March 1917: Nelson votes for Proportional Representation

Greg Scott's latest historical column explores Nelson's past.

Greg Scott is the historical columnist for the Star.

Greg Scott is the historical columnist for the Star.

March 3, 1917

Popper spanked by his precocious son was the order of affairs at the curling rink when “Old Plugs” were trimmed by the “Colts” at their own pet sport by a score of 9-7. The “Colts” rink was composed of first and second year curlers, while the “Old Plugs” team represented some of the veterans who have, in many cases, and particularly in that of the skip, sent down many stones and worn out more brooms than they have hair on their heads. With all the arrogance of youth the Colts took on the veterans and proved once more the truth of the trite old saying, “Youth will tell.”

March 7, 1917

Lieut.-Col. Henry Grant Kemball, C.B., D.S.O.., of Kaslo was, according to a dispatch received last night, killed while gallantly leading his men in an attack on a German position. Col. Kemball went to the front with the 54th Kootenay Battalion, and it is feared that heavy casualties were suffered by the force he led, though its objective was splendidly achieved.

His death will be felt as a personal loss to Kootenay and Boundary, whose people have watched with eager interest the career in France of the commander of the battalion to which so many of their boys are nobly fighting.

A soldier of marked ability, a warm hearted and intensely human leader of men, Col. Kemball died as he would have wished at the head of his soldiers and facing the enemy.

March 16, 1917

There is no immediate prospect of the Nelson Y.M.C.A. building being required as a convalescent home for returned invalid soldiers, was the gist of a communication received from the Canadian Military Hospitals Commission.

The letter while thanking the directors of the Y.M.C.A. for placing the building at the disposal of the commission, for the housing of convalescent soldiers, should it be needed, assures the association that there is no immediate prospect of the building being accepted and that it would be well for the association to carry on in the usual way.

It is now felt that the work of the Y.M.C.A. for the coming months may be planned without fear of interruption by appropriation and it is proposed to immediately inaugurate a campaign of activities that will include a wide variety of work.

March 17, 1917

With the Russian capital in revolt and after three days of battle between troops supporting it and those opposed to it, a revolution was successfully effected in Russia with the government overthrown. Czar Nicholas was warned that the fate of his dynasty depended on his acquiescence and he has abdicated.

With the heir apparent, Grand Duke Michael also abdicating, this brings the Romanoff dynasty to an end.

The provisional government has issued the following appeal to the people: “Citizens, the executive committee of the Duma with the aid and support of the garrison of the capital and its inhabitants, has succeeded in triumphing over the obnoxious forces of the old regime in such a manner that we are able to proceed to a more stable organization of the executive power with men whose past political activity assures them the country’s confidence”.

March 27, 1917

Nelson city council last night decided, at the request of the Proportional Representation League of this city, to ask the Provincial Government to make provision in the amended elections act to allow the civic elections to be carried out by this method.

The request was presented by Dr. Wolverton, who declared that proportional representation was the only method by which a fair expression of the peoples’ choice could be had through an election. He declared that proportional representation had been one of the planks of the Liberal platform prior to the election and that he felt that every effort should be made to hold the government to its pledge.

Although he said , under existing circumstances this system of electing a municipal council might not make much difference in Nelson, he felt it to be the only fair way of electing members to the provincial and federal legislature.

He also urged that the method had been tried and found most satisfactory in many countries where progressive legislation had been passed, and held that as Vancouver and North Vancouver had taken the matter up, Nelson should not be behind its bigger brethren at the coast in this regard.