Christmas Meeting
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 15 Dec 1965, p. 121-124

Royce, Lt. Col. E.A., Speaker
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Christmas meeting with greetings from the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario. Entertainment by the Salvation Army Danforth Songster Brigade.
Date of Original:
15 Dec 1965
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Full Text
DECEMBER 15, 1965
Christmas Meeting
CHAIRMAN The President, Lt. Col. E. A. Royce, E.D.


Ladies and gentlemen: On behalf of the board of directors" the members of the Empire Club of Canada and, indeed, everyone here today, may I extend a special welcome to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor and may I say how sorry we are that his charming wife, Mrs. Rowe, could not be present with us today.

Christmas is a family time and we of the Empire Club are particularly aware of this since our object is, of course, to maintain the family of the Commonwealth and Canada's place in that family. The Head of this family group is the Queen whose Royal and Gracious Mother we had the great privilege of entertaining in June this year. We live in changing times and though change is not necessarily progress, nevertheless it is inevitable and an organization such as the Empire Club of Canada must change as it has very substantially over the past sixty years of its existence. One thing, however, does not change and that is our loyalty to the Queen whose charm, dedication and devotion inspire all of us and whose family life sets an admirable example. You, Sir, as Her Majesty's representative in Ontario are doubly welcome; first, of course, you are our Lieutenant-Governor, discharging the duties of that post with the grace we have come to expect. In addition, we know you as a man generous of your time and substance who, with your charming wife, enjoys respect and affection throughout this grand old Province of Ontario. It is my great pleasure to welcome you here today and to thank you for the great honour you do the Empire Club family on this Christmas occasion.

(His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor made a suitable reply.)

(Presentation to Past-President.) Your Honour, Mr. Commissioner, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen--you will have observed, I am sure, that one of those present at the Head Table has neither been introduced nor received any mention at all--I refer, of course, to the Immediate Past-President, Colonel Bob Hilborn, whose term of office saw the Empire Club of Canada reach a position in this community which has never previously been attained. During his year of office, arrangements had been in train for the visit of Her Majesty, The Queen Mother, to Toronto and although Colonel Hilborn's tour of duty expired before this was finally arranged last June, he cheerfully carried the tremendous responsibility of acting as liaison officer between the Royal Party and the Empire Club and, of course, was equerry during Her Majesty's visit. Supported by the excellent committee, headed by Colonel Legge, his natural charm, tact and genius for organization resulted in that brilliance which characterized the dinner tendered Her Majesty on June 24th of this year. When one considers that, in addition, he was responsible for liaison with Her Majesty's Regiment, the Toronto Scottish, and when one remembers that he has his own business to care for and is a family man with family responsibilities, the contribution made by Colonel Hilborn to the Club must be assessed as one of the greatest ever made by a President in our long history.

On behalf of the board of directors and the members of the Empire Club of Canada, I ask Colonel Hilborn to accept this illuminated scroll, signed by our Honorary President, His Excellency the Governor General, which records his period of service as President of the Club.

(Colonel Hilborn made a suitable reply.)

Your Honour, Commissioner Grinsted, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen: On the first of July, 1865, William Booth founded the Salvation Army. From small beginnings in England a century ago this great organization has become an increasing power for good. The men and women of the Army have fought the good fight and continue, not only to preach, but to practise Christianity at all levels of our society. Certainly no other organization enjoys the universal respect and regard of the Salvation Army for whenever the battle for human souls is being fought, you will find the Army giving counsel to those who are troubled and comfort to those who despair. One hears many criticisms of many forms of religious activity and charitable endeavour but I personally have never heard anything but praise for the Salvation Army.

The Army has literally sung its way around the world and William Booth, on one occasion, said "The highest value for our singing after all has not been the mere gladness we have felt because of our salvation but the joy of pouring out the praise of our God." The choir we shall hear today is known as the "Danforth Songster Brigade" and has been in existence for 52 years. They come from all walks of life: salesmen, teachers, secretaries, carpenters, accountants, engineers; they also include officers of the Salvation Army. It is attached to the Danforth Branch of the Salvation Army, located on Logan Avenue just north of Danforth Avenue, and apart from a choir of some seventy voices, there is also a brass band of 35 members. Major Ivany is in charge of the church or corps which sponsors the choir; its conductor, Songster Leader Eric W. Sharp, has lead the brigade on highly successful tours of the British Isles and this year, as part of the hundredth anniversary's celebrations, the brigade visited cities across Canada, including Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. They have also visited Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit, and Newark where, in every case, they received the highest compliments.

Ladies and Gentlemen--the Salvation Army Danforth Songster Brigade.

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Christmas Meeting

Christmas meeting with greetings from the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario. Entertainment by the Salvation Army Danforth Songster Brigade.