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Dominion Day

Article tiré de :
The Unionist, and Halifax Journal Le mercredi 3 juillet 1867, p. 2

The Dominion was inaugurated on Monday, under the most favourable auspices. The day was delightfully fine for outdoor demonstrations -- in fact it was real Dominion weather. The greatest enthusiasm was evinced all over the city. The cordiality and enthusiasm evinced exceeded the most sanguine expectations of the friends of Union. Everywhere, with a few exceptions, the day was observed as a Public Holiday. Some few antis, who were of « no account, » kept their shutters down and pretended to do business; but as the day wore on, many got ashamed of their opposition, and ere the torchlight procession moved off, they were found hurrahing vociferously for UNION and the NEW DOMINION! It is gratifying to know that every Union man behaved himself as Union men know how to do, and, altho' the antis were greatly afflicted all day, it is gratifying to know that they bore their affliction with becoming resignation, so that all the arrangements of the day were carried on without interruption.

The programme published in our last was strictly adhered to. The booming of cannon announced the Birth of the New Dominion, and the ringing of church bells proclaimed the gladness.

The Volunteer Artillery, shortly before eight o'clock in the morning, fired a salute of nineteen guns, which was replied to by the Naval Brigade on the Dartmouth side. Churches in the city were thrown open for Divine Service. The National Anthem was sung in all the churches. The Union Jack floated from all the public buildings, and from all the leading business houses. It was a grand gala day. Flags were suspended across the principal thoroughfares, and mottoes and devices appropriate to the occasion were distributed all over the city, such as « THE DREAM OF MY BOYHOOD, » « BRITISH CONNECTION, » « UNION UNION, » « GOD SPEED THE UNION, » « FREE TRADE, ONE COIN, ONE TARIFF, ONE CUSTOM HOUSE ».

The orator of the day, Rev. Dr. M. RICHEY, D. D., delivered by request a truly eloquent oration from a rostrum erected on the Grand Parade. The following gentlemen occupied seats: --

His Worship the Mayor, (Chairman,) Rev. Dr. Taylor, Rev. Mr. Temple, Rev. Mr. F. Stevenson, of Newfoundland. Senators of the Dominion -- Hon. E. Kenney, Hon. Benj. Wier, Hon. J. McCully, Hon. J. H. Anderson, and Hon. W. Miller; Hon. Attorney General, Hon. Provincial Secretary, Hon. Financial Secretary; John Tobin, Esq., M. P. P. Sheriff Sawyers, Hon. A. MacFarlane, Hon. S. L. Shannon Judge Pryor, and several others.

Thousands of people listened with breathless attention to the magnificent address delivered by the Revd. gentleman -- to whom the friends of Union everywhere are under many obligations for the magnificent manner in which he was pleased to respond to the call.

Immediately after the oration the procession formed in under the able management of Mr. J. Shean, the Marshal of the day. All the Trade Unions were represented, with carriages drawn by horses, handsomely mounted, and bearing suitable mottoes; the men were at work at their different avocations, the Blacksmiths, Stonecutters, Masons, Carpenters and Joiners, Tobacco Manufacturers, the Bakers, Biscuit Manufacturers, Ship Carpenters and Caulkers, Iron Founders, Boiler Makers, Stove Founders, Nail Manufacturers. The Bands of the Volunteer Battalion and Union Protection Company, and the Drums and Fifes of the Volunteer Artillery supplied the music on the occasion. They were joined by citizens, Mayor and Corporation, Professional men, members of Local Legislature, the Government, Senators of the Dominion, Cavalcade. The procession, which covered over a mile of ground, marched through the principal streets. They were greeted all along the line by cheers from bystanders, and by waving of handkerchiefs from windows. The Juvenile Instrumental Band of St. Mary's College discoursed sweet music from the balcony of the Glebe House. On the return of the procession to the Parade, Dr. Tupper was vociferously called for, when he came forward and made a brief but eloquent speech. John Tobin, Esq., also made a few appropriate remarks.

At noon there was a Grand Display on the Common of the Military and Naval forces, in presence of His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor and the Officers of his Staff.

In the afternoon there were sports on the Common. Although it was not intended there should be a general illumination, yet many buildings were illuminated with transparencies and otherwise. The Torch Light Procession of the Union Engine Company was a brilliant affair -- it was the most attractive feature of the days proceedings. The display of Fire Works was creditable. The Provincial Building and Lunatic Asylum were brilliantly illuminated. Every thing went off as "merry as marriage bell." We have been necessarily compelled, in this short sketch, to omit several important features in the days proceedings.