Christmas Meeting
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 15 Dec 1960, p. 153-155

Stark, Alexander, Speaker
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Item Type:
Christmas Meeting with The Hart House Glee Club.
Date of Original:
15 Dec 1960
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The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
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Full Text
Christmas Meeting with THE HART HOUSE GLEE CLUB
Thursday, December 15th, 1960
CHAIRMAN: The President, Alexander Stark, Q.C.

MR. STARK: May I extend a hearty welcome to all members of the Empire Club, and to their ladies, and to their friends, who have gathered here today to help us celebrate our annual Christmas Party. This is not a day for speeches. The Christmas Season is a time for feasting-and we have now done that-and a time for friendship and cordiality. Whether we are adults or not, it is a time for child-like thinking. It was Charles Dickens-and what better name to associate with Christmas than his?-who wrote: "It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its Mighty Founder was a child himself."

Christmas is a time also for music and for laughter. And so today, under the sponsorship of Joseph McCulley, Warden of Hart House, we are going to present to you the Hart House Glee Club. This club became officially known as the Hart House Glee Club in 1933, having grown out of a group known as "The Songsters", which had been formed many years earlier by the late Campbell McInnes. The first director of the Hart House Glee Club was Dr. Charles Peaker, followed by Mr. Ward McAdam. M. Rowland Pack, prominent Toronto musician, is currently directing the club for the third successive year.

The club has performed at various American universities and each year does a trans-Atlantic broadcast for the CBC at Christmas time. Members of the club include representatives from all Colleges and Faculties on the University of Toronto campus. I am now going to invite Mr. Joseph McCulley to present to you the Hart House Glee Club.

MR. McCULLEY: Mr. President, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is once again my privilege to introduce to you the Hart House Glee Club. This is a group of young men from the various colleges and faculties of the University of Toronto who come together regularly throughout the academic year because they love to sing.

The Club was directed for many years by Dr. Charles Peaker, subsequently by Mr. Ward McAdam, and the present Director is Mr. Rowland Pack. Over the years the Club has sung at innumerable campus affairs; it has travelled to various universities in the United States and sings regularly on a trans-Canada CBC broadcast during the Christmas season.

When I introduced the Club last year I quoted a comment on vocal music by the Elizabethn musician, William Byrd. At the risk of repetition, I quote again his final words:

There is not any Music of Instruments whatsoever, comparable to that which is made of the voices of Men, where the voices are good, and the same well sorted and ordered.

The better the voice is, the meeter it is to honour and serve God therewith; and the voice is chiefly to be employed to that end.

-Omnis Spiritus laudet Dominum
Since singing is so good a thing
I wish all men would learn to sing.

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, I now introduce to you the Hart House Glee Club.

The Hart House Glee Club presented a programme of Christmas music.

On behalf of the members present. Mr. Stark thanked the Glee Club.

MR. STARK: Our first order of business at this traditional family party of The Empire Club of Canada is to pay tribute to our immediate Past President, Mr. Harold Lawson. With his innate modesty, his skill and deftness of touch, with his inimitable humour, he presided at our meetings last season in a most efficient as well as a most charming way. He provided us with brilliant speakers and highly successful meetings.

For his services as President of The Empire Club 195960, we present to Harold Lawson this parchment signed by our Honorary President, and bearing this inscription: "The Empire Club of Canada acknowledges with grateful thanks the services of Harold Lawson, Esq., as President during the year 1959-60."

Mr. Lawson, I have great pleasure in presenting to you this illuminated scroll with our thanks for your outstanding contribution to The Empire Club of Canada.

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Christmas Meeting

Christmas Meeting with The Hart House Glee Club.