Dominion of Canada Day Luncheon
Publication
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 29 Jun 1983, p. 1-16
Description
Creator
Macdonald, Sir John A. (as portrayed by the actor, Robert Christie), Speaker
Media Type
Text
Item Type
Speeches
Description
Toast by Mgen. Legge. Introduction and thank you by Mr. Derry. Then Mr. Robert Christie (portraying Sir. John A. Macdonald) speaks of Canada and the Commonwealth with amusing anecdotes from Canada's early days.
Date of Original
29 Jun 1983
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English
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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.
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100 Front Street West, Floor H

Toronto, ON, M5J 1E3

Full Text
JUNE 29, 1983
Dominion of Canada Day Luncheon
held jointly by The Empire Club of Canada and The Royal Commonwealth Society (Toronto Branch)
GUEST OF HONOUR Sir John A. Macdonald (as portrayed by the actor, Robert Christie)
CO-CHAIRMEN Douglas L. Derry, F.C.A., President, The Empire Club of Canada and BGen. Reginald W. Lewis, C.D. Vice Chairman, The Royal Commonwealth Society (Toronto Branch)

MR. DERRY:

Your Excellency, My Lord, Reverend Sir, distinguished past chairmen and past presidents, members, and guests of The Royal Commonwealth Society and The Empire Club of Canada: "With the first dawn of this gladsome midsummer morn, we hail the birthday of a new nationality. A united British America, with its four millions of people, takes its place this day among the nations of the world. Stamped with a familiar name, ... the Dominion of Canada on this first day of July, in the year of grace, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, enters a new career of national existence." This was the introduction of George Brown's two-page leading article in The Globe in celebration of Confederation. In the 116 years since he wrote this article, our country has indeed had a career of national existence of which we can be proud. It started as a union of four provinces within the British Empire and matured to existence as a country spanning the continent, independent to itself, but by choice an integral member of the British Commonwealth and loyal to Her Majesty the Queen.

In recognition of this country's career, I now ask Major General Legge to propose a Toast to Canada and the Commonwealth.

MGEN. LEGGE:

Mr. President, Your Excellencies, My Lord, Reverend Sirs, ladies and gentlemen of The Royal Commonwealth Society and of The Empire Club of Canada. I congratulate you, Mr. President, on having Canada's founding Prime Minister attend our meeting, and I only hope that his absence at this late hour, 1:15 P.M., does not indicate that he is still suffering from his libations. As a matter of fact, mention of his tardiness reminded me of Thomas D'Arcy McGee, the great orator for Confederation in Sir John A.'s first Cabinet. He was an Irishman who went from Ireland to New York and then came to Canada, and who became so ardent for the Canadian Confederation under the British Crown that he was assassinated by the Sinn Fein, thus becoming the first of Canada's two political martyrs. Like Sir John A., his chief, he also had a drinking problem, so troublesome that the Prime Minister summoned him one day and said, "See here, McGee, there are one too many drunks in this Cabinet! And I am not resigning."

This is a great day for Canada because His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen's Consort, is in London, Ontario, as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Regiment, now celebrating its hundredth anniversary. In Edmonton are Their Royal Highnesses, the Prince and Princess of Wales. I mention this because I do not ordinarily like to propose a Toast to Canada since the official Toast is to the Queen of Canada, "la Reine du Canada," and any other Toast seems to be a diminution of our beloved Chief of State and "Sovereign Lady." Canada has always been a monarchy - French before 1759, British after the "Plains of Abraham," and Canadian after the Second World War. Indeed, in our new Constitution, and I defer to the Honourable Mr. Justice Potts on this point, there are three matters which are consecrated - the duality of the French and English languages, the composition of the Supreme Court, and the role of the monarchy in the person of the Queen of Canada. So entrenched are these subjects that they can only be changed by the unanimous consent of all the legislatures of Canada, and since all of the legislatures of Canada have never agreed on anything, I am certain that the monarchy will always be the Canadian tradition, the only monarchy in the Americas. May it long continue to flourish!

Commonwealth countries regard Queen Elizabeth as the Head of the Commonwealth, and she is the Patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society. Since 1903, when The Empire Club of Canada was formed, our motto has alwas been "God Save the Queen," and it is always inscribed in our yearbook.

To speak about such an emotional subject as one's love of country, or of the Crown, or of the Commonwealth, is very difficult indeed. I would therefore like to give to you my favourite tribute to Canada which was written by an opponent of the great Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

"Canada has been the inspiration of my life. I have had before me as a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day, a policy of true Canadianism, of moderation, of conciliation.... In all the difficulties, all the pains, and all the vicissitudes of our situation, let us always remember that love is better than hatred, and faith better than doubt, and let hope in our future destinies be the pillar of fire to guide us in our career."

May Canada continue to be the inspiration of all our lives! And what can one say about our beloved Commonwealth? An Australian, Bruce Millar, has described the Commonwealth as "a concept of convenience," and another cynic, Lord Carradon, on another subject, has said that "anyone who understands the situation is simply misinformed." As to its critics, Shakespeare (in Richard ii) wrote of the "caterpillars of the Commonwealth," and in 1780, in the House of Commons, the great Edmund Burke noted that "individuals pass like shadows but the Commonwealth is fixed and stable."

I believe in that Commonwealth because it does not try to compel anyone to prove himself or to do anything. The Commonwealth, like the Crown, is based on noblesse oblige. That is, because I am privileged, I owe a duty of kindness and assistance to others. The Royal Commonwealth Society supports these principles:

Countries belong to the Commonwealth because they value it as an association. It spans the continents and is a bridge between races and religions and between rich and poor. It enables the Prime Ministers to discuss their common problems frankly and to work together for solutions.

The Declaration of Commonwealth Principles involves the members' commitment to international peace and order, equal rights for all citizens, and the liberty of the individual, their opposition to colonial domination and racial oppression, and their resolve to achieve a fairer global society.

Mark Twain used to ask his audiences to imagine difficult things. He argued that to imagine something else is the most difficult undertaking in the world. He used to exhort his audience, "Imagine that you are a Congressman." And when their minds were engrossed in this mind-set, he used to say, "Imagine that you are an idiot." And whilst they were trying to mould their minds to that view, he used to add, "But I repeat myself." May I ask you to do the impossible and in the first instance, imagine Canada without the Commonwealth! And now that you have thought that through, imagine the Commonwealth without Canada! But I repeat myself. Would you rise and drink with me the Toast of the day - Canada and the Commonwealth.

MR. DERRY:

Thank you, General Legge, for proposing the Toast so graciously. Canada's present and future is quite naturally of primary interest and concern to us all, but it is fun at the time of our birthday celebration to also look to our past. On "Confederation Day," as it was described in 1867, the City of Toronto had a multitude of festivities to aptly rejoice the new union. The Globe was in the full spirit of the occasion as evidenced by the lead article from which I quoted a few minutes ago. However, it certainly was not restricted to that. For instance, in another article entitled "Confederation Day in Toronto," the program of rejoicings was described: "The bells of St. James' broke the midnight silence to convey this joyful news to the City that the important era had arrived... At 4 A.M. the Tenth Royals were to hoist the Union Jack on the new flagstaff...in front of the shed. At 6 o'clock, Captain Woodhouse was to start roasting an immense ox... at 9:30 a blessing was to be invoked on the new Dominion," and "at 10:30 a grand military review of regiments including the Queen's Own (Rifles)" - who so ably led us to the head table today. "Late in the day, a concert organized by the Horticultural Society, and at 7 P.M. a grand promenade concert followed by fireworks in the Queen's Park."

Quite a celebration, and all of it coming about as a result of the struggles, frustrations, compromises, and sacrifices of those who became known as the Fathers of Confederation. The man most frequently remembered and hailed as the chief architect of Confederation is, of course, Sir John A. Macdonald. At this time he was fifty-two years of age, having been actively involved in politics for some twenty-eight years. Amazingly, he would be the key figure in Canadian politics until his death another twenty-four years later.

As Donald Creighton, in Sir John A. Macdonald: The Young Politician, put it, "The day was his, if it was anybody's. He, above all others, had ensured its coming, and he had prescribed the order of its celebration." Aptly so, if Confederation Day 1867 was his day, it seems more than appropriate that our celebration in 1983 should be his day as well. After considerable search, we succeeded in making contact with Sir John, and he very generously agreed to spend some time with us today.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Sir John A. Macdonald.

SIR JOHN A. MACDONALD:

Your Excellency Mr. Roland Michener, General Sir Neil Ritchie, My Lord Mr. Justice Joseph Potts, Major General Bruce Legge, Brigadier General Reginald Lewis, Mr. Derry, and Reverend Sir! Ladies and gentlemen. What a pleasure it is to be here in Toronto and to visit with people who care about the Empire; "a British subject I was born, a British subject I will die!" And of course, I did!

I see there is still a Toronto Globe: The Globe and Mail? Interesting about that Mail newspaper... when I was in Toronto in '71 - 1871! - I was helping Ed Pattison to get the Mail started - lot of trouble, took a long time. And then it turned out not to be a good paper for us. (I mean my Party - the Liberal-Conservatives). We always needed strong opposition to George Brown's Globe, the Grit paper, so, when support had weakened down at the Mail, we got the Empire newspaper started in 1887. (1 was getting on, I was seventy-two.) Then I believe there was the Mail and Empire, and now, after that, The Globe and Mail! One newspaper eating up another! I suppose I would have to agree that George Brown has certainly won the day! You'll Never Die, George Brown!

I would like to tell you about my most pleasant visit to Toronto. In May 1877 - when I was about to start away on the second year of my electioneering picnics - I arrived in this city at the Nipissing Railway Station at the foot of Berkeley Street. It was a wee bit before eight o'clock in the evening. There was a great crowd of people assembled: the platform was besieged, the roofs of freight cars in the vicinity were covered with people and the streets were jam-packed. When I got off the train I was escorted by J.G. Worts and W.H. Bailey to a carriage - loud cheers! - and then to my amazement the horses were released from the shafts and a crowd of willing hands came up to replace them. We were drawn through the streets, we went along Berkeley, King, Yonge, Queen, and Simcoe to King again, to the United Empire Club; again, people everywhere all manifesting the greatest enthusiasm. All the way along the streets, there was one continuous burst of applause. Of course, as we passed the office of George Brown's Globe, cheers were changed to groans in our honour! Many of the shopkeepers along the route of the procession had lit their shops with extra lamps and gas jets - there were hundreds of torch bearers in attendance, and the United Empire Club where we arrived was brilliantly illuminated at every window. Near the Club there was an immense crowd! The street cars couldn't pass, and it was difficult for the men to bring the carriage to the Club doors. There, I stood up - and the cheers were prodigious as I entered the Club! Ah, but I'll have ye know - there was no such a thing as a piper!

I mentioned the country picnics. You know, the country picnics were an electioneering device, and after only two years they succeeded admirably: they got us Liberal-Conservatives re-elected! They started in 1876, and the first one was held on the first of July, the ninth anniversary of Confederation. The Toronto Association of the Party, together with the Northern Ontario riding, met at Uxbridge. I was invited to come and address the crowd. On Saturday, the first day of July, at half past eight in the morning, a special train of the Toronto & Nipissing Railway pulled out of the Berkeley Street Station for Uxbridge. There were about three hundred and fifty Toronto men aboard, with their families (ladies and children!), and it looked a bit like rain. We who were the special guests had a carriage at the end of the train - our caboose. First class! Beautiful! Deep rose carpet, with fine walnut fittings and furniture!

Agnes was with us; John Beverley Robinson, the member from Toronto West; and all the officers of the Toronto LiberalConservative Association. Charles Tupper and William McDougall were driving over to Uxbridge on the concession roads, for they were campaigning in Ontario South; and of course from all about, families came by carriage or wagon to Uxbridge. We arrived there about eleven o'clock. At the station there was a local reception party and two brass bands playing away: one had come up from Markham! Surrounding the station was a mass of people. There were a few speeches of welcome and I replied, and then we all set forth in carriages, with the horses and harness shining in the sun, and with the massed bands playing as they marched under triumphal arches that said "WELCOME" and "VICTORY," all the way to Elgin Park on the other side of the village.

People had come from far and near to foregather for the picnic party. Here were long tables with crisp cloths, loaded with both substantials and delicacies. Cold sliced chicken, ornamental tongues, hams in aspic, melon souffles, red mounds of strawberries, elaborate mounds of flummery, and chocolate russe, tipsy cake and pound cake, piles of tea cakes, and cheese cakes, great misted jugs of lemonade or raspberry cordial, and clusters of bottles of wine. It was high noon, and there was an hour for lunch.

I went around among the people, snacking away, gossiping, shaking hands - there were many I knew and remembered. I had a word for everyone - young barristers off the train, farmers off their wagons in their sagging best blacks and rusty top hats, the wife of the harness maker at Port Perry in her snuff-coloured taffeta gown with bustle and golden brown satin trimming, boys in broad-brimmed boaters, wee girls in two-piece costumes with taffeta bows and fringes, and babies to kiss in their long embroidered gowns - the people of Ontario! The people of Canada, the new country! Nine years old!

Well, I made a speech, and other people made speeches. Tupper was hoarse from making speeches for weeks, but he croaked away! And it didn't rain - until after we'd finished. I told a few stories, I rambled away, I treated interruptions as if I expected them! And I told them all quite simply that the great question before the country was: "What is the best means to relieve it of the existing commercial depression; and that there was no use looking to Mr. MacKenzie because he was a free-trader!"... and so on.

Well, the picnics were a success for two summers and got us Liberal-Conservatives re-established as the government of Canada. Their value had been proven at once at Uxbridge. There was a by-election immediately on July 5 at Uxbridge, and the two Gibbs brothers, our candidates, were triumphant - there was a gain of eighty votes in Uxbridge alone. Most important, we had discovered our theme - "Relief of the Depression by a Change of Fiscal Policy" - and our method - "The Political Picnic." By the end of the first summer the Grits were trying competition picnics of their own - we were flattered!

I finished at last: my summer tour. I was tired, and I settled down with Agnes for the fall and winter in our new house on St. George Street with University College nearby, and the open countryside to the north and west!

After the second summer of picnics - Lindsay, Barrie, Owen Sound, Dundas, Glengarry, and Victoria Park, Scarborough, with steamers every half hour direct to the dock from Toronto and up and down the lake, and special Grand Trunk excursion trains from Grey and Bruce and Lake Simcoe, and goodness knows where! - after the second summer and nearly a full year of turmoil in the House in Ottawa, Parliament dissolved in August for a September election. Now our work was really cut out for us.

I went about electioneering in the Kingston riding. On the night of 17 September '78 - when the first returns began to come in - I found that Alexander Gunn had defeated me in Kingston. In Kingston! And for the first time in thirty-four years, I was deserted! I was desolate. I was defeated.

But then, within a few hours, my defeat became victory - national victory! Throughout the whole province, the whole country, there was an avalanche of votes. I had sworn to defeat the Grits and we had brought about their complete downfall! I had revenged the defeat of 1873. But I'd lost Kingston!

The defeat of '73 - what had caused our defeat five years ago? Well, the answer is the Pacific Scandal, the damnable accusations of the Pacific Scandal! Do you remember? When British Columbia joined the Confederation we made a contract to have a railway built to the Pacific? Within ten years, 1871 to 1881? At the beginning, there were two competing business syndicates that applied for this huge task: David MacPherson's Inter Oceanic Railway Co. from Toronto, and Sir Hugh Allan's Canadian Pacific Railway Co. from Montreal. Now you see, MacPherson was allied with Charles Brydges of the Grand Trunk Railway, and Allan was head of his own steamship company: the Allan Lines. Besides, Allan was President of the North Shore Colonization Railway and he'd had experience from having been involved in the building of the Northern Pacific Railway, just over our border in the northern United States. He'd had experience; but several of his major associates were American. We endeavoured to encourage the two men to unite, giving up all American association. They both refused. So, it was one or the other, and neither seemed to me to be just right... it was unfortunate.

But a decision had to be made, and Sir Hugh Allan's syndicate, the Canadian Pacific Railway Co., was chosen - and asked to submit its preliminary proposal. Allan was senior in age, experience, and international prestige (Montreal). MacPherson was a good friend and a good Conservative (Toronto), but his initial proposals suffered greatly, in comparison with Allan's. So Allan's company was chosen, provided he give up all American associations. Allan agreed to this. But while he was ostentatiously conforming to the all-Canadian concept, he continued secretly in close connection with his previous American friends! A tricky and unsatisfactory situation, which culminated on New Year's Eve 1872.

Waiting in my ante-room to wish me a Happy New Year was George McMullen, the proprietor of the Chicago Post, major shareholder in the Northern Pacific, the principal American associate of Sir Hugh Allan. He stayed in my office for two hours discussing Allan, coldly outlining the relationship the Americans had had with him, describing his errors, of omission and commission, on a positively gigantic scale; revealing his incredible indiscretions and incredible duplicities, dishonesty, and impertinence! How he had demanded of McMullen $343,000! Which he claimed he had paid out to ensure his election to the Presidency of the new railway, from which the Americans were to be excluded - oh, much much more! And all this proven in sheaves of documents and letters which he shook in my face! I could not help it - I sympathized with the man. But then he continued - he seemed to believe that the Canadian Government was implicated in the matter!

How? What did he mean? I could find nothing to say.

He stated his demand: Allan's agreement with his American colleagues had to be honoured, or Allan's name must be removed from the new company. Well, I was staggered and said so. McMullen became very unpleasant indeed. He would have his way! "Pay up, or the public will know all the facts!" and he rattled his bundle of papers at me.

I asked for time - time to consult! He argued, then acquiesced and left. Blackmail! When I talked with Allan, I found he had had the same treatment, "Pay up - $240,000!" Blackmail all round. McMullen returned once, with a friend, made the same demand of me, and left - ominously! Finally there was a letter - "Sir Hugh Allan came to us. We did not go to him. We did nothing!" - and fortunately there was no more morbid visitation. Allan went off to England with his solicitor, J. J. Abbott, to seek investment money.

While Abbott was away, one of his employees (who knew what he was doing!) visited certain of the files in Abbott's office and delivered papers he found there to the Grits, for use in the House. On the second of April 1873, Lucius Seth Huntington, member for Shefford in Quebec, rose in the House to move the appointment of a select committee of seven persons to investigate two charges. One, that the Canadian Pacific Railway Co., ostensibly Canadian, had been financed with American capital; and two, that its president, Sir Hugh Allan, had advanced very large sums, including American money, to the Canadian Ministers in aid of their elections, and in return they had promised the contract for the construction of the railway.

I didn't know what to say or do! What was his game? I said not a word and imposed silence on all my party, and in the division, Huntington's motion, regarded as want of confidence, was rejected by a majority of thirty-one - our largest for that term.

But a reply was necessary - and I moved appointment of a committee from both sides of the House. I had no idea how best to handle the situation! Well, things muddled along until mid-July (from the beginning of April 'til mid-July!), and then my apprehension was justified. Another thunderbolt - July 18, 1873. On the front pages of The Globe, the Montreal Herald, and the Quebec LYvenement, a new revelation! My telegram from nearly a year ago, before the August election of 1872.

I had flung my campaign money across Ontario with reckless generosity and I requested of J.J. Abbott, well-known to be Sir Hugh Allan's solicitor, by telegram: "Immediate. Private. I must have another ten thousand. Will be the last time of calling. Do not fail me. Answer today." Electioneering! The money came by return. It made the total of $45,000 1 had had from Sir Hugh Allan.

It was one of those overwhelming misfortunes they say every man must meet once in his life. At first it fairly staggered me. It was an unavoidable and immediate political disaster. I did everything I could. I even made a speech in the House that lasted five hours.

I leave it to this House with every confidence. I am equal to either fortune. I can see past the decision of this House, either for me or against me; but whether it be for me or against me, I know (and it is no vain boast for me to say so, for even my enemies will admit that I am no boaster) that there does not exist in this country, a man who has given more of his time, more of his heart, more of his wealth, or more of his intellect and power, such as they may be! for the good of this Dominion of Canada.

But we were lost, and we sat in the House, in quiet opposition, for five years. We let the Grits have their way! And on their way they lost it!

It was the picnics that brought us back, and I've told you about that. The Governor General, Lord Dufferin, welcomed me back, and we built the CPR after all, "Stand fast, Craigellachie!" fulfilling our contract with the British Columbians. A little late, of course, but it was a better job because of that!

And it took us only five years. Imagine! Oh - I wanted to say one more thing.

You know, perhaps, that in Toronto, on the seventeenth of December 1884, at a demonstration to celebrate my forty years in Parliament, in the middle of my speech, a voice rang out. "You'll never die, John A.!" I can't help wondering how amazed that voice would be if, indeed, he knew how true his words would be!

The appreciation of the audience was expressed to Sir John and his alter ego Robert Christie by the co-chairman, Brigadier General Reginald W. Lewis, Vice Chairman of The Royal Commonwealth Society (Toronto Branch).

BGENERAL LEWIS:

Mr. President, distinguished guests. Sir John, here we have you, one of Scotland's famous sons, and to push home a Scottish point, you are accompanied by a piper from Toronto's 48th Highlanders, a regiment of great distinction and many accomplishments, and, may I suggest, with just that right touch of Highlander arrogance. As a mere Sassenach, I am quite intimidated by the presence of yourself and the piper from the 48th. The Scot's self-assurance is quite frightening to such as myself. Let me illustrate my point.

There was a travelling circus touring Scotland that owned a gorilla. He was their pride and joy, but he pined for his African forests, and when they set out on a tour of the Highlands, he lay down and died. The circus men did not think it would do to arrive in Inverness with a dead gorilla, so in the pass of Drumochter, in the middle of the night, they left the poor creature in the ditch.

Early next morning along came two ghillies, and stopped short at this foreign apparition.

"Whit like is this, Angus?" said one.

The other took off his bonnet and scratched his head.

"I'm not rightly knowing, Donald," he said, "yon's no red enough for a MacGregor."

"Aye, Angus, but a Campbell would be blacker."

"Ye're no thinking it's a MacAulay, are ye, it's unco big for that." So they puzzled each other, until at last Angus said: "I'll tell you whit way it is, Donald, we'll juist awa' ben the Hotel and speir if ony o' they English visitors is missing."

Well, Sir John, you are in remarkably good shape for a chap who has been dead for ninety-two years. But we are fascinated and delighted with your reincarnation so as to be with us today to reminisce upon your life and time.

Perhaps you look so well preserved because of the pickling process you are famous for. Indeed when I saw the glass on the table by you I was curious as to what you were drinking. Why are we so curious? Well, many are the tales told of your prowess both as a politician and a tippler. For example, it has been told that you appeared on the same platform as your principal political opponent. As I understand it you had consumed quite a great deal of drink and while your opponent was speaking you were violently sick in full view of the spectators.

Your opponent, feeling his victory was now assured, cut short his speech and sat down. I am told, Sir John, you were not yet beaten and after a moment's pause staggered to your feet and said: "I apologize, ladies and gentlemen, but whenever I hear that man speak, I can't help being sick."

It is such legendary stories that give an uncommon person such as yourself the common touch and allow you to be known as a man of the people.

Sir John, I don't know whether anyone has filled you in, if you will pardon the expression, but you died in 1891 and it will probably come as no surprise to you that you were buried in Kingston, Ontario. To discourage souvenir hunters of the time, the government had to keep soldiers on guard at the cemetery for a month after you were buried. I have never been quite sure, Sir John, as to whether that was to keep the souvenir hunters out or you in. People still visit you there and while in Kingston take the opportunity to visit Bellevue House, a former residence of yours, which is now maintained as an historical site housing artifacts of your career. Since you left us, Alberta and Saskatchewan have joined Confederation (in 1905) and Newfoundland became the tenth province in 1949, thus completing the work that you began.

We have had three wars; the Houses of Parliament were partially destroyed by fire in 1916, no doubt to the delight of many Canadians; the first woman was elected to the Parliament of Canada in 1921; and in 1967 we celebrated the onehundredth anniversary of Confederation, at which time Queen Victoria's great-granddaughter, our Sovereign Queen Elizabeth 11, addressed Parliament.

We have had our own national flag since 1965, our own national anthem since 1967, and our population has risen from the 4 plus million of your day to about 24 million now.

And, on a note of propaganda, Sir John, if you were to make your visit to Toronto next year rather than this, instead of the town of 170,000 people of your time, you would find a city of 646,000, part of a metropolis of almost 2.2 million. Toronto would be celebrating its 150th anniversary, its sesquicentennial, and next year you would find other distinguished visitors: our Queen, the Pope, many of the tall ships will be here, the Toronto International Festival of Music and Dance will take place, as will literally hundreds of other celebration events. Do come back for it.

Sir John, the members of The Empire Club of Canada and The Royal Commonwealth Society have been much honoured by your presence here today, and we are delighted that you have chosen your reincarnation in the person of Bob Christie, a most distinguished, accomplished, and entertaining actor.

On behalf of all here today, I thank you as well as the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada and the piper of the 48th Highlanders of Canada for making this such a memorable celebration of the founding of our Dominion of Canada.

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Dominion of Canada Day Luncheon


Toast by Mgen. Legge. Introduction and thank you by Mr. Derry. Then Mr. Robert Christie (portraying Sir. John A. Macdonald) speaks of Canada and the Commonwealth with amusing anecdotes from Canada's early days.