100 Years Ago: Funeral of Sir Mackenzie Bowell, The Intelligencer Mailed Overseas, West Belleville War Workers

The Intelligencer December 14, 1917 (page 2)

“Sir Mackenzie Bowell Honored in Death. Last Sad Rites for Belleville’s First Citizen Attended By Large Concourse of Friends From Near and Far—Public Service In Bridge Street Methodist Church.

Business was virtually suspended in the city between the hours of two and four o’clock while hundreds of citizens and many from outside points, far and near, attended the last sad rites of one whose friends were legion and who in his ninety-fourth year could look back upon a well-spent life of public service.

The funeral was held under the auspices of the Masonic Order being in charge of the officers of Belleville Lodge, No. 123, G.R.C., A.F. and A.M. of which Sir Mackenzie was a member. The officers and members of Benjamin Loyal Orange Lodge, No. 274 and L.O.L. 2519 of Belleville also attended in a body.

The funeral procession was very long including the Masonic and Orange Lodges and many vehicles containing relatives and friends, representatives of the city council and other civic organizations, including the educational departments, the schools closing down for the afternoon out of respect for the deceased who for many years took an active interest in civic educational affairs being for several years Chairman of the Board of Public School Trustees.

After a short service at the home, conducted by Rev. Dr. Scott, a public service was held at Bridge Street Methodist Church. …  The large church edifice was filled to the doors by a reverent assembly who with sad hearts but kindly memories followed with interest the solemn ceremony. …

The body was then taken from the sacred edifice and conveyed to Belleville cemetery and laid away in the tomb to await the resurrection morn. …  As the cortege passed the Ontario School for the Deaf, the pupils were lined up on either side of the road through which it passed in a respectful tribute to the life and memory of deceased.”

The Intelligencer December 14, 1917 (page 6)

“Intelligencer Appreciated Overseas. Folkestone, Kent, Nov. 25, 1917. Belleville Intelligencer, Belleville, Ont. Dear Sirs,—Many thanks for the Belleville Intelligencer, which is now coming in on each mail. As it happened, just as your papers reached us we had an increased demand for them from two different hospitals in this area and, within the last week, several Belleville boys, and boys from towns near Belleville, have come into the hut and read the papers we have hung on the wall on the ‘Belleville hook.’

The papers are distributed to the men in hospital by our hospital visitors, who are nearly all the wives and mothers of Canadian officers living in this area, and as each visitor comes regularly for her bundle of Canadian papers, your Belleville boys will read their home news often. Yours very truly, (Mrs. G. W.) E. F. MacKeen, Newspaper Depot, Y.M.C.A. Hut.”

The Intelligencer December 14, 1917 (page 7)

“Belleville War Workers Commended. The following letter was received by the Secretary of the West Belleville War Workers from the Canadian War Contingent Association, London, England, and shows to what extent the effort made by the West Belleville ladies is appreciated in England.

London, Nov. 27, 1917. Dear Madam:—I have just received your letter of October 24th, in which you advise me that you have shipped to our care six trench boxes.

I am directed to convey through you our grateful thanks for this promised gift, and we will see that their contents, so far as possible, are distributed among Canadians who are not likely to receive too much at Christmas. Your list of contents of the parcels shows what a fine consignment it is. With grateful thanks, Sincerely yours, Eleanor McLaren-Brown, Hon. Sec., Ladies Committee, C.W.C.A.”