The Loyalist Monument - 1883

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The Loyalist Monument - 1883
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THE LOYALIST MONUMENT – 1883. SIR: The suggestion having been made, and favorably received, that we should have an exhibition and unveil a monument on our centennial morn, so soon approaching, in honor of those patriotic leaders, the Loyalists, I beg to submit a few ideas bearing upon the subject. I am not absolutely wedded to the mode I suggest, but present my views for the consideration of our people, and to invite discussion, in order that the best course may be adopted and carried out, for the purpose of effecting what is so earnestly desired in a manner worthy of our sires, worthy of ourselves and worthy of our goodly country. If it is not premature to move in the matter – and I do not think it is – I would suggest that clubs be formed in the city and in each parish in our Province, to be called the Loyalist Club, or Monumental Club, or, what would perhaps be better, the Loyalist Monumental Club, for the purpose of collecting relics and also of gathering the fullest information from those who are so rapidly passing away of their earliest remembrance of our infant Province. Concerts and lectures could also be given under the auspices of such clubs, and the members could also take part in the procession at the unveiling of the monument which I propose should be erected. Let prizes be offered for the best history of the Loyalists, embracing the history of each county, showing the increase by decades of population, material progress, etc, and giving biographical sketches of the “illustrious dead.” Let a site be selected whereon to erect a suitable monument, at a suitable cost. Let the Province give a round sum towards the object, and our City Council give as much as the Province, and the balance be raised by our people, in visiting all throughout the Province to contribute, accepting with equal thanks the small but sincere offering of the poor, and the larger gift of the wealthy. I will not, at present, give my ideas of site, cost, nor design of the monument, preferring to hear from others who are more competent to give an opinion on such matters. It would, I think, be well if persons, who have a knowledge by reading or observation of the cost and designs of monuments, or any original ideas, to make them known to our people, and as the press has spoken so favorably of the undertaking, it will, I have no doubt, gladly give space to anyone who may be disposed to help along the good work. To my mind, there need be no fears of raising sufficient funds for the purpose, for, if the men cannot do it, women can. Let the ladies who did so nobly for the Masonic, Odd Fellows’ and other bazaars, take hold with their accustomed energy, and success is certain. Other ladies throughout our Province would, I am sure, lend a helping hand. For, to my mind, all other incentives fade away before this, which, I have no doubt, they would consider not alone a labor of love but also of duty. They could devote their spare moments from now until 1882, leaving a margin of one year, in preparing a monster bazaar, which would eclipse all their former efforts. Let it be held in the Rink or Exhibition Building in that year, and the result would be magnificent. But, by whatever means may be thought best, let the Exhibition take place, and LET THE MONUMENT BE ERECTED. Our neighbors are at work and we should not remain idle. Boston with pomp and powder, bands and banners, has already celebrated her 250th Birthday. Baltimore has just closed her Sesqui-Centennial with poems and orations, music and parade. Philadelphia will in 1882 unfurl her banner to the breeze, on which will be inscribed, “Two Centuries Old.” New York is selecting a site where, in 1883, she will exhibit to the world her marvellous progress. Let us therefore be up and doing; let the aged lend a helping hand, that their fading vision may be gladdened by the sight of a meritorious act, before passing “to the undiscovered country, from whose bourne no traveller returns.” Let manhood rejoice in its ability to assist in so laudable an undertaking, and let the little children contribute their portion that when future years shall come, and they are bending beneath the infirmities of age, they can point with honest pride to the monumental pile and say to those who will then be young, “I assisted in rearing that shaft sacred to the memory of departed worth.” No street or square in our city bears the honored name of Loyalist. LET US THEREFORE ERECT A MONUMENT, to show that we are not unworthy descendants of worthy sires, and that our greed for gain does not deter us from paying a tribute, tho’ tardy, to the virtues of an earlier age. Let us erect a monument, that it may proclaim to the strangers who come within our borders, “that there were giants in those days,” that a small but devoted band, allured by no avarice, inspired by no hopes of an “Eldorado,” with no visions of a “Golden Fleece,” to sustain them in their weary wanderings, left blooming orchards, and smiling fields, left comfortable homes, and fond recollections, to dwell in a northern wilderness, wherein they could untrammelled follow the dictates of a pure conscience and lofty patriotism, a patriotism enduring as adamant, bright as the midday sun, strong as woman’s love, and pure as the dews of the morning. LET US ERECT A MONUMENT, and should the fires of patriotism smoulder in the breasts of our citizens, should turbulent discontent waste the energies of our people, should our politicians grow weary of well doing and prove recreant to their sacred trust, we can to the sacred shaft repair, and from its silent but potent eloquence learn to love our country “to do our duty in that state of life unto which it has pleased God to place us, feeling assured that reverence for worth is the highest honor, and that a good name is above rubies. LOYALIST.