W.T. Greenaway, a member of Durham Lodge for over forty-six years acted as chairman, and in his opening remarks said he felt honored and gratified to be requested to act in that capacity. He paid tribute to the Orange Order for their co-operation, and also to the visiting Oddfellows, Orangemen, the Port Hope Band, which was a great asset to Port Hope; who for so many years show by their presence that Decoration Day is something worth while. He said in looking over the list of names on the program, he was forcibly reminded of the great part they played in building up the great Order of Oddfellowship and feelingly referred to those who in the years gone by had established in Port Hope the beautiful custom of Remembrance Day--they had passed on but were not forgotten.
The service opened with the hymn--"Lead Kindly Light" and prayer by Rev. Mr. Loosemore.
Rev. Foote complimented the members of the lodges, not only for their graciousness in remembering the deceased brethren, but for consideration to the living, especially to their brethren in need or in sickness or to their families in times of bereavement. He stressed the fact that the obligations of both lodges placed heavy responsibility on all members, and the best tribute to the lodge was paid by members who remembered in their daily lives, the vows which they had taken.
He spoke of the yearly attendance of each lodge as a Protestant Church and said this service was of the greatest significance because it stood as a public acknowledgement that the lodge was not a subsitute for the church.
In speaking of our attitude towards death, Mr. Foote urged his hearers to build up during days of health and happiness, a philosophy which would enable them to meet bereavement with peace of mind and spirit. Taking his text from St. John's Gospel, Chapter 14 verse 19, he showed that belief in Christ was a guarantee of immortality, "Because I live, ye shall live also."
He pointed out that Christ seldom spoke of death, that he spoke of "being with the Father", that he, speaking of his own death said to his followeres "if ye loved me ye would rejoice because I go to the Father."
The Churches and the lodges stress both the importance of this implicit belief in God and the quality of life that is pleasing to God. For people who believe and who live out their beliefs, there is no death. "He that believeth in me hath already passed from death unto life," he quoted, urging his audience to live as members of a church and a lodge holding such comforting and inspiring faith.
Mr. W.T. Greenaway introduced Rev. Foote who expressed his appreciation in being associated in the service with one who had such a long and honorable career in the lodge and had such a fine influence in the community.
"No wonder the sentiments of friendship, love and truth be craved for on account of the long veil of tears before many," went on Mr. Cameron, "and the dark mist of disappointment before us."
The 61st anniversary of the founding of Decoration Day was attended by both Durham Lodge, also outside members and by many who drove to the Union Cemetery.
The Orangemen held a short service at their plot in the Union Cemetery, on which was placed a very beautiful wreath of flowers. The ceremony was conducted by Rev. Mr. Loosemore, a member of the Orange Order at Bracebridge. The graves of Oddfellows buried in Welcome Cemetery were decorated on Sunday morning by a number of the members of Durham Lodge. Ganaraska Rebekah Lodge, No. 131, also lovingly placed floral tokens of remembrance on the graves of departed sisters.
The Port Hope Citizens' Band led the parade which assembled at the I.O.O.F. headquarters, Walton Street, to the Union Cemetery, and assisted at the service, after which members of the lodges returned downtown, headed by the band.
Prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Loosemore, Bracebridge, who is at present in Port Hope and is associated with the Orange Lodge in Bracebridge.
After all the graves had been decorated the circle was reformed and "Nearer My God to Thee" was sung, then the Doxology and Benediction by Rev. Mr. Foote.
Both lodges are grateful for those who contributed flowers for the occasion and to those who made the day such a success.
The following graves were decorated with a silk flag bearing I.O.O.F. and a bouquet of flowers, each in a container symbolic of the order.