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A Strawberry Festival
A Pleasant Gathering in Ottawa East
July 1st, 1902
One of the pleasantest festivities of Dominion Day was a strawberry festival in aid of the Church of the Holy Family in Ottawa East. It might more properly be called a picnic for it was a continuous performance from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. and many things besides strawberries were prepared for the pleasure of those who attended. The scene of the picnic was a large and shady grove forming part of the grounds of the Oblate Scholasticate on the banks of the Rideau River. The frame work of the new church rising up a little to the right of the Scholasticate was gaily decorated with flags, while the grove itself was fairly bristling with flags both small and large. There are a number of French Canadians in the Parish, so the tricolor was in evidence, but the Union Jack was the prominent note of decoration having a good accessory in the green flag with the Irish harp. Small tables were arranged under the trees, at them ice-cream and strawberries were served - there was a candy table - a soft drinks table, a large table where high tea was served from five o'clock on, a fish pond, and a table upon which stood a handsome four-storied wedding cake upon which chances were taken for 10 cents. The tea table was always well patronized - if one person rose, another was ready to take his place. It was decorated with potted plants and was in charge of Mrs. Grovernor and Mrs. Meagher who, with their several willing assistants, were kept very busy.

The new parish of the Oblates in Ottawa East is a large one and judging from the attendance the parish turned out well - though as the festival has been announced in several churches of the city there were representatives from other parishes. It being Dominion Day, the houses along the route were gay with flags.

For the convenience of those coming from the city, a bus met the Elgin streetcar and carried passengers to and from the picnic grounds. Mr. Clarke, the shoemaker of Ottawa East, was the guardian over the entrance and he appeared to be well satisfied with the gate receipts. It seemed to be in every way a most successful picnic - everyone was apparently making money. The response to the question: "How are you getting on?" was usually the playful shaking of a little bag in which the clink of many coins was distinctly heard. Mr. Bernard Slattery was the president of the picnic committee. Mr. J.J. O'Gara, the vice-president; Mr. O'Farrel was the chairman of the sports committee, and Mr. St. Laurent was the secretary. Mrs. Bernard Slattery was the English president of the ladies' committee, Mrs. St. Laurent, the French president; Mrs. O'Gara, widow of Magistrate O'Gara, being one of the most prominent residents of Ottawa East, was among the ladies on the committee; she and Miss Kathleen O'Gara had charge of one of the gardens where ices and strawberries were dispensed. A good sign of the general prosperity was that although a large quantity of ice-cream had been provided, it gave out and Mrs. Rogers was telephoned to for more. The candy table was in charge of Mrs. Mainville and Mrs. Danis, assisted by Miss SImard, Miss Justine, Miss Jennie Mainville and Miss Dubreuil. The wedding cake was made by Mrs. Kiely, throws were taken by Miss Kavanagh who sat behind the table on which stood this beautiful and tempting confection of white frosting and silver ornamen-tation.

The fishpond where the fishing was done with real rods and real hooks, was in Miss Gertrude Slattery's charge, who had for assistants Miss E. McClary, Miss E. McKeown and Miss McGuichien. The fishpond appeared to be immensely attractive. There were races during the afternoon and various prizes were won. The prizes were on exhibition in one of the parlors of the Scholasticate. Then, there were games which delighted the small boys who took part and the small boys who looked on but, of greatest interest to the public in general, was the baby-show. Forty fat, rosy cheeked, happy looking babies, under two years old, entered the competition, in their mother's arms it might be added. The first prize was given to Mrs. Arthur St. Laurent's baby and the second prize to Mrs. Donahue's baby. The prize for the finest little girl, over 2 and under 4, went to Miss Marjorie Slattery and the second to a little daughter of Mrs. F.-X. Desloges. For boy babies, over 2 and under 4, the first prize was awarded to M. Murphy and the second to John McVeigh. There was a competition in recitations by little girls under 7. Miss Florence Slattery and Miss S. Flannigan were tied in this. The first prize for French recitation went to Miss Olive Dubois and the second to Florence Slattery. On the recitation competition among girls under 10 years, Miss Irene Slattery won first prize and Miss Rose O'Farrell second. Miss Z. Dubois won the first prize for French and Miss Alice Grison the second. In the singing competition, Miss Rose O'Dowd won first prize and Miss Katie Darcy second. In addition to these interesting competitions
prepared for the enjoyment of the children, there was a young cart of which Mr. Bernard Slattery Jr. was driver and in which a drive through the grounds could be had for five cents. There were usually four happy-looking children in the young cart.

Rev. Father Charlebois, O.M.I., and Rev. Father Cornell, O.M.I., the priests in charge of the parish, were both present at the picnic. Father Sloan, of St. Mary's on Bayswater, was also there and Father Madden, O.M.I., who leaves Ottawa for Vancouver to join Father McGucken.

Mr. James Barrett's brass band was in attendance and provided a very good programme of bright popular music.

Editor's Note: The entrance fee was 10 cents.
Reproduced from the History of Ste. Famille Church, 1901 -1981, published by the church for The Eightieth Anniversary. It was noted that the actual source of the article was unknown.
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