It happened this week in 1914

Dec. 12 - 18: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

December 12 – 18: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives


Paper takeover … The Cranbrook Herald has been taken over by J. R. Thompson and L. P. Sullivan, two practical printers who have been connected with the paper for years. The Star wishes them abundant prosperity in their undertaking. The Herald is one of the best publications in the province, but the business men of that city should be ashamed of themselves for the rotten support they are giving it. (Princeton Star.)

Have pity … When some poor individual appears at your door asking for a bite to eat or seeking employment, don’t call him a bum and slam the door in his face. If you do not feel disposed to assist him in any way, it would be well to direct him to the city hall where he can at least get enough to subsist on.

That “bum” may be the victim of circumstances, of which you know nothing. A kind word costs nothing.

Some people can only see the poor through a telescope, whilst often in the shadow of our homes some needy soul is trying to live upon scenery, busted hopes, and the sweat of a cookhouse window.

Broken towel … At the time of the Fernie fire, some six years ago, Bert Whimster, then in employ of the Fernie Free Press and who came to Cranbrook each week thereafter to have the Free Press run off on our press, left a towel in the composing room of this office. Monday night last, when the mercury was hovering in the neighborhood of ten below, the towel slipped off the nail and fell and behold, the towel broke in two.

Fire … The fire at Slaterville Tuesday morning brought the fire brigade out at a pretty lively clip, but on arrival at the scene of the conflagration it was found the building was doomed, and the efforts of the firemen were concentrated in saving the adjoining building.

The burned house was occupied by Mr. J. Elliott, who lost practically everything but the clothes he stood in, one or two odd pieces of furniture being the only articles saved.

Mr. Elliott has been the victim of several occurrences of late, and the wheels of fate are still turning against him. The building was owned by Mr. J. Bottomley.

“Scottie in Japan” at the Auditorium … It is not often that we have the pleasure of writing up a show in which we can conscientiously tell the truth — they are all good — but there are a many different degrees of good that the pencil pushers are often in doubt about the number of adjectives to prefix to the word good.

The Versatiles which appeared at the Auditorium last night were good. This time it means that they were a well-balanced company with no bad ones among them. They gave a good clean show, full of fun and several of the numbers presented have not been equaled in Cranbrook in many moons.

Their production of “Scottie in Japan” is not designed to put corrugations in your brain with a depth of plot, it’s all light comedy and music and frivolity. Billy Oswald, as the irrepressible “Scottie” was a whole show in himself and did several stunts that were new. Miss Zara Clinton was a pleasing young lady full of ginger and the possessor of a good voice. She made a hit with the audience with “Tipperary”, being the first to introduce that now world-famous song. Billy Menzies song, “Just a Wee Doeck and Doris” and the Russian quartette were the feature of the first act.

Opening of the public market … At the Farmers’ Institute meeting held at the city hall on last Saturday evening Secretary A. H. Webb gave a report of the progress made on the public market.

As members of the chief public bodies in Cranbrook have signified their intention to be present at the opening, and many ranchers have promised to bring in produce, it looks as if the Market was almost assured.

The meeting of the Institute was presided over by President A. B. Smith and was well attended considering the weather.

It was decided to hold crop competitions in potatoes and oats during the coming season and five dollars was granted as a prize in the junior potato competition.

A well thought-out paper on the brood sow was given by the president. This was followed by a short discussion.

Names are required for the pruning school to be held next spring. Fee $1.00.

A sum of $21.50 has been received from the local farmers towards the B. C. Institute’s patriotic fund which will be sent to his majesty’s government to be used as they deem fit for the relief of the sick and needy. The use of the city hall has been obtained for the January meeting.

Kootenay Central is completed … The first through passenger train over the new road of the C.P.R. arrived in Golden on Saturday. The train consisted of two private cars and a caboose, and left Colvalli at 7 o’clock in the morning, and was in charge of Conductor Shackleton, with Engineer Atchison at the throttle.

Occupying the private car were several prominent officials of the company, including D. C. Coleman, general superintendent, A. C. Harshaw, superintendent of the Crows Nest Pass division, and Gus Erickson, superintendent of construction. The residents of Golden turned out to celebrate the arrival of the first train over the new road.

Stable needed by school … Trustee Quain reported on a visit by Trustee Laurie and himself to the South Ward School, where they found everything in a satisfactory condition.

A number of children from the country districts were unable to attend school during the cold weather on account of there being no stable for horses at the school. Trustee Quain proposed to erect a tent at the school for this purpose. He stated that he had been promised a tent and would personally look after the erection of it at the school.

Trustee Fink reported on a visit to the Central School and recommended to the board that thermometers be provided for each room to assist the teachers in regulating the heat in the different parts of the building.

Boys show interest in manual training … Last Friday afternoon the Manual Training School kept open house and entertained a number of visitors. On account of the cold weather the number of those in attendance was not so great as in former years.

A class of boys was busily engaged in working from three to five, the receiving hours, and the various models and drawings of the grades were on exhibition and proving the school is still advancing.

The work of the Manual Training School into three divisions and the course provided covers a period of three years. The three subjects handled are drawing, woodwork and theory. The subject of woodwork is divided into thirty divisions, the pupils being supposed to handle ten divisions each year. However, no pupil is held down to the ten divisions and each pupil is allowed to advance as far as possible each year.

There is no doubt but that the boys favor the work of the Manual Training School as a welcome diversion from the hours spent over books and in the classrooms of the other school. Many boys who are at the foot of the class in the public school are leading in the Manual Training work and exhibit a keen interest in doing their work well in the school.

Choral Society reorganized … In January The Cranbrook Choral Society was newly organized with a membership of sixty-one names this week. The first meeting for the organization was held at the Y.M.C.A. last night.

Mr. Geo. P. Stevenson occupied the chair and was assisted by Mr. C. F. Nidd as secretary pro tem.

Some discussion on the subject of the organization brought out a consensus of opinion that the society should be reorganized, and proceed with practices during the winter months.

There is a large amount of vocal talent in the city and in past years it has proven helpful to the singers to have such work as that of the Cranbrook Operatic Society and the Choral Society being carried on. The work takes the rough monotony off many a barren winter’s night and affords some healthy and instructive diversion for those who attend. All success to the new society.

Poor hunters … Adolph and Joe Palmer returned this week from a hunting expedition, securing one lonely, despised little squirrel.

School holiday … Tomorrow the public schools close for the Christmas holidays. The several divisions are each providing a good line of entertainment and amusement. There is a smile on the kids’ faces today that is noticeable by the biggest grouch in Cranbrook.

The school children are in their glee. May they enjoy it to their hearts’ content. The teachers of the Cranbrook schools are noted for their hospitality and good-fellowship, and this year, as in the years gone by, they are keeping well up to the standard.

James Milne writes home … W. E. Worden is in receipt of a letter from James Milne, who left Cranbrook with the first Canadian contingent and is now in training on Salisbury Plain. Some time ago we published a letter from the same man, and it was read with keen interest by the Cranbrook people. Extracts from the letter received by Mr. Worden follow:

We have had a good drill today and I learned a few things about field work. We are quartered in comfortable quarters and no complaint to make, except that we are all anxious to get to the front. The men are all tired of review drill and want to get on the firing line.

One of the men who just returned from furlough today was telling me that he can believe all that he sees in the papers now about the Germans, as he was talking to a nurse, who had been sent back to England. She was looking after some wounded soldiers when the place was raided by Germans. They killed all the wounded and then cut both her hands off and put her out to look after herself. Two brothers met her at the train when she came home. They didn’t know anything about it till she arrived and they both enlisted the next day.

Sgt. J. Milne. D. Co. 12th Battalion Sling Plantation, Bulford Camp 4th Brigade, Canadian Expeditionary Forces Salisbury, Eng.

Letter from Oliver Bristow … The Editor of the Herald has received the following letter from Mr. Oliver Bristow, who answered Cranbrook’s second call for volunteers to the second Canadian contingent:

Dear Sir: I happened to drop in the public library today and while there I found the Cranbrook Herald on the rack; and while perusing same I came across Private Lismer’s letter to which I wish to draw attention as it conveys entirely a wrong impression.

It is the following: “Now we have been told we are for active service, so you can guess that the boys are pleased that they answered the call when others held back”.

Now in justice to the Cranbrook boys as a whole I will try and state the facts as I understood them, which I believe are correct, as I got them from official sources. On the following day after arriving here the adjutant ordered the color sergeant to call the East and West Kootenay boys together; after which he said the commanding officer had received a wire from Ottawa asking for a hundred men to proceed to Montreal at once for foreign service. Needless to say the whole of the boys from East and West Kootenay volunteered, the result instead of 100 men there were over 200 volunteers. The adjutant was puzzled to know what to do so he left it with the color sergeant to say who was to go but said he wished for it to be spread over the East and West Kootenay boys.

After volunteering, as I thought for foreign service, I went down town and wrote letters to friends saying I was leaving for Montreal for foreign service immediately and I believe some of my friends in Cranbrook received letters to that effect. However, when I arrived back at the camp I was told orders had been given to pick the worst men of the bunch as they wanted the best for Victoria, as these volunteers were only to make up the French Canadian contingent (which I find is correct, as I have received a letter from one of the boys to that effect.)

I do not say that all who went were the worst of the bunch, as some of these were asked to stay, but they insisted on going.

I think it is quite possible by now that Private Lismer realizes that we shall all see foreign service as soon as he will and that we are all in the second contingent, which I understand is to leave shortly after Christmas.

It might also interest Private Lismer to know that Color Sergeant Henry and Sergeant Harrison have both passed their exams, and are sworn in as members of the second Canadian contingent.

Bringing personalities before the public under such circumstances is, I think, very small policy.

I trust, Mr. Editor, I have not stepped over the line in length, but I wish for the Cranbrook people to get the real facts of the case and not to get the impression, as conveyed in Private Lismer’s letter, that those at Victoria are lacking in grit. The very fact we have volunteered and are sworn in for active service is in itself enough to show that such is not the case, and if any of us desert, we are likely to be court martialed and shot. I have mentioned this so that the public will realize our position.

Yours truly, Oliver Bristow Victoria, B.C., Dec. 6th, 1914. “D” Company, 30th Battalion Willow Camp Victoria, B. C.

Enjoyable dance at Wasa Hotel … The private event of the season took place on the 11th in a dance given by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Stevens at the Wasa Hotel. It was a most pronounced success and judging by the enjoyment manifested will not be forgotten for some time.

The host and hostess did all in their power to make the guests at home, and the floor and the music, supplied by the Cranbrook Orchestra, left nothing to be desired.

From 6 o’clock on, in spite of the cold weather, merry sleigh bells announced the arrival of sleigh loads of happy people, while the honk of the motor cars assisted in making the event all the more pronounced.

At 9 o’clock the dance commenced and it kept up till 3 in the morning, a most excellent supper being provided in the interval.

The guests arrived from every place in the vicinity and Mr. and Mrs. Stevens must be congratulated on the success and the swing with which everything went, while the thanks of the guests are due to the management of the hotel for the care taken in looking after the comfort of the guests, in their usual perfect way.

Knox Church donation … A large case of clothing and bedding valued at $125.00 was sent today by Knox Presbyterian Ladies Aid Society to the Belgian Relief depot at Calgary, to be forwarded with the next shipment to Belgium. This clothing was practically all new, most of it being bought in the local stores with half the proceeds of the entertainment, “The Minister’s Bride”. The quilts were donated by members of the Ladies Aid, the Missionary Society and the Mission Band of Knox church.

Free from the bank … A neat advertisement is being given out to customers by the Canadian Bank of Commerce, in the form of several blotters for private use bound together under a handsome cover. The new blotter is attractive and handy for household use.

Patriotic night … The patriotic night at the Ry. Y.M.C.A. on Monday evening was attended by a very large sized crowd, the double reception rooms being taxed to seat the visitors who attended to hear the program.

Several of the local members of the 107th East Kootenay Regiment were present in uniform. Mr. Harry White occupied the chair for the evening and announced the program.

The building was appropriately decorated throughout the downstairs with the Union Jack and a vast blending of patriotic colors in bunting, flags, etc.

The first number on the program was a selection by the juvenile orchestra, which organization is becoming so well known to music-lovers in the city that words of praise are unnecessary. Needless to say they were encored.