100 Years Ago: Plans for Soldiers’ Christmas Dinners, 15th Battalion Band Complimented

The Intelligencer December 16, 1915 (page 2)

“Christmas Dinners For the Soldiers. That the members of the 80th Battalion are thoroughly popular with the Belleville citizens was indicated by the very representative meeting called by the Khaki Club and the Military Y.M.C.A. to arrange for Christmas dinners for the men who will be spending Christmas in barracks.

Every church in the city was represented by two or more ladies and a committee was convened to attend to the details and supervise the serving of the dinner which will be at 11:45 on Christmas morning. The mid-day hour was found more satisfactory as ample help was available then and this hour would interfere in no way with the programme arranged for the evening by the Daughters of the Empire. …

The Khaki Club readily offered to attend to the decorating of tables as they were familiar with the arrangements to be made. Miss Campbell will supervise the serving and within a few minutes of volunteering for this work had plenty of offers of assistance. A list of provisions required was presented and it quickly vanished as one after another of the twenty-five present assumed responsibility on behalf of her church for portions of it. …

It was felt that a number of people in the country would be anxious to have some part in this work for the soldiers, and they are invited to communicate with Mrs. MacColl, phone 418, or Mr. Sharpe, phone 413, if they can assist in providing fowl, fruit, or any of the provisions necessary.

While the success of the undertaking is assured by the very capable committee selected, it will require the assistance of a lot of people, and the hearty co-operation of every one approached is solicited.”

The Intelligencer December 16, 1915 (page 7)

“15th Band Complimented. To the Editor of The Daily Intelligencer. Dear Sir:—Would you be kind enough to publish this letter for me. Last Sunday night I was invited to take part in the concert given by the 15th Battalion Band, in Griffin’s Opera House, for the poor children’s Christmas tree, and I was, as a professional musician, agreeably surprised at the class of music played, and the way it was rendered; one number especially, the second selection of Faust by Gounod. This very difficult number was well played, and the writer was also amazed at the way the band accompanied the singers, not as is generally the case, over blowing to drown them, but to let the voice stand out over the band. This is the art of accompaniment, and I certainly had an enjoyable evening, and I hope the citizens of Belleville will not only appreciate, but loyally support a musical organization, which in the opinion of the writer, can compare very favorably with many of the large cities.

Mr. Lomas, the bass player of our company, also played at the concert and he is of the same opinion as myself. Mr. Lomas for years was with the famous 13th Battalion Band of Hamilton and also with the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra. I remain. Yours truly, J.W. PRATT. Flute and Piccolo Soloist with ‘Birth of a Nation Company.’ “