100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Archive for the tag “Canada”

Orangemen Celebrate “The Twelfth” In Canada

The 12th of July or The Twelfth is a celebration of Protestants conquest over Catholic forces in England. It originated as a celebration of the Battle of Aughrim which took place on July 12, 1691 where the predominantly Irish Catholic Jacobite army was destroyed by Protestant forces led by Dutch nobleman William of Orange but the decisive battle of the Williamite-Jacobite War happened a year earlier in July 1690 at the Battle of the Boyne where William defeated king James II of England. Both defeats were combined and celebrated William who became William III of England. Smoldering resentments left 2 factions – Orange Men, Protestants who supported William and the English Crown and Catholic “Defenders” who supported Irish nationalism.

In 1795 after a fiery sermon from a Protestant reverend, a riot broke out where Protestant and Catholics clashed. The Orange Order was formed as an organization to fight Irish political expression. Lodges were formed and spread all over the British Empire. Celebrating “The Twelfth” became a flash point for confrontation and violence especially in Catholic dominated areas. The celebrations were banned in Northern Ireland in the 1830-40’s. The Twelfth had dwindled until 1886 when the subject of Irish Home Rule started being introduced. Orange lodges started marching as a sign of disagreement with Irish national desires. The night before, “Eleventh Night” were marked with huge bonfires. Tensions between Catholics and Protestants were heightened and riots killed dozens. In 1912 a Irish Home Rule bill was introduced in Parliament. Protestants marched to show their disapproval.

In Canada the Orange Order held such sway that membership in the Orange Order was an unspoken pre-requisite for holding civic office. There has been an Orange parade in Toronto on July 12th since 1821, the longest continuous celebration.

On July 12, 1912 the Loyal Orange Lodge No. 2123 – Hamilton, Ontario gathered to show their support for the Protestant cause.

Loyal Orange Lodge No. 2123
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
July 12, 1912

Postmarked July 8, 1912

Miss S.McMaster
Cookstown, Ontario, Canada

Bolton July 7/12

My Dear Sadie

Here we are in our new home, far from being settled of course. Went to church & sunday school & expect to go tonight again.
The people seem very nice, I will not say whether I like it or not yet. Time only will tell. Tell your mother the garden is not as good as the one we left but what there is of it is good. Isn’t the weather warm. Hope you had a nice day at the lake. Ethel

D10 class Ten-wheeler 2680 arriving with passenger train.
Note the omnibus for local transportation as the station was some distance from the village.

Tornado Destroys Provincial Capital In Canada

Regina is the capital city of the province of Saskatchewan, Canada with a population of 30,000.

On June 30, 1912 green funnel clouds started to form 11 miles south of Regina. At 4:50pm a tornado touched down at traveled 7.5 miles through the heart of the city. Wind velocity was estimated to be 310 mph. “In just twenty minutes it completely leveled a number of houses, and caused other houses to explode as the pressure inside the structures rose when the tornado passed overhead.” It left a path of destruction from the southern residential area, the downtown business district, rail yards, warehouse district, and northern residential area. The tornado killed 28 and left 2,500 homeless.

Destroyed home in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
June 30, 1912

Canadian Supreme Court Rules Against Parliament Making National Marriage Laws

There had been debate in Canada for some time about the validity of marriage. Most of the country is Protestant but Quebec is mostly Catholic and does not recognize marriage performed religiously mixed couples performed by a Protestant minister.

On June 17, 1912 the Supreme Court of Canada held that Parliament could not pass a national law governing marriage, and that mixed marriages solemnized by a Protestant clergyman could not be outlawed in Quebec.

The entire ruling:

Canadian wedding – 1912

New Hotel Opens In Canada

The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway of Canada was formed in 1903 to build a second trans-Canadian railway that terminated on the Pacific with a terminus closer to Asia than Vancouver. The first shovel of earth for the construction of the GTPR took place at an official ceremony in September 1905 in Ontario by then Prime Minister Laurier. Construction has already passed the Continental Divide and the western stretch will be completed in a few years. In 1910, the Grand Trunk Pacific dock was built in Seattle, Washington and is the largest dock on the west coast.

The GTPR decided to build opulent hotels along the new railway line to to encourage tourists to travel its transcontinental routes. Their first in downtown Ottawa was to be their flagship hotel. Built in Gothic fashion of Indiana limestone in the Château style, “including its massive scale, irregular silhouette, steeply-pitched copper roofs, ornate gables and dormers.” It featured “towers and turrets, high-quality materials, and dramatic setting.” General Manager of GTPR, Charles Hays, travelled to Europe to gather opulent furniture worthy of the spectacular hotel. He wanted to travel back to Canada in the fastest, safest ship he could. Unfortunately he chose the RMS TITANIC. Neither Hays or the furniture ever reached Canada.

On June 1, 1912 the Chateau Laurier Hotel opened in Ottawa to great acclaim as a magnificent hotel. GTPR plans other hotels along its route based on the Chateau style.

Chateau Lautier Hotel on opening day – June 1, 1912

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