100 Years Ago: Soldiers Gather at Tabernacle Church, 80th Battalion Colours on Exhibit

The Intelligencer March 27, 1916 (pages 1, 2)

“Increasing Need of Fighting Christians. The splendid turn-out by the 80th and 155th Battalions at the Tabernacle church yesterday morning was a sight to make many a loyal heart beat with pride. Led by its magnificent band, with Lieut. Stares at its head, the 80th marched in perfect form from its headquarters to the place of worship, while the 155th, to the airs of its popular band, under the leadership of Bandmaster Hinchey, made a no less creditable display.

Filing in through the spacious vestibule and up the broad steps to the auditorium the greetings were most cordial, the regular attendants freely giving up their pews for the visitors, who with visiting civilians taxed the church to its limit, from one to two hundred being compelled to remain in the entrance.

The Band of the 80th Battalion furnished the musical programme, seated in the front side pews, while the 155th Band occupied a place of honor in the seats of the choir.

Besides the pastor, Rev. S.C. Moore, who delivered a timely discourse, Captain Ketcheson, chaplain of the 80th Battalion occupied a seat in the pulpit, and assisted in the services.

A few cordial words of greeting by the pastor, a beautifully rendered selection, ‘God of our Fathers,’ by the Tabernacle Quartette, composed of Mrs. Grant, Mrs. Nicholson, Messrs. Schryver and Moorman, were followed by the topic of the morning, entitled ‘A Demand for Fighting Christians.’ ”

The Intelligencer March 27, 1916 (page 2)

“Colors For 80th Battalion On Exhibition. The south window of Ketcheson & Earle’s store on Front Street was today the centre of attraction owing to the fact that it was most artistically decorated with the colors of the 80th Battalion, which will be presented to this battalion in the near future.

The two flags are beautiful in design and represent the King’s colors and the colors of the 80th Battalion. The one flag consists of the battalion crest on a field of blue, fringed with gold, whilst the King’s colors is a Union Jack surmounted by a crown. This is also fringed with gold, with the royal crest in the centre.

These two beautiful colors are the gift to the 80th Battalion of members of the Ketcheson family in Hastings County. Col. W.G. Ketcheson is the commanding officer of the 80th Battalion, and not only is he a popular officer, but in private life is held in high esteem. The colors are most beautiful in design, are exquisitely made, and will surely be highly prized by the battalion to which they will be presented.

At present it is not known when the presentation of the colors will be made. …  In addition to the colors in the display is an excellent photo of Col. Ketcheson and pictures of the Battalion taken at Barriefield.

The occasion of the presentation of the colors will no doubt be one of the events of the year, attracting many spectators to the city. The gift is, needless to state, one that is highly appreciated by all members of the 80th Battalion.”