Agnes Deans Cameron
First Speaker Women’s Canadian Club
October 18, 1909
Tea on board the scow Mee-wah-sin on the Peace River, Alberta
Her Book Describing Her Journey To The Arctic
She was the first non-indigenous woman to reach the Arctic Ocean and her published book about the journey was a best-seller.
Agnes Deans Cameron (1863 – 1912) was born in Victoria, trained as a teacher, and taught in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island.She was the first woman in the province to teach high school (1891) and the first female principal of a public school (1894).A journalist and travel writer, she travelled throughout the west and the North and worked for the western Canada Immigration Association.She was active in the Victoria Teacher’s Association, the Local Council of Women, the Women’s Press Club, and the YMCA.When suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst lectured in Victoria in 1911, Cameron sat on the stage. She died in 1912 of an infection from an appendectomy.
Winston Churchill’s September 5, 1929 Speech to the Canadian Club
Winston Churchill arriving in Victoria September 1929
An especially noteworthy feature of Churchill`s time in Victoria occurred at the close of his address to the Canadian Club.
Churchill had departed from his prepared speech and, as recorded by his son, ` . . . received a rapturous reception –the best he has had. ` Alas, the vote of thanks was turned over to an elderly cleric whom Randolph described as “a fatuous dean“, and Churchill described in a letter home as “a foolish Cleric with Socialist leanings who asked a number of cheeky questions and maundered on unduly . . . “
Randolph, then 18, saw eager to get his own share of public attention and to showcase his own oratorical brilliance
Churchill, rather than answering the cleric`s questions, meant to be humorous but apparently missing the mark, instead turned to his son.
Randolph records in his diary, Ì immediately saw the opportunity to make a hit, and glanced down the table at Papa who nodded his assent; so as soon as the old dean sat down I rose to reply. They were all so bored by the dean that anything would have pleased them. I proceeded very mildly to twit the dean, and to answer the asinine questions as humorously as possible. I only spoke for about five minutes but I achieved the greatest success I have ever had. They all roared with laughter and cheered lengthily when I sat down. Papa was delighted. It was not, I must admit, in any way a good speech or particularly amusing, but I had the good fortune just to catch hold of what was wanted. . .”
Thus Victoria qualifies as a Churchillian footnote for launching the public speaking career of Randolph S. Churchill
March 4, 1930
There is plenty of evidence that the occasion was considered to be an important one. In spite of the fact that she was always scornful about “talk” in connection with painting, Miss Carr herself was very excited by the invitation to speak and took great pains in the preparation of her address—it survives in a perfectly “clean” typescript. She was troubled during the preparation of the talk by the fact that her beloved monkey, Woo, was taken violently ill. While Emily was occupied with writing the address, Woo appropriated and devoured a tube of yellow paint, and, despite the efforts of a veterinary and everything Emily could do herself was in very serious condition. A day before the event Emily refused flatly to give the talk unless Woo was better, and indeed it was only a few hours before the time for the address that she finally agreed, Woo having taken a definite turn for the better. She has made an amusing and, at the same time, pathetic reference to this experience in “The Life of Woo.” Its closing sentences are: “The talk went over on the crest of such happy thanksgiving, it made a hit. The credit belonged to Woo’s tough constitution.”
From the Introduction to “Fresh Seeing – Two Addresses by Emily Carr”, 1972.
From the Daily Colonist, Saturday, August 20, 1927
Princes at Lunch With Canadian Club
In the above picture front row, left to right, are shown Mr. F. J. Sehl, Secretary, Canadian Club, Hon. J. D. MacLean, leader designate, Prince George, Mr. Kenneth Ferguson. President, the Prince of Wales;His Honour Lieutenant Governor Bruce.
In the back row will be observed Mr. John Cochrane, former president, Mr, H. J. Pendray, Mr H. C. Hall, former president, Mr. F. B. Pemberton; Colonel A. W. Wilby, Hon. Sir Richard Lake, ; General Panet, ; Mr. A. M. D. Fairbairn, and among the members of the Princes’ staff Brigadier General G. F. Trotter,Major the Hon. Piers W. Leigh, and Mr. A. F. Lascelles.
From the Daily Colonist, August 19, 1927
TOAST TO PRINCE
The Prince of Wales address was prefaced by three cheers and a tiger [a roar from the crowd after the three cheers] vociferously given, immediately preceded by the drinking of a toast in his honour.The Prince, who wore a plain grey morning suit, spoke distinctly, with a crisp intonation.His reference to the late Premier Oliver was marked by touching sincerity, and although he spoke throughout with the utmost simplicity, he conveyed an idea of genuine feeling and appreciation when he spoke of the rugged pioneers who carved out the beginning of history in British Columbia.Over and over again he was interrupted by outbursts of applause.
“In Vancouver yesterday, I was remarking on the ordeal – although it was a pleasant one – of having to make speeches to such gatherings as your Canadian Clubs.But when I have to make two on two consecutive days it makes the responsibility all the greater.” said His Royal Highness with a smile as he began his address.
“Over and above the friendly welcome always given me in British Columbia – and you have just given a further proof of it – there is one thought which always strikes me when I come into this province, of which your beautiful city is the capital and the seat of government” the Prince went on.
CHEERS FOR PRINCE GEORGE
The whole gathering stood and cheered H. R. H. Prince George when his turn came to speak.In a voice deeper, but not quite so easily heard as the Prince of Wales, Prince George said that he had heard so often from his fellow-officers in the Royal Navy of the beauty of Victoria that he had wished for a long time to visit this Pacific Coast city.Many of these officers had been so fascinated by the charms of the place that they had come back here to make their homes.Prince George endorsed the Prince of Wales’ references to the kindly expressions of the people of British Columbia in welcoming them as they had, and he could heartily reciprocate all the good wishes conveyed in their greetings.
“My brother gave such warnings against being long-winded that I am not going to say anything more beyond thanking you once more very sincerely for your kind welcome.” said the sailor Prince in conclusion, and amidst laughter and cheering