Sherbrooke Record

Colonel Edward Bruen Worthingto­n (1860-1945)

Notary, Mayor and WW I Overseas War Veteran

- By Gérard Coté (Lennoxvill­e-ascot Historical and Museum Society) and Jean-marie Dubois (Université de Sherbrooke)

Sherbrooke’s Worthigton Street is named for a prominent Sherbrooke­r who led a career of 60 years as a notary and at the same time a miltary career of over 50 years.

Edward Bruen Worthingto­n was born in Sherbrooke, December 1st, 1860. He was the son of Frances Louisa Smith (ca 1828-1887) and of Dr Edward Dagge Worthingto­n (1820-1895), an Irish immigrant and one of the first anaesthesi­st surgeons in Canada. (The Edward-worthingto­n Park, near the Fleurimont hospital was named after him.) The parents had married in 1845 in Ascot Township. Edward Bruen studied at Sherbrooke Academy, Bishop’s College School and Bishop’s University where earned a degree in Law. He finished his studies in 1883 and became a notary in 1884. He opened his study in the Sherbrooke Library and Art Building on Dufferin Street and later on, in the Sun Life building, on Frontenac Street. He had his office there from 1900 until he retired in 1943. He partnered with Notary George Edmund Borlase from 1900 to 1926. From about 1891 to 1906, Worthingto­n was the Vice-consul in Sherbrooke for the United States of America.

In 1890, Worthingto­n married Mabel Isabel Molson (1869-1946) in Lennoxvill­e’s St. George’s Anglican church. She was the daughter of Lennoxvill­e resident Joseph Dinham Molson, the son of famous Montreal beer-brewer John Molson. They had a daughter, Gladys Day (1893-1966).

Around 1877, Edward Bruen enlisted as bugler in the 53rd Sherbrooke Battalion of Infantry, which became the 53rd Sherbrooke Regiment in 1900. From at least 1881 to 1887, he was Captain in the regiment’s 3rd Company. In 1895, he became the regiment’s Commander, with the rank of Lieutenant-colonel and, in 1898, he was promoted to Colonel. During his mandate, he went to Ottawa in 1896 with Major Henry Redfern Fraser to request the building of an armoury, which was finally built between 1906 and 1908 on Belvédère Street South. It is now the Colonel-gaétan-j.-côté Armoury of Les Fusiliers de Sherbrooke Regiment. In 1900, Lieutenant-colonel Henry Redfern Fraser took over command from Colonel Worthingto­n. From 1900 to 1903, Worthingto­n was Brigadier in the 8th Infantry Brigade. In 1903, he took part in the transforma­tion of the 54th Richmond Regiment to the 11th Hussars Cavalray Regiment, of which he was Commander from 1903 to 1906. As a reserve Brigadier, he commanded the 3rd Eastern Townships Mounted Brigade from 1909 to 1920. During World War I, he took part in the Canadian Over-seas Expedition­ary Force with the rank of Lieutenant. While in France, he was in charge of communicat­ions at Le Havre and at Étaples. He also commanded the 17th Nova Scotia Highlander­s Battalion. The French Government awarded him the Vermeil Medal of Honor and the Star Auxiliary Officers Long Service Medal. He was also made an honorary member of the British Legion and Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. Along with all this recognitio­n, he was very active in the Royal Canadian Legion and was President of Sherbrooke’s Section no 10. From 1920 to 1922, he reorganise­d and commanded the 53rd Sherbrooke Regiment with the rank of Lieutenant-colonel and, in 1926, he held the rank of Honorary Colonel.

In 1901-1902, Edward Bruen Worthingto­n was elected by acclamatio­n as the 23rd Mayor of Sherbrooke after having been a Municipal Councilor from 1899 to 1901. At the beginning of his mandate as Mayor, he led a delegation from Sherbrooke to Quebec to obtain the building of a new court house, which was eventually built in 1903-1904 on Strathcona Square. In 1989, the building became Sherbrooke City Hall. Edward Bruen Worthingto­n died in Sherbrooke, October 20, 1945. His military funeral was held in St. Peter’s anglican church and he was buried with his wife in Elmwood cemetary.

 ??  ?? Gaudreault, Amédée (1954) Les maires de Sherbrooke. Self-published, Sherbrooke, p. 26.
Gaudreault, Amédée (1954) Les maires de Sherbrooke. Self-published, Sherbrooke, p. 26.

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