Pop­u­la­tion Roused at 3.35 This Morn­ing and Com­menced to Cel­e­brate With­out De­lay

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - REMEMBRANCE DAY -

It was ex­actly 3.35 this morn­ing that The Sun-Times was no­ti­fied by long dis­tance tele­phone from Toronto that an of­fi­cial dis­patch had been re­ceived there that Ger­man del­e­gates had signed the ar­mistice at mid­night. A few min­utes ear­lier Miss Pearl McKay, long dis­tance night op­er­a­tor, picked up the news from a Toronto op­er­a­tor. Miss McKay has the honor of be­ing the first in Owen Sound to hear the glad news. She re­sides at 467 Tenth Street East, and is a sis­ter of the late Alex McKay who was killed in ac­tion on Nov. 2, 1917.

At once the fire depart­ment was no­ti­fied and the town bell was rung vig­or­ously and in an in­stant the en­tire pop­u­la­tion was aroused. In the ex­pec­ta­tion that some­thing big was about to oc­cur the cit­i­zens were eas­ily aroused and in a few min­utes crowds were flock­ing down street. The SunTimes of­fice was be­sieged with tele­phone in­quiries im­me­di­ately. Ev­ery­where the news was re­ceived with the great­est en­thu­si­asm and half an hour af­ter the first mes­sage was re­ceived thou­sands of peo­ple on the main street and hun­dreds of cards were out. The fire depart­ment ap­peared on the scene early and joined in the cel­e­bra­tion and Piper John Leslie was the first to sup­ply mu­sic for the early morn­ing cel­e­bra­tion.

The sur­round­ing vil­lages and towns were no­ti­fied at once by The Sun-Times.

The tele­phone night staff was swamped with calls and in­quiries but un­der the cir­cum­stances the young ladies in charge main­tained an ex­cel­lent ser­vice.

That Owen Sound can cel­e­brate as well at 4 a. m. as at 4 p. m. was proven this morn­ing be­yond per­ad­ven­ture. The news of Vic­tory and Peace was pealed forth by the old fire bell at 4 a. m. and in very few min­utes peo­ple started to come down town. Mr. John Swaney and Miss Jean were the first to ap­pear fol­lowed closely by who do you think? Mr. Regi­nald Geen. There was soon a crowd in front of The Sun-Times of­fice, read­ing the short and con­cise news out­lined in the win­dow. Au­tos started to ar­rive, one of the first be­ing Mr. E. W. McQuay’s and the noise started. Horns of ev­ery char­ac­ter were pro­duced, auto horns, fish horns and bu­gles. Drums, tin pans, old sheet iron and in fact ev­ery­thing that could make a real noise, was brought into use and the ef­forts were de­cid­edly suc­cess­ful. By 4.30 there were 1,000 peo­ple on the streets and this num­ber was dou­bled be­fore five o’clock.

The early hour made no dif­fer­ence, and in fact it rather helped along the fun. A big bon fire was soon started in the mar­ket square and around this the crowd gath­ered and led by Mr. Geen, sang the Dox­o­ogy, the Na­tional An­them and sev­eral other pa­tri­otic airs. The Mayor was soon on the job and is­sued a procla­ma­tion for a hol­i­day of Thanks­giv­ing, which was printed and posted up be­fore six o’clock.

A pa­rade was formed on the mar­ket at 6.30 and led by the Cit­i­zens’ Band and the Sal­va­tion Army and Pipe bands, fol­lowed by the Fire trucks, the war vet­er­ans (many in uni­form), hun­dreds of cit­i­zens on foot and trucks filled with cheer­ing, happy young peo­ple. Cars by the dozens, all re­gally dec­o­rated and all filled to ca­pac­ity, fol­lowed in the wake. A fine rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a Bri­tish tank, and a beau­ti­ful model of an air­plane, made up by the Owen Sound garage, were real in­ter­est­ing items of the pa­rade. One car with a pic­ture of the Kaiser ‘beat­ing it’, and a farewell to him, a truck with a cage con­tain­ing a good ef­figy of the late Kaiser hung by the neck, and a dozen other in­ter­est­ing fea­tures were in­cluded. The pa­rade headed north on Sec­ond Ave. E., to 10th St., to 3rd Ave. E., to 8th St., and back to the mar­ket.

Crowds filled the walks on main St., par­tic­u­larly be­tween 8th St. and 9th St., and groups were ei­ther sing­ing or cheer­ing justly as the pa­rade went past. There was no doubt this time as to the au­then­tic­ity of the news, it had the pos­i­tive­ness that the for­mer an­nounce­ment lacked, and as a re­sult all re­straint was re­moved.

The war was over, the vic­tory had been won, the ter­ri­ble night­mare of 1559 days of world strife was ended. Peo­ple who had hardly joked or smiled dur­ing all that time, felt the re­ac­tion and the faces of ev­ery­one bore the look that was good to see. They knew what the war had cost; what ter­ri­ble suf­fer­ing had re­sulted, and they were in­ex­press­ibly happy that this was all ended. They had rea­son to re­joice and they did.

A crowd of girls were sing­ing on the main street an ex­pres­sive lit­tle song ac­com­pa­nied by drums. The song ran some­thing like this:

“Good­bye old Ger­many Fare well to you You’ll have no Kaiser When the war is through.” Etc. Etc.

The vet­er­ans sang many old trench and march­ing songs and were loudly cheered as they marched through the streets. Later they got bu­gles and drums and kept the noise and mer­ri­ment up all along the main street.

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