Boxing Day Parade, 1873

by Monica Hammond

The British Columbia Protestant Orphans’ Home was successful in raising money to operate the Home. On Boxing Day 1873, it held a fundraiser of a different sort.

“Disguising themselves with masks and fantastic clothes [some gentlemen] procured a small cart, and harnessing a donkey, proceeded to collect subscriptions from passers along the street. In the cart one of the party rode and turned the crank of an organ, grinding out notes…The side of the wagon was embellished with clever drawings descriptive of orphan children, and the donkey wore a blanket on which was inscribed ‘Charity covereth a multitude of sins!’ The get-up caused many a hearty laugh and the ‘quarters and halves’ rattled into the boxes right merrily.” (Home: pg. 44)

This piece is based on the work of Vernon Storey, Terry Worobetz and Henry Kennedy in their book The Home: Orphans’ Home to Family Centre: 1873 to 1998. Copies of the book are available for purchase at The Cridge Centre for the Family.