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The Salvation Army in Lindsay, Victoria County, Ontario Canada

The work of the Salvation Army was begun with a public meeting in the present town hall at eleven o'clock on the morning of July 29, 1883. Lieut. Frere and Sergeant Brodyard opened the campaign and were reinforced on the following day by Captain Wass. Special meetings were then held for six weeks in Bell's music hall on William Street.

A search for permanent quarters was soon made, and a building site secured on Peel Street, the present location. An old pioneer log cabin which stood on the lot was pulled down and cut into firewood in April 1884. The citadel for the Army was built during October and November 1884 by T. McWilliams. A spectacular street poster announcing the opening of the new building was headed, in flaring letters: "A big joke on the devil." The lot cost $1100 and the building $2000.

The first permanent officers of the Army in Lindsay were Captain Glory Tom Calhoun and Lieut. Breakneck James McGinley. This early period of their local history was marked by demonstrative conduct, incomprehensible to the town, and by unreasonable persecution on the part, of the police. The Army, for example, determined to herald the incoming of the New Year in 1885 by a hallelujah procession, and marched up Kent Street at 12.15 a.m. "beating their tom-toms, as one hostile editor put it. The whole contingent was arrested and spent the night in the council chamber. Their trial produced great excitement and the court room was so crowded that benches broke and several people were singed against the coal stove. Captain Calhoun was fined two dollars and his followers were dismissed with a warning. On another occasion the Army band made a gratuitous instrumental assault on the town band, marching round and round the latter while a public band concert was in progress and challenging the secular program with clamor and fanfare of hymns. The audience was put to flight by the excruciating chaos of sound. In the eighties, too, a female lieutenant, native to Lindsay, was court martialled and drummed out of the Army for refusing to discard her bustle. Still another young woman, Captain Bertha Smith, while kneeling in prayer in front of a Kent Street tavern, was brutally clubbed over the head by a zealous policeman and then given fifteen days in the county gaol for "loitering on the street." All these extravagances now seem very strange and far off, for persecution has ceased and the Army has come to comprehend better the purposes of its venerable founder and has abandoned demonstration for zealous work amongst the submerged derelicts of humanity. Discretion has caught up with zeal and much good work has been done.

In March, 1921, under the effective leadership of Captain Pace, a new citadel was opened on the site of the earlier structure, which had been found inadequate. The cost of the new building was $13,000. It is a trim two story edifice of red brick, built on standard army lines. The ground floor is a Sunday School, known as the Junior Hall, and the second floor auditorium the citadel proper, capable of seating 300 persons.

The last census reported 118 Salvationiets in Lindsay and the surrounding township.

Victoria County

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