OUTDOORS IN CANADA
AN ADDRESS BY CAPTAIN J. MILTON STATE.
Before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto,
Thursday, November 13, 1924.
PRESIDENT BROOKS introduced the speaker, saying that Canadians are not sufficiently familiar with their own country, and therefore the address would be appreciated.
Capt. J. Milton State was received with applause, and said:--
Mr. President, and Gentlemen of the Empire Club,--It is needless to say that I have very much pleasure in being with you today. This is the second occasion on which I have had the pleasure of addressing the members of this Club, which is known with a very splendid reputation in all parts of the American continent. I am only sorry for one thing, that I have been selected to occupy an hour of your time on such a large subject as we have today.
In August last I presented to the Rotary Club of London, in the Hotel Cecil, almost this same subject, and after I had been speaking for a few moments a very nicely-dressed old gentleman came down to the front seat-I suppose in the Province of Ontario I should not say his breath was very strong-but in a few minutes he got to his feet and asked me how long I had been lecturing. I replied, "Twelve or fifteen years;" whereupon he said, "All right; I'll sit down and stick it, for you will soon be through." (Laughter)
Captain J. Milton State, a noted traveller and graphic lecturer, is a publicity agent and official lecturer for the Canadian National Railways. He is a Canadian who served with distinction during the great war.
This shows that they have a great deal of humor in the Old Country.
I should be familiar with this subject, because in the Service of the Canadian National Railways I have had to make a great many of these trips. We have a Dominion that is unparalleled, from coast to coast, in the world today. (Hear, hear) Three years ago I had the pleasure of relating to you some of my experiences at a Hudson's Bay post, and it required a great deal of nerve to come here, sent by the Washington bureau, to tell fellow-Canadians something about the Hudson's Bay post, for I felt there were men present who knew more about the subject than I did.
Canada simply abounds with romantic places that are worthy of investigation not only by ourselves but by tourists from all parts of the world. I think that the Canadian National Railways and the Canadian Pacific Railway are doing a wonderful work in making Canada known to the people outside.
It will be my pleasure today to take you to a few wonderful places in Canada. The fact is that Columbus did not discover the American continent, it was a British sailor named John Cabot, who with his son, Sebastian, sailed from Bristol and landed on the coast of Nova Scotia, and took possession of this country for King Henry VII; and thank God, that old flag has never once been lowered on this half of North America. (Applause)
I am going to cover Canada from coast to coast in an hour. That will be a very big task. I remember that when the King and Queen of Italy were looking on our great transcontinental train, as shown on the moving screen, I heard the King say that it was a most marvellous thing to see a train cross the continent in four minutes!
Slides were then shown, first, near the mouth of St. John River where Champlain landed and began his perilous trip overland. Scenes along the River St. John were shown, and big moose were pictured. A lumbering scene on the Metapedia, where almost forty million feet of logs were shown on their way to be cut for pulp-an industry that is receiving the careful attention of experts in the Canadian Government. The moose is the monarch of the Canadian forest, and the lecturer told of chasing these animals from one shore to another in order to secure the pictures. The moose is one of the great assets of the Canadian forest, and Canada is the best country for big game on this continent.
The lecturer told about a trapper who had captured a big bull moose, and had taken it to Quebec and exhibited it at 25 cents per head. A habitant came with his family to see the animal, and when he offered the 25 cents the old guide replied, "Take back your 25 cents; it is worth more for my moose to see your big family than for your family to see the moose." (Laughter)
Forty years after Cabot took possession of this continent for the King of England a French navigator landed as Gaspe, and took possession for the French King. (The slide showed Perce Rock at Gaspe).
Slides were then shown of Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, the Chateau Laurier, Lake Timagami, whose shore is almost 4,000 miles in extent, though very sinuous. The lecturer remarked that Longfellow had obtained many legends of the Ojibway Indians which he had woven into his poem, "Hiawatha."
Moving pictures were shown of Muskoka, and also canoe trips on the River Nipigon, north of Lake Superior, one of the most wonderful rivers on the continent, 50 miles in length, having a drop of 250 feet in its full length. This river is the home of the worldfamous speckled trout.
The lecturer told of a guide on the Nipigon who, after serving a party of 17 travellers, refused to accept anything whatever. The travellers decided to make him a present of two boxes of the most expensive cigars, but decided to ask the guide to pay 50 cents for each box. The guide put his hand in his pocket and brought out a $5 bill and said, "All right, give me ten boxes of cigars like that at 50 cents a box." (Laughter)
A trip up Mount Robson was then shown in moving pictures; this mountain is 13,000 feet high, the monarch of the Rockies, the highest mountain in Canada. It has been scaled only on two occasions, once this summer during the visit of the Alpine Club, and once some years ago.
The lecturer told the story of the origin of the name "Dominion of Canada." He said that during a visit to the Old Country last summer, in looking over some very interesting records he had discovered this. During the days of great controversy at the time of the Confederation of the Provinces it was considered necessary to have a name that would designate the whole of the provinces which were comprised in the new member of the British Empire. After the controversy had been going on for some time, one of the gentlemen concerned in it happened, in reading his Bible at night, to hit upon the 8th verse of the 72nd Psalm, and was struck by this line-"And he shall have dominion from sea to sea." The idea immediately struck him that Canada was a dominion that stretched from sea to sea, and the idea appealed to him so strongly that the next day, when the discussion was resumed, he put forward the claim for the word "Dominion" as he took it from this line-"Dominion from sea to sea." The people who were engaged in naming the Dominion saw the justice of the claim, and immediately agreed with him that that was the most appropriate term they could give to this great country of ours, which is now known as the Dominion of Canada for that very reason. (Applause)
MR. K. J. DUNSTAN expressed the thanks of the Club for the interesting address.