Document of the Month - February 2019
Callander and the Canadian Quintuplets
On August 4th 1938, Provost Liles of Callander Burgh handed over five silver brooches to Mr William Baird, Passenger Traffic Manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway outside the Dreadnought Hotel in Callander. He took them back to Canada and presented them to the Dionne Quintuplets of Callander, Ontario.
The Dionne Quintuplets, the first known quintuplets to have survived infancy, were born 10th May 1934 just outside of Callander, Ontario. The quintuplets became international news as the remarkable story came to light.
Back home in Scotland, the Burgh wanted to recognise the event given its close connection with the town in Canada. It is said that Callander in Ontario was named after Duncan McIntyre, a native of the town in Scotland. He was the first Vice-President of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and founder of the Bell Telephone Company in Canada.
Within the Callander Burgh, collections are papers and correspondence between the Canadian and Scottish local authorities concerning the donation of the silver brooches.
The brooches were designed by D & J Stewart, local jewellers who operated in Callander and Stirling. The money to purchase these was raised by subscription by the people of Callander and featured a reproduction of the Burgh seal showing the outline of Ben Ledi.
The original intention of Callander Burgh was for the Councillors to travel over to Ontario to make a formal presentation. Unfortunately, this was not possible, leading to the organisation of the event at the Dreadnought Hotel with William Baird as Guest of Honour.
The programme for this event reveals that ‘an intimate motor run to Aberfoyle over the new road to Loch Katrine and Trossachs’ would conclude the day.