“Festive Week Is Formally Opened.” The Nugget, August 5, 1935, Front Page.
[Transcribed by F. Noël with permission.]
FESTIVE WEEK IS FORMALLY OPENED
Colourful Function Climaxes Parade to Amelia Park
Thousands are Out as Lengthy Procession Moves Along Main Street; Veterans Sponsor Initial Function
PERFECT SETTING FOR GALA OCCASION
After hiding behind dark clouds for more than twenty-four hours, the sun came out in all its glory this morning, to add its part towards making the opening of North Bay’s Old Home week a perfect ceremony in an ideal setting. Forebodings of bad weather were tossed to the winds with the light of the sun, and the biggest week in the history of the city was opening in an auspicious manner.
Actually, the week got underway on Sunday with the re-union activities of the 159th Battalion, but the week was formally declared officially opened at fifteen minutes before noon today by Mayor W.G. Bullbrook, in the presence of a number of visiting mayors, legislators and more than 500 citizens and visitors, at Amelia Park.
Before the formal opening ceremonies, one of the longest parades in the history of the city moved from the west to the east end of Main street, passing before thousands of people who lined sidewalks. Conservative estatimates placed the number of people who witnessed the parade at more than 20,000.
As the floats arrived at the east end of the city, they were drawn up behind the speaker’s platform at Amelia Park, while the opening ceremonies were held. The Italian Boys’ Band played during the brief lull, until Mayor Bullbrook and General Chairman Dan Barker put on an impromptu square dance that literally “stopped the show.”
Speaking first, Chairman Barker bade welcome to old timers, and thanked his committee members for their efforts in behalf of Old Home Week. He wore a large silver badge presented to John Fersuson at the time of the 1925 festival.
“There’s a good week ahead for everyone of us,” Chairman Barker promised, “a week with something (continued on Page 11)
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new every day, and to all our friends, on behalf of the Central Committee, the heartiest of welcomes.”
Introduced by Chairman Barker, Mayor W.G. Bullbrook presented to the audience Leona Falconia, Feronia, Homer Grainger, 155 Princess street east, and Mildred Doucette, Nellie Lake, all children born in North Bay during Old Home Week 1925. The mayor recounded the obstacles which had been overcome by the Central Committee in bringing to fruition the efforts of months past, and promised his hearers, that the city was “wide open” during the coming week.
“The police are on their holdays this week. The town is yours. And now, I declare Old Home Week 1935 officially opened,” the Mayor declared. “We are going to forget everything but having a good time for this week, and it’s your week. We hope you enjoy it.”
Mayor A. K. Grimmer, brought greetings to Old Home Week from Timiskaming, Quebec, and promised that with the opening of a motor road connecting the two cities, there would be many visitors in North Bay from Timiskaming. “If that road were open now, there would hardly be a person in Timiskaming who would not come down here sometime during Old Home Week, and I can assure you that with the opening of a road, we are looking forward to becoming even closer friends of our North Bay neighbors,” Mayor Grimmer promised.
Alderman G.E. Palmer, secretary of the Old Home Week Central Committee, expressed satisfaction which he said mus come to all members of that body, to witness the success of the opening ceremonies. “The greatest satisfaction in life is the work done for events such as this,” Alderman Palmer concluded.
“I bring you good tidings form a sister city,” Mayor W.J. Cullen, Sudbury announced, “and despite the spirit of competition between North Bay and Sudbury, I urge you to get out this week and have a good time. Break down the barriers of separation, mix and enjoy yourselves.”
Other speakers during the opening ceremonies were: Captain Ellwood, the Salvation Army; J. Harry Marceau, M.L.A. for Nipissing; Dr. J.R. Hurtibise, M.P., Sudbury; Mayor Cameron, Iroquois Falls, and Mayor Wainwright, Cobalt.
During the opening ceremonies, Mayor Bullbrook announced the winners of the prizes for floats in the parade. First prize was awarded the Cercle Canadien Francais, for their tableau depicting the landing of Jacques Cartier on Canadian soil, planting of the cross, and welcome by the Indians.
The Travellers’ battleship float, directed by Pilot Paddy Patch took second prize. It was a complete “fighting unit” even to shots fired from guns on the forward deck. In nautical uniforms, the crew of travellers sailed Main street for second prize.
Third award was to a decorated car advertising “Spirella Corsets.” Fourth prize for a miniature Italian city, was won by a group of merchants and citizens of that nationality, who sponsored the float.
For miniature planing mill, turning out lumber at a great rate as the parade progressed, the Standard Planing Mills carried off fifth prize.
Judges of the floats were: A.T. Smith, D.J. Morland, John Blanchette, and T.J. Patton.
Thousands of citizens and visitors lined Main street to watch the colourful and eye-catching parade which marked the opening of North Bay’s Old Home Week. North Bay’s main thouroughfare probably never held so many people as it did for a few hours this morning.
Gorgeous and realistic floats, bands, ex-service men, dignitaries, comedians, odditities and a festive spirit all combined to make the mammoth procession one of the greatest in the history of the city.
It was a fitting grand opening to North Bay’s big week of celebration and entertainment.
The parade was about one mile and a half in length and took 20 minutes to pass a given point on Main street.
The holiday spirit was in evidence everywhere. Grown-ups and children alike entered into the spirity with unbounded enthusiasm. Kiddies were wide-eyed and happy, and adults were not far behind in the expressions of their delight.
Applause greeted many of the displays. Some of the floats were excellent in every detail, showing that a great deal of work and artistry had been brought into play during the arrangement of them.
Policemen headed the parade. Behind them marched the band of the 159th Battalion. Today, as was Sunday, is being sponsored by the 159th Battalion in the form a a re-union.
Veterans On Parade
Members of the battalion followed their band. They turned out for the occasion in large numbers and looked smart in their jaunty berets. A dugout with sand bags and all created a battle scene that went over big with the spectators. This float followed behind the veterans. Five ex-servicemen, who are leg amputation cass, trekked the entire journey from the old rink site to Amelia Park.
A historical panorama in North Bay’s growth appeared in the city float which was built on the fire department’s ladder truck. Surveyors were shown looking over the country in 1882, and another section of the display comprised a hunting and fishing scene. Miss North Bay of 1935 was seated on a lofty throne. The two children who were born here in Old Home Week, 1925, were also on the city float.
Government, civic and Old Home Week officials then passed in cars. They were followed by the pipe band. Ex-service men who are not members of the 159th Battalion marched behind the plaided-skirt pipers.
“Hap” Watson, Toronto, better known as “Pigskin Peters” of “Bird’s Eye Center” fame, was perched on the back seat of in a little car. He was decked out in the uniform of the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball club.
The Spirella Company had a car completely decorated in orange colors, a pretty sight. It was awarded third prize. Crawley and McCracken, caterers, showed a kitchen with the cook going about his duties. Lions and Rotary International was portrayed by a huge globe on a float done in the clubs’ colors. The Shriners’ float blasted forth rousing music.
Representing the Associated Canadian Travellers a miniature warship the H.M.S. Traveller, drew favourable comment. The ship, manned by men in naval uniform, was a remarkable likeness of a genuine cruiser. The float was given second prize.
The bugle band of the North Bay Collegiate Institute and Vocational School took part in the procession. Numerous business concerns were represented. The Italian boys’ band also marched.
One of the finest floats in the entire parade was the one entered by Le Cercle Canadien Francais. Enthusiastic clapping greeted its appearance. It represented the arrival of Jacques Cartier in 1534 and was clerverly done up in all details. It was awarded first prize. The planting of the cross and the French flag was realistically portrayed by performers dressed in true style of that period. Indians were seen greeting the newcomers to the land of widerness.
Other showings included a car of ancient vintage, a bicycle built for four, cowboys, comedians, a miniature setting of Palestine, a Public Health office, genuine Indians at their wigwam, decorated bicycles, a windmill, and many other things.