100 Years Ago: Belleville to Raise $75,000 for Patriotic Fund, 235th Battalion Recruiting Campaign, Patriotic Mass Meeting

The Intelligencer January 17, 1917 (page 1)

“A meeting was held last evening in the Council Chamber, City Building, for the purpose of discussing ways and means for raising money, in the city for patriotic purposes. The result was that $75,000 is the amount aimed at, and this sum will be realized by the City Council making a grant of $5,000 per month, or $60,000 for the year, and the remaining $15,000 to be raised by subscriptions.

It was a representative gathering of citizens, the following being in attendance: Hon. H. Corby, Mayor Ketcheson, Judge Deroche, Judge Wills, Messrs. T. Ritchie, J. E. Walmsley, H. Sneyd, R. Tannahill, H. W. Ackerman, A. Jones, O. H. Scott, W. M. Mott, A. Gillen, S. Masson, K. C., C. M. Stork, W. H. Panter, J. Elliott, J. A. Kerr, F. K. Spriggs, J. G. Moffat, J. S. Henderson, Wm. Carnew, Ald. St. Charles, Ald. Smith and Rev. Dr. Blagrave. …

Judge Wills—Some machinery will have to be put in motion for the collection of the $15,000 necessary to be raised by subscriptions. On motion a committee composed of Judge Deroche, Judge Wills, Mayor Ketcheson, Messrs. H. W. Ackerman, Wm. Carnew, H. Sneyd, R. Tannahill and A. R. Walker, was appointed to act in this matter.

The meeting was then brought to a close, after it was decided the committee would meet again next Tuesday evening to formulate a plan of campaign.”

The Intelligencer January 17, 1917 (page 7)

“Recruiting Campaign. With the blowing of the factory whistles and the ringing of the church bells in the city, the 235th Battalion week of recruiting activities will commence at one o’clock on Saturday noon. A parade will be held headed by the 235th Band. During the afternoon, two open air meetings will take place on main thoroughfares. On Saturday night, a torchlight procession will be held by the battalion, after which open air meetings and meetings in the various pool and billiard rooms in the city will take place.

The activities of the campaign will be carried out on Sunday, and each minister in the city has been asked to devote part of their services in an appeal for men for overseas service. At 8.30 p.m. a large mass meeting will be held in Griffin’s Opera House, at which Major G. I. Campbell, Chief Recruiting Officer for Ontario, Lt.-Col. Scobell, O.C. the 235th Battalion, Capt. McLean and Sergt. Mellor will speak. The 235th Band will also be present and will render a musical programme. A full programme of the week’s doing will be announced later.

This evening a public meeting will be held in the City Hall for organization purposes. Cards will be passed around at this meeting for the signature of those present who will secure the enlistment of one recruit. A committee will be formed for the purpose of stirring up interest in the campaign among the business men and employees, through telephone conversations and personal interviews. Mr. D. V. Sinclair has been asked and will preside at the meeting and it is hoped that everyone who is interested in the welfare of the country will turn out and boost this campaign through to a success.”

The Intelligencer January 17, 1917 (page 7)

“Patriotic Mass Meeting at the Belleville City Hall at 8 p.m., To-night. Wednesday, Jan. 17th. Come and help to launch the biggest recruiting campaign ever conducted in this city.”