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The 300th Anniversary Of The Founding Of Louisbourg | Le 300e Anniversaire De La Fondation De Louisbourg





The French came to Louisbourg in 1713, at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, when they had to surrender title to their holdings in Newfoundland and on mainland Nova Scotia. Initially Louisbourg was a base from which the French exploited North America's lucrative cod fishery. In 1745, after three decades of peace and prosperity, a combined British and New England force attacked and captured Louisbourg. An occupying army took over the town, and its residents were removed to France. Three years later Britain returned Cape Breton to France through a treaty. In 1758 Britain took Louisbourg a second time, and in 1760 demolished much of the fortifications.



While the immediate cause for the revival of the Band is not on record either, it may have been connected with the last-minute attempt, in the fall of 1913, to organize a Bicentennial Celebration for the founding of 18th-century Louisbourg. The Sydney Daily Post for September 6, 1913 reported the arrival in Cape Breton of the author Beckles Willson who was planning to spend some time in Louisburg with Reverend T. F. Draper ...  In the interview, Willson chastised the Town of Louisburg and the residents of the Island for failing to have an appropriate celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of the taking of possession of Cape Breton by the French on September 2, 1713.

This comment sent minor shock waves through certain segments of the Cape Breton community. There was a hurried meeting held in Mayor Gunn's office, in Sydney, followed by invitations to Prime Minister Borden, Premier Murray and Sir Georges Garneau, the Chairman of the National Battlefields Commission, for celebrations planned for Louisburg on September 20. After these meetings were held and commitments made in the press, the Mayor of Louisburg, W. E. McAlpine, was consulted by the organizing committee for the event. McAlpine agreed in principle with the proposal for a celebration and promised to bring the matter before the Louisburg Council. But it was obviously too late to do anything substantial and none of the hastily-invited guests were able to attend on such short notice. Nor does it seem that the Louisburg Council felt it was able to undertake a last-minute celebration.

To salvage a potentially embarrassing situation, a number of the Sydney citizens' committee, led by J. S. McLennan, organized a branch of the Canadian Club in Sydney on September 19th to assist in the promotion of the Anniversary. The full extent of the Bicentennial Celebration, was an inaugural address to the newly formed Canadian Club delivered by McLennan, before a gathering of 200 people in the County Courthouse the next day ...

While Louisburg was unable to respond to the event in any tangible way, it is possible that the "Bicentennial" did give rise to some activity in the Town. There is no specific evidence but Councillors Wylie Stacey and Fletcher Townsend may have taken the opportunity to rally the former members of the Citizens' Band in the event that activities would be held in Louisburg ...

[Report/Rapport © Bill O'Shea: William A. O'Shea, "The Louisburg Brass Bands", in Heritage Notes Series, William A. O'Shea, editor (Louisbourg Heritage Society, February 1991) - ISBN 0-9694720-1-3 at ../Search/band2.html ]



The 2013 schedule of events is available at ... Future Link




  • In the year 1713 and the 2nd day of September, we, Joseph Ovide de Brouillant, King's Lieutenant at Plaisance, Knight of the Military Order of St. Louis, commanding His Majesty's ship Semslack with M. L'Hermitte, Major and Engineer, La Ronde and  (Read On)

  • Who were the 116 men, 10 women, and 23 children who founded Louisbourg?(Read On)

  • St. Ovide de Brouillant was in France in the spring of 17I3 and received instructions to go at once to La Rochelle and embark on the Semslack, commanded by Lieut. Meschin, then a young officer whose service in the navy was to extend in all over sixty years. Ste. Ovide (Read On)

  • The Semslack (Read On)

  • The supplies were four fishing boats and their gear, four herring nets and a seine ; six cannons from St. John's, balls, masons' tools and picks, two hundredweight of resin, a forge and bellows, and the King's mules and (Read On)


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