Opening of the Redpath Museum


For the
Advancement of Science

. . .

Reception by Principal and Mrs. Dawson.

Last evening the formal opening of the Peter Redpath Museum took place, and the occasion was embraced by Principal and Mrs. Dawson to hold a reception of the members of the Science Association. Shortly after eight o’clock guests began to arrive, and for an hour and a half carriages were rolling up the University drive to the Museum. Guests were received by Dr. and Mrs. Dawson in the large hall. The number present would be about six hundred, of whom half were ladies. Evening dress was generally worn, the toilets of the ladies being exceedingly attractive. Among the guests were nearly all the principal savans attending the Congress and also the elite of Canadian society. From the gallery spectators had a fine view of the brilliant scene below them.

By nine o’clock the various rooms presented quite an animated appearance, the various objects in the Museum being well inspected. Here and there in a quiet corner might be seen some old gentleman who had found a treasure enjoying his intellectual treat. Dr. W.B. Carpenter, of London, exhibited some photographs taken from figures of the Eozoon Canadensis which were highly appreciated. A full description of the Museum having already appeared in THE STAR it is not necessary to repeat it. The general appearance and arrangement of the building gave great satisfaction, one gentleman being overheard to say that he had seen almost the principal museums in the States, but not one could boast of a home so good as this. About half-past nine the ceremony of presenting the deed of gift took place. Upon a raised platform at one end of the Hall, Principal Dawson took his stand, and with him were Chancellor Day, Mr. Peter Redpath, Mr. W.C. Baynes, Registrar, and Mr. R.A. Ramsay, Treasurer of the University, also Dr. Carpenter, of London, and Professor Hall of Albany.

The Chairman briefly introduced to the gathering the benefactor of the museum.

Mr. Redpath said:—Mr. Chancellor,—I would fain have had ceremony dispensed with on this occasion, but as some ceremony seems to be demanded, I am here by invitation for the purpose of transferring to you as the representative of McGill University, in the presence of this distinguished company, all my right, title and interest in the building in which we are assembled. The conveyance without other condition than that the building shall be maintained for the purpose for which it has been erected, will be found in the document which I now place in your hands. The undertaking was not begun without deliberation, and now that we have come to the end under such happy auspices, I see no reason to regret what has been done. I trust that the benefit which it was intended to confer will be realized. (Applause.)

Source: Unknown, "Opening of the Redpath Museum," The Montreal Daily Star, August 25, 1882. Notes: PG, 3

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