MEN AND EVENTS IN THE PUBLIC EYE

R. P. CHESTER February 1 1909

MEN AND EVENTS IN THE PUBLIC EYE

R. P. CHESTER February 1 1909

MEN AND EVENTS IN THE PUBLIC EYE

R. P. CHESTER

MONTREAL is to have her

winter carnival after all despite the protestations of the people, who are inclined to think it will prove detrimental to the country. The ice palace is already under construction and it will be completed by February 5, if the contract is carried out to the letter. About five hundred men are working on the structure in Fletcher’s Field. The palace will be encircled by an ice wall, which will stretch from end to end, a distance of over

200 feet, and at several corners towers will be erected, reaching to a height of from twenty to twentyfive feet. A striking feature will be the King Edward Tower, which will be 190 feet high by 40 feet square. Notable also will be the Prince of Wales tower, destined to be 95 feet high, with a diameter of 20 feet, and the Oueen Alexandra Tower, 85 feet high by 16 feet square. From the towers an uninterrupted view of the city will be obtained, as the King Edward Tower will be on a

level about 200 feet higher than the top of the tower of Notre Dame Church. The interior of the towers will be lighted by large arc lamps. Two arches of about 60 feet high, which will form a gallery, will connect the three towers, and a small tower adjoining the King Edward will furnish a stairway by which the other towers can be reached. About 250,000 cubic feet of ice will be required for the erection of the ice palace. The walls supporting the towers will be fully four feet thick, in order to insure safety.

Mr. Eugene O’Keefe, recently appointed a Private Chamberlain of the Pope, is the first Canadian upon whom the dignity has been conferred, and there are only three residents in the United States upon whom the Pontiff has bestowed a similar mark of favor. That the distinction is well merited in the case of Mr. O’Keefe no one will deny. He is a venerable gentleman of extreme modesty, and his many kind deeds and charitable acts have never been proclaimed from the hilltop». Now in his eightysecond year, he is found every day at his office in the O’Keefe Brewery Co., working as diligently as his youngest and most ambitious clerk. He has scarcely ever known a day’s

illness. Born in Ireland in 1827, when his parents came to Canada, he was a lad of only seven summers. Many years ago the Toronto Savings Bank was formed to take care of the small savings of the poor. After leaving school Mr. O’Keefe secured his first position in the bank, in which he was accountant for six years. The institution had no capital stock on which interest had to be paid, the directors drew no salaries, and all profits were divided every year among the poor. In 1861 Mr. O'Keefe entered into business for himself and founded the large company of which he is still president. When the Canadian Banking Act came into force in 1870 one of its provisions was that all banks should have a certain paid-up capital. To meet this requirement the Home Savings and Loan Co. was formed, of which he was elected a director and vice-president. The Toronto Savings Bank was given a certain sum for its business and good-will. The money received was handed over by the directors to what is known as the Toronto Savings Bank Trust, of which the Archbishop of Toronto has for many years been chairman. A fact not generally known is that the interest from this fund is distributed annually by the Trust to the different benevolent and charitable homes in Toronto, Protestant and Catholic institutions sharing alike in these gifts. On the death of Sir Frank Smith, Mr. O’Keefe became president of the Llome Savings and Loan Company, and in 1904, when the institution was merged into the Home Bank of Canada, he was elected president, a position he still retains. His liberal donations are known to few outside the recipients. Mr. O’Keefe is founder and one of the chief promoters of the Canadian Church Extension Society, whose object is to provide means, churches and priests to carry the gospel to the new districts of Western Canada, which are being rapidly settled by people from home and

abroad. He recently built in North Toronto, at his own expense, a handsome church called St. Monica’s in honor of the favorite saint of his departed wife. In celebrating the various Feasts in the Roman Catholic Church different colored vestments are used and Mr. O’Keefe provided St. Monica’s with two sets of each. No one knew that he was the builder of the sacred edifice until its dedication and then his name was mentioned only in an incidental way by the Archbishop. Modesty and reserve have always characterized Mr. O’Keefe’s numerous good works, and the honor—a Private Chamberlain—which he has just received, is deservedly bestowed. The honor carries with it a beautiful costume, and insignia, and the right to be present at all the major functions in which the Holy Father participates. Private Chamberlains are high officials in the Papal Court. There are laymen as well as clerics in the order. In costume, of course, the two states differ. For the laymen, who are nobles either by birth, as in Europe, or by distinguished service and unimpeachable character as in Canada and United States, the costume consists of the civil dress of Henry II. style, ornamented with white lace, the cloak being lined with black silk. The hat is Raffaelo’s style, in black velvet with a large ostrich feather, and like the shoes, the hat is decorated with brilliant ornaments. There is also a black velvet belt and precious buckle with a silver-chased-handled sword sheathed in steel. A great gold and silver chain hangs around the neck, and from it three smaller ones, having for pendants, golden tiaras and keys with the letters “C.S.” are suspended. There is also an evening dress of French style. A Private Chamberlain’s function is to render personal service to the Pope 1 y attending in the Ante-Chamber and accompanying His Holiness in solemn ceremonials. For this service a Private Chamberlain receives each year, on the feast of St. Peter, the

Pope’s silver medal. He is also conveyed to and from the Vatican in special court carriages when visiting the Eternal City.

The most important industrial announcement of the month is that large interests in the Lake Superior Corporation have been taken over by Robert Fleming, a most successful financial man of Great Britain, and other capitalists-associated with him. It is said that the new blood will expend $5,000,000 or $6,000,000 in enlarging the industries at the Sault Ste. Marie, and extending the Algoma Central and the Manitoulin and North Shore railways. The successful operation of the industries at the Soo, the liquidation of all indebtedness to the bank, the retirement of the $2,000,000 loan guarantee of the Ontario Government and the influx of British capital is due to the splendid work and foresight of the Lake Superior Corporation, the holding company of the allied interests, at the head of which is Mr. Charles D. Warren of Toronto. Five years ago, when things at the Soo had been in a muddle for many

months, and it looked as if disaster was impending, the Ontario Government came to the monetary rescue. Mr. Warren joined the Lake Superior Corporation along with three or four others who held seats on the Board. There was a complete reorganization of the executive officers, Mr. Warren being made president. There were many difficulties to face. It was found necessary to purchase some $2,500,000 worth of raw material at once and the funds available did not amount to over $500,000, but the new president was a man of stout heart and iron will. The tremendous task ahead of the Corporation did not appal him, although it would have one of less experience and financial acumen. Charles D. Warren had previously tackled many stubborn propositions. A native of old Niagara town, he came to Toronto at an early age and thoroughly learned the wholesale grocery trade. Later he went into business for himself and his firm had

possibly the largest turnover—particularly in sugars—of any in the province. Mr. Warren then branched into lumbering operations, as well as building the Metropolitan electric railway, which was first constructed as far as Eglinton and extended each succeeding year until it finally joined Newmarket and Toronto—a distance of 27 miles—when he sold the line. Since his connection with the Lake Superior Corporation he has given that immense concern his undivided personal attention. He disposed of his interest in the wholesale grocery business and handed over the management of the Imperial Lumber Co. to his associates. His services to any institution have always been invaluable. Thoroughness has characterized the work of this quiet, thoughtful and somewhat reserved man in every undertaking. He never attacked a problem that he did not master. Knowing this he was selected by the Ontario Government to take a hand in the affairs

at the Soo. His steading, even, methodical management soon brought order out of chaos, inspired confidence and aroused enthusiasm. In a few months all the subsidiaryplants were again in full operation. What has been the outcome? It required a million dollars a month to finance the allied interests and it was raised. As many as 600 freight cars have been in the big yards in a day, either with incoming or outgoing material; the last dollar owing the banks was paid off last month, and the remaining million of the loan guarantee of the Ontario Government wiped out some time ago. This has been due to President Warren’s consistent, conservative conduct. He is a genius at finance and the greatness of his accomplishment may be gauged when it is stated the company a year and a half ago was indebted to the banks for about two and a half million dollars. Mr. Warren has had a busy five years. It was necessary for him to be absent frequently from his office in Toronto. He paid regular visits to the Soo, Philadelphia and New York, and during the last nine months traveled over thirty thousand miles. But success has crowned his efforts. The announcement that millions of additional capital have been secured to extend and improve the various plants of the Corporation demonstrates that, in a fiduciary and executive capacity, Mr. Warren has fully justified the happy results which his friends predicted at the time he took the helm. He may not be at the head of the new board but the work that he has done is one that has told materially in the development and stability of Canadian industrial life.

Sir John Carling, who has just celebrated his eighty-first birthday, is a gentleman of whom little is heard nowadays, as a newer and younger group of politicians are crowding the front benches in the administrative arena. It is doubtful, however, if any Canadian

has rendered as solid, substantial service to the great cause of agriculture as the venerable senator from London. In these times, when memory is inclined to be short and works of far less merit and magnitude applauded, there is danger of overlooking what Sir John accomplished when men, now in middle life, were boys at school. His public career antedates Confederation itself some ten years, during which period he sat in the old Canadian Assembly. He was Receiver-General in the Cartier-Macdonald Government in 1862, and at Confederation was elected in a dual capacity as representative from London to both the House of Commons and Ontario Legislature. From 1867 until the close of 1871 he was Commissioner or Agriculture and Public Works in the Sandfield-Macdonald Administration. It was then that he began his splendid work on behalf of agriculture. He strenuously advocated higher education for the tiller of the soil and improved methods of farming. In season and out he urged the establishment of both an experimental farm and agricultural college,

and the present school at Guelph— the finest and best equipped of its character in America—which was opened in 1874, is the fruition of his efforts. Its foundation was largely due to the missionary work of Sir John, who, in 1885, became Minister of Agriculture at Ottawa, in Sir John A. Macdonald’s cabinet, a portfolio which he filled for seven years, discharging his duties with exemplary zeal and fidelity. He has twice been appointed to the Senate, first in 1891, resigning the succeeding year to contest a bye-election in London, in which he was victorious. His second appointment dates from 1896. A man of quiet taste and unassuming disposition, his work has always given evidence of his worth. He has declined more public honors than some statesmen of to-day ever had the opportunity of accepting, among them the Lieutenant-Governorship of Ontario, and the appointment of Honorary Commissioner for Canada. At the World’s Fair, Chicago. The chain of experimental farms in Canada was established during his tenure of office. He also took great interest in dairying and gave to that important industry an impetus which has made Canada one of the leading butter and cheese exporting countries of the world. He was also instrumental in promoting the export cattle trade and inaugurating a system of quarantine. These and other distinctive accomplishments of his administration demonstrated his interest and enthusiasm as well as apitude for the work which was so close to his heart. Since Confederation Canada has had

many Ministers of Agriculture but it is safe to say that not one of them has undertaken any enterprises conferring more practical benefit and lasting advantage on the agricultural resources and uplift of the Dominion than Sir John Carling, although his political opponents used to sarcastically remark “What does a brewer know of agriculture?” His excellent work was fittingly acknowledged, however, when the House of Commons Committee on Agriculture and Colonization, in 1893, unanimously adopted a resolution bearing testimony to his lifelong devotion to the cause so near and dear to him, and expressed appreciation of his valuable services. In his eighty-second year the honored knight is enjoying good health and restful old age, and his many friends and admirers hope that he may live to celebrate many more birthday anniversaries.

How strange it is to think of Jerusalem having M.P.’s. This honoi has fallen to Said Efifendi El-Husein and Rohi Efifendi El-Khalidi. The latter belongs to a family that traces its descent from Khalid, the conqueror of Damascus and Jerusalem under the second Khalifa, Omar. For several years he has been Turk ish consul-general at Bordeaux. He dresses like a European. Said Effendi El-Husein belongs to a family that claims descent from El-Husein the murdered son of Ali, fourth khalifa after the Prophet. He was censor for Jerusalem. Both speak English and French.

Dr. Jones, the first occupant of the new post of Consul-General of the United States at Winnipeg, represents the United States in all the British possessions between midOntario and the Rocky Mountains, from the international boundary to Hudson Bay and the Arctic Ocean. It was through his knowledge of that country and the bearing it has on the future of this continent that the consulate was recently raised from second to first rank. His reports of the resources and develop ment of Western Canada have been of very great value to the merchants and farmers of the States.

The fifth French-Canadian citizen to occupy the Speaker’s chair in the House of Commons since Confederation is Hon. Charles Marcil, M.P. for Bonaventure, Quebec. The new First Commoner has been eight years in the House, and has spent practically all his life in newspaper work. A gentleman of polished manners, courteous bearing and rare oratorical gifts he will preside over the deliberations of the popular chamber with dignity and grace, and will uphold the best traditions of the exalted office. With tongue or pen he is equally at home in facility of expression and grace of diction. Four years ago he was made Deputy Speaker and has discharged the duties with marked ability and fairness. His promotion

is in every way well deserved. He has taken part in many a warm political battle but has been broad minded and tolerant, favoring equal rights to all creeds and races, always taking a firm stand in building up a strong, united and healthy Canadian nationality. Enthroned in the silken robes of office, Hon. Charles Marcil brings to his new post those qualities of sang-froid and bonhomie, which have won him wide esteem. His father was a French Canadian advocate and his mother being Irish, he is a rare combination of the two races and possesses a temperament difficult to surpass.

“The Fathers of Confederation,” a reproduction of which appears in this issue as a frontispiece, is one of the best known pictures in the National Art Gallery at Ottawa. It is from the brush of Robert Harris, C.M.G., R.C.A., the talented figure and portrait painter. Mr. Harris, who resides in Montreal, has probably painted more portraits of eminent Canadians than any other artist. For several years he was president of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Another of his famous productions in the National Gallery is “The School Trustees.”