Christmas Luncheon
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 18 Dec 1975, p. 184-190
McGibbon, The Honourable Pauline, Speaker
Media Type
Item Type
Christmas luncheon. A program of Christmas music presented by the John Hodgins Singers.
Date of Original
18 Dec 1975
Language of Item
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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.
Empire Club of Canada
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Fairmont Royal York Hotel

100 Front Street West, Floor H

Toronto, ON, M5J 1E3

Full Text
DECEMBER 18, 1975
Christmas Luncheon
CHAIRMAN The President, H. Allan Leal, Q.C.


Your Honour, ladies and gentlemen: We bid you a warm welcome to the 1975 Family Christmas Party of The Empire Club of Canada. It is probably a fair guess that relatively few in this room can claim allegiance to this city as a birthright, but all of us in our own way, and in our own time, have come to know and appreciate its sights and sounds, particularly at high season and on the great festive occasions, and we cherish it as a throbbing, civilized world metropolis. For over a half century now, it has been traditional with this club to forgather during the Yuletide season to receive, to proclaim and to share in the time-honoured and joyous message of Christmas from David's royal city to this David's city and all who dwell here, "Peace on earth and goodwill towards all men!"

It is, of course, the culminating pleasure that we should meet today in the presence of Her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Dr. Pauline McGiblfon, our highly esteemed and much beloved Honorary VicePresident, and it is a great privilege for me to ask you to recognize her presence and to invite her to bring greetings.


Mr. President, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen: Thank you for again inviting the representative of Her Majesty the Queen to be with you at your Christmas luncheon. My husband and I enjoyed being here last year, and, as is obvious, we are enjoying ourselves today.

This is a time for special warmth and fellowship. All of us can be touched, even for a short span, by a feeling of affection for all peoples. This luncheon today gives to each of us this opportunity as we meet friends and strangers and exchange greetings.

Thank you for asking the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and her husband to share this happy occasion.


May I now ask our immediate Past President, Sir Arthur Chetwynd, Bt., to make a presentation to the Lieutenant Governor. (Presentation of bouquet of roses to Her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor.)


I would now like to introduce the other guests seated at the head table. (Introduction in the usual manner.)

Now that the members have received their copy of the Chetwynd Yearbook for 1974-75, we are able to say to Sir Arthur: well done true and faithful servant. I know not, Sir Arthur, whether at this stage you prefer to recite the Nunc Dimittis or the General Confession, but we do congratulate you on the happy delivery out of all your afflictions. Your steady hand on the tiller is very much missed--it's an ill wind that is not a Chetwynd!

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the general membership of The Empire Club of Canada, I present you with this illuminated scroll which is inscribed simply "The Empire Club of Canada acknowledges with grateful thanks the services of Sir Arthur Chetwynd as President during the year 1974/75." Happily it bears the signature of His Excellency, the Governor General of Canada, the Right Honourable Jules Leger, Honorary President of the club, and it carries with it our affection, respect and great admiration for your outstanding contribution to the club during your term of office.

May I ask our First Vice-President, Dr. John Fisher, to make a presentation to Lady Chetwynd. (Presentation of bouquet of roses to Lady Chetwynd.)


Mr. President, Your Honour, head table guests, ladies and gentlemen: First of all, on behalf of my wife Marjory, thank you John Fisher so very much for her lovely bouquet of roses. Marjory is indeed my right hand and without her patience, support and guidance I don't function very well.

A year ago, Mr. President, I was in your shoes, performing the same duties and presenting the handsome Empire Club scroll to Past President Bob Armstrong, who is sitting happily out in the audience today.

This scroll is traditionally presented to Immediate Past Presidents at the annual Christmas party following their term of office as a sign that the individual has made the course, mostly intact in body, mind and spirit and with at least some friends remaining, and the knowledge that the Empire Club membership has had the opportunity to see and hear some 28 speakers on a variety of subjects whose words are published on and for the record in the Empire Club Book of Addresses.

On that score, I am pleased to say that my yearbook, as it is now known, was completed and delivered some weeks before that of my predecessor Bob Armstrong, and several months faster than another colourful Past President, one Joe Potts.

I know, Mr. President, what you are going through. Take comfort. This Christmas luncheon marks half time, so to speak. You have had a great season so far. After all, how can you lose when your first meeting drew an all-time record of just over 1,600 members and guests to meet Margaret Thatcher, Leader of the British Conservative Party. What a start! This time next year, you will be in my position relaxed and thankful that your year of service has been successfully completed.

It is hard work, but a great honour to be asked to serve as President of this organization. The personal rewards and satisfactions are great. I am deeply indebted to the directors, members--and the speakers!--for putting their trust in me during my term and providing so much friendship, talent and support.

In accepting this scroll I must say that I note that we appear to have dispensed with the usual frame. I am sure members will be encouraged by this effort to save money by your hardworking Treasurer, Ron Goodall! I am only fooling, of course!

Thank you so much, one and all. It was a challenging and fulfilling experience, as well as an honour and a privilege to have served as the seventy-second President of The Empire Club of Canada.


Your Honour, ladies and gentlemen: For your entertainment and an opportunity to join in the carol singing program, I am delighted to introduce the John Hodgins Singers, accompanied by Daryl Irvine. John Hodgins, their conductor, was for many years organist and choir master at Bishop Strachan School. This choir is composed of the alumnae of that school and we are particularly grateful that they have yielded their lunch hour for our entertainment.

A program of Christmas music was presented by the John Hodgins Singers.


On behalf of all those present, may I extend to Mr. Hodgins, and through him to the members of his choir, our thanks and appreciation for a most pleasant and entertaining choral presentation of the old and the new, the familiar and the lesser known Christmas carols.

The burden of the arrangements for this meeting has fallen upon Mr. George Stafford, a member of our Board, and our administrative assistants, Mrs. Eleanor Cook and Mrs. Rena Wilson. On your behalf, I extend to them our thanks.

Mr. Stanley St. John has performed faithfully and competently as our pianist for a number of years. He is leaving this hall to catch a plane which will carry him off for a holiday in the sun. He takes with him our best wishes for a happy Christmas season and a good holiday.

Pipe Major Ross Stewart is no stranger to this club on this occasion. We are grateful to him for his presence and his performance--Lang may his lum reek!

Finally I am pleased to convey our thanks to the Royal York Hotel through Mr. Gordon Cardy, the General Manager, Mr. A. Horbay, the Catering Manager, and his staff, Mr. Adriano Ferreira and Mr. Carlos de Casta. We wish them all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Would you stand while we sing one verse of our Canadian Anthem and remain standing please while the Vice-Regal party leaves the hall.

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Christmas Luncheon

Christmas luncheon. A program of Christmas music presented by the John Hodgins Singers.