Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets
30th Jun 2016Posted in: Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets 0
For Our Bureau

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Vancouver, B. C.:
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On the 11th of November, 1921, under the chairmanship of Mr. Robert McKee, the Foreign Trade Bureau of the Vancouver Board of Trade, inaugurated a six-months’ course of weekly Luncheon Lectures dealing with subjects of interest to the members of the Bureau.
This experiment met with a large measure of success, but previous to commencing a second series, it was felt that some more distinctive notice should be used than the postcard announcing the subject and speaker that had done duty during the first season. So Mr. Mckee who had been re-elected Chairman, and the Secretary, designed a card which they entitled “Via Vancouver,” the Journal of the Foreign Trade Bureau of the Vancouver Board of Trade.
It was announced in the first number that the Journal would give the subject and speaker of the current week’s meeting, and a brief digest of the correspondence, and other news items, and lighter freight in the form of short and snappy contributions from members. Being somewhat disappointed in the quantity of the last-named, from time to time during the first season that the card was used, the Secretary contributed a set of verses, which generally dealt with the subject of the previous week’s lecture, and during second season, ever week.
Many requests having been made that the verses should be reprinted, the author has placed them FREE ON BOARD his manuscript, the purchaser paying the cost of transporting them from that state to the printed page, and he trusts that the charges will not be found altogether out of proportion to the value of the goods carried.


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Wheat of the prairie, and wealth of the mine,
Wood of the forest, and fish of the brine,
Ship eastward, or westward, or south of the line –
Via Vancouver.
Fruit of the orchard, and hay in the bale,
Stock of the ranges – by road and by rail,
By liner, by freighter, by steam or by sail,
Via Vancouver.
Wood pulp and paper, wrapping and boards,
Cedar bolts, spruce bolts, fir-ricks or cords,
Steam coal and house coal from underground hoards,
Via Vancouver.
In from the Orient here at our door.
Up from Australia, cargoes galore,
On to the Old Land, still more and more,
Via Vancouver. [page vii]

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Preface V
“Via Vancouver” Vii
The Bureau… Notices 11
McKee High School 11
To a Member of the Bureau on His Birthday 12
New Year Resolutions, 1924 13
The Board… “Our Mr. Thomson” 15
The Story of a Spy-er 16
Percy Vere 17
The Port… A Long Distance Call 18
Two Harbours 19
A Christmas Carol, 1922 19
Some Pioneers 20
A Shakespearian Theme with Variations 21
Tremendous Energy 22
It’s Needed 23
A Poor Speller 24
The Business Blues 25
Place Names of British Columbia 26
The Song of the Prairie Farmer 28
Ship’s Manifests 29
Where Ignorance is Bliss 30
The Province… A “Raw” Proposition 31
The Dominion… Can. Government Merchant Marine 32
[page ix]
The Empire… The Magician 33
Jack and John and Sam 34
Under the Union Jack 35
Ocean Transportation 37
Trade and Commerce… Ross’ Far East Ginger-Aid 38
A Lecture Title 39
Words of One Syllable 40
Pronouncing Proper Names 41
Certain Maxims of Mr. McKee 42
Our Mr. Bleakney 43
Wooden-Ware 44
Boxes 46
Here’s Your Hat, But What’s Your Hurry 47
The Law… Where Did He Get It? 48
Foreign Judgments 49
Circumstances Alter Cases 50
An Unstated Case 51
A “Reasonable” Man 53
Sharps and Flats 54
Trade Marks and “Passing Off” 55
Demurrage 56
Marine Insurance… The True Story of “The Wreck of Hesperus” 57
N.O.P. (Not Otherwise Provided For)… Lost Illusions 59
There Was a Great Earth-Quake 60
Black Marks 61
A Sneak Thief Santa Claus (1923) 62
[page x]

[The letterpress of “Via Vancouver” is printed in red ink, hence the misspelt optimism of the last line of the last verse.]


In Moslem lands the muezzin calls
    The Mussulman to prayer,
Day in, day out, it never palls,
     The Faithful all are there.

From our Bureau the word is sent
     To members, one and all,
Week in, week out, with one consent 
     The Faithful hear the call. 

We’ve searched to find a way to reach
The ones who do not heed,
But any means will fail to teach
The ones who will not read.

First, folded in an envelope,
     A postcard, then, instead—
But now, at last, we’ve got the dope,
     This letter-press is red.

[A local High School bears a name not remotely reminiscent of that of the chairman, and suggested a title for these verses which refer, in the jargon of a temporarily popular cult, to some of our speakers and their subjects.]


“I here provide,” our chairman cried,
“For each subject a trained adviser,
As week by week you hear them speak,
    You are getting wiser and wiser.” [page 11]

Our F. G. T. is not at sea
    On “Carriage of Goods by Water,”
The Rules are vague, quoth he, by Hague!
   And they should be surer and shorter,

McKneely’s wit, explained “the Pit,”
   And how to deal in “futures,”
His sheaf of wheat he tied as neat
As any surgeon’s sutures.

Sir C. H. T. most learnedly
   Discoursed of arbitration,
‘Tis clear as mud, that still M’Lud,
   We can’t oust litigation.

B. G. D. P., most welcome he,
    G. A. and F. P. Ately,
We hope he’ll design to speak again,
    We like his lectures greatly.

All this proves true our Chairman’s view,
    Speaking strictly to the letter,
That day by day, in a business way,
    We are getting better and better.

[It was singularly happy that the 70th birthday of a well-beloved member of the Bureau, who is also a Past President of the Board, should fall on a Friday, and so give his fellow members an opportunity to tender him their hearty congratulations.]


What time, My Lady, in her chair,
With gallant escort, took the air,
My Lord, be-powdered and be-patched,
Content if one fair glance he snatched;
In those far days ‘twas quite the mode
To humbly dedicate an ode.
Conveying due and just applause [page 12]
For efforts in the public cause—
In art, in letters, or in war,
‘Midst paths of peace, or cannon’s roar,
In private life, or parliament,
When e’er occasion should present.

This introduction serves to show
From whence the bard of this Bureau
Has filched the form in which to pay
Our greetings on this happy day,
To one to whom ‘tis our delight
To render homage, his by right,
But better still, by free consent,
To the beloved recipient.

Linked with the history of the age
His past lies writ on many a page;
Much of his three score years and ten
He’s lavished on his fellowmen;
And line would add to line if I
To duty and chronicle should try.
But in our records ne’er will fade
His talk on “Inter-Empire Trade.”
When heard, we inspiration drew,
And recollection draws anew.

And thus, on this red-letter day.
These feeble words slight tribute pay
To one who puts no pride or pomps on—
That sturdy Briton, Nichol Thompson.

[These New Year Resolutions were wished on the Chairmen of the Standing Committees entirely with-out their permission.]


A member of the daily press
Last Christmas hazardous a guess,
In kindly fun, though mildly mocking, 
What some folks wanted in their stocking. [page 13]

Our Bureau follows this idea,
Resolving that to start the year,
Each chairman should for his committee
State what they’ll do— so hence this ditty.

In order of the alphabet:
ATTENDANCE first, “Now don’t forget
Presence assured, and less conjectures
Would crowd our weekly Luncheon Lectures.

CABLES, correct, receipt from the source,
No repetitions or re-Morse. 
Without appeal to Home and Beauty
The CUSTOMS crowd will do their “duty.”

“Now Cinderella’ tis your cue
To rub your eyes and find it’s true,”
The Chairman of our GRAIN Committee
Sees Montreal salute this city.

Willing to serve on land or sea.”
MAILS, “quick despatch for all your letters,
Oppose all departmental fetters.”

With shipping to co-operate,
RECEPTION. “We’re for entertaining
All folks to Foreign Trade pertaining.”

Then TRADE and COMMERCE says, in short,
“Give us your troubles, we’ll report,
Investigate for each petitioner,
And entertain each Trade Commissioner.” [page 14]

[Mr. J. B. Thomson, President of the Board, 1923-4, headed the delegation to the Old Country in the summer of 1923.]


An old-established firm we are
For years in our home town we have 
A reputation made.

And since it chanced, to some in power,
A wider vision came,
We’re not unknown at Chilliwack,
And Ladner’s heard our name.

Prince Rupert, Vanderhoof, Prince George,
Clinton and Lillooet,
The Kootenay and Arrow Lakes,
Pentiction, don’t forget.

Peace River, Spirit Lake and all
The places in between,
Hyder and Stewart, the Island, too,
Oh! What a lot we’ve seen.

We all have learnt ‘tis wiser far,
To walk before we run,
And thus these local journeyings
In wisdom were begun.

For as we need to learn ourselves
Ere knowledge we impart,
We’ve been to school that we may make
The whole wide world our mart.

And so in this our year of grace,
Our travellers duty trained 
Departed on their way to spread
The knowledge they have gained. 
Was ever firm so freely served?
For each man paid his exes.
Now come and hear “J.B.” relate 
Their actions and reflexes. [page 15]

[These verses have been included among those referring to the Board by reason of the excellent suggestion made by the speaker, Dean Brock, for a method of rewarding the retiring presidents of that organization.]

(With apologies to Rudyard Kipling and the “Story of Uriah.”)

Our speaker went to Fiji
     Because they asked him to,
As Moses sent to Canaan
His young men the land to view.
Our speaker’s back from Fiji
   And he told us what he knew.

Our speaker went to Fiji—
     My word!  He thought it grand—
He drew a glowing picture
     Of that pleasant tropic land;
They never lack bananas,
     So that soulful song is banned.

Our speaker went to Fiji,
     And what would please us most
He thought would be the railway
     Running on the Western Coast.
For freight is hauled for nothing!
     Why! We near gave up the ghost. 

Our speaker said round Fiji
     Were islands in a ring,
A choice of some two hundred
     For the “man who would be king.”
It’s the rule that all his subjects
     To his feet their earnings bring.

So why should we, the speaker said,
     Present a smoking set
To the Presidents retiring?
     It would be a better bet
To offer each an island;
     Supreme they’d carry on,
Propose and second motions
     And pass them all nem: con. [page 16] 

[Some of the results of the Board’s policy of “keep on, keepin’ on,” are enumerated below.]


There’s a first-rate little fellow
     And his name is Percy Vere,
For he never gives up trying 
Till he’s brought the bacon here.

He’s extremely well connected,
     Goes right back to Robert Bruce,
Who, learning from the spider,
     Never said, “Aw, what’s the use!”

You remember when the railways
     Charged an arbitrarial rate
Starting out five cents on every ton
And climbing up to eight.

Well, in spite of all the objections,
     We have seen that disappear,
And vanish quite completely
Like the snows of yester-year.

Then the dry-dock that we needed,
     Where the vessels can repair –
Take a look across the Inlet
     And you’ll see it building there.

Now, this Bureau is delighted, 
     And it’s not the least afraid,
Because his latest efforts
     Mean a loss of “Foreign” Trade.

For it’s only right and proper
     That the products of our land
Should be duly landed duty free,
     Not classed as contraband.

So here’s a cheer for Percy Vere,
     Once more bringing home the pork,
With the placing of an officer
Of Customs at New York. [page 17]

[Ones thoughts naturally turn to Lewis Carroll and “Alice in Wonderland,” when trying to describe our topsy-turvy freight rates. The Hon. J. A. Robb, then Minister of Trade and Commerce, acknowledged the feasibility of the Western Route.]


“You are greedy, Fort William,” Vancouver complained,
     “When you want to corral all the wheat,
And you crow when you see the high freight rates maintained,
     Is it nice thus a neighbor to treat?”

“I, when youthful,” Fort William replied with a sigh,
     “Was taught to be seen and not heard.
So till you are older I think you should try
      To learn this – you’d be less absurd.”

“That’s no answer, Fort William,” Vancouver replied,
     We’ve as much right to live as the rest,
And it seems you’ll be swamped by a cereal tide,
     So you’d better send some of it West.”

“I should worry,” thus scorning, Fort William came back,
     I will ask if I need any aid,
And, because as it happens I have what you lack,
     You pretend for my sake you’re afraid.” 

“Here, get this, Fort William, and don’t be so bold,
     Last week a wise man from the East
Spoke right up in a meeting and said he was ‘sold’
     To the fact we need storage increased.”

(Operator at Fort William end): “My party has hung up.” [page 18]

[A comparison of docking facilities brought out in an address on “Opportunities in Southern China,” by Mr. E. J. Leveson.]


Eight and forty moorings
Out in Hong Kong harbour,
Eight and forty moorings
Where the big ships lie and wait;
The sampans and the lighters
Are the bees that suck their honey
The sampans and the lighters
To and fro with men and freight.

Ninety miles of waterfront
In Vancouver harbour,
Ninety miles of waterfront
Where the deep-sea vessels tie;
The longshoremen and derricks
Lift the cargoes through the hatchways.
The longshoremen and derricks
As the vessels ‘longside lie.

[The dream of yesterday oft-times becomes the reality of tomorrow.]


I saw three ships go sailing by
   On Christmas Day in the morning,
‘Twas a trifle thick, but they took no chance,
For Calamity Point gave warning.

I saw three ships come sailing in,
   Right in through the dredged First Narrows,
They drew 30 feet with five feet clear,
   So there’s never a job for Yarrows.

I saw three ships come sailing here
   Where one had come before – oh! [page 19]
It’s the cheapest port, says they to me,
   On the North Pacific shore—oh! 

I saw three ships to load bulk grain
   Get a dandy job o’lining,
And the rules of the port made the cost so low
   There was never a word of repining. 

I saw three ships go sailing on
   Till they berthed at the Government dock-oh!
Two on the East, and one on the West,
    And they loaded once round the clock-oh!

I saw three ships go sailing out—
   (The stuff was strong in the barrel,
‘Twas a dream mayhap, but never you care,
   By and by we’ll sing this carol.)

[Many seem to fail because they do not entirely succeed. Drake did not find the Northwest passage, because it does not exist. Capt. Vancouver did not see Fraser River and Simon Fraser did not reach the Ocean, and yet how much this Port owes each one of them.]


Sore bruised and tempest-tossed, the Golden Hind
Had sought in vain the fabled Straits to find;
Brave Francis Drake sailed south from ice and snow,
From these our shores, three hundred years ago.

And then in seventeen and ninety-two,
Vancouver, keen observer, held untrue
Tales of the river— Spanish lies said he—
That laves our homestead on its way to the sea.

Simon Fraser, dreaming a wondrous dream,
Faced countless perils on his mighty stream,
Only to find its outlet barred to him
When but a stone’s throw from the ocean’s brim. [page 20]

Though none gained all, each aided wisdom’s store,
And only ‘tis in mythologic lore
One sprang full-armoured from the head of Jove—
We win by striving, as our forebears strove.

[Sir Henry Thornton, President of the C. N. R., in the course of a speech made in Vancouver, referred to this Port as “The Future Mistress of the Western Seas.”]


Likewise the sages say:
“While the sun shines,
‘Tis time for making hay.”

Europe’s war hordes
Turn peaceful business men

Vancouver! Fore!!!
“Dame opportunity knocks once
At any door.”

Not mere money wealth
That buys long idle days of cushioned ease—
Rather that destiny
Sir Henry told,
“The future mistress of the Western Seas.” [page 21]

[Local critics either tell us that we are asleep, or that we talk too much, so let us hear an outside opinion for a change.]


In Sunday morning’s paper
   A Winnipeg despatch,
‘Neath a rather hostile heading
   Did my hasty glances catch;
And I’m sure you’ll guess the reason,
   For what most appealed to me
Was the reference to Vancouver’s
   “Tremendous Energy.”

We’ve been told without cessation
   In the columns of the Press
That re shipping grain we’re sleeping,
   Sunk in sloth and idleness: 
So it needs no explanation—
   What a great surprise to me
Was this reference to Vancouver’s
   “Tremendous Energy.”

And the story told how, lately,
   In the neighboring U. S. A.,
They were filled with consternation
   That we’d take some trade away;
Buffalo, Duluth and Cleveland,
   And Chicago seemed to see
Future trouble in Vancouver’s 
   “Tremendous Energy.”

Now a caustic commentator
   Not so many moons ago,
Told us all, that in our barnyard
   Too many roosters crow;
But it strikes me, Captain Kettle,
   That it possibly may be 
That, combined, they are Vancouver’s
   “Tremendous Energy.” [page 22]

[The establishment of a Chair of Commerce at the University of British Columbia, referred to by President Klinck in his address, has long been advocated by the Vancouver Board of Trade, but the need for education is universal. It would not be so bad if people would keep their lack of knowledge to themselves, but mis-information such as is given in the verses referred to below is very annoying to advocates of the Inter-Empire trade.]


The question of Commercial Education
And a Chair of Commerce at the U. B. C.
For long has had the close consideration
Of many members of the V. B. T.
But the plan for this tuition
Has not yet attained fruition,
    Partly owing to lack of L. S. D.

The burden of the lucid exposition
   Made before the members of the F. B. T.—
Met for mental and for edible nutrition
   In the Red Room of Vancouver’s Hostelree—
Was the method; this engages
Both the business men and sages,
   And would only seem a question of Degree.

The President is right, and well we know it,
   When for thoroughness his hat is in the ring;
For, to quote the well-known words of Pope, the poet
   “A little learning is a dangerous thing.”
Once I heard a fellow rant, he
Wrote an imitation chantey,
When a song of ships and trade, he tried to sing.

First the game of coals to Newcastle he played at,
   For Cardiff coal he’d shipped Vancouver way;
And his next suggestion— well, I am afraid that
   We’d kick him clean to “China crost the bay!” [page 23]
For, his coal dumped at Vancouver
To Seattle he would move her
   And load his ship with wheat from U. S. A.!

This sort of fellow takes a little Kipling,
   And Maserfield too, whose Christian name is John;
For he’s in art though not in years, a stripling,
   And pretty sounds, not sense, his sine qua non;
And really he’s quite happy 
When some places from a map, he
   Takes like gaily colored beads and threads them on.

[The uncanny adaptability of the anecdote recorded below is herewith gratefully acknowledged. For the information of those who do not know Vancouver, it is pointed out that the Grand Trunk Pacific pier is at the foot of Main Street, and the verses were written on the opening of the Ballantyne Pier.]


The occasion of the opening
   Of a certain famous pier
Reminds me of a story
   Told at a luncheon here.

‘Twas said how once in Winnipeg
   They took upon the Force
An illiterate probationer—
Though a man of some resource.

They supplied him with a note book
  When they sent him on his beat,
To record whatever happened,
With details, quite complete.

Now the first night he’s on duty,
   It chanced there did collide
A dairy rig and motor truck—
   The milkman’s horse it died. [page 24]

Our hero opened up his book
   And got his facts down fine,
Till he found, on asking, that the street 
   Was known as Ballantyne.

He scratched his head, he bit his thumb,
   And scratched his head again,
Then dragged the carcass through the streets
   Until he came to Main!

Now, if he hadn’t joined the force
   He might have gone to sea,
And where’d you think he’d tie up here?
   Why sure, the G. T. P.! 

But all good sailor-men can spell,
   So Harbor Board don’t fear,
Ten letters and three syllables
   Won’t keep them from your pier.

[We should prove hopelessly out of date if we did not get the popular song word “Blues” into one of our titles, though it is quite out of place in recording the wonderful growth of the lumber export business as told to the Bureau by Mr. H. R. MacMillan.]

(Not a “fast” color”)

Oh! Business men who are inclined
     To be a trifle blue,
Find here an anti-toxin for
     That sad cerulean hue.

Last Friday when our orator
     ‘Mid cheers resumed his seat,
The gentleman presiding
     Truly said we’d had a treat.

To begin at the beginning—
     Our chairman did aver [page 25]
That the speaker was ambassador 
      To Good King Douglas Fir.

Perhaps he had not made two grow
      Where one had grown before,
But he’d caused the demolition
     Of many thousand score.

Our speaker to modestly denied
     His power to make them grow,
But still where one had gone before
     He’d tried to make two go.

Till six years back, for thirty years
     But little change was shown;
But since, not only twice as much,
Ten times the trade had grown. 

He built his case up, fact on fact,
     And proved, before he’d done,
That we hadn’t reached the limit
    But had only just begun.

So with the chairman, I repeat,
     Lumber and grain, these two,
Increased and still increasing
     Leave no room for feeling blue.

[My encyclopaedia says, “The Crow is regarded by many naturalists as the highest family of birds. The intelligence of them is great in the extreme . . . they may also be taught to imitate the human voice.” We learn further that they live to the age of 100 years, so it is not altogether impossible that our hero was present on that evening in June, 1792, when Capt. Vancouver named our Inlet after his friend, Sir Harry Burrard.]


On Prospect Point, in the evening glow
    Or a sunset’s mirrored glory. [page 26]
I glanced above where an ancient crow
   Was telling a bed-time story.

Perched on a bough this jolly old bird
   Recalled, for a young relation,
What a hundred years ago he’d heard
   And seen from his lofty station.

“June, ninety-two (Ah! Then I was young),
   As I sat on this tree in the gloaming,
A queer sort of fish with fins outflung
   In from the sea came roaming.

(“I know better now, for the fish was a boat
   And the fins were oars to move her),
There jumped ashore, in a bright blue coat,
   A man they called Captain Vancouver.

“I flew quite near as he spoke to the mate—
   Or as sailors say, came fur-rard—
He’d name this place, I heard him state,
For his friend, Sir Harry Burrard.

“Now I’m getting old, and my hearing’s hard,
   So it may be I’m mistaken;
But you’d better look out if you say Burrard,
   Or George, from his grave will awaken.” 

If this tale of a centenarian crow
   Smacks rather of myth and mystery,
Why then, Dear Reader, we’ll let it go
As a bit of un-Natural History. [page 27]

[During the visit to Vancouver this spring of the Prairie Senators and Members of Parliament, Mr. L. H. Jelliff, M. P. for Lethbridge, told us in graphic language of the vision he had for the past twenty years of this port as an outlet for grain grown on the prairies, which would give farmers a chance to grow grain at a profit. He forcefully claimed it was not the Rockies, but the railway policies and the government policies in trying to force the prairie wheat in another direction, that had held back development.]


Out in the open spaces,
   Away from the strangled town,
I plough the lonely furrows
   Of my long fields, up and down;
As the day comes to its closing
   And the evening-time brings rest,
The sun dips behind the mountains
In the West.

And there’s more than grain is nurtured
   In the fertile prairie soil,
For dreams and beautiful visions
   Ease the weary hours of toil;
Above me— a path of promise—
   Spans the fabled rainbow of old,
At its Westward foot the fairy
Pot of gold.

But the way is beset with dangers,
   As in story books, read long since,
There are dragons and ogres in plenty,
   For the rescuing Fairy Prince;
Yet the Prince who boldly ventures
   Will share with the hands that tilled,
When the dream becomes a happy,
   Dream fulfilled. [page 28]

[These verses were suggested by the manifests published monthly in “Harbor and Shipping.”]


If variety is charming,
Then this port of many cargoes
     That attribute possesses in a very high degree,
And if “infinite,” you fancy
As an adjective too far goes,
     A pretty wide assortment in this little list you’ll see.

Rice and peanuts come from China,
Silk and oranges from Nippon,
     And—this entry keeps us guessing—Oriental merchandise,
Then there’s hardwood from Australia,
Making floors for rugs to slip on,
Gorgeous rugs of glowing color from the East, so old and wise.

Don’t forget the shipments outward—
Many million feet of lumber,
Golden grain from fertile prairies to the Orient and U. K.
Fish and apples, pulp and paper—
But we can’t begin to number
     Half the things we are exporting, so we have to right to say,

That variety is descriptive
Of our multifarious cargo,
     And “infinite” an adjective not wholly out of place,
For you know poetic license
Would permit of no embargo
     When these words described for Shakespeare, Cleopatra’s matchless grace. [page 29]

[On the return of one our members from a visit to the Old Country and Europe this summer, he said that the fact you came from Canada created little interest, but directly you mentioned Vancouver, people sat up and took notice. So Mr. Louis Tracy can be excused.]


“Told me she would rather grow apples in Vancouver than settle down to the vapid life of London. What the blazes put Vancouver and apples into her head I can’t imagine.”

– From “The Token,” by Louis Tracy.

Jack and John
Are business men,
    And Sam he is another;
And if they go
‘Way back, you know,
     They claim the self-same mother.

Sam and John,
Some years agone,
     Got arguing over “duty;”
Sam claimed abuse,
And cut right loose
      From “England, Home and Beauty.”[page 34]

Jack and John
Still carry on
     With those in mutual tether,
Who build in health
A Commonwealth
     To face the world together.

Jack it appears,
In fifteen years,
     Bought twice as much from Sam
As he sold him,
(‘Twas shown with vim,
     And vivid diagram.)

Sam sold to Jack
All this while back,
     Four times Jack bought from Johnny;
John bought from Jack
(Where Sam did lack),
     One-fourth as much in money.

Jack, we are told,
To John has sold,
     In time of like duration,
Three times and more
Than bought. Why for 
     This queer discrimination?

[In order to give the members of the Bureau an opportunity to hear the Right Hon. W. F. Massey, P. C., LL. D., address the Canadian Club, the meeting of the 4th of January, 1924, was cancelled.]


Our Boss gave us a holiday
   On Friday of last week,
To go to the Canadian Club
   To hear a Premier speak.

Oh, no! Not “Honest John,” this time,
   With Freight Rates on the run, [page 35]
But one who’s nicknamed “Square Deal Bill,”
   In Tuesday morning’s Sun.

Massey, P. C. and L. L. D.,
   New Zealand’s Premier,
Sans fear and sans reproach, the faith
   Within him, did declare.

“We once were known as Colonies,
    Now Nations, vigorous, young,
Free to direct our own affairs,
   To our own thoughts give tongue.

“Free, but together firmly held
   By sentiment, not force, 
Under one King, beneath one Flag,
   Aye! Freedom’s truest source.

“Free Trade is merely free imports,
    And duty paid abroad,
It seems to me, but some are not
   Exactly in accord.”

(To a would-be “Guardian” of his speech
    He made some reference;
I must admit for that advice
   He showed no “preference.”)

“Our Topic and our Temperate zones
   All that we need contain.”
His plea for the Empire Trade recalled
   To me an old refrain.

The song—“Under the Bamboo Tree”—
   A darkey to his dame:
“You like-a me, I like a-you,
   We like-a both the same.” [page 36]

[The following verses were suggested by an address on this subject with Mr. Thos. Harling made to the members.]

(A study in evolution)

Great oaks from little acorns grow,
Both fact and fable tell us so,
And ships, once sung as “Hearts of Oak,”
Are born of steel and hammer-stroke.

Once by the great Euphrates stood
A man who watched a log of wood,
That, as it swiftly seaward sped,
Put navigation in his head.

This man, U-so-us, took a tree,
Stripped off its boughs and put to sea—
So runs the old Phoenician tale—
Soon man’s invention added sail.

And having proper vessels made,
Founded the art of Foreign Trade.
And setting out fresh marts to seek,
Found rivals in the cultured Greek.

Then, bitten by the trading germ,
King Solomon took in his firm
As partner, Hiram, King of Tyre—
They many shekels did acquire. 

Scanning the page of history through,
The ancient and the modern, too,
We see that foreign traders take
Civilization in their wake.

A taste for cloth of cunning dye,
And precious stones that please the eye,
Cause merchants to increase the range 
Of goods to offer in exchange.

Through centuries the pride of place
Has fallen to our Island race.
And, do not think us overbold,
But what we have, we mean to hold. [page 37]

[A more-or-less correct summary of an address by Dr. J. W. Ross, Canadian Trade Commissioner at Shanghai.]


First buy a map of China,
     And hang it on the wall,
And look up all the places 
     At which you wish to call.

Then buy a steamer ticket
    And a nifty travelling cap,
And visit all the places
    You’ve looked up on the map.

Before you pack your samples,
     First find out what they want—
Unless, of course, your journey
     Is just a pleasant jaunt.

For I have it on my records
     One brought gramophones—in vain—
And then he got the needle,
     As he packed them home again.

If you want to sell them salmon,
     Put a label on the tin;
They like a picture on the front
     To show them what’s within.

Japan’s trade, once, like China’s now,
     Was ten shillings per head,
But that has grown in forty years
     To twenty pounds instead.

It’s the latest, greatest market,
     But above all, you must know
That the East will not be hustled,
     Let your motto be, “Go Slow.” [page 38]

[An entirely incorrect translation of the title of an interesting and instructive address given to the Bureau by Mr. T. W. B. London.]


Now re the latest of
     Our Luncheon Lectures,
The speaker lets me make
     My own conjectures.

* * * * * *

A youth, replete of sighs
     And protestations,
Who gazes girlwards—
     These are INDICATIONS. 

Heedless of stocks and shares
     Or oil flotations,
Love lyrics grace his speech 
     With apt QUOTATIONS.

Seats for the picture show
      Deplete his coffers,
Candy and gloves and flowers
     He humbly OFFERS.

And then his heart and hand 
     To her he proffers;
At last he’s reached the stage
     Known as FIRM OFFERS.

* * * * * *

Lest you should frown upon
     These lines in fun done,
Please note that they’ve been passed 
     By Mr. London. [page 39]

[Written in humble appreciation of Mr. Bevington’s excellent address.]


The true co-operation
     And willingness to pool
One’s knowledge and experience
     At the Bureau’s weekly school,
Was displayed again last Friday;
     But I’ve one remark, to wit,
‘Twas Hongkong meals referred to 
     As being paid by CHIT.
There’s a dunner in the doorway
     Who demands his weekly dole,
Ere we pass the lunch-room portals,
     And in cash collects the toll. 

We were told, ‘midst other items
     Of a very useful kind,
That, when opening up an office,
     In Hongkong, we first should find 
A proper Chinese business name,
     What’s known out there as HONG;
But be careful that we take advice,
     Or we may get it wrong.
There was once a most exalted firm,
     Wise in its own conceit,
And the name they chose meant “humbug”—
     Maybe true, but indiscreet.

The British have the highest name
     For dealings, just and fair;
And this is, as our speaker said,
     An asset anywhere.
Then, to induce your customer
     To listen, look and stop,
Just choose yourself a trademark
     Known to Chinamen as CHOP;
Make it simple, make it easy,
     A design to catch the eye,
Introducing what you want to sell
     To someone who will buy. [page 40]

[These lines, though somewhat frivilous, contain a little of the large amount of the information so ably imparted by Mr. B. S. Webb, one-time Canadian Trade Commissioner at Buenos Aires, now stationed at Copenhagen.]


For names improperly pronounced
In school-days we were soundly trounced;
Now to correctness we aspire,
And, seeking knowledge, we enquire. 

We heard our visitor relate
Charms of a city up-to-date;
But would they kick you down the stairs,
If you should call it Buenos Aires?

 A port most splendidly equipped,
Whence Argentina’s goods are shipped;
For information, one enquires
Whether to call it Buenos Aires?

Railways and ‘phones, electric lighting,
All British capital inviting;
My interest in it never varies,
But should I call it Buenos Aires? 

Two million live within the city;
If one can’t tell me, it’s a pity,
Whether or not ‘tis ultra vires
To call the place Buenos Aires?

We’ve been around the city, so
Now to be country let us go;
But am I subject to a fine
If I should call it Argentine?

Its sheep and cattle are its glory,
Of wheat we heard the cereal story;
And though this place I’ve never seen,
I learnt a lot re Argentine.

The south is cold, the North is hot;
But gathered for a charming spot, [page 41]
We’ve far to seek a climate finer,
Than that of Central Argentina.

The market’s permanent and growing,
Yet there’s a word of warning owing,
Nowhere is a competition keener
Than will be found in Argentina.

[That “Honesty Is the Best Policy” is one of the main essentials of a Foreign Trade policy in the opinion of Mr. Robert McKee, was clearly pointed out in his address to the members of the Bureau. That his lesson did not go unheeded, is proved by the fact that indebtedness is acknowledged to Mr. Rudyard Kipling for the use of the form of his “Certain Maxims of Hafiz” in the following verses.]

(Reader, your scribe has selected this difficult measure,
Proposing you pause in your reading to pick up the treasure.)

Proud, when I ruled you as Chairman, bidding you speeches to make,
Humbled, today I’m a doctor forced his own medicine to take,

Long deaf to his call, my successor grew harsher in tone,
So I yield—water constantly dropping wears away stone.

Would you trade—being new to the business—in lands o’er the sea,
Take a chart, and consider, my son, what your course is to be.

Lay it straight and hold on—for instance, now would’nt you shudder, [page 42]
If you found yourself ‘board of a ship that was minus a rudder?

Don’t think you’ll succeed in securing a foreign connection
If your policy’s one of a hit of miss indirection.

Your friends overseas with some definite portion endow;
Don’t say “I don’t want this, so I’ll dump it somewhere and somehow.”

The world is your market; your customers white, brown, and yellow,
Go after it right, and you’ll gain the goodwill of each follow.

[Mr. A. S. Bleakney, Canadian Trade Commissioner at Brussels, who came to the Coast at the special request of the Bureau, gave a thoroughly informative address on “Trading with Belgium.”]


You remember “Hiawatha,”
Sung to us by Henry Wadsworth
With the surname of Longfellow,—
Though I know it’s on a par with 
Taking candy from an infant
To employ this simple metre,
Still my story is insisting
That I use it, and no other,
So here goes:  I would remind you
That we’ve met at many luncheons
Envoys sent by the discerning 
Mr. F. C. T. O’Hara.
Active in the Trade and Commerce
(Up-to-date and live) Department
Of the business of our country;
Envoys who have travelled widely
In the interests of our traders.
And last week we welcomed gladly
One who came from far-off Belgium. [page 43]
Where was torn the scrap of paper
In the days that now seem distant.
Yes, we welcomed Mr. Bleakney
And the message that he brought us,
As he told of re-construction
And prosperity returning.
In a manner clear and lucid
He contrived in twenty minutes
To describe the state financial,
Both of government and business,
And to tell what we could sell them
Both to our and their advantage.
Stating the deprecation
Of the currency at present
And the lower cost of labor,
And the distance of the market
Rendered trading far from easy. 
He concluded with the statement
Though our exports there at present
Had but reached an infant stature
They would grow and keep on growing.

“A little fire is quickly trodden out,
Which, being suffered, rivers cannot quench.”

—Shakespeare, King Henry VI.

[We are apt to forget that Canada is a forest country, especially British Columbia, 90 per cent. of which is forest, and the address given by Mr. Robson Black, Secretary and Manager of the Canadian Forestry Association on “Resources and Conservation of Canada’s Forest Wealth,” was most timely, especially in regard to “Lumber Exports” and “Ocean Transportation.” They are far from being remotely related.]


When you’re driving on the highway
     And you see a wooden sign [page 44]
With DANGER printed on it,
     Where you cross a railway line,

You stop, and look, and listen;
     As we did the other day,
To hear how careless campers
     Burn our forest wealth away.

We learnt this natural heritage
     Was a care upon us thrust,
Both for our own advantage,
     None the less to hold in trust,

For those who follow after—
     Inarticulate appeal
From the future’s children’s children,
     To be-think us of their weal.

From the cradle to the coffin,
     Be the journey bad or good,
Short or long, and rough or easy,
     We can’t get away from wood. 

The farmer for his fences,
     The fisher for his pole,
The miner for the pit-props
    Shoring up the seams of coal.

And more and more dependent 
     On our forests are we made,
To satisfy the markets
     Of our growing foreign trade.

And without this present factor
     Of our great prosperity,
It’s not a case of wooden-ware,
     It’s where we wouldn’t be? [page 45]

[An interesting account of steady advancement in the face of many obstacles—protective tariffs, distance from markets and other difficulties—and of success obtained by manufacturing an article of sterling merit and taking it to market, not waiting for the market to come to it, was given by Mr. J. H. McDonald, Manager of the British Columbia Manufacturing Co., Ltd., in his address on “Box Shooks Export.”]

“A masterly account of empty boxes.” —Romeo and Juliet, Act V, Sc. 1 (adapted)

Immortal William seldom fails
     To aid me with an apt quotation,
But naught he gives me quite avails
     This case without slight adaption.

‘Tis told how when young Romeo
     Heard news of Juliet’s end, ill-fated,
Which was, although he didn’t know,
     To quote Mark Twain, exaggerated.

He quickly sought the means whereby
     He’d end his own, and also where he
Could purchase poison, when nearby
     He spied a poor apothecary.

It was a shop he called to mind
    Where set out on the shelves as proxies
For honest goods, you’d mostly find
    A mean array of empty boxes.

But we have nothing like that here,
     Or any mean and false pretences.
The B. C. box, of lumber clear,
     Though empty’s full of excellencies. 

For quality it’s justly famed,
     That’s only different grades of good. [page 46]
As set out in the order named—
     Spruce, hemlock, larch and cottonwood.

The London merchant has no doubt 
     That ours excel in strength and beauty,
Australia cannot keep them out
     Despite a high protective duty.

Soon they will blazon B. C.’s name
     At the Great Empire Exhibition,
And with all modesty we claim
      They’ll take the premier position.

[In the course of an interesting address on “Present Business Conditions in the Far East,” Mr. M. H. Brotman read an amusing article clipped from a newspaper he had seen when in China, entitled “Saving the Face,” and we have ventured to deal with it as below.]


Now once an office manager
     A secret sorrow had,
For one thing that he had to do
    Would always make him sad.

By reason of some glaring fault,
     Or maybe, things were slack,
To one or to another
     He had to give the sack.

It might be Tom, the office boy,
     A regular young rip,
Or perhaps a Toiling Tillie
     Of the daily comic strip.

Now he chanced to hear a lecture
    And how an ancient race, [page 47]
Help that was inefficient 
    Of superfluous, would chase.

The cruel and hasty methods 
     Of this country, young and crude,
Beside this ancient courtesy
     Seemed most extremely rude.

You send another party
    To the one you wish to fire,
Who tells the chosen victim
    That he’s worthy something higher.

His talents here are wasted,
     And though “we’d miss you so,
We’ve no right to detain you—“
     And he takes the hint to go.

I can’t promise it would answer,
     Which I very much regret,
For my friend, the Office Manager,
     Hasn’t tried the system yet.

[Going home in the street car after listening to Mr. J. Pitcairn Hogg’s brilliant address on “The Sale of Goods Act,” one of our members came over and whispered mysteriously, “Where Did He Get It?” That member is responsible for these irresponsible lines.]


In the days of prohibition,
     When the land had ceased to be wet,
Before the era of the permits
     And prescriptions were hard to get.
If you saw a fortunate fellow
    With a countenance merrily lit,
There was only one possible query
     That at once to your mind would flit:
     Where did he get it? [page 48]

One talked to us here last Friday
     On the law of the “Sale of Goods,”
So clear of all legal tangles
     That no one was lost in the woods,
Except for one illustration—
     And there we don’t know where we are,
When he said that for five cents only
     He had purchased a GOOD cigar!
     Where did he get it?

[What are your chances of recovering from a foreign debtor? Is it worth while taking legal action? What is the proper procedure to follow? All these questions were answered in the clever and witty addres on “Foreign Judgements,” given by Mr. R. M. Macdonald. He summed up in a hypothetical case which we have endeavoured to reproduce in the following verses.]


Pat Rooney sold some property
     To Mustapha, a Turk;
The deed was drawn in Paris,
     And a Frenchman did the work.
The property was in B. C.
     They came to close the deal,
And some comic complications
     These verses will reveal.

Now, Mustapha, the Turcoman,
     Poor Pat did sorely vex
When he claimed to make the payments
     For the land, in dollars “Mex.”
He made the startling statement
     On their way across the sea,
That the papers nowhere mentioned
     What the currency should be.

Right away Pat took a taxi
     When he reached a New York pier, [page 49]
And hastened to a lawyer
    To make this matter clear.
Worse to come—for in Vancouver,
     On a search ‘twas clearly seen
The title was a Scottish Jew’s
     Down in the Argentine.

The vendor’s law was Irish,
     The purchaser’s was Turk,
While a notary in Paris
    Had done the legal work.
The moral is, that as ‘twas here
     The land was held in fee;
The only laws to have a say
     Were the laws of our B. C.

“A rotten case abides no handling.”
—Shakespeare, King Henry IV.

[The fact pointed out in the above quotation was one of the chief phases Mr. Martin Griffin dealt with in his brilliant address on “Import Damage Claims.” The title of our verses deals both with the circumstances of handling the cases of goods during transportation, and the circumstances to be taken into consideration in the case resulting from a claim for damages to these cases. Quite clear, isn’t it?]


Let us take two kinds of cases—
First, the one the law embraces;
In a “cause” we are invited
To consider cases cited.
Now, case comes from cado, Latin,
Which means fall, so that brings that in
Line with case, denoting cover,
Sheath or box—which is the other.

For the question we’ve to face is,
Goods are shipped from many places, [page 50]
Some by rail, and some by water,
‘Round the world, or maybe shorter.
They are sent in good condition,
Says the shipper, with decision;
They may reach us, boxes battered,
Or, unloading, dropped and scattered.

There’s a case our guest related
Of a case of wine, ill-fated,
(Sadder case you’ve far to seek, oh!
Than this long expected Cliquot!)
Not a bottle was remaining;
Insult added by explaining
That he need’nt make a racket—
They’d delivered each straw jacket!

Circumstance affects externals,
As you crack a nut for kernels;
And I think this sad recital
Will explain my cryptic title.
If the meaning’s dim and fading
What about a Bill of Lading?
So I claim the proper phase is,
“Circumstances alter cases.”

[During the course of this very useful address on “Comparison of Liability—Warehousemen and Carriers,” Mr. F. G. T. Lucas referred to a case, but gave us no details of it. These have since been obtained and here is our version.]


We gathered from a learned wight
     The lia-bil-i-tee
Of two distinctive parties, hight, 
     The Bailor and the Bailee.

The speaker, as he spoke, referred
     With gusto to a case [page 51]
That forms for all like actions heard,
     The proved, unshaken base.

But as he failed to give a hint
     What this was all about,
Seeing we’re bound the news to print
      We sent to find it out.

To match the law, we must be brief,
     Likewise to fit this card,
So hear this summary of grief,
     In Coggs versus Bernard.

Now Coggs he lived in London Town,
     In London Town lived he,
And in his cellar had laid down
     Some casks of eau de vie.

When Bernard heard his friend desire
     To move from hence a cask,
He offered, wholly without hire,
     To undertake the task.

We know that good intentions pave
     The pathway down to—well,
Poor Bernard, clumsy, burst a stave,
     And then his spirits fell.

And men since seventeen o’ four
     Holt’s ruling still respect—
The fact that Bernard charged no score
     Excused no gross neglect. [page 52]

[The truth of the saying that “Brevity is the Soul of Wit,” was proved beyond a doubt by Mr. E. C. Mayers when he addressed the Bureau on “Acts of God and Force Majeure,” and the brevity was equalled by the brilliance with which he illuminated his difficult subject so that at the end of fifteen minutes we had a definite idea of the importance of this particular aspect of the Law of Contracts. One of the points he brought out suggested the following verses.]

“But Brutus says he was ambitious, and Brutus is an honourable man.” – Julius Caeser, Act III, Scene 2.

We learnt at last week’s luncheon
     Certain acts from loss will free
Where the loss is caused by something
    That a man cannot foresee.
There’s a joker! For to profit
     By this very useful plan
You must exercise the foresight
     Of a “reasonable” man.

Well, who can set the standard?
     Who this adjective attain?
And there came to me while listening—
     As a sort of song refrain—
The irony of Antony
     Like a mob-inflaming fan,
Reiterating “Brutus 
     Is an honourable man.”

You remember how that Caesar
     On his way to take the Crown,
Was by Brutus and his comrades
     Most unkindly daggered down.
And Mark Anthony, an artful
     Line of propaganda ran,
Waxing dangerously sarcastic
     With his “honourable” man.

Now to this ancient story
      Apply our speaker’s test— [page 53]
Caesar’s head was turned by flattery,
     Brutus yearned for wrongs redressed.
Then don’t you see there would have been
     No plot for Shakespeare’s pen,
If Caesar, and if Brutus
     Had been “reasonable” men.

[Mr. J. Pitcairn Hogg, who gave us another of his brilliant addresses, this time on “Lien Notes,” is a leading member of the Local Parliament, hence the allusion in the first verse.]

(A Lesson in Notation)

We heard one speak last Friday 
     On the law of Lien Notes.
And if we joined his Parliament
     I’m sure he’d have our votes.
For he pointed out that the pitfalls
     In a way so clear and plain,
That, if previously we’ve stumbled,
     We won’t fall in again.

Now here’s an illustration
      Of the things we must avoid
To escape the crooked methods
     That a man named Smith employed;
He purchased a piano
     On the month-instalment plan,
The sale was duly registered,
     And then the fun began.

He sold it to one Robinson,
     Giving out his name was Brown;
Though his victim searched his records,
     No such name was written down;
But the vendor proved possession
     Entered in the courthouse files,
So we’ll finish with the chorus
     Sung to music set to “SMILES.” [page 54]

There are notes that start us singing,
     There are notes that makes us blue,
There are notes that swallow up our savings
     As each month the wretched things come due;
There are notes arranged upon the keyboard,
     That unlock the soul of mel-o-die,
But the notes that I gather at these lectures
     Are the notes that look good to me.

[Mr. R. M. Macdonald’s lesson on the iniquities of taking other people’s trade marks and passing off their ideas as one’s own, was heeded by one of his hearers, who acknowledges his indebtedness to the late W. S. Gilbert and his “Gondoliers” for the metre of the following rhyme.]


Duly heedful of the warning
In your excellent address,
“Passing off” I would be scorning
As poetic paltriness
So acknowledgement I pay
For the metre of this lay.

There exist dishonest traders,
Mean enough to be invaders
Of the rights of the business-men benevolent,
Bent on bettering conditions,
So to stop these impositions
We have duly passed an Act of Parliament.
But, alas! Who on this legislation leans,
May require the courts to tell him what it means!
And define in manner, properly acute,
The essentials that a Trade Mark constitute. 
Well, to put the matter briefly,
What we seem to gather chiefly
Is it’s something that’s invented—not a simple English word,
Not too obviously explaining [page 55]
What your product is containing,
This is surely a condition in some cases quite absurd.
So you focus your invention
On a quite brand new declension,
And you broadcast your achievement to the public, far and wide;
Make it sonorous and sounding
In the joy of life and abounding,
And your bosom, as proprietor, will swell with honest pride.

[The liability of sellers and buyers in regard to demurrage was the subject of an address by Mr. G. Bruce Duncan, entitled “Some Aspects of Demurrage.” Mr. Duncan based his remarks on demurrage incurred from contracts of delivery of goods free alongside the ship, and whether the seller or buyer is liable for payment of demurrage on account of the ship or railway cars to the point of delivery.]

“An allowance to a master of a ship for staying in a Port longer than the time first appointed.”

—Bailey’s Dictionary, 25th edition, London, 1790.

Demurrage!  What a harmless thing
     To simple Mr. Bailey.
But he would find it has its sting
     When costs are mounting daily.

And lawyer-like a case I state—
     Carriage of goods by water
And non-delivery of freight,
     To wit, Lord Ullin’s daughter.

A buyer to a seller came
     Cried “Ship and do not tarry,
These goods,” and gave the vessel’s name
     That was the goods to carry.

The seller did as he was told,
     The ship was late arriving, [page 56]
The buyer finds the law does hold—
      Though none of his contriving

The loss of time—that he must pay
      The railway for demurrage,
For cars that had to idle lay;
     But buyer here take courage

And your revenge just quickly bide—
     By reason of congestion
The cars can’t reach the vessel’s side,
     And though it’s not in question

That Mr. Seller is to blame
     Or could do aught preventing,
In this case he must pay the claim—
     So both are left lamenting ! ! !

Demurrage!  Though a simple thing
     It seems to Mr. Bailey,
I, with old ballad writers, sing
     Oh! Willow, willow waly.

[In the course of one of his ever-welcome addresses on some phase or other of “Marine Insurance,” Mr. B. G. D. Phillips told a little story which we have ventuered to versify.]

(With apologies to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

It was the Schooner Hesperus
     That sailed the Wintry sea.
And the skipper was freighting some McIntosh Reds,
     Shipped by the O. U. G.

Red were their cheeks like the mountain ash,
     Or the sun at close of day. [page 57]
And they’ll shine on the stalls for the Christmas trade,
     In the Old Land far away.

Then up and spake an old deckhand:
      “Boss, the ship’s afire,” says he,
“Them blamed old fruits is combustible,
      And spon-ta-ne-ous it be.”

Then the skipper he ordered the fire hose laid,
     And they pumped with might and main,
Till they flooded the hold with the decks a-wash,
      But ever the fire did gain.

“Oh!  Skipper,” a book-learned fellow cried,
     “There’s too much oxygen.”
So they fetched some flour from the afterhold
     And they got it smothered then.

Smothered it was, but it smouldered still:
       So, instead of a messy sop,
They came into port with pie-crust brown
      That covered the main-hatch top.

You heard she was wrecked?  Why, that’s a yarn,
      But the skipper he was shy,
So they changed her name from the “Hesperus”
     To the schooner “Apple-pie.”

Now this is a “general average”
       Of the yarn the speaker spun.
Though perhaps a “particular” here and there
     Is “adjusted” just for fun. [page 58]

[In speaking on”Trade Possibilities with Siberia,” the optimism of Lieut.-Colonel G. L. MacDonell melted the ice and snow of that inhospitable region, and in so doing, destroyed another of cherished illusions.]


One by one, our fond illusions
Are discarded as delusions—
     Just romances.
With the plague of joy-deprivers,
There will soon be no survivors
     Of our fancies.

Some say Wellington (oh! drat ‘em)
Never said, “Up, Guards, and at ‘em!”
     Just a whopper.
And it’s ignorant palaver
That George ever told his father
     Of the chopper.

Now each reader of this Journal,
Since he heard the gallant Colonel,
     Well aware is.
That the climate of Siberia
Is as good, if not superior,
     To our prairies.

Where we pictured convicts weary,
Chained and cheerless, he showed cheery 
     Landed gentry.
Whose oppressors gave, unknowing,
To a land with wealth o’erflowing,
     Right of entry.

So though robbed of cherished errors,
We may be relieved of terrors
     That have scared us;
And if truth does cause a flurry,
There’s no doubt a lot of worry
     May be spared us. [page 59]

[The Bureau is greatly indebted to Mr. Percy G. Sills for the graphic story of his experiences in the Japanese earthquake zone, shortly after the terrible catastrophe of the 1st of September, 1923.]

(Rev. VI., 12)

We doff the motley,
     The cap and bells aside,
As we in horror hear one tell
      How countless thousands died.

The fatal day was Saturday,
      The hour it was high noon,
Like youngsters out of school men sought
     The welcome week-end boon.

Mothers and children waited there 
     While father locked the door
And left his business cares behind,
     Then hey! For hills or shore.

Life jostled in the busy streets,
     No word of warning sped—
Next moment of Yokohama lay
     A City of the Dead.

One gazing landwards, said it was
      As if some Titan took
The city in his mighty hands,
     And like a blanket shook.

Trembling, and torn, and wrenched apart,
      By force, relentless, fierce;
Then the fire exultant, madly leapt 
Like greyhound from the tierce.

From where they lay, the men at sea
     Saw, as a yellow wall,
Dust rise in clouds to shroud the scene
     Beneath a funeral pall. [page 60]

Yet noble deeds and sacrifice,
     Of which our speaker told,
This cloud a silver lining gave,
     Nay, rather one of gold.

[You all remember the old question: If a herring and a half cost three ha’pence, what will a dozen come to? Well, we’ve got a better one: If a hundred billion marks cost two and a quarter cents, how many miles is it from the earth to the North Star? Sounds crazy, but its sane compared with the present self-depreciated currency of Germany, as explained by Mr. G. S. Harrison in his address to the Bureau in March of 1924.]

“Oh! What a fall was there.” —Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 2

Holding it not a subject fit
     To write about at all,
Johnson, we know, would never read
     Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall.” 

Had he been here on Friday last
     He would have found no joy in
The story of the base echo
     Of a, once honest, coin.

Pity we have for one whose fall
     Is unpremeditated.
Malice aforethought in this case
     Can be most clearly stated.

We see a nation here descend 
     To wholesale counterfeiting,
And thank that smart, which honest men
     Would designate as cheating.

For issuing from a printing press,
     Erected in a cellar, [page 61]
Come marks that can be reckoned, but
     By computation stellar.

These Master Printers ruthlessly
     Their countrymen controlling
For work and raw materials, both, 
     Their worthless paper doling.

The goods produced they ship away,
     To all and sundry nations,
Taking good care no cash returns
     For settling reparations.

Clearly, as if we had been there,
     We hear these wise ones saying,
“They’ll find their vict’ry dearly bought
     Before they get through paying!”

(An interrupted Christmas Carol)

The cheery chimes of Christmas
     Are crashing on the air;
They clash in cheerful chorus
     And chase away dull care.
Hang up, hang up the holly,
     Away with melancholy,
Let everyone be jolly,

Now, I had got as far as this
    Before I went to church,
And then a burglar came and knocked
    Pegasus off his perch.

For Sunday is the peaceful day
    On which I write my verses,
But he has robbed me of my wits
     And filled me up with curses. [page 62]

So, please forgive, if, like our house.
     I’m feeling all upset.
And then I’ll try with Christmas cheer
     Our losses to forget.

The steaming Christmas pudding,
     The turkey nicely done,
The mince-pie and the rest of it,
     The liveliness and fun.
Hang up, hang up the holly,
     Away with melancholy,
And let us all be jolly,

[page 63]

[2 blank pages]

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