Loyalists’ Centennial Souvenir - 1887 - p15-16

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Hon. R. D. Wilmot
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The Lieutenant Governor said: "I feel I am not exactly the person to choose for this position, although I conceive it a very great honor to have been asked. Before taking the chair I will simply thank the mover and the seconder of the resolution for their remarks. I have lived almost three-quarters of a century in the Province, and know a great deal about the influence the Loyalists have had here. They left the comforts of the States and came to what was at that time a very forbidding coast. The two first places of worship I recollect were old Trinity Church and the old Methodist Meeting House. I saw the first regiment, the 104th; march into Fredericton in 1813. In 1815 I saw the first illumination, which was in honor of the battle of Waterloo. I was long a resident amongst you, and I have seen St. John in prosperity and in adversity. It has been almost destroyed by fire, but if there was one quality that existed amongst the Loyalists more than another it was determination of character; and this quality seems to have been inherited by their descendants, for in spite of obstacles St. John has risen again from the flames. At first the feeling between the Loyalists and those they left behind was a very bitter one, but I am thankful to say that that has now passed away. I am sure the same sentiments of loyalty and attachment that fill my mind and heart influences the people of this great Dominion, and I am also glad that no feeling of hostility now exists between ourselves and our American cousins; each country will pursue its own interests in honest rivalry to develop its resources and industries." His Honor then gave a short historical sketch of St. John as it has been during his recollection of it, and then said: "I find that here in St. John the same obstinate disposition that was in our forefathers is continued in our children, and in my belief St. John is bound to flourish. I trust before long we shall have direct communication with Montreal by the shortest route, and that St. John will go on in the principle that influenced our forefathers, ' Love to God, good will towards men, and loyalty to the crown.' We have alongside of us a republic, but this side of the line it is a monarchy, and I think that wherever the British flag flies we have civil and religious liberty, and that ours is the only perfect system. Only a short time ago we had, I may say, a double crisis in our Local Legislature; but though there has been a change of Government, business goes on the same—it has only been putting the ship on another tack, but everything goes on quietly. I am strongly in favor of our constitution, as I have stated before, we have full civil and religious liberty; and I am sure wherever the Anglo-Saxon blood exists, that liberty will exist for all time."