hours was not long enough for the jubilant people of this town to
celebrate the signing by the Germans of the armistice.
Getting up at
four, putting in the morning and afternoon on the streets, rejoicing
with everybody who came along, and then having another go in the
evening, when the fire burned high, and when the light fantastic was
tripped in the armories, was not enough for many.
and even then for an hour or two more, merry-makers were stretching
out this great day to the utmost, and were reluctant to lose
themselves in sleep as long as it could be staved off.
thought that the false alarm of last Thursday and the ensuing keen
disappointment would spoil the real joy when the amistice was actually
signed, but if any warmth and feeling was missing on Monday, the
absence was not noticed.
The kids were
out, the "Kith and Kin" were out, in short everyone not
bed-ridden, exulted, and made no secret of that exultation, that the
long nightmare was coming to an end.
morning's laundry operations were forgotten by many a housewife, it is
easy to see how everyone lent him or herself to the joy of the
It was about four
o'clock in the morning when the bell of Trinity Church announced the
good news, and shortly after factory whistles and the town bell aided
in notifying the town and countryside that something had happened that
would stir the world to its depths. People at so great a distance as
Silver Hill heard the commotion, and later in the day came to join the
Shops opened in
the morning, but as soon as Mayor Sihler came down town, shortly
before ten, a proclamation was put forth announcing a holiday for the
remainder of the day.
The shops that
carried flags, fire-crackers and decoration, were besieged by eager
crowds, but last Thursday's celebration had pretty well cleaned out
the supplies. As it was few houses were without at least one flag,
cars and horses were adored, and even the baby carriages and their
tiny occupants were decked with patriotic emblems.
As for the small
boy, he was in his element. Allowed to ring the bells all he wanted
to, and to kill the Kaiser whenever he felts like it, and to make as
much noise as he could, he had the gala time of his young life, one
that will be told to his children and grandchildren in the days to
come, when it is hoped that wars will lie in the dim and distant past.
The elder people,
however, did not quite forget the absent ones in France and England,
and those who have suffered bereavement in the war made gallant
attempts to celebrate with the rest.
There are many
homes in this town that while they do not mourn a lost one, yet were
obliged at times to wish for the presence of their soldier in order to
completely round out the pleasure of this great event.
morning the Great War Veterans and the Council planned for the parade
to take place in the afternoon, and although the time was so short the
affair was a complete success. Gaily decorated cars, huge motor trucks
with human freight this time even a handsome three-in-hand helped make
up the huge procession, which was led by members of the Great War
Veterans' Association, who have during the past four years helped to
bring about the present satisfactory conditions With them was a band
hastily gotten together of those who could play a hand instrument.
Simcoe has sadly missed its excellent Battalion Band, but the services
of the musicians on Monday were more acceptable.
service was held at the drill hall (which by the way was finished in
1914, just after the war began, owing to the policy of Sir Sam Hughes,
and which has since settled many huge crowds), with all the Protestant
clergymen of the town, with the exception of Mr. Farney, who was
forced to be absent from town during the afternoon, taking part. Dr.
Dey was in charge. Private John Pratt of the G.W.V.A. called the
gathering to order. Hymns of praise and prayers of gratitude were
offered in accordance with the desire of the Government of Canada that
a religious character be given to the celebration Rev. Mr. Newcombe,
chaplain of the 133rd Battalion, emphasized the wonderful change that
had taken place within the post few months, and after him came Rev.
Mr. Moir. Judge Boles presented the case of the Victory Boards, urging
that the patriotic duty of buying these guarantees of continued
prosperity for Canada be fulfilled at once and that each one help in
putting the county "over the top" by Saturday night.
Early in the
evening, the bonfire was built, and the Kaiser's effigy taken about
town by the sholdier's [smugged] was
placed on top of the [pile]. When the
blaze drew the figure into its embrace, the cheering of the assemblage
rose to the heavens, and again when the effigy collapsed.
The dance in the
armories was much enjoyed by spectator and participant, but the modern
dances have almost entirely superseded the old-time square dances. One
item of the program, a clog dance, proved to be to the liking of the
crowd. The fun was carried on until after eleven o'clock.
The Walsh band
has been a part of the program at the Delhi celebration, and not
wanting to miss anything, journeyed home by way of Simcoe, stopping
off here for a time about 12:30. Their playing attracted quite a
crowed of spectators, some of whom took advantage of the opportunity
to enjoy another dance or two on the pavement.
So ended a day
never to be forgotten by loyal Simconians.
As the Kaiser was
licked by the fire, somebody uttered that pertinent remark,
"Where do you go from here?"
Simcoe people may
be classed as cold and unenthusiastic, but they broke through their
reserve on Monday.
The Union Jack
was not the only flag that was flown, but of course, it predominated.
The Stars and Stripes came next.
Simcoe had no
railwaymen to take an unaccustomed holiday as did some cities, but the
postoffice was shut up tight. Even the telephone girls tried to do
some celebrating between calls.
The Victory Bond
car was one that should have attracted general attention, but for the
beauty of its decorations and for the message it conveyed to the
crowd. Have you got your Bonds yet? Only two more days.
Among the many
beautifully adorned cars was one that was especially appropriate: A
huge Union Jack was supported above the car driven by Miss Vina Lea,
and upon it stood her bull-dog, King, a representation of the
well-known picture, with its message, "What We Have, We'll
Only one serious
accident marred the whole day. Hugh Prentice, a returned soldier, made
an attempt to get upon a moding motor truck, when he was knocked under
one of the back wheels., which passed over his thigh close to the
body. He was removed from the place of the accident on Robinson street
to the office of Dr. Grasett for treatment.
criticize the use of the fuel that fed the flames of the bonfire on
Monday evening on the ground that its warmth would be vastly
appreciated before the winter is over. Possibly so, but there are
people who will gladly endure some cold for the privilege of
remembering the warmth of heart they experienced on the occasion of
the down-fall of the pseudo-kaiser, symbolical as it was of his real