100 Years Ago: Meeting Launches Patriotic Fund Effort, Belleville Patriotic Concert, Eldorado Red Cross, Coal Situation in Belleville

The Intelligencer February 16, 1917 (page 1)

“If enthusiasm is any indication of success the Patriotic Fund Campaign in Belleville, February 21, 22, 23, will eclipse all other efforts. The enthusiasm displayed at last night’s meeting of the various committees, augurs well for the success of this most laudable undertaking. Practically all of the members were present, and each committee occupied a separate table and went to work with a vim and dash seldom to be found in a body of men working for a common purpose. Suggestions were made and eagerly accepted, with a result that no stone will be left unturned to make Belleville’s Big Patriotic Fund Campaign of 1917, such a success that the amount will not be outdone by any city of its size in the Province.

The mark this year is $75,000, and we’re going to get it. This slogan properly represents the determination and energy of the hard-working committee men. However, the citizens of Belleville must put their shoulders to the wheel and push the movement along to a successful conclusion. The Committee Rooms on the corner of Front and Bridge Streets are open at all time to all the citizens. They should call in and show that they are ready to do their share.

The Lists Committee are working hard on the lists supplied by the letter carriers, and this important work will be completed to-night. The Chairman of Finance Committee is writing to the head offices of all the companies, banks, agencies, mills, &c., represented in Belleville.

The Publicity Committee has placed the one sheet lithos in all the windows on Front Street, and also on all the prominent bill boards. The advertising will appear in tomorrow’s paper. The thanks of the Committee are due to the co-operation of the local press in the Publicity Campaign, without this co-operation success would be impossible.

It is now up to every citizen of Belleville to prepare to give to their utmost, to care for the dependents of our brave men at the front, and $75,000 will hardly take care of our Belleville soldiers’ families, as last year over $600 was given out in Belleville more than was given to the Fund. Let Belleville do its duty in 1917.”

The Intelligencer February 16, 1917 (page 3)

“Patriotic Concert a Big Success. To say that the initial concert of the Belleville Patriotic Chorus in the City Hall, last evening, was a success is putting it mildly. The hall was filled to capacity, every available seat being occupied, and the program was of such a quality that it is felt that if Prof. V. P. Hunt had not announced that owing to the length of the program, no encores would be given, the audience would have applauded for one after each number. In fact, the rule set by Prof. Hunt was almost broken, after Miss Joy Higgs had contributed a violin solo, when the applause was continuous for over five minutes, in an effort to bring this talented artist on the platform again.

Selections were given by the splendid 254th Battalion Band, which merited much applause. Bandmaster Hinchey and his bandsmen certainly outdid themselves in their performance last evening. …  The concert was under the patronage of the colonels and officers of the 235th and 254th Battalions, C.E.F., and the proceeds were for the Patriotic Fund.”

The Intelligencer February 16, 1917 (page 7)

“The Eldorado Red Cross. The following is the annual report of The Florence Nightingale Red Cross Society of Eldorado. This Society was organized on December the 1st, 1915. We have 48 members and held 12 meetings during the year with an average attendance of 16 members. At these meetings we discussed ways and means of providing comforts for the soldiers at the front and those in the hospitals. …

This Society meets the second Wednesday of each month, when we will be pleased to receive new members. Age bars no one as the most knitting done by any one person was done by our eldest member, Mrs. Wm. Fox, who has knit nearly seventy pairs of socks during the year, Mrs. T. Lewis coming second. They both have done their bit, and set a good example for the younger women to follow. We take this opportunity of thanking all those who though not members so kindly assisted in any way.”

The Intelligencer February 16, 1917 (page 8)

“Coal Situation in Belleville. To the editor of The Intelligencer:—We were successful in getting four cars of hard coal delivered to us yesterday afternoon over the Grand Trunk. These cars have been over the Canadian border only from a week to ten days, which considering the conditions that have been hampering all railroads during the recent severe weather is very satisfactory delivery.

We have been keeping our customers supplied at all times this winter and have in many cases helped out the customers of other dealers with all the coal we felt justified in sparing them. …  We have turned down orders for hundreds upon hundreds of tons from nearby towns in order to keep what small reserve of coal we had for our own citizens. …

In our estimation the basis of the whole trouble is the inability of the American Coal Companies to actually furnish the coal. They are not mining over 60% of their normal output, due to great shortage of labor. …  Although we have had to contend with transportation delays on this side of the border to some extent, nevertheless on the whole the G.T.R. in our opinion has done remarkably well in the matter of prompt forwarding of coal. So far as The Schuster Co., Ltd. is concerned, every car of coal that has been shipped us has arrived at its destination, and it has all come by Grand Trunk, about 45 cars in all. We hope to have several more cars shipped to us in the near future, which when they arrive will go a long way towards relieving the general shortage in Belleville.

An important lesson to be learned by the coal consuming public from the present acute situation, which although it is more acute and more serious than ever before, is not a new one, is the great desirability of having the Winter’s coal supply delivered during the Summer and Fall. W. N. Belair.”