigor and enthusiasm of the younger men, and in striking contrast were the soldiers of the future, the Cadets of the High and Public Schools who marched proudly and in perfect step behind the veterans of present and past wars.

Then came a float representing Canada, profusely decorated with maple leaves and carrying an emblematic beaver in front. Five young ladies, prettily and daintily costumed completed the picture. Next came Britannia, proudly seated upon a throne, the personification of freedom and the unquenchable spirit of liberty which knows no defeat. The float was prepared by the War Workers Association of West Belleville, and Mrs. E. T. Austin made an excellent Britannia.

A Greater Production float came next, showing young people working in the garden. The Kokomo Girls occupied a large open bus, and were as sweet and pretty as the play is musical. Tohneto Camp Girls in Indian costume made a very attractive float. The Red Cross float was tasty and appropriate. The Belleville Fire Brigade made a fine showing with their equipment shining like new, and following the fire teams came a long procession of gaily decorated automobiles led by Mayor Platt and city officials. …

In the early afternoon another parade was held to the Exhibition Grounds which were soon filled by a very large crowd. Very appropriately the celebration closed with a presentation of that charming musical comedy, ‘The Girl from Kokomo,’ at Griffin’s Theatre, which was crowded to capacity. …

Immediately after the noon meal people commenced to wend their way to the Agricultural Park and in a short time a stream of humanity was entering the gates. In addition to those on foot there were hundreds of automobiles, and not a few horse-driven vehicles. The crowd was without doubt one of the largest, if not the largest, that has ever gathered at the Park. This was apparent from the receipts which were in the vicinity of $3,900. It was estimated that upwards of 10,000 men, women and children were at one time within the enclosure. All were bent upon enjoying themselves, and evidently did so. An excellent and varied programme was provided and all entered with zest into the sports. …

At 2 o’clock the 15th Regimental Band, playing patriotic selections, came upon the ground, and in a few minutes thereafter the program was commenced. From the judge’s stand, after the crowd had assembled Lt. Col. E. D. O’Flynn on behalf of the Great War Veterans Association extended a hearty welcome to all present. All were pleased at the splendid patronage accorded the Association. The object of the demonstration was to provide means for procuring rest and recreation rooms for those who are fighting in Flanders when they come home again.

Mayor Platt spoke briefly extending on behalf of the citizens of Belleville a hearty welcome to all. He was especially delighted at the large gathering present to assist in the worthy object. All were proud of the Great War Veterans who have sacrificed so much. In years to come their deeds will be extolled. The heartiest welcome possible he would extend to all and hoped all would enjoy themselves.”

The Intelligencer June 4, 1918 (page 3)

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The Intelligencer June 4, 1918 (page 5)

“A Soldier’s Farewell. A very pleasant time was spent last evening by the members of the Y. P. S. C. E. of Emanuel Church, who entertained one of their number, Edwin Naylor, who expects to be called to the colors shortly. An address of appreciation was read to Mr. Naylor and he was presented with a Gillette safety razor. Several happy speeches were made.”

[Note: Y.P.S.C.E. = Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor.]