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Sir George Etienne Cartier: His Work for Canada and His Services to Montreal

John Boyd

213 pages
Library of Alexandria
The subject of the address which I have the privilege of delivering to-day is "Sir George Etienne Cartier, His Work for Canada and His Services to Montreal." Let me at the outset, Mr. Chairman, express my deep appreciation of the honor the Executive of the Canadian Club has done me in inviting me to address the members of this important and representative organization. When, in 1892, through the efforts of Mr. Charles R. McCullough of Hamilton, the first Canadian Club was organized, a movement was inaugurated of the utmost importance to the Dominion. Every important centre throughout the country now has its Canadian Club, and these organizations, or as they have been well termed, these "universities of the people" now numbering nearly one hundred, are doing a splendid work in fostering a spirit of patriotism and in creating that national sentiment which is so essential to Canada's welfare. The Canadian Club of Montreal, composed as it is of the most representative citizens of the commercial metropolis, has ever been foremost in this great work, and it is indeed a privilege to have the opportunity of addressing such a gathering. What more appropriate subject, Mr. Chairman, could be found for an address before a Canadian Club, than the career of one of our great nation-builders, of one who helped to lay the foundations of Canadian nationality and of the Dominion's greatness? It is not my intention, Mr. Chairman, nor would time permit on this occasion, to deal exhaustively with the life and achievements of Sir George Etienne Cartier. That is now engaging my attention in another form, and when the Memorial History of the Life and Times of George Etienne Cartier shall appear, it will, I trust be found to be at least an exhaustive review of a great career and of one of the most memorable periods of Canadian history. On this occasion, owing to the limited time at my disposal, I shall content myself with reviewing succinctly Cartier's public career and achievements, dwelling briefly on the lessons of his life with special emphasis upon the great work that he did for Canada in general and the eminent services which he rendered to the City of Montreal in particular. I shall take it for granted, Gentleman, that you are all conversant with the main facts of Cartier's career, from his birth at St. Antoine on the Richelieu River on September 6th, 1814, until his entrance to public life at the age of 34 in 1848, from that date until he became Prime Minister of United Canada in 1858, and from that until his death in 1873 when he held the portfolio of Minister of Militia and Defence in the Dominion Government.