100 Years Ago: Dearer School Books, Presentation to Eddie Wellman, 254th Battalion’s Valentine Dance

The Intelligencer February 15, 1917 (page 1)

“A threat has been made that if the present high price of book paper does not slide down quickly in Canada every parent from Nova Scotia to Vancouver will have the inequality brought before him in added cost of school books. That, roughly, is the ‘big stick’ which the book publishers wield. Most of the book publishing in the Dominion is of textbooks.

Publishers compare that where three years ago they used to pay four and a half cents a pound for paper they have been for a whole year charged increasing prices, which now reach eleven and three-quarter cents a pound.”

The Intelligencer February 15, 1917 (page 2)

“On the evening of January 25th, 1917, about forty friends and neighbors gathered at the home of Mr. Jas. P. Wellman, where a very pleasant evening was spent in games, singing, speeches, etc., after which the following address was read by Mrs. Jas. Sprackett and Miss M. Thompson presented the watch to their son, Eddie, who has recently enlisted in the 254th Battalion of Hastings Co.

Pte. G. E. Wellman:— We your friends and neighbors have assembled here tonight to express our appreciation of the noble impulse that has prompted you, at this time of our country’s peril to enlist to fight for the liberties, not only of your country, friends and relations, but also the liberties of the whole world.

We fully appreciate the sacrifice you are making in giving up the present prospects of a prosperous business career and the safety, ease and comfort of a good home, for the stern, perilous life of a soldier in this present unprecedented conflict, but we believe that the knowledge to you of duty performed will be your reward.

And now Eddie since you have chosen the honor of going forth to defend the liberties of the world from being over-run, down-trodden and debased by the most unscrupulous and fiendish military machine the world has ever known, we your friends at home have a sacred duty to perform in upholding you in your purpose and knowing the needs of our men at the front, it is our duty to be thrifty and saving and to labor at such work as will aid you along with our other brave boys and Allies in winning the war, and to see to it that we labor for things essential.

And now Eddie we will ask you to accept this watch, as a token of our appreciation of your action of enlisting, and when far away from friends and loved ones, when you look at this watch may you remember that your friends are praying for your safety and that, you may return safely to us after the liberties of the world have been firmly secured. Signed on behalf of your friends and well wishers. Judson A. Gunter, Jas. Sprackett, M. D. Haggerty.”

The Intelligencer February 15, 1917 (page 3)

“254th Battalion’s Valentine Dance. Last evening at Johnstone’s Dancing Academy, the Staff Sergeants and Sergeants of the 254th Battalion, C.E.F., held their second dance of the season. This dance being held on St. Valentine’s Day the decorations and programmes were very appropriately gotten up. Dancing started at 9 P.M. All the dancers were masked, and some were in masquerade costume, which added greatly to the interest and effect of the evening’s amusement. The music was supplied by the excellent orchestra of the 254th Battalion. The supper table was most artistically decorated, and the refreshments left nothing to be desired. There were about one hundred couples present, all of whom enjoyed themselves dancing until the early hours of the morn.

Great praise and thanks are due to the ladies, who worked hard to achieve so great a success as the dance proved to be. The Staff Sergeants and Sergeants take this opportunity to sincerely thank the following patronesses for all their kindness and help given: Mrs. A. P. Allen, Mrs. B. L. Hyman, Mrs. Sandford, Mrs. Hamilton, Miss Farrow, Miss M. B. Falkiner, Miss M. M. Campbell, Mrs. A. R. Symons, Mrs. W. S. Clarke and Miss Eva Panter.

It was deeply regretted that, owing to illness, Mrs. (Lt.-Col.) A. P. Allen was unable to be present.”