100 Years Ago: Successful Recruiting, Queen Alexandra School Children Entertain

The Intelligencer October 2, 1915 (page 1)

“Successful Recruiting. Capt. Richard Ponton, who spoke at the recruiting meeting at Bancroft, and Madoc was successful in securing 15 stalwart recruits at Bancroft. These men were sworn in by Dr. MacColl, who accompanied the Capt. on his trip. The men will come to this city this evening en route to Kingston. Capt. Ponton is to be congratulated upon the successful work he is doing on behalf of the Empire.”

The Intelligencer October 2, 1915 (page 7)

“Patriotic Children Give Entertainment. In the dark days of trial and stress there is nothing so moving, so inspiring and so beautiful as to see the ingenuous patriotic enthusiasm of the children; the little men and women of to-morrow, who only see the magnitude and import of it all, ‘as through a glass darkly,’ but who realize in their own twilight way that the awful tragedy of this mighty, this history-making war is in their interest—to set the lamp of liberty and content at their own precious feet in the future.

It is evident, somehow in the fine elan of the wee khaki-clad boy scouts’ eyes, and in the dewy eyes of the little miss by his side who seems to sense, distantly, the great trial of womankind—probably the greater trial, as between men and women; for, as all men know, it is easier to die than to wait and pray, or maybe, live long years of bitter bereavement.

This was all quite evident at the entertainment given in the beautiful Queen Alexandra School, yesterday, by the children of Miss Fleming’s class. The whole affair was lovely and inspiring, and assuredly, if the home-boys in the sodden trenches, for whose benefit it was given, could have seen it, they would have been moved to tears to observe the rosy-faced children so seriously and enthusiastically ‘doing their bit’ to supply the soldiers with comforts.

Too much praise cannot be given Miss Fleming for her splendid enterprise in inaugurating this movement of school entertainments for patriotic purposes. The Board of Education could do nothing better than to allow many such entertainments given in the magnificent schools which are justly, Belleville’s pride. The programme also reflected real credit upon Miss Fleming, to whose indefatigable labor its excellence was due. The ladies who assisted deserve also a great deal of praise for the dainty tea served and the tasteful decorations.

As you entered the motto, done in colors on the blackboard by Mr. Lionel Parker, met your eye: ‘The Children of the First Form give you welcome for the relief of the Boys at the Front.’

The whole programme was so excellent that it would be difficult to single out any feature as excelling; but there was one number of local significance, namely the reading by Desmond Beamish, son of Canon Beamish, of the poem ‘Gunner Ross’ written by Joseph Nevin Doyle, about one of Belleville’s young heroes who died gallantly at Langemarck.

The girls of Miss Fleming’s class served tea, and the following ladies very ably assisted her in making the affair such a splendid success: Mrs. (Judge) Deroche, Mrs. (Canon) Beamish, Mrs. (Rev.) Smith, Mrs. (Col.) Marsh, Mrs. Alfred Gillen, Mrs. Lionel Parker (tea-table), Miss Annie Sprague, Mrs. Buchanan.”