A Visitor's View of Us: Extracts from a Flying Visit to the Maritime Provinces

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A Visitor's View of Us: Extracts from a Flying Visit to the Maritime Provinces
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A VISITOR’S VIEW OF US. Extracts From a Flying Visit to the Maritime Provinces. By the Editor of the Courier du Canada, Quebec. (Translated from the French) In October, 1825, a terrible fire ruined all this Miramichi district. It destroyed all on a superficial area of three million acres and 160 persons perished in the flames. Newcastle was burnt to ashes and all the lower Miramichi converted into a vast desert. Moncton is the operating centre of the Intercolonial, a railway of great importance and that has coat a good deal, but the one who travels can appreciate the soundness of it and its security. The management seems in perfect order; everyone ready to help you out if any misfortune happens to you. Moncton is in a full era of prosperity and activity. The number of buildings in course of erection yearly is prodigious. Several buildings of note are to be seen, and manu-factories of an important nature are well worth a visit Such are the cotton mills, the sugar refinery, the I. C. P. general offices and several churches. There are six churches, one of which is the Catholic church; three banks, or branches of the banks of Montreal, Merchants of Nova Scotia, an opera house, a public market and several hotels, the Brunswick ranking A 1 among them. We fear no contradiction on this saying, as it was one of the best hotels we stopped at on our journey. Situated a few steps from the depot it offers all desirable comfort to the traveller, where he will find all modern improvements, including the electric light in full blast, and manager Fuchs, a Quebecer by birth and heart, ready always to answer all questions. We at last shook hands with hint and confided ourselves to his experience, so as to visit rapidly the city of his recent adoption. As you may well believe, his courtesy was not lacking for his new guests. Here we had also the pleasure to meet the Hon. P. A. Landry, M. P. for Kent He was leaving the same day to speechify to his compatriots at St Louis, near Richibucto, the 15th August being the National Feast of the Acadians. The Hon. Mr. Poirier was going to Grand Anse, Gloucester Co., on the same errand. The above named gentlemen, are the most conspicuous figures of our compatriots, the Acadians. The prominent place they occupy with the Acadians by their knowledge and their eminent political position, forces there to be at the head of all patriotic movements. It is a sweet object for them because they have faith in the future of their people, and I believe that they are right. I flatter myself I well know the Acadians. I have seen them at work at the convention in 1881. There was at that time, in educational matter, an accentuated movement in favor of union. The college of Memramcook was then in operation, but had not yet acquired the reputation it has today. The Acadians had but one representative in Ottawa. He was a young man and was not in possession of the educational advantages of today. The national clergy had only a few members, but since then several young priests have shown their value as apostles and protectors of education. Let me cite one example. Rev. F. X. Cormier of Cocagne gave $3,000 (all he possessed) to add an ell to the college of his native place, Memramcook. It is a fine example of generosity to the rising generation, and has not been surpassed—except by the important donations of the founder of this institution, the late Mr. Lafrance. Since eight year our Acadian brothers have prospered materially and morally. They have as representatives in the local and federal parliaments: Hon. P. A. Landry, M. P.. Ottawa. Hon. P. Poirier, Ottawa. Senate. — F. Theriault, Fredericton. W. Labillois, Fredericton. Hon. A. D. Richard, Fredericton, Legislative Council. Hon. M. Arsenault, P. E. I. Mr. Robichaud. Nova Scotia. With a little understanding their number of prominent men could be augmented. Memramcook college has a solid foundation, and its directors have the confidence and good will of the public. Education there is in no way inferior to other colleges. The Rev. Father Lefebre unites, through long experience, the most devoted attention to the education of young men. Had I not been educated at St. Anne's I should have preferred Memramcook, because here there is all that can be a pleasure to young students: Fine situation, good professors, salubrious place, gymnasium, reading rooms, play looms, and a garden kept with utmost care by one of the fathers— the curator, I believe, of the museum. At this museum the one who knows and the antiquarian can find all they want to satisfy their particular ideas and wishes. After having spent four hours in Monc¬ton, we take the Halifax morning express and arrive at 11.30 at College Bridge station, one mile from the college, to which we had been invited by Rev. P. Roy. A wagon was waiting for us, and 15 minutes later we were courteously received by the Rev. Messrs. Lefebre, Roy and Langlois, the last named being a schoolmate and also a next parishioner of mine. We were most happy to meet him and the gentlemen directors of this hospitable institution. We were glad to hear that the whole diocese of St. John was engaged in a mission and to see at the first moment of leisure all the priests we had known at St. Anne’s and the seminary surrounding us. Rev. Father Michaud of Buctouche [Bouctouche], the energetic defender of the school law (we had not forgotten), was there. He had been incarcerated for being too hard a worker in the defence of a good cause. Rev. Joseph Ouellet of St. Mary’s, of Buctouche, a schoolmate, and a hard worker for colonization purposes. Rev. Father Bradley of Cape Pele, whom I had known in the Quebec seminary, but had not met since 1866. Rev. F. N. Cormier, a former student at St Annes and a well known benefactor, of Memramcook college. Rev. A. Ouellet of Shediac, who was for quite a period attached to the bishop’s palace at St John, and a distinguished orator. Rev. Honore Ouellet, one of my students at the Quebec seminary. It cannot be doubted that we passed very agreeably the few hours we were there. We visited the college, church, presbytery, the gardens, the museum, under the supervision of the superior and Father Langlois. We saw here the key of the church of Grand Pre, where the Acadians, numbering 2000, went, not knowing that they were giving up themselves to an enemy without heart, who took them as if in a net and transported them on board of its vessels, to disperse them on the coasts of North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. This deportation is a unique and barbarous act in the history of the world. Families were separated, the husbands from their wives, the mothers from their children. The barbarous Winslow, taking no account of the lamentations and tears of those poor exiles, threw them on a bleak inhospitable coast, with not even the common necessaries of life to sustain them for a day. Acadians, you have had your revenge! The one who brought upon you all the bit¬terness of a deportation was punished him¬self, twenty years later, being forced to leave American soil with all his family, and die miserably in a strange land. Such a treatment is my wish to all our persecutors.