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  • Writer's pictureCraig Baird

A Visit From Earl And Lady Grey

Vermilion was a very young place when it received two of the most important visitors in Canada at the time.

It was in September 1906 when Lord and Lady Grey arrived in the community. Lord Earl Grey was the Governor General of Canada, and it is from him we have the Grey Cup.

Throughout the community, beautiful lanterns were set up as the train carrying the Governor General and his wife were expected to arrive between 8 p.m. and midnight. Over 300 lanterns were set up along the streets to create a stunning glow over the community.

Flags were put up across the community, and the train station was festooned with folds of red and white and blue bunting. In the station windows were stooks of golden grain, grown right in the Vermilion area.

To top it all off, there was a platform that was lighted with lanterns with the words “Welcome to Vermilion” emblazoned on it.

As everyone was getting ready, it was announced that the Governor General was on his way, and it was only 5 p.m. Everyone began working extra hard to get everything ready but thankfully the sight of huge flocks of birds in the sloughs and lakes and the Governor General spent several hours hunting.

It was shortly after 9 p.m. that the Governor General’s train arrived at the station, with the lanterns blazing in all their glory. Mayor Brimacombe greeted the Governor General, his wife and their two daughters. The mayor then gave a speech at the train station to welcome the Governor General.

The Governor General then spoke, remarking about the beauty of the community and the efforts of everyone to welcome him and his family to Vermilion.

After the speeches, the Governor General and his family retired to their train car for the night. At 4 a.m. in the morning, their train went east to Island Lake, and then at 10 a.m. once again went through Vermilion on the way to Edmonton. This time without stopping.

Sharing Canadian history through social media, history columns and on my podcast is what I do for a living. Please consider supporting that by donating at www.canadaehx.com (click Donate).

Contact Craig at craig@canadaehx.com

Listen to his podcasts Canadian History Ehx, Canada’s Great War, From John to Justin, Pucks and Cups and Canada: A Yearly Journey on all podcast platforms.

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