Thursday, May 21, 1953 The Banner (Aurora)

Big crowds watch special's arrival and afternoon parade

Nearly 10,000 persons visit museum train

General co-operation makes centennial day overwhelming success

Just a few seconds before noon last Saturday a white plume of smoke to the south of Aurora station started thousands of voices saying: "Here she comes." And, spang on the dot of noon Ontario's Premier Leslie Frost, turned railway engineer for the time being, brought old engine No. 674 to a halt right at the spot where Mayor Rose, Warden "Ace" Cook, Councillor Vic Jones and other members of Town Council and civic dignitaries waited to welcome him, the Museum Train which commemorated the journey of the first steam train to run in Upper Canada a century ago, and other important guests, come to help Aurora make whoopee for the day.

For an hour and a half before that Aurora residents—and many from other points—had been assembling to join in the welcome. St. Andrew's College Cadets had entertained them with their pipes, recorded music had helped pass the time, a running commentary over the loud speaker system had helped to tell about important visitors and the welcome which Aurora had planned not only for them, but for everybody who turned out for the big day.

Everybody Cheered

"Cheer when the train comes in," Mayor Rose had suggested to the crowd of several thousand which filled every available inch near Aurora station, packing the platform and the open space around it, from Wellington Street to way down south the Museum Train's weekend terminal. He hardly needed to suggest it. The crowd let out a spontaneous roar of welcome, punctuated with the bang of aerial bombs and the skirling of the pipes, as the three old engines and their string of yellow cars came to a halt. Press photographers, with insistent demands for "just one more, Mr. Premier," kept smiling "Les" Frost busy for several minutes before he descended from the cab to be greeted in a warm speech of welcome by Aurora's Mayor, decked out in sideburns, "plug" hat and raiment reminiscent of the days when the first train ran through dense forests and partly cleared land on its way to what was then "end of steel." Members of his council and many others had followed the Mayor's lead in dressing up in yesteryear's raiment, offering a striking contrast to the engineer's cap, goggles and overalls worn by the Premier.

Premier Spoke

In accordance with the promise made to members of the public that welcoming ceremonies would be as brief as possible in order to give them every opportunity of seeing the train at the earliest possible moment, speeches were kept to a minimum. Even more remarkable developments would take place in the next century than had occurred in the past one, Premier Frost forecast as he responded to the welcome in a brief speech which recalled the progress made during the century since the first train ran to Aurora, then Machell's Corners. Representing York County, of which he is Warden this year, Aurora Reeve A.A. Cook joined in the welcome of the Premier and the train, as did Councillor Vic Jones, chairman of the special committee in charge of Centennial Day preparations. Senior representatives of the Canadian National Railway, Mr. S.F. Dingle, the line's operating vice president, expressed gratification at the warm welcome which had been given. The Board of Trade was represented by its president Harry Seston.

To be completed.

Two and half times population

To be completed.

Reception for visitors

To be completed.

CNR president guest

To be completed.

Old Fireman Attends

To be completed.

That's that for another century

To be completed.

Odds and ends about railway centennial day

To be completed.

Railways: C.N.Rys.