- The Industries of the Town Inspected.
- Its Educational Institutions called at.
- Its facilities and opportunities discussed.
From The Port hope Times November 18, 1880.
The Hon. Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley
, accompanied by his estimable wife, have honored our town with a visit. It is not often that such a compliment is paid to a town of this size, for the strain on a Minister's time and thought is more heavy than is popularly supposed. It is an astonishing thing that the Finance Minister has been able, while exercising a thorough control of his department, to visit nearly every industrial point in the Dominion, and to devote a full day to Port Hope. Canada has never yet had a Finance Minister who dreamt of doing anything of the kind.
There has never before Sir L. Tilley been a Finance Minister who has deemed it worth his while to go all through the country with a view to ascertaining how the measures adopted on his advice were operating. It is an entirely new thing in politics for the custodian of the public treasury to personally concern himself about this or that business, or this or that locality. The fashion has heretofore been for the Finance Minister to frame his tariff as seemed right in his own eyes, and having got it through leave it to work well or mischievously, with the indifference a shipbuilder has as to whether a vessel swims or sinks after the launching. The novelty of a Finance Minister making a pilgrimage through the length and breadth of the land to inform himself of its condition, of the effects of the measures for which he is responsible, of finding out by personal examination and enquiry what he had best do in further revising the taxation system, has astonished the public, as it might be expected to do. We are glad that Sir Leonard Tilley has met with so cordial a reception in our town. The greeting he met with was as non-political as it could possibly be. Among those who met him this morning and did their best to show him attention and assist him to a clear understanding of the facilities the town has to offer to manufacturers, and its advantages as a shipping point, there were several gentlemen who have not a particle of faith in his policy. But they met him cordially, for all that.
Sir Leonard and Lady Tilley arrived by the express on Wednesday night and were driven to the residence of Col. Williams, M. P., who is their host during their brief stay here. During the early hours of morning the hon. gentleman sauntered through the grounds, visiting the stables and farm buildings, taking special note of the excellent stock. At nine o'clock this morning, carriages were in waiting at the entrance of the Queen's Hotel for the conveyance of parties invited to accompany Sir Leonard in his round town trip. An open carriage furnished by Mr. Haw accommodated the Minister, His Worship the Mayor, Col. Williams, M. P., and Coun. Smart; another was occupied by members of the press, whom Mr. Peplow honored with his company during a part of the trip.
The first move was to the Town Hall, where a number of introductions took place. After this, the party proceeded to the Midland Railway shops which were, as they have been for some time past in full activity. Every facility was offered the town's distinguished guest of inspecting the works, in the examination of which he displayed considerable interest, making special enquiries as he passed through the several departments.
The next move was to the elevator, the dimensions of which seemed to rather astonish him. A climb up the cork-screw stairway gave him and those in attendance on him a chance of viewing Port Hope and its surroundings. It was pointed out to him that the Government should do something for the improvement of the harbor, the expense involved in the extension of the piers to deep water would be nominal in consideration of the advantages it would ensure to lake shipping. Sir L. Tilley did not commit himself in any way as to this, but admitted fully the value of Port Hope as a harbor, and expressed his surprise at the amount of business done over it.
Thence the company drove along John street and up to the Central School. Mr. Goggin, our diligent and esteemed head master, was in attendance and conducted the party through the several rooms. Everything appeared to be in perfect order, and the pupils as bright a lot of youngsters as could be found from the farthest Dan to the remotest Beersheba. One smart lad yesterday struck off a joke which Mr. Goggin repeated for Sir Leonard's amusement. Two of the boys were in colloquy: - First boy - "Sir L. Tilley's coming to-morrow." Second boy - "Well, he's a Grit; isn't he?" First boy - "Grit, no! he's a John A. man."
Owing to some blundering, the Minister had not an opportunity of inspecting the interiors of the two fine churches in the neighborhood of the schools. The next place visited was Mr. Chalk's carriage factory, and from there to Mr. E. G. Chant's button factory, which, like the one last named, was in full operation. Sir Leonard seemed to be much interested in the working of the latter establishment. After this the party visited Mr. Craig's tannery. Sir Leonard had here an opportunity of examining as complete an establishment as can be found anywhere in this line of trade.
Continuing their pilgrimage, the company next reached Mr. T. Hayden's foundry, at which, as elsewhere, Sir S. L. Tilley made enquiries as to the state of that industry here. From there the party drove up to the Trinity College School, and the Minister got there a welcome which we do not think he will be in haste to forget. As the carriages drove up to the entrance, the students were seen drawn up in line, on the one side the gentlemen cadets, we suppose we should style them so, and on the other the civilians, as we supposed they should be styled. It was a good thing to look at; the lads in uniform deserved to be in uniform, and when that is said nothing more need be said, while the lads not in uniform on the other side of the gravel walk seemed quite worthy of wearing it. Sir Leonard Tilley was met at the gate by the head master, the Rev. C. J. S. Bethune, and conducted into the College buildings, the cadets giving him a military salute as he passed by.
The chapel was the first place visited, and those who had not previously seen it expressed in very strong terms their admiration of it as a college church. Sir L. Tilley was particularly well pleased with it. From the chapel the party went to the refectory where everything was found in the nicest order. From the dining hall the company proceeded to the large hall where all the scholars were in waiting. The Rector of the College introduced Sir L. Tilley in a few well chosen remarks. Sir L. Tilley, in reply, thanked Mr. Bethune for his courteous references to himself, and expressed his regret that circumstances would not allow of his making a more thorough examination of the institution, with the appliances and arrangements of which he had been most favorably impressed. So well pleased was he with it that he was thinking of conferring with Lady Tilley as to the advisability of entering two of their sons in Trinity College school. He was satisfied with what he had seen this visit as to the thoroughness of the instruction given. His young friends perhaps knew that lately he had been visiting various parts of the country to inform himself as to its industries. But I mechanical skill, valuable as it was, was not all; there must bo intellectual culture and moral worth, and he was satisfied that in this institution neither of these was lost sight of. He was pleased to see so many young gentle, men in uniform, and he was satisfied that should the country need their services the loyal instinct which had led to their donning it would impel them to do their duty. He might relate hero an incident which happened some years ago when Confederation was in contemplation. A deputation from New Brunswick had the honor of an audience of Her Majesty, and the Queen remarked: "I have a special liking for people of Canada, they are so loyal." He had no fear that the youths before him would belie their predecessors in respect of loyalty. He concluded by requesting the Reverend Rector to give the pupils a half holiday a request which was graciously acceded to amid uproarious cheers. As the party were retiring three cheers were given for Sir Leonard and Lady Tilley and three very lusty ones for Her Gracious Majesty the Queen. The party then drove down to the Town Hall, where several of our leading people had an opportunity of meeting and conversing with the Minister.