Activities and Events at New Glasgow Hall written by Avonna Stevenson
Activities and Events at New Glasgow Hall
This is a brief summary of events, activities and uses of New Glasgow Hall, taken from old newspaper clippings, memory and stories told to me by older residents of the community. These are not necessarily in the order the events took place. Many more activities and dates will be added as more research is done on this very interesting building.
We can assume that the building was built the same year that the New Glasgow Hall Co. was incorporated for the erection of a Public Hall, in May 1896. The first Board of Directors were as follows: James Laird, Benjamin Bulman, James Dickieson, William Laird, and George Smith.
Many times I have heard the older residents talk of heated political debates that took place in the hall by the Liberal and Conservative candidates prior to an election. It was also used as a Court House and some very interesting cases were heard. Court cases I have been told drew large crowds of locals to hear the proceedings.
One event that took place on March 23, 1920, was a reception to honour J. Lorne Stevenson from the Navy, and to extend sympathy to the parents of Theophilus McCoubrey and Emmett Murphy who had fallen in battle overseas. The Rev. J. W. Hayter presided and opened with appropriate words of welcome. Addresses were delivered by the Rev. D. P. MacIntosh and by the Rev. R. H. Bell, and a recitation was given by Miss Martha Brown entitled, “Welcome Canadian Heroes.” Excellent music was furnished by a chorus of young ladies who sang the following oldies: Britannia the Gem of the Ocean, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, The Lads in Navy Blue, and For the Glory of the Grand Old Flag. Mrs. W.J. Bulman played the organ, and a male quartet sang, Just Before the Battle Mother. Rev. W.J. MacLeod read an address to the parents of the two departed boys and presented them with signet rings. The main topic of his address was that nothing great has ever been achieved without sacrifice. He then read an address to Lorne Stevenson and presented him with a signet ring.
On August 19, 1920 the Centennial celebrations of New Glasgow were held in the afternoon in Albert Laird’s shore field, where they had booths set up for the picnic. They had a swing for the children, foot races and baseball games, and an excellent supper without charge was served in the booths to everyone on the grounds by the ladies of New Glasgow. That evening everyone moved to the New Glasgow Hall. The Hall was packed to its utmost capacity; not even a foot of standing room was left. Those that could not get in, remained outside at the doors and windows to watch the entertainment inside.
Mr. Charles Dickieson, who was the oldest man in the community, was called upon to relate some of the happenings which he had heard from the founders of New Glasgow when they landed on Prince Edward Island. Mr. Artemas Moffatt was the chairman for the evening, and there was not a moment’s delay between items on the program. Rev. John M. Murchison of Malpeque sang, The March of the Cameron Men, and several other encores. Mr. William Brown read a poem entitled, “An Address to Clyde” composed by his grandfather George Smith, dealing with the landing of the first settlers in this district. Two little Morley girls, who were visitors from New Bedford, Mass., gracefully danced the highland fling and other dances. Mr. Sidney Brown gave an address, “on the great heroism and devotion of our forefathers. Who came out into a strange land and there, amid all the perils of their new life.” One of the most enjoyable items on the program was the singing of Robert Lamont who sang Scottish songs, and who was encored many times. An amazing reading was given by the little Miss Musie Stevenson. Miss Mildred Stockford of Hunter River delighted the audience by singing, The Old Fashioned House. Mr. W.W. Smith read an interesting essay entitled, “Reminiscence of Early Days.” He was followed by Mr. George Beers of Charlottetown who sang, The Trumpeter and was encored several times when he responded with Scottish songs. A quartet composed of four Stevenson’s namely, Dr. R.W., G.H., and Richard Stevenson sang, Annie Laurie and Auld Lang Syne. Following brief remarks were made by Rev. John Sterling, Rev. R.H. Stavart, Rev. John Simpson, and Mr. D.H. Laird, a promising lawyer whose old home is in New Glasgow. The evening came to a close by singing the Island Hymn, God Save the King. This centenary celebration was the most successful ever held in the province.
- Annual meetings of other organizations were usually held in the New Glasgow Hall; New Glasgow Dairying Co. always held their annual meeting in the Hall.
- The Reserve Army held training sessions upstairs during the last year of the war. There was also a goose dinner held for the officers and army at the end of the war.
- The churches in the area would hold their annual chicken suppers at the Hall; most of the time taking place upstairs.
- The Junior Farmers held weekly square dances.
- It was used as a school classroom for half a year when Central Queens High School was being built.
- It has been restored and used as a restaurant since 1997.
The old New Glasgow Hall as it appears in 2011