With MR. ERIC LEWIS and THE GENTLEMEN AND BOYS OF THE CHOIR of the Church of St. Simon the Apostle featuring "Christmas in Song"
Thursday, December 15th, 1955
CHAIRMAN: The President, Dr. C. C. Goldring.
DR. C. C. GOLDRING: It is a pleasure to welcome to the Christmas meeting of the Empire Club of Canada so many members along with their wives, some of their older children, and family friends. For many years now our Christmas Party has been one of the most popular events of our season. Particularly, I should like to welcome the ladies today. We are happy to have them with us and assure them that they will add charm and grace to our party. I hope they enjoy being with us as much as we enjoy having them here. Parenthetically, I might add that our next Ladies' Day will occur on March 8th, in case a few husbands may forget to inform their wives.
As we approach the Christmas Season, our thoughts naturally turn back almost twenty centuries to those events associated with the birth of Jesus Christ. Joseph and Mary had travelled a long way. They were tired and sought to find a place of rest. Apparently there was no room in the inn so they accepted the rough accommodation of a manger. It was there that the Christ Child was born, for we read:
"And she brought forth her first-born Son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for Him in the inn."
For nearly two thousand years mankind has been making decisions in the light of the significance of the experiences in Bethlehem that evening. Millions of people of many races and creeds have found a place for Him in the inn. Others have relegated Him to the manger. That which is good and fine and noble in the lives of men and of nations is the result of a decision to invite Him into the inn. Much of the world's pain, anguish, and sorrow results from the fact that there are many who still relegate Him to the manger. It is the earnest hope of men of goodwill that in the years ahead He may be invited into more and more areas of human experience. This is the hope that is emphasized again and again at the Christmas Season.
Annually we catch a glimpse of a better world at this time of the year. Smiling faces are evidence of a feeling of good will towards those we meet, but sometimes this spirit of good will does not continue as long as it might. We give Christmas presents to our friends. There are other Christian gifts which we can distribute throughout the year, such as the gift of goodwill, the gift of cheerfulness, the gift of friendship, the gift of kindliness. These and other similar qualities are life's riches symbolic of the spiritual values upon which people must ultimately rely. Throughout the year, if we can continue to give love, understanding, sympathy, and show tolerance to others, we shall have a small part in advancing that era for which we hope and in which there will be "peace on earth; goodwill to men."
Let us all observe Christmas this year with joy and happiness, and with a recognition that it is a great religious festival. Let us point out the true significance of Christmas to our children so that we may help to transmit this great Christian heritage from our generation to the next.
At this time I am happy to introduce the Choir of the Church of St. Simon the Apostle, which is well-known throughout Canada and parts of the United States for its broadcasting of Christmas music over CBC. For some eighteen years now, this choir has sung in the Eaton Auditorium under the title of "Christmas Music in Court and Cathedral." Mr. Eric S. Lewis is the distinguished choirmaster and organist of St. Simon's Church. He is a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music and did postgraduate work in church music in England. Mr. Lewis has given outstanding leadership in St. Simon's Church in the field of music and it is a privilege to introduce him and the gentlemen and boys of his Choir at this time.
The audience then enjoyed an outstanding presentation of traditional Christmas Carols.