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I CANADIAN NEWS JOTTINGS. I (FROM Qun OWN CORRESPONDENT.) MONTREAL, December 19th. To-day we celebrate the annivcrsnry of the death of one of our great men. A hundred years ago died James McGill, the founder of McG-ill Uni- versity, and a man to be very greatly honoured among the citizens of Montreal. A native of Glas- gow and horn in 1744. lie came to thfs country at a very early age, amassed a fortune as a pioneer merchant and became prominent in the aiTairs of the infant Dominion. By his will he bequeathed $10,000 ( £ 2,COO) and 46 acres cf land for the foundation of a college which should be "named and perpetually be known and distinguished by the appellation of McGill College." From this small beginning has grown Canada's biggest University with students from every part of the world, and a reputation which, in its science faculty at any rate, equals that of any University in the world. The old Burnside" farm, of which the 46 acres eeii- sisted.,is now dotted with nearly a dozen magnificent buildings, and the University has so far outgrown its original ample accommodation that additional property has lately been acquired to allow for its expansion. One of the most conspicuous features of the grounds is the quaint old monument to the founder, which occupies the slope of the hill opposite the building devoted to Arts and Law. Under it rests all that is mortal of old James McGill. HAPPY NEW YEAR. By the time yon get this it will be too late to. wish you A Merry Christmas," but at any rate you may have my sincere good wishes for a Happy New Year." The past year, in spite of clouds on the finiineial horizon, was not a bad one for us here in Canada. The crop was good, and while the crop i«good we need never feel down-hearted. A gcw. rrop means everything to everyone in C'anao, Even to people as far away from the p otigh handle as I am the crop, and the money It brings to the country, mean more than, perhaps, most of us realise. 'SEVENTY BELOW'—A CALUMNY. I Talking of the crop naturally reminds one of the YYV.t, and from the West comes a bitter cry of misre\ i esentation. Alberta complains that her climate has been misrepresented. People have been saying that the temperature in the West falls to 70 below zero in the winter in fact, even here in Eastern Canada we run away with ideas of the Western winter, even more exaggerated than you do on your side of the Atlantic. But Mr. Stupart, Director of the Meteorological Service of Canada, has come to the rescue of Alberta and the West. The severity of the winter is absurdly overrated, he says, and he brings the records of his depart- ment to prove it. The lowest temperature ever registered in Canada is 73 degrees below zero and that was at Fort Vermilion, away up towards the Arctic Circle. The lowest ever recorded at Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, was 56 below; that was a considerable time ago, during an ex- ceptionally hard winter, and the exceptional cold lasted only long enough to get into the socords. As a rule, five or ten below zero is the point -at which the thermometer hovers during the coldest weather, and when there is no wind blowing that temperature is not nearly so cold as it sounds. Mr. Stupart, bye-the-bye, has cold contempt for unscientific weather experts. The Indians, on whom some rely for weather forecasts, are worse than unreliable, he says. You never can place any faith in what the Indians predict," is Mr. Stupart's pronouncement. A few years ago they said that British Columbia was not going to have any winter-it turned out the severest on record." GOOD LUCK AND BAD. I To come back to the record of this year, there has been a curious mixture of good and bad luck in it for many people. Take the Grand Trunk, for example. They had an extraordinary stroke of bad luck the other day when their shops at Port Huron were burned down, and there was a general feeling of commiseration for the road, whose work was interrupted at a moment whea there were heavy demands for new rolling stock to be ready next spring. But by an extra- ordinary stroke of "accidental foresight," so tie speak, the company had just purchased a series of shops at Elshcn, just outside Chicago, not in- tending them for. any very immediate active work or for work of the kind done at Port Huron. So now the Port Huron employees have been moved over to Elshen, and the work so sud- denlv and disastrously ended in Canada is being carried on across the border until the Canadian works can be rebuilt. "OUR HOME COUNTY." A Western correspondent sends me an account of a very successful Yorkshire celebration held at far-away Saskatoon. There were nearly 200 guests, all Yorkshiremen and women by birth or marriage, and they celebrated the occasion of their meeting in a style heartily characteristic of their county. Mr. J. Eadon-Ilenney, a prominent Yorkshire Westerner, proposed the toast of" Yorkshire Our Home County," and Mr. H. Stirk, secretary of the Saskatchewan Yorkshire Society, spoke eloquently on the reason for and meaning of the gathering. A meeting like this in a small Western city may seem a small thing to chronicle, but 1 mention it as illustrating one of the pleasantest features of Canadian life. It is safe to say that all those pre- sent at the meeting are proud to proclaim them- selves as inhabitants of Canada, but they have lost none of the pride in their old county which they brought with them. All over the Dominion you find the men of the different counties associated to. gether, and every year there are great gatherings great," at any rate, in good fellowship, even where only a few of the Men of Kent," or the "Somersetshire Society," or whoever they may be, can manage to get together. The Scots have a reputation for clannishness which they certainly sustain, but the English also can remember old associations and keep up old traditions. A NARROW ESCAPE. j Very nearly you did not get this letter at all!! Your correspondent had a narrow escape from being resolved into his original elements, only five nights ago. Coming home in a tram, I, in common with other passengers, was mildly amused by the antics of two workmen in an obviously happy condition. One of them fell while climbing up the step, and when on the car itself, both men lurched about, bumped into one another and other people in a way that would have been amusing if it had not been uncomfortable for all concerned. Eventually the men became so extremely lively that the conductor was obliged to stop the car and call for a policeman, who duly trundled them off to the cells. Next morning we who had been passengers in the car were able to realise how narrow an escape we had run. In the pockets of each man was found a stick of dynamite complete with fuse and fulminating cap. At any moment if the dynamite had hit anything hard-well, it is not pleasant to think of what would have happened. The men, it seems, have been working for a contractor and had stolen the dynamite from hia storer-