- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 13 Feb 1930, p. 48-65
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- Various speakers spoke in honour of, and about, The Right Honourable Sir William Mulock. They spoke in the following order: His Honour, The Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario; The Honourable G. Howard Ferguson, Prime Minister of Ontario; The Honourable Mr. Justice Hodgins, representing the Bench of Ontario; Mr. Hugh Eayrs, immediate Past President of The Empire Club of Canada read a letter from Sir Robert Falconer; The Honourable Dr. H.J. Cody, representing the Soldiers' Rehabilitation Association; The Honourable N.W. Rowell, representing the Benchers and Bar of Ontario. Sir William Mulock then replied, addressing the topic of the Great War.
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- 13 Feb 1930
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- A COMPLIMENTARY LUNCHEON
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR WILLIAM MULOCK P.C., K.C.M.G., K.C., M.A., LL.D.
Chief justice of Ontario, Chancellor of the University of Toronto
13th February, 1930.
The President, MR. JOHN D. SPENCE, introduced the various speakers. In addressing the guest of the Club, he said:
Sir William,--The Empire Club is happy in being, for the moment, the means by which the affection of your fellow-citizens for you is enabled to declare itself. Let me assure you that we have not created, or manufactured, or fomented this demonstration. The kindly feeling for you, which is so general, was seeking a way of expression. It was like a day in the old sugar maple bush in early spring, when the sun was shining, the wind right, and the sap pressing and surging upward in every tree. It needed only to be tapped. "Sap's runnin'," Sir William, and the Empire Club is only the spout!
When we followed a natural impulse and asked you to be our guest at this luncheon, we found that there were many who wished to have a part in this pleasant enterprise. And so we are honoured by the presence of the Lieutenant-Governor, representing His Majesty, whom you have served with distinction in many different capacities. The Prime Minister of Canada would have been here, had not his official duties prevented, to represent in person the Dominion Government in which you were formerly an outstanding figure. He has sent this telegram:
Ottawa, Ont., February 13, 1930.
My colleagues in the Government of Canada desire to join with me in requesting that our very cordial greetings be extended to the Right Honourable Sir William Mulock, Chief Justice of Ontario, at the complimentary luncheon being tendered Sir William by the Empire Club at the Royal York Hotel today. We share the delight of Sir William's many friends in all parts of the Dominion at the honour being accorded by his fellow-citizens to one whose years of service and whose many-sided activities in the public life of Canada have not been surpassed in its history. We join with all who may be present at today's luncheon in expressing the hope that a kind Providence may continue to bless and protect Sir William's remaining years.
(Signed) W. L. MACKENZIE KING,
The Prime Minister of Ontario is here with his colleagues to present their own greetings and those of the Government of your native province. His Worship the Mayor is here, and practically the whole of the City Council. We are specially honoured in having with us the Minister Plenipotentiary of Japan in Canada. Your brother Judges are here--as many of them as are not prevented by illness, or by their official duties.
The bar is very largely represented, and we are delighted to have with us the Attorneys-General, or high officials representing the Attorneys-General, of nearly every province of Canada. The Dean and the teaching staff of the Osgoode Hall Law School are here. The great University of Toronto, of which you are Chancellor, was to have been represented by its president. Unfortunately, Sir Robert is ill, but his message is here and will be read. The University, however, is also represented by the Chairman of the Board of Governors, and very many from the governing bodies, the staff and your fellow graduates. The Lord Bishop of Toronto is here with many other distinguished clergymen. The Board of Trade of the city has sent a very large delegation of its officers, past presidents and members. The Bankers' Association is here in force. And we may say with confidence that in this great audience every phase and section of the community life of the city and the province finds a place.
When we remember, Sir, that it was in the year 1873 that you were first elected to the Senate of the University, that you became its Vice-Chancellor in 1881, that you were elected to the Parliament of Canada in 1882, that you became a Minister of the Crown in 1896, were appointed to the Bench in 1905, became Chief Justice of the Province in 1923, and Chancellor of the University in 1924, we realize how long your youth has been-and how full of interest! In very many spheres of action, educational, political, judicial, financial, social, charitable, you have played a man's part. Inevitably, in so active a career, there was at times conflict--sometimes misunderstanding, sometimes antagonism. Stout blows were given and received.
But the tumult and the shouting dies. Your adversaries are become your friends and the clash of tongues has softened to kindly reminiscence. We are fortunate in that you are still employed in public service of the highest order: long may our good fortune continue! We offer you, Sir, our respect and our affection, paying in these a merited tribute to one who has deserved well of his country and who still spends himself willingly for her good.
"Nor can the snow that age can shed
Upon thy reverend head
Quench or allay the noble fire within
But all that youth can be, thou art."
His HONOUR, THE LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR OF ONTARIO, said: One of the many pleasant things--I may say one of the most pleasant things--about being Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario is the opportunity it has given me to know Sir William Mulock better. To admire him afar off, as everybody does, is all very good but not nearly so good as to talk with him and learn from him, and know him as a great companion. A man of action, he has also been an observer and has winnowed events as they came and went so that his mind is a storehouse of wisdom. From that store he distributes choice bits from time to time, deliciously spiced with wit-to the education and delight of those who hear. Sir William is frequently spoken of as a young man. I think of him rather as one who has been enriched and mellowed by time, like rare old wine. Unlike a sapling that is swayed by every passing breeze, Sir William is like a great oak tree under whose branches men may rest and renew their strength. Such men are invaluable, even indispensable. I feel that we should greet him as they did the kings of old--"O, Sir William, live forever!" (Applause).
THE HON. G. HOWARD FERGUSON, Prime Minister of Ontario, speaking on behalf not only of the Government but of the people of the Province, said he was especially grateful to the Club for the opportunity of voicing his very warm and deep personal affection for the guest of the day. While it was appropriate to pay tribute to all our public men, it was especially proper to pay deference to Sir William himself. He has had a great career. My wife sometimes tells me he is an example to be emulated. (Applause.) There are some things in which I would like to emulate him, but I would not like to make that statement too broad--(Laughter)--because I have a special opportunity in a very personal way of knowing him, and I have studied his career and all the vagaries of his conduct and his views. (Laughter.) Perhaps not all of us remember when he was first elected to Parliament in 1882 or 1883. He served his country for 23 years. I should say he was elected as a Liberal--perhaps some of you do not know that. (Laughter.) But during that active public career Sir William achieved things that have had a lasting effect for the great good and advantage of this country. Through his influence and activity, and his strength of view, was established the Penny Post. (Applause.) That of itself is a lasting monument to his great public service. He was also responsible for the laying of the cable between Canada and Australasia--(Applause)--which is another milestone in the marvellous progress of this country. He has always been keenly interested in educational affairs, and after serving as Vice-Chancellor he is now and has been for five years the very efficient and dominating Chancellor of the great University of Toronto. (Laughter and applause.) I say that advisedly, because a part of my duty is to revise the estimates, and have something to do with the management of the University, and I sometimes wonder if I have anything to do with it at all! (Laughter.) In many activities Sir William has been amongst the leaders. During the serious period of the Great War he gave his whole time and his great organizing ability to patriotic work, and is today engaged in the wonderful work of taking care of unfortunate maimed soldiers. I think no single person in Canada has over so long a period unselfishly devoted so much time to the betterment of the conditions of the soldier as has our honoured guest. (Applause.) In fact, Sir William manages everything that he comes in contact with-due to his Irish descent, I suppose. (Laughter.) He manages the Courts of the Province. (Hear, hear.) The judges testify to me that they feel his presence and his influence continuously. As I say, he manages the University, and he very subtly manages two governments--the Dominion and the Provincial. (Laughter.) He and I have always been in accord--(Laughter)--because I have always agreed with him. He fills the distinguished position of Administrator of the Province when His Honour goes fishing, or something else. Then is the time when I have my difficult period, because Sir William wants to know why we spent $30 on an advertising pamphlet for Herb. Lennox's picnic in North York. (Great laughter.) He wants to know where every single sixpence of the heavilyburdened taxpayer's money has gone. He is certainly efficient in that respect. I am glad to bear testimony to another feature of Sir William-his sympathetic, kindly attitude towards those in need. (Applause.) In my position I have an opportunity of learning of that very frequently. Just a few moments ago there came to Sir William here a present from a widow for whose husband he had a very kindly feeling; she took this way of showing her very deep sense of gratitude and affection for Sir William's attitude in respect of some of her husband's activities. With it came this most interesting little poem:
Just to know some kind of folks Makes life a lot more sweet; And when we wish them happiness Our joys are more complete. Just to send you greetings Adds to my gladness too, Because I'm thinking of the kind That's very much like you. (Applause.)
After all, the things that count in life are the humanities. No man within my acquaintance has a larger heart or a greater element of human sympathy in his make-up than has my warm personal friend, Sir William Mulock, whom I am delighted to honour today, for whom I have the warmest and deepest affection. (Applause.)
THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE HODGINS, representing the Bench of Ontario, said: I realize my difficulties in speaking in competition with those persuasive orators who preceded or follow me. However, I am only an ad hoc Judge who, being called in to a court to which he does not belong, is, if he dissents from the finding, dismissed with maledictions. But I can tell something that perhaps the others did not know, and that was part of the secret which has given Sir William his long life. I happened to be in Osgoode Hall looking at a book which had been sent to Sir William by some relative in Ireland, and in turning over the pages which gave an account of the Mulock family I noticed that the age of the elders of the family, going back for some generations, was very great, and I said to Sir William, "I notice that in Ireland your forebears have lived to a good ripe old age." And he said to me, "Yes, but you must not be surprised, because there is a saying over where we came from that you cannot kill a Mulock except with an axe." (Laughter.) I think we can tell Sir William today that in Canada we only kill them by kindness. The kindliness of this gathering has appealed to me more than I can say. If we listen to the Parliamentary debates and read the papers we must realize that we say very few kind things about our public men, and the language we seem to have learned is that of harshness. Sir William has had a very long and very interesting career, stormy at times, but always active, and he has always been in the front rank. It must therefore be a very great pleasure to him, when his career has settled down into a little more quietude, to find that his fellow-citizens regard him now with affection and pride. (Applause.) As an old war-horse he must be very grateful to look around on this assembly and think that he has the goodwill of all. (Hear, hear.) Perhaps I should withdraw the word "old", and substitute the word "young" but that he has been a war-horse there is no doubt. He' has had three very interesting epochs in his career. Politically he has fought his way through, and has seen the flames abate and die down. I believe there is a little flickering, however, to be discerned in the third generation. (Laughter.) Then in his second epoch he has fought successfully the differences, possibly even the animosities, of the denominational educational colleges, and has accomplished complete federation of them all in the University of Toronto--(Applause)--and he has seen the flames there die down and be extinguished, although candour compels me to say that apparently somebody recently has been trying to rake up some of the embers. After the career Sir William has had, we of the Bench desire to say to you that in the third epoch, which has now lasted for about twenty-five years, he has enjoyed-perhaps, according to some, I had better say endured-the office of a judge for that length of time. Some judges call it isolation, and one very eminent judge spoke of that position as involving ostracism. Well, in that respect, as in a great many others, Sir William's career is a lesson to us all, so to conduct ourselves, no matter with what difficulties we may be surrounded and what scenes we have to pass through, that towards the maturity of life we may have the friendship and respect of all. On behalf of the Bench, Mr. Chairman, I desire to thank you for this very kindly expression of affection and respect to the Chief whom we all delight to honour. I thank you also for enabling the Bench to be present; in fact every judge who is in town, with one exception, is with us today. I also thank you not only for the pleasure of participation, but for the welcome hospitality that you have offered us today. (Applause.)
MR. HUGH EAYRS, immediate Past President of the Club, read a letter from Sir Robert Falconer, as follows:
University of Toronto,
February 13, 1930.
Dear Mr. President:
"In order to guard against the development of a slight cold, by doctor's orders I am not allowed to attend the luncheon to be given by the Empire Club in honour of Sir William Mulock. I need not say that this is a great disappointment to me. I should have liked very much to be able to say something as to the great work which over many years Sir William has accomplished for the University of Toronto. This I am in a position to do as few others, because I have been able to see its results in my intimate association with the University in all its phases for now nearly twenty-three years.
It is remarkable to think that today we are honouring one as Chancellor of the University of Toronto who remembers the days in which at the time of his matriculation all the flooring had not been laid in the present University College, often called the main building. It is a great span of life, and throughout its course many and great have been the developments of the University, and in the most important of them Sir William has played a leading part.
It is known to all university men that he was one of the most effective leaders in the bringing about of the federation of the colleges. Few, however, know the obstacles which he overcame in the process. Few also there are who realize that the consummation of the federation of the colleges as it now exists in the University of Toronto has been perhaps the greatest piece of constructive statesmanship in the academic world of Canada. This is the most unique contribution that we have so far made to university organization on this continent. It would have been a pleasure for me to testify in person to the success with which I have seen during my tenure of office the working of this system. Instead of divided and controversially-minded institutions we have a group of colleges working together in harmonious relations, realising each its own individuality and yet each contributing to the welfare of the University as a whole.
I might speak further of the interest that Sir William has taken in other faculties of the University, but my letter is already too long; suffice it to say, that in his advice both at the meetings of the Board of Governors and to myself he has again and again urged that conciliation and the endeavour to meet the various views presented by different interests in the university are of the essence of good government. I wish herewith to present my profound respects to the Chancellor of the University of Toronto.
R. A. FALCONER,
THE HONOURABLE DR. H. J. CODY, representing the Soldiers' Rehabilitation Association, said that about forty years ago, the Chairman Mr. Spence, the Prime Minister and himself had received their degrees as Bachelors of Arts in the University of Toronto at the hands of Sir William, then Vice-Chancellor. (Applause.) It was a happy coincidence that these three should be allowed today to present to him their tribute of respect and pride--for Sir William had become a great civic and national institution in Canada--(Applause-)-and of positive and real affection. Speaking as a citizen of Toronto and of the Province, he ventured to present this tribute of affection, pride and respect to Sir William, whose way of life had not "fallen upon the sere and yellow leaf," but who had in abundance "that which should accompany old agehonour, love, obedience, troops of friends." (Applause.) In troops they had met today to offer him their best wishes and tell him, while still among them-as, please God, he would be for many a day-how much they thought of him and how deeply grateful to him all citizens of Canada are. (Hear, hear.) Surely a man lives in proportion to the number of his interests; and he did not know any man in Canada who had more undertakings and interests than Sir William. It was one of the secrets of his perennial youth, that he was not isolated from the currents of life, but was in the very midst of them. Above all his heart had been kept tender by the performance of innumerable, even if unremembered, "acts of kindness and love". Look back in imagination to his boyhood days in Newmarket, when he was his mother's right hand, and the actual head of the family. In those years of hard and simple living and high thinking he made his way through the University of Toronto. Later he made his contribution to one of the most difficult and delicate academic problems in the world, the securing of the combination of unity and diversity in the University of Toronto, by a method of Federation, an absolutely unique contribution, as Sir Robert Falconer had said, to the whole world of letters. Those negotiations which preceded University Federation required infinite patience and conciliation in bringing together elements whose contacts might develop into frictions; and to Sir William particularly was due the brilliant and exemplary solution. It was no wonder that, at any convocation of the University as a whole, or of any constituent part of it, Sir William was greeted with acclaim and enthusiasm. (Applause.) He had also made that splendid contribution to Imperial unity, the Imperial Penny Post. He was of Irish stock and Canadian birth and upbringing, with British and Imperial outlook. Where could a finer combination be found? (Applause.) Today his interests were as keen as ever in building up Canada, and through Canada the Empire, and in thus ministering to the better life of humanity. Sir William is today a constant reader, a diligent student, and as keenly interested in world affairs as he was in years gone by. Thus he keeps young. In the days of the War he was at the head of the Toronto and York Patriotic Fund, and though he had splendid colleagues he was the centre in service, in gifts and in interest. He is still hard at work serving the soldiers who are now bearing the mark of their sacrifice. Two years ago was organized the Soldiers' Rehabilitation Association, to carry on, systematize and develop the work of caring for the men who were still suffering and whose dependents were suffering through the War. With one accord business men of this city and the Government alike had turned to Sir William and asked him to assume the Presidency of that organization, and with all his old-time and abiding enthusiasm he had accepted the burden and was rendering the service. (Applause.) He thought that Sir William, towards the end of his earthly journey, would remember with most satisfaction the public and private services he had been able to render in his day and generation, and among these the simple acts of personal sympathy and kindness that touched the heart. One of these incidents might be mentioned. The last time Sir William ran in North York as a candidate for Parliament his opponent was Francis James Roche, who was long afterward stricken with a fatal illness. He lay almost alone, and to some extent forgotten, in a room in the Toronto General Hospital. Who was it that visited him regularly and gave him the comfort of his presence and sympathy? It was his old political antagonist, the Chief Justice of the Province. (Applause.) The speaker liked to think of Sir William in church, reverently joining in public worship, singing with heart and voice the old hymns to the old tunes. The wise man in the Book of Proverbs had said, "The hoary head is a crown of glory if it be found in the way of righteousness", that is, in the way of service, in the way of kindness. Sir William had that crown of glory. May the good Lord give him at his evening timeand may it be long-the light that will shine more and more unto the perfect day. (Loud applause.)
THE HONOURABLE N. W. ROWELL, representing the Benchers and Bar of Ontario, said that for more than twenty-five years Sir William had practised at the Bar, and for almost twenty-five years had held a distinguished position on the Bench, and in both capacities he had enjoyed the full confidence and high regard of the legal profession. Probably the best test of a man's character and worth is the position he holds in his own profession. He remembered Sir William when he was elected to the House of Commons in 1882, and had followed his career with great interest, and with more enthusiasm, he was sure, than had the Prime Minister of this Province. (Laughter and applause.) He had been greatly struck with the wisdom Sir William had displayed during his public career in Parliament. In reference to the Bench, all recognized that to his judicial duties Sir William had brought great and varied ability. In addition to his fine qualities of mind and heart he had brought untiring industry and a high sense of duty. Indeed, he knew of no man, in this Province or elsewhere, who had served with a higher sense of duty than had the distinguished guest of the day. (Applause.) His great patience in presiding on the Bench was also to be noted. When a member of the Bar is elevated to the Bench his fellow members sometimes think he forgets to practise some of the patience he had learned at the Bar--(Laughter); but tribute should be paid to Sir William on the great patience he showed with members of the Bar in their endeavours to present their cases to the Court. Today he held a unique and commanding place in the hearts and affections of the Benchers and Bar of Ontario, and the speaker brought from the entire profession a tribute of their high regard, sincere admiration and deep affection. (Loud applause.)
SIR WILLIAM MULOCK, on rising to reply, was greeted by the audience rising and giving three cheers and a tiger. He said: Mr. President, Your Honour, Mr. Prime Minister, Doctor Cody, I am overwhelmed by your manifestations of affectionate regard -toward myself, whilst the generous, too generous utterances of previous speakers, the action of the Empire Club of Canada in honouring me with this luncheon, the gracious presence of so many friends, so many distinguished citizens, your generous cheers, welcome cheers still ringing in my, ears-have awakened such emotions in my heart that it is impossible for me to find words in which adequately to express my grateful appreciation of such touching acts of kindness. For your peace of mind let me assure you that you are not to be afflicted with a lengthy address but only with the expression of a few scattered thoughts-chiefly those growing out of the Great War.
During many years preceding its outbreak, the discoveries of science had promoted world-wide material prosperity to a degree never before experienced in the World's history. With equal step civilization had advanced, and the civilized world, relying as it was entitled to do upon the principles of Christianity, was caught off its guard when in 1914 a world robbery was attempted. With such an experience the peace of the World demands eternal vigilance in preventing the rulers of nations again forgetting that nations, like individuals, must be governed by what is just in the sight of God, and that the nation which in contravention of that principle makes aggressive war upon another is a criminal and an outlaw nation.
People are accustomed to regard the Peace of Versailles as a victorious peace for the Allies. Was it? Is it? True we have peace for the moment, but is it a mere truce, as has been almost every peace, or has the spirit of war been so eliminated from the hearts of nations that national conscience--not passion--shall hereafter determine international conduct? If it has not, much remains to be done before the World is to enjoy real peace. It is too much to hope that the spirit of war will ever wholly disappear, but the World seems at last to have learned at least two lessons from the Great War, one being that every nation participating in a war is a loser, the other that international goodwill is the surest foundation for peace. (Hear, hear.)
Canada, with its happy relations with the United States, needs no evidence in support of the soundness of this view. Here in our City we too have evidence that the spirit of strife cannot live alongside that of goodwill.
Every year there come to the University of Toronto some five thousand young men and women of different creeds, races and views-all the materials for bitter quarrels and strife, but associating together in their common studies, sports and amusements, the spirit of goodwill and toleration enters their souls and expels the spirit of ill-will-they don't, they cannot, quarrel with each other; and each one on returning home radiates the spirit of toleration and goodwill among his neighbours.
What has been the result among the people of Ontario? Paraphrasing the saying of Dean Swift: Whereas at one time each of us had about enough religion to enable him to hate those of other religions, now in Ontario the spirit of goodwill causes us to respect those of other beliefs. Tenacious of our own views, we are tolerant of those of others, and have become a people conscientiously united for the promotion of the common good. (Applause.)
Throughout the War, Canada played a nation's part, made her sacrifices, but we are not forgetful--cannot forget--the glorious part played by Old England. (Hear, hear, and applause.)
Have we ever asked ourselves what would be the position today of civilization, or freedom, of Canada, of the British Empire, if Old England had not drawn her sword in defence of the liberties of the world? What pride must swell in the heart of everyone with British blood in his veins when he recalls her self-sacrifice, her indomitable spirit, her courage, her unfailing determination to save the world from the grasp of a nation mad with lust for power. (Applause.)
Today, staggering doggedly under crushing financial burdens, she is, uncomplainingly, meeting her obligations and endeavouring in co-operation with other nations to find an enduring foundation for permanent world peace. Where can be found in the annals of any other nation so glorious a page as that which describes Great Britain's record during and since the Great War? (Loud applause.)
And what is the duty towards her of her overseas Dominions? Is it possible for them in any way to make any compensation to the Mother Country for any of her losses because of her war sacrifices, for example, for loss of her foreign markets? This is, I realize, a delicate question, one which calls for careful consideration, but I venture the opinion that it will gladden the heart of loyal Canada if she is able--with justice to her own people--to find some means of rendering substantial, material service to our Motherland in this her hour of trial.
How different is this old world today from what it was even a century ago! Then there was comparatively little industrial life or international trade. Nations were able to lead isolated lives; the effect of war was limited to the actual belligerents, and the domestic conditions of one country had little effect upon those of another. But today, in respect of international relations, the steam engine and electrical energy have annihilated distance and time; the world has become very small; the expression of a thought today is in a moment of time conveyed by the sightless couriers of the air to the minds of all the dwellers in the uttermost parts of the earth. No longer can any nation lead an isolated life. Its conduct, either at home or abroad, has its effect for good or ill on the other nations of the world. Thus every nation is interested materially and spiritually in every other nation.
Let me for a moment refer to Russia. Her wicked rulers, seeking the destruction of everything regarded in the human heart as sacred, are endeavouring to impress upon the Russian people that there is no God; no such thing as human conscience; no responsibility for human conduct, and that brute force is the one and only God. Their emissaries for the propagation of those views are scattered throughout the world. We have them in Canada.
Under these circumstances what is Canada's duty? Is it to remain silent or to voice our horror? Canada is Christian, is a world nation, and her opinion will have weight in the family of nations. It is, I think, the duty of Canada to give trumpet-tongued expression to Canadian public opinion against such fiendish doctrines; to broadcast her views throughout the world; to take the lead, if needs be, in arousing other nations, and thus to produce a world opinion that man is subject to divine laws. Such action will become known to the suffering Russian people and may give them such courage and unconquerable determination as, with God's help, will result in overthrowing the rule of those who deny the monarchy of God and would make a hell of this earthly paradise. (Applause.)
And now, my friends, I feel it fitting before closing to indulge the impulse of a grateful heart and say how deeply I am touched by this social expression of your goodwill. Not yet can I speak with the authority of the "retired" from labour, a shadowy company who spend their time in regretting their retirement and in criticising their successors. I am still at work with my hand to the plough and my face to the future.
The shadows of evening, it is true, lengthen about me, but morning is in my heart. And perhaps it would be forgiven me if I venture a word or two of affectionate cheer and counsel to a company so largely composed of young, or at least younger men. And, in this connection, I desire to include my unseen audience-a4d especially all old graduates who may be listening in. I beseech of you, as the years shall multiply for you as they do for all, to cherish the ideals and sweet illusions of youthful days. Thus will your later days be touched with tender memories, romance, and indomitable hope. (Applause.)
A great English writer has said this: "For long years the Castle of Enchantment is before us, and dreams of what we shall be and do beguile us, but in later life, perhaps about the sixties, we suddenly awake and say: 'That Castle-I must have passed it m the night, it is behind me now'."
My friends, it is not necessarily so--I bear testimony to the contrary. (Applause.) I have lived from the forties of one century to the thirties of the next, have had a varied field of labour, a full contact with men and things, and have warmed both hands before the fire of life. And the testimony I bear is this: that the Castle of Enchantment is not yet behind me, it is before me still and daily do I catch glimpses of its battlements and towers. (Applause.) The rich spoils of memory are mine. Mine too are the precious things of today--books, flowers, pictures, nature, sport. The first of May is still an enchanted day to me.
But of course the chief wealth of life I have not yet named. Robert Louis Stevenson once said--"Give me health, a modest competence, and, O Lord, give me friends." These last are the true wealth of life in youth or age. Possessing true and tried friends no man is poor. Lacking them the richest are in penury. (Applause.)
Thus, my friends, I close. I thank you again for your so cordial tribute of respect and affection. I not only thank you, but I bid you to toil on and to hope. The best of life is farther on. Its real lure is hidden from our eyes, somewhere beyond the hills of time. (Loud applause, the entire audience rising and cheering for several minutes.)
PRESIDENT SPENCE: It only remains for me, on behalf of the Empire Club of Canada to express our most cordial thanks to all those who have joined with us in paying this tribute of admiration, respect and affection to our honoured guest. (Renewed applause.)