This is our third week of looking at things we just don’t see in Westport anymore. Over the years, traditions change and other things just lose their appeal. Things such as:
Empire Day Celebrations – Empire Day was observed annually on the school day preceding the May 24 holiday for Queen Victoria’s birthday. Considered to be the most important patriotic rite for children in English-speaking Canada, it fizzled out after the half century following its first observance in 1899. This photo is from the Westport Public School’s Empire Day in 1907. One thing that will likely never go out of style are awkward photos where a large portion of those in it are looking in different directions.
Getting dressed up in your finest clothing for a portrait – In our current world of selfies and people running around the streets catching digital creatures, a camera is almost always in-hand. The days of getting dressed up, organizing your family members for a convenient time to attend a photograph session at the local photographer, waiting an unbelievable length of time (it was common to have to sit still for over an hour for early cameras to capture your image) for the photo to be taken, all seem like a lot of work by today’s standards. This photo shows John Forrester, his wife Bridget, and Bridget’s sister.
Horses in the streets ~ Unless Dale is out for a ride in his carriage, or taking some sightseers for a tour, it is pretty uncommon to see a horse in the streets of the village. Try to think back to the days before automobiles when horses (and the occasional ox) pulling wagons was the norm. Imagine what it was like the first time a motor car drove into the village!