Friday 29 June 2012

June 29, 1876 - Part Two

“And now the youth of the land bask in the sunshine of happiness. No more tasks to learn – no more frigid high school marms to pester the lives out of them in the days of calm serene delights afforded by the long midsummer holidays.”
                                                Dundas True Banner June 29, 1876
In a timeless burst of joy among school age children (an undoubtedly their teachers as well, June 29, 1876 was the first day of summer vacation, no more school until September.
While noting the glee as schools shut their doors for July and August, the editor of the Dundas True Banner had a few pointed recommendations as to things the local municipal powers should address’
The first one related to the aromas encountered while walking through the town’s principal streets:
        “We call the attention of our local rulers to the necessity of appointing efficient health officers to enforce the cleansing and purifying of the streets, lanes and backyards of the town. The stench with which the olfactory organs of our citizens is saluted in passing along some of our streets is simply horrible, and if something is not done soon the public health must suffer.”
The second problem in need at attention related to conditions in the Desjardins Canal which was owned by the Town of Dundas at5 the time:
On Friday afternoon, the steamer Transit  on coming half way up the canal for the purpose of making her usual excursion from Dundas to the Beach found that the way was completely blocked by some of the masts and large timbers which have floating around in the Basin and Canal for about two years past, much to the annoyance and inconvenience of parties who wish to get up and down in either smaller or large boats. Between two and three hundred excursionists were waiting for the boat and the excursion would probably have been the largest one yet barring special excursions and the business of the boat will certainly suffer if people have to be disappointed in this way. The proprietors of the boat or the Town Council should do something to compel the owners of the logs to take them out of the Canal or at least confine them in a boom, as in their present state they are nothing more or less than a public nuisance. The Transit succeeded in making her usual trip on Tuesday and will be on hand without fail tomorrow.”
An usual natural phenomenon was observed by a Dundas resident while passing through Beasley’s Hollow on the way to Hamilton Market
Finally a poignant item – a lengthy and heart pen poem written in honour of Thomas Ireland whose long sought after corpse had at last been recently located:
“ Poetry : Lines : On the death of the Late Mr. Thomas Ireland, who was drowned in the Dundas Creek on the 13th of April, 1876, and whose remains were found on the 20th of June”
Not with wasting, lingering sickness,
        Watched by friends and kindred dear,
Nor with warning of the quickness,
        Of his finished work here.
But with future prospects gleaming,
        Bright and hopeful to his view,
Many hours of blissful dreaming,   
        Many joys and sorrows few.

These are thoughts he well may cherish,
        In the strength of manhood’s prime,
Years of future active business,
        Seemed most suited to his time.
Wife and children claimed his presence,
        Friends and kindred cared for him,
To our human view and knowledge,
        His quick summons seemed all dim.

The swift waters bore him onward,
        Heedless of their precious freight,
No strong arm could stay his progress,
        He had gone, it was too late.
In his lonely home are waiting,
        Sad and anxious hearts to hear,
If the bruised and broken remnant
        Could be found to bury here.

Now at last, when hope seemed over,
        And, as days, and weeks passed by,
Comes the tidings they have found him,
        All rejoice to hear the cry.
Now kind hearts will bear him gently,
        From his home, and loved, away,
And a quiet grave remind them
        Where in death rests his cold clay.

To the God, who sends the waters,
        Roaring, surging from the hills,
We can trust His own wise purpose,
        And submit all to His will.
He can cheer the broken-hearted,
        He will bind the bruised reed,
If in Faith you ask His presence,
        To support in time of need.

When life’s trials are ended,
        And the river’s bank we near,
May we pass through death’s dark waters,
        With bright hopes and not with fear.
                        Mrs. A. J. Rossell

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