Brock Centenary: Preliminary Steps
The desire to commemorate the centenary of Brock's death-day—October 13th, 1912—took form at a meeting of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada, held at Toronto on April 11th, 1912, when, on the motion of Mr. John Stewart Carstairs, B.A., a committee, consisting of Colonel Ryerson, Lieut.-Colonel W. Hamilton Merritt, Mr. J. S. Carstairs, and Mr. C. E. MacDonald, barrister, was appointed to draft a suitable programme for the celebration of "Brock's Day."
This committee submitted the following report at a meeting of the Association held on September 17th, 1912, Colonel Ryerson presiding:
"Your Committee begs leave to report that as, within their knowledge, no action has been taken by either the Federal or Provincial Government to celebrate the Centenary of the death of Sir Isaac Brock on Sunday, October 13th, 1912, they recommend as follows:
"(1) That recommendations be made to both the Federal Government and to the Provincial Government of Ontario, that in view of the fact that General Brock in June, 1812, found himself at the head of a panic-stricken people in the presence of a powerful invader, and that a few months later, when he fell at Queenston Heights, he left that people united, fearless and invincible, it is believed that there should be a national demonstration that will be in effect only less impressive on the public mind than was the passing away of the man himself at Queenston Heights a hundred years ago.
"(2) That the demonstration might take the form of a royal salute from every cannon in the land on Sunday, October 13th. This would be a matter to be arranged by the Minister of Militia.
"(3) Every church in Canada might be requested to hold some sort of a memorial service on Sunday, October 13th.
"(4) On Friday, October 11th, every school in Canada might appeal to the intellect and imagination of the coming generation of men and women by appropriate commemorative exercises.
"(5) Monday, October 14th, could be proclaimed a national holiday.
"There is, in the corridor of the Parliament Buildings at Toronto, the copy of a splendid portrait of Brock, full of life and action. By some arrangement with the Minister of Education in every Province, or even without it, perhaps a copy of this picture could be placed in every school in the land.
"(6) As the city of Toronto is very likely to expropriate the Knox College property, it might be well to suggest to the city authorities that this new park should be opened in October with proper ceremonies and named Brock Park. In this connection, it might be well to recall that the lower portion of Spadina Avenue was, until recently, known as Brock Street.
"(7) It is recommended that these suggestions shall be brought to the attention of the Federal and Provincial Governments, and every means should be taken to convince the authorities that on October 13th, 1912, our people should hang some votive offering on the shrine of the hero of Upper Canada.
"(8) That copies of this report be sent to the National Council of Women and to the Secretary of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire inviting their concurrence.
This Report was adopted tentatively, and in order to secure as wide as possible a co-operation from other patriotic Associations, it was agreed, on the motion of Colonel Denison, seconded by Mr. C. E. Macdonald, that the Centenary of Sir Isaac Brock's death, Sunday, October 13th, 1912, be commemorated by an excursion to Queenston Heights on the 12th, and that patriotic and historical societies, clubs and regiments, etc., be asked to send not more than three delegates to a meeting to be held on Wednesday, September 25th, at 4.30 o'clock, in the Canadian Foresters' Building, to discuss a plan of commemoration.
In accordance with this resolution the following societies were circularized, and asked to co-operate in the celebration:
Societies: British Empire League; Caledonian Society; Canadian Club; Canadian Defence League; Daughters of the Empire, Niagara Falls, Ont,; Daughters of the Empire, St. Catharines; Empire Club; Historical Society, Niagara Falls, Ont.; Historical Society, Niagara-on-the-Lake; Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire; Irish Protestant and Benevolent Society, Toronto; Lundy's Lane Historical Society, Niagara Falls, Ont.; Ontario Historical Society; St. Andrew's Society, Toronto; St. Catharines' Historical Society; St. George's Society, Toronto; Sons of England, Toronto; Sons of Scotland Benevolent Association, Toronto; Women's Canadian Historical Society, Toronto; Women's Canadian Club, Toronto; Women's Historical Society, Hamilton; Women's Institute, Queenston; Women's Institute, Stamford; York Pioneers' Association.
Military: Brig.-General W. H. Cotton, Officer Commanding 2nd Division; Canadian Army Medical Corps, Permanent Army Medical Corps, Permanent Army Service Corps, Royal Canadian Dragoons, Royal Canadian Engineers, Royal Canadian Regiment.
Artillery: 2nd Brigade Canadian Field Artillery, 9th Battery Canadian Field Artillery.
Cavalry: Governor-General's Body Guard, 9th Mississauga Horse.
Infantry: "Queen's Own" Rifles, 10th Regiment Royal Grenadiers, 12th Regiment York Rangers, 48th Battalion Highlanders.
Military Associations, Etc.: Canadian Military Institute, Her Majesty's Army and Navy Veterans, Imperial South African Service Association, Veterans of '66 Association, Veterans of '85 Association, Wolseley Red River Expedition Association, 1870.