Memorials and Things of Fame

Researched and compiled by Lorie Pierce

May 17, 1873 – The Morning Chronicle

      Off  For Vienna ­– Among the passengers in the Circassian this morning is Mr. S.Sichel, of this city, on his way to the Vienna Exhibition.

Note from Lorie: The Vienna World’s Fair of 1873 was the driving force behind the city’s evolution into a truly global capital. The Vienna World’s Fair, which showcased technology and arts and crafts, was also a high-society event. Thirty-three ruling sovereigns were on the guest list, including the Russian tsar, the German emperor and the Italian king. Emperor Franz Joseph. (Source – Vienna Tourism Board)


May 17, 1898 – The Quebec Morning Chronicle

Champion Bicyclists Coming

      Mr. A. Guilbault, of the V. and B. Sporting Goods Company, concluded arrangements, yesterday, for the biggest bicyclist Meet yet held in Quebec.  The date of the great event is fixed for Saturday week, the 28th instant, and the races are to be run on the Q.A.A.A. grounds, in the afternoon, and in the Bicycle Academy, Skating Rink Building, in the evening. The programme will include the following races: One mile, open, for professionals; two mile, handicap, for professionals; five mile, paced record, in which John S. Johnson will race against the Canadian record; half mile, handicap, amateur; one mile, open, amateur. Big prizes will be given for the professional races. … [including] one of $100 for the Canadian record. [Many of] the world-renowned champions [will] participate in this Meet … It is quite a big stroke of enterprise to bring men of such reputation to Quebec. … Quebec has never before had the opportunity of seeing racing by European champions.

May 15, 1923 – The Quebec Chronicle

An Umbrella For Empress’ Skipper

      At four o’clock an unusual event in the life of Captain Gillies, commander of the Empress of Scotland, was enacted when Mr. Gerard Power, Chairman of the Harbour Commission, entered his cabin and presented him with a magnificent gold-mounted umbrella, with the compliments of the Harbour Commissioners. Mr. Power … paid tribute to the excellent work of Captain Gillies on the last trip across, in the face of most trying conditions. He also complimented the gallant seaman on his distinguished record. … The umbrella is given annually to the captain of the first vessel that is scheduled to end her outward voyage in Quebec.

May 17, 1958 – The Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph

Rock Throwing Penalty For Being Powerful – Pearson

      Having rocks thrown at you is a penalty you pay for being powerful; it is easier to be respected than loved, Lester B. Pearson, leader of Canada’s opposition Liberal Party said Thursday. Pearson made this obvious reference to the stoning of Vice-President Richard Nixon in Peru and Venezuela in a speed in which he said also that Canada “is uneasy in the consciousness that decisions can be taken in Washington with inescapable and far-reaching consequences for us which we might have little to say about.” …

Pearson said Canadians know their trade with the United States is essential to their prosperity but they become “understandably annoyed when Congress threatens to raise barriers to our exports. … These irritations are increased when we are told that strategically – for defence purposes – the continent must be considered as a unit, while for trade and production purposes, the old rules of national interest and trade protection must apply.” We do not wish to be overwhelmed even by the most friendly neighbourly pressures, Pearson said.

Note from Lorie: During a goodwill trip through Latin America, U.S. Vice- President Richard Nixon’s car was attacked by an angry crowd in Caracas, Venezuela. By 1958, relations between the United States and Latin America had reached their lowest point in years as the U.S. focus on the Cold War and anticommunism failed to address the pressing economic and political needs of many Latin American nations. (Source – History Channel)


May 18, 1963 – The Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph

Battle To Keep Sgt-Maj Alive

      Montreal (CP) – One of a series of bombs planted Friday in Montreal mailboxes blew up an army engineer trying to dismantle it while hundreds of horrified passersby watched. Sgt.-Maj. Walter Rolland Leja, 45-year-old veteran of the Second World War, was taken to hospital in critical condition. “He lost his left arm, his face was badly injured and doctors are fighting to keep him alive.” said his commanding officer, Col. Joel Wolfe. … Earlier in the day, Sgt. Maj. Lega had safely dismantled two other bombs found in mail boxes or were discovered and removed by police or army experts. Most of the bombs exploded in the Westmount English-speaking district of the city. Police placed no blame officially, but the bombings followed a pattern established by the terrorist group of Quebec separatists known as Front de Liberation Quebecois.

Note from Lorie: A Polish immigrant to Canada, Leja was decorated for bravery. An FLQ member was convicted, and served jail time. Although critically injured, Leja lived until 1992 when he died at Ste. Anne’s Veterans Hospital, Montreal. (Source – Montreal Gazette)


Editor’s note: Articles from the archives are reproduced with the original vocabulary, spelling and punctuation. Explanatory notes may be added.

Memorials and Things of Fame was last modified: May 24th, 2023 by QCT Editor

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