Friday, May 10, 2013

Carré Jacques-Cartier Square, Then and Now.

Then and Now Jacques Cartier Square in Old Montreal. Just exchange the manure smell for the aroma of Italian Specialties. They are selling smoothies on the square these days..

The City Hall burned down in the early twenties, or partially burned down. The square is a tourist attraction now.

I have written a e-book called Milk and Water, about Montreal City Hall in 1927. A few days ago I ventured to City Hall to check out their archives, to FINALLY get a look at the Coderre Commission Report. I didn't find the 37 page final report, that implicated my grandpapa, Jules Crepeau, the Director of City Services (saying he allowed movie theatres to let in underage patrons)...but I found a redacted transcript that was addressed to M. Brodeur, the Head of the Executive Committee.

The Coderre Inquiry generated 10,000 pages of testimony, so someone had to cut down the information for the benefit Brodeur, so the testimony relating to my grandfather, supplied by one Constable Trudeau of the Montreal force, was left out.

No problem, it made all the newspapers, even the New York Times.

(And I'm guessing Brodeur didn't read this copy: that would have been my grandfather's job.)

The Coderre Inquiry made other US papers. I found this in a Delaware Newspaper:

The bit from the Coderre Report about my Grandfather.

As I get to my new story, Sister Salvation, about the Montreal Suffragists/Reformers and their connection with the Conscription Crisis, I've figured out a lot more about Reformer Mayor Guerin, except the exact reason why he lasted only two years (1910-1912) in office. 

His obit in the Gazette says he was a terrific Mayor, whose mandate merely ran out. 

Hmm. I learned that he spent a great deal of time out of the country, at Edward VII's funeral and at George V's coronation. For the coronation he was away 3 months. And then in late December 1911 he attends suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst's speech at Windsor Hall, as a front table guest of honour and then he doesn't run in the February election.

(And yet at his death, English Montrealers still insisted he was a great Mayor.) This was an editorial.

Reforms were carried out! According to Michele Dagenais'  Des Pouvoirs  et Des Hommes, all this administration did was fix up few aqueducts and create a few green spaces. That would have been right in line with the Protestant Purity Agenda.

My grandfather was part of the new Board of Control in 1917, part of Mederic Martin's Team. (Dagenais has a official City Hall photo that shows this.)

In 1921 Jules (my grandfather) was awarded the brand new post of Director of Services.

I saw in a file belonging to the Gerin-Lajoie collection at BANQ that the Reformer Faction was indeed consulted when the new charter was created in 1921.. Mme. Gerin-Lajoie too.. and Mrs.Walter Lyman of the Montreal Council, I seem to remember and Mr. Birks and McConnell too... (I have this info somewhere on this blog.)