Christmas Luncheon
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 11 Dec 1986, p. 187-192
Alexander, The Hon. Lincoln M., Speaker
Media Type
Item Type
Season's Greetings from The Lieutenant Governor and Special Performance by Yorkwood Elementary School Galaxy Band.
Date of Original
11 Dec 1986
Language of Item
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Full Text
The Hon. Lincoln M. Alexander, P.C., Q.C., K. St. J., BA., Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

Season's Greetings from The Lieutenant Governor and Special Performance by Yorkwood Elementary School Galaxy Band. Cyril Raymond, Concert Master, assisted by Cinda Raymond; courtesy of David McGhee, Principal, York-wood Elementary School

Chairman: Nona Macdonald President


The Hon. Lincoln Alexander is a native of Hamilton, Ontario, a graduate of McMaster University and of Osgoode Hall Law School. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1968 and became Minister of Labour in 1979. Prior to his current appointment, he was Chairman of the Ontario Worker's Compensation Board.

One of his hobbies is music and I note that he was an honourary patron of the Kiwanis Music Festival. As you may know, Your Honour, our young guests are winners of a Kiwanis Music Festival Award-and I'm sure that they, like all of us, are eager to hear you, our emissary from Her Majesty the Queen, at this special Christmas luncheon.

The Hon. Lincoln Alexander

When I see those steel drums up there, I know we are going to move and shake and "do our thing" eventually. You look beautiful.

Ladies and gentlemen, you are now looking at what Ontario is all about: you are looking at the future and it is so nice that we can have them here, in order that we can applaud their accomplishments. As Her Majesty's Representative in and for the Province of Ontario, I want to let you know that one of the things I said I would do when I became Lieutenant Governor, was to support our youth and to encourage them, and I guess because of my limited time I can only tell you two or three things:

Life is not fair, you are going to have to work very, very hard. I would like you to think that drinking of alcohol and getting involved with drugs are complete no-no's. You are too beautiful to become destroyed in such a way.

You can look at me-I became Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Ontario which, in effect, means that any one of you with hard work can stand here one of these days. I wish each and every one of you success.

Madame President, I feel warm today. I was listening to the crowd murmuring with the joy, the happiness that the festive season is about to bring to us.

It is a very-important function I have at this particular time of year to come before one of Her Majesty's Loyal Societies in order to commend you and thank you for your dedication and for your support, for your love for the Crown and, in particular, for Her Gracious Majesty.

You know, when I thought of the notice that you sent out. It said: "Plum Pudding, Turkey, Christmas Carols" and I said to myself: "Yes this is what Christmas is all about: the family ties, the love for family, loved ones around you, smiling faces, joy, happiness, exchange of gifts, yes, that is what Christmas is all about really." But then it goes further than that, and I let you join with me when I say that we have at this particular time to realize we have to think of others. We have to maintain and nurture that feeling of goodwill, it is so important. Particularly when we look across this province, this nation, the world.

Where is the goodwill? Well, it is up to us, we can take that small step. We have to have faith in the future, I think we have to pray. Even though we know what Christmas is all about, sometimes we forget it.

We forget what Christmas is all about, it's love as I understand it. You have to have a prayer for those who are less fortunate, not everybody is going to have turkey, plum pudding and Christmas carols.

Read the local paper. Have we got room in our hearts to love, to care and to share; love, care and share. You look like a pretty high-profile crowd today. Have you done your duty this Christmas or will you be doing your duty? You know what I am talking about. The Governor is not supposed to talk about money but I am being very serious.

When you are with your family, think of others who are less fortunate and, before the Christmas season hits us with a bang, do your bit.

And what about a prayer for peace? Renewed hope for peace, tolerance, these are all things that we can think about while we are enjoying the love, respect, and warmth of our family. l am so delighted and very privileged that once every year I get the opportunity to bring sincerest holiday greetings on behalf of Her Gracious Majesty and I want to thank you, Madame President, for this wonderful attendance that you may continue to inspire.

Nona Macdonald

Thank you, Your Honour. That was a message we all shall cherish.

Christmastime and children go together. Today we are celebrating our annual festive luncheon with a unique group of entertainers-steel drummers, ages seven to fifteen. In a way, they are children of The Empire in that many of their forebears come from Commonwealth countries-once The Empire-and their concert master Cyril Raymond is from Jamaica. His daughter Cinda assists him with the Galaxy Band, which is the pride and joy of Yorkwoods Elementary

School, and winner of a 1984 Kiwanis Musical Festival Award. But on with the show, Mr. Raymond. Let us begin with Amazing Grace.

Musical Programme and Sing along Amazing Grace

Silent Night

O Come All Ye Faithful Jingle Bells

Here Comes Santa Greensleeves

Col. Robert Hilborn, a Past President of The Empire Club of Canada, and President of the Empire Club Foundation, expressed the meeting's appreciation to the musicmakers.

Col. Robert Hilborn:

Before I thank The Galaxy Band on your behalf, let me say first today on the occasion of our annual festive Christmas luncheon, that it's a great privilege and a great honour as President of The Empire Club Foundation to express on behalf of all of you our appreciation for the efforts of those who have inspired, guided and directed the activities of our Club during the year, culminating in this great family occasion.

Under the outstanding leadership being given to our Club by our President, Nona Macdonald and her Directors, you have continued to attract speakers of stature and members of intelligence, recognizing Oliver Wendell Holmes' dictum that it is province of knowledge to speak and the privilege of wisdom to listen.

Nona, you have kept our traditions not only alive, but as witnessed today, lively, and we thank you for this traditionally sumptuous Christmas luncheon and the usual high standard of the Royal York Hotel, coupled with of course the exciting and talented steel drummers of Yorkwoods School.

You continue to emphasize that we are not a club as other clubs are, but a forum that is both a tradition and a symbol of free speech.

But like all symbols, we have a duty to promote and maintain cultural memory, and, since 1903, our Club's unique Yearbook has recorded annually the speeches given to the Club and has been distributed without charge to some four thousand educational libraries in Canada. The Empire Club Foundation, a registered charitable foundation, has as its principal object, the publishing and distribution of the Yearbook and we are indebted to our patrons, our benefactors and our donors for their generous annual contributions that enable us to fulfill our mandate.

I wish to express our deep appreciation to Harry Seymour and to applaud the imagination and effectiveness with which he discharged the demanding responsibilities of President in the year just passed. It was a banner year complete with a range of exciting meetings and special events and all of this is recorded for posterity in the forthcoming Yearbook soon to be mailed to all of our members and libraries across the land.

And again today we are greatly honoured by the presence of our Honourary Vice-President, The Queen's Representative for the Province of Ontario, the Honourable Lincoln Alexander. We thank you, Sir, for the greeting you brought us from Her Majesty and for your very warm and very persuasive message of hope and cheer. You, Sir, bring a dedication to your role that is an inspiration to all of us as you take the Crown and all of the values and hopes it represents to all of the people of Ontario.

Finally, but primarily, I extend on behalf of all of us here our sincere and grateful thanks to the Yorkwoods Galaxy Band. We congratulate you and your accomplished concertmaster, Cyril Raymond, on a great show and thank you for performing for us today. You send us from here with happy hearts, I am sure full of the true spirit of a blessed Christmas, a spirit of comfort and joy. By way of a tangible expression, I would ask the Yorkwoods School principal, David McGhee, to accept a token of our appreciation-it is a cheque for $350 to purchase another steel drum.

Mr. David McGhee, principal of Yorkwoods Elementary School, expressed appreciation on healf of the school and of North York Board of Education.

Nona Macdonald

Thank you, Col. Hilborn, and thanks to The Foundation and to Yorkwoods School. In addition to the appreciations already noted during the head table introductions, I would like to express a yearend appreciation to our own Club. To Past Presidents and Directors for their work during this fall term; to William Whiteacre for chairing the committee that creates this happy occasion; and to our reception committee chairmen, Bud Hoffman and Dr. Clarence Crummey, and their dedicated workers.

To our administrator Anne Lato, without whom there would be no Empire Club events, and her part-time assistant, Karen Sonderskov.

And finally to all of you, our members and their friends-may you continue to enjoy The Empire Club. Our 1987 year will begin on January 15 when the Hon. Perrin Beatty, Minister of Defence for Canada, visits us. On behalf of the officers of the Club, may I wish you all the blessings of the season and a joyful New Year. Happy holidays, everyone!

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Christmas Luncheon

Season's Greetings from The Lieutenant Governor and Special Performance by Yorkwood Elementary School Galaxy Band.