100 Years Ago: Ontario Children to Sing National Anthem

Intelligencer October 30, 1915 (page 3)

“Children to Sing National Anthem. Must be Included in the Opening Exercises of Every Ontario School. Commencing soon after the issuance of the regulation, every morning at nine o’clock, from every class room the strains of the ‘National Anthem’ will rise, sung by childish voices. This regulation is to be issued by the Department of Education within a few days, and will take effect at an early date. It provides that the singing of the first three verses of the ‘National Anthem’ shall hereafter be a portion of the morning exercises of every school in the province.

‘It is purely a matter of stimulating patriotic sentiment in the minds of the children,’ said Hon. G. Howard Ferguson, acting Minister of Education, by way of explanation. ‘There is not too much of that sort of thing in our schools, and we thought this might help.’ “

By | October 30th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Khaki Club Formally Opened

The Intelligencer October 28, 1915 (page 3)

“Khaki Club Is Formally Opened. Comfortable Home in Belleville for Men of the 80th Battalion. Yesterday from four to ten the ‘Khaki Club,’ which has been formed for the non-commissioned officers and men of the 80th Battalion, by the Women’s Rifle Club, was auspiciously opened.

Many were in attendance and the whole affair was a pronounced success. There was a collection taken at the door, and the proceeds were exceedingly large. A splendid program was furnished, which consisted of solos …  and piano selections. All the selections were well sustained and were pleasing to those present. The ladies of the Club served refreshments in the canteen, which were much enjoyed by all present. …

That the men of the battalion will have a comfortable club is evident by the magnificent way in which the ladies have furnished and fitted up the building. The furnishings have been mostly donated and a few things have been bought by the ladies. This club is purely for non-commissioned officers and men, no commissioned officers or outsiders being allowed in. It consists of a dry canteen, lounge rooms, music rooms, sitting and recreation room with a piano, reading and smoking room, room for the officer of the day, and other rooms for various purposes. A bath-room is provided with hot and cold water. There is a kitchen, which will be in charge of a sergeant, where lunches and soft drinks will be served.

The Club will be administered by the battalion itself, which will look after the supplies. The profits that are derived from the various sources will go into the Regimental Fund. There is a library and any papers or books will be gladly received. Khaki clubs have been kept in connection with the battalions in Ottawa and Kingston and have been pronounced successes, and by all appearances this one will be a success too.”

By | October 28th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years: British Red Cross Appeal, Rainbow Club Boxes Packed, Theatre Recruiting Speeches

The Intelligencer October 27, 1915 (page 1)

“Belleville’s Appeal for British Red Cross. Some Mothers Offer Their Sons to the Empire. Some Wives Give Their Husbands—Some Children Their Fathers—Many Men Their Lives. YOU ARE ASKED FOR MONEY. When You Get Your Envelope Tomorrow Make a Generous Contribution and Have it Ready for SATURDAY.

You are asked, therefore, in humanity’s name, to give as liberally as you possibly can to the fund. We cannot all go to the firing line. But the least we can do is to help those who do—those who are fighting for us. Give on. The Empire expects every man, woman and child to give something. Give a day’s pay. Don’t let some stricken hero languish in his pain and illness for the sake of that dollar you can maybe well spare.”

The Intelligencer October 27, 1915 (page 1)

“Gifts for Belleville Boys. For some days past there has been considerable activity displayed at the quarters of the Belleville Women’s Patriotic and Red Cross Association rooms in the Robertson Block, west side of Front street. A number of the ladies who are active members of the Association have been busily engaged in filling boxes with necessaries and luxuries for the Belleville boys who are at the front.

Recently under the auspices of the circles of the Rainbow Club, a shower was held at the armouries here and the contributions of luxuries, etc., was most gratifying. These donations were collected and were placed in boxes to be forwarded to the boys. The boxes packed were numerous, some hundreds in number and contained the following articles:—Potted meats, jam, chocolates, smoking and chewing tobacco, chewing gum, cigarettes, oxo, confectionery, pipes, cards, fruit cake, mouth organs, pencils and writing material, hickory nuts.

These small boxes were labelled as follows: ‘Belleville Women’s Patriotic and Red Cross Association, Rainbow Club. They have been carefully packed for shipment in larger boxes. At the top of each box was placed a maple leaf tinged with the autumn frost, which were collected about the city and after being pressed, were waxed. This will no doubt be a memento from the city which our boys will appreciate very much.

The work of preparing the boxes has been an arduous one, but at the same time a labor of love. Mrs. (Col.) Lazier as President of the Red Cross Association, has been most active in the work and has been surrounded by a noble band of lady workers, who are intensely interested in looking after the comfort of the Belleville boys who are at the front.”

The Intelligencer October 27, 1915 (page 7)

“Recruiting. Short Addresses Last Night in the Belleville Theatres. Mr. E. Guss Porter, K.C., M.P., opened the campaign to stimulate recruiting by addressing the audience at Griffin’s theatre last evening in a ten minutes’ speech. The audience welcomed his appeal and punctuated his remarks with applause. Griffin’s Theatre was patronized by a good attendance to see their interesting movies.

The effort of Mr. Porter was seconded by Mr. J.F. Wills, K.C., at the Palace Theatre, where there was a large attendance to see the play ‘David Copperfield’. His remarks were listened to with attention and applauded.

The theatres have placed their houses with their usual courtesy freely at the disposal of the Patriotic Speakers League to do their ‘bit’ in assisting as good British citizens the efforts being put forth to bring the large number of young men available in our midst to enlist in the one cause which absorbs all our efforts—our great war.”

By | October 27th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Belleville to Raise $10,000 for British Red Cross

The Intelligencer October 26, 1915 (page 1)

“Belleville to Raise $10,000 for Red Cross. Sum to be Raised by Issuing Debentures—Canvass of City so All will Have Opportunity of Subscribing to This Worthy Object. In response to the call of Mayor Panter for a public meeting to organize a campaign for the British Red Cross fund a number of influential citizens gathered last evening in the Council Chamber. …

The question was should a levy be made on the city finances or a campaign to raise money be inaugurated? …  Ald. Wallbridge suggested that it would be a good idea to make a levy on the taxes, and a canvass of the city could also be made, as there were many who are not taxpayers, especially the young men, who should assist in this matter. …  The following motion was then unanimously concurred in by all present, on the motion of Mr. Deacon:—’That the City Council raise by debentures the sum of $5,000 for the British Red Cross Society.’

A special committee composed of the Executive Committee of the Council …  was appointed to arrange details as to the plan of campaign of canvassing the city. …  The meeting then adjourned and a special meeting of the Committee was held. …

After some discussion it was decided that envelopes be printed, setting forth the object of the appeal and that the same be distributed in every business place and house in the city on Thursday afternoon of this week by boys who are members of the cadet corps in the Public and Separate schools of the city. The envelopes will be collected on Saturday afternoon by the boy cadets who left them at the houses and returned to the city building.”

By | October 26th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Canadian Casualties, Recruiting, Memorial Service for Cecil Bowyer

The Intelligencer October 25, 1915 (page 1)

“Canadian Losses Number 15,187. 94 Officers, 1,635 Men Were Killed in Action. The Canadian losses in the war up to October 16th total 15,187, made up of 677 officers and 14,510 men. …

The official figures are:—Killed in action—Officers, 94; Men, 1,635. Died of wounds—Officers, 25; Men, 654. Died of illness—Officers, 6; Men, 172. Accidentally killed—Officers, 2; Men, 38. Prisoners of war—Officers, 56; Men, 1,251. Missing—Officers, 31; Men, 1,140. Wounded and sick—Officers, 467; Men, 9,660.”

The Intelligencer October 25, 1915 (page 7)

“Recruiting. Your King and Country Need You More Than Ever. A well-attended meeting of the Executive of the Speakers’ Patriotic League and representatives of the Ward Committees was held on Saturday evening at the armouries.

The Griffin House and the Palace Theatre having offered to allow a speaker each evening to address the audience at their respective entertainments on recruiting, a motion was passed unanimously accepting these kind offers and expressing thanks for same. A relay of speakers will be provided by the League, so as to have one for each evening at such performances. The speeches will be from five to ten minutes. …

The Griffin Opera House have also kindly offered to give the use of the Opera House for a recruiting meeting on Sunday evening, the 31 of October, at 8 p.m. when the band have kindly consented to be present. The Opera House should be filled to the last seat on the occasion. It was decided to hold the meeting to be addressed by Rt. Hon. Sir R.L. Borden and others at a date to be selected later.”

The Intelligencer October 25, 1915 (page 7)

“Memorial Service for The Late Cecil Boyer. One of Belleville’s Boys, who Laid Down His Life in France. At Christ Church yesterday morning, a memorial service for the late Cecil Bowyer, who was killed on the battlefield in France, was conducted by the Rev. Dr. Blagrave. A large congregation was present and the sympathetic way in which the rector spoke of the deceased was enough to touch the heart of any loyal Canadian. …

With regard to the young man whose life has been laid down, to whose memory we are holding services today: The late Cecil Bowyer was in church and Sunday School a conscientious worker, and his answer to his country’s call was a righteous and a noble answer. This is the high price he has paid and the country paid, and the higher the price is paid the higher the return will be. Thousands of noble lads have gone, and where their lives have gone there is a bit of Britain. No more noble a death could a man hope for in this world than to lay down his life for his friends.”

By | October 25th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Quinte I.O.D.E. Hold Tea for British Red Cross

The Intelligencer October 22, 1915 (page 2)

“The Quinte Chapter Daughters of Empire. The Quinte Chapter, Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, gave a tea in the Tea-Room in the Hotel Quinte yesterday afternoon, which proved to be an enormous success, the proceeds amounting to $200.00. The Regent, Mrs. E. Guss Porter, received, assisted by Mrs. Henry Corby, Second Vice Regent.

The Tea-Room was decorated with branches of maple leaves in autumn shades. On the tea-table was a miniature ship, and the young ladies who served refreshments wore middies with black ties, in honor of Nelson. Those who so kindly assisted with the musical programme were Miss Dorothy Grant and Miss Jean Caldwell, who both sang very sweetly. Mr. Mouck very appropriately sang ‘The Death of Nelson,’ and Miss Phyllis Bogart, Mr. Mac. Waters and Mr. Kenneth Ross played piano solos. A pretty crocheted basket was raffled, Miss Jean Caldwell drawing the lucky number.

The tea was given in response to a special appeal on behalf of the British Red Cross Society, and the ladies of the Chapter feel very grateful to all who attended the tea and contributed so liberally; they especially wish to thank Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins for the use of the beautiful Tea-Room.”

By | October 22nd, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

Bay of Quinte bridges

With work beginning on the Bay Bridge Road construction project last week, in this post we take a look at former projects relating to the bridges across the Bay of Quinte between Hastings and Prince Edward counties.

Bridge over the Bay of QuinteNick and Helma Mika’s 1982 book Bridge on the Bay of Quinte is a good source of information on the history of the Bay crossings, from the horse-powered ferries of the early nineteenth century to the first bridge, which was opened in 1891.

This bridge was described in The Belleville Daily Sun of May 31st, 1895 as

one of the engineering and mechanical triumphs of the age…It is the longest highway bridge in Canada, and the longest bridge of any sort in the Province of Ontario.

This photograph, taken from the Rossmore side of the Bay in 1910 shows the swing bridge part in action:

Bay Bridge in 1910

Bay Bridge in 1910: CABHC HC00355

The first bridge was a toll bridge until 1920, when the Province of Ontario, the City of Belleville and the County of Prince Edward paid $85,000 to purchase the bridge from the owners, the Belleville Prince Edward Bridge Company. In the winter of 1927-28 the steel trusses of the bridge were replaced with a rock causeway, with the exception of the swing section near Rossmore and a channel toward the Belleville end.

This photograph from The Intelligencer negatives held at the Community Archives shows the old bridge in 1982, looking down at it from its replacement when it was under construction:

New and old bridges, July 23rd, 1982. Photo by Sue Capon for The Intelligencer

New and old bridges, July 23rd, 1982. Photo by Sue Capon for The Intelligencer

The Norris Whitney bridge officially opened on December 4th, 1982. The remaining metal parts of the former bridge were dismantled in March 1983 and today only the overgrown causeways remain as a reminder of the location of the first bridges across the Bay.


Research by Lois Foster

By | October 20th, 2015|News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Belleville Council Supports British Red Cross, Ad for British Red Cross Campaign

The Intelligencer October 20, 1915 (page 2)

“The Special Appeal For Red Cross. In response to the appeal by the British Red Cross Society, Belleville City Council has arranged to have subscription lists placed in convenient and prominent positions throughout the city. The citizens who desire to contribute to this worthy object in response to the urgent appeal made through the press, will have an opportunity to do so to-morrow, October 21st, and following days.

The City Council has headed the list with a donation of 300, and the members of the Council have each put down their names for a subscription. The city clerk has consented to receive and forward the money. It is suggested to save time, that money be left when lists are signed. Lists will be found (by permission) at the following places: City Clerk’s Office, Montreal Bank, Merchants’ Bank, Standard Bank, Dominion Bank, Bank of Commerce, Union Bank, Post Office, Station Post Office, Intelligencer Office, Ontario Office.”

The Intelligencer October 20, 1915 (page 4)

British Red Cross advertisement“help! The British Red Cross is sending to you and to the citizens of the Empire the appeal of our sick and wounded sailors and soldiers for assistance. The demands upon the Red Cross funds have been tremendous—sick and wounded sailors and soldiers are being cared for by thousands and tens of thousands. Canadians, too, are succored in common with heroes from every British possession. More money is needed—urgently and at once to provide medicines, hospital supplies and appliances of all kinds. ‘OUR DAY’ For Soldiers and Sailors Oct. 21.”


By | October 20th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: Bancroft Gives Machine Gun, Ad for Ladies’ Military Boots

The Intelligencer October 19, 1915 (page 1)

“Bancroft Gives a Gun. Bancroft.—(Special)—the goal for which the patriotic citizens of this part of North Hastings have been striving has been reached. The machine gun fund has been swelled to the grand total of $1,026.25. A request will be made that a plate be placed on the gun to show where it came from.”

Ladies Military Boots advertisementThe Intelligencer October 19, 1915 (page 3)

“Ladies’ Military Boots. Black Cloth Tops—Patent Leather Vamps and Heel Foxing—Neat Military heel just like Cut—All Sizes Laced and Buttoned. Priced at $2.50. You should see them. The J.J. Haines Shoe Houses. Belleville, Napanee, Trenton, Smith’s Falls.”

By | October 19th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments

100 Years Ago: British Red Cross Society Campaign Ad

The Intelligencer October 18, 1915 (page 4)

Help our Stricken Heroes - British Red Cross Society“help! Our Stricken Heroes Are Calling To YOU—They Must Not Ask In Vain—GIVE! FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, the Motherland has asked her Daughter Colonies for aid for her Red Cross work. Wounded men in the hundreds of thousands, from every part of the Empire, including Canadians, are being cared for by the British Red Cross Society. The strain on their funds is enormous—so much so that they are in danger of exhaustion. …  Ontario Has Promised to Raise $500,000. …’OUR DAY’ For Sailors and Soldiers. Thursday, October 21st.”

By | October 18th, 2015|Intelligencer WW1 Local News|0 Comments