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Ruby M. Cusack
Saint John City Common Council Minutes - Online

The aroma from the pot roast in the oven and the warm biscuits in the warming closet made my mouth water and my stomach ache for food but we had to wait until Aunt Ethel arrived.

I really didn’t see why I could not have a plateful and disappear outside but no way could I sway Mum.

Finally Aunt Ethel drove into the yard and took her time helping Gram into the house. I felt like yelling, “Hurry up!” “I am starving!”

As usual, she had a good excuse for her tardiness as she had been attending a meeting and had been asked to take the Minutes.

This certainly was a reason, I couldn’t understand, so when everyone was busy eating, I got up the nerve to ask her, “How did you take the minutes off the clock so you didn’t know the correct time?”

A snicker went around the table, as she explained “Taking Minutes” means writing down the details of what has taken place in a meeting so there will be a permanent record.

Gramp’s comment didn’t set well with her when he said, “I hope you used a fountain pen and not a pencil and that you took the time to make your letters clearly.“ ”I have seen many Minutes that have faded and others that look like hen scratching.”

I have been trying to read online the Saint John City Common Council Minutes that commence on May 20, 1785 and it is not easy but very interesting. It was the mid 1930s before someone made the decision to start typing the minutes.

In 1785, John Galloway was given his license to be a Tavern Keeper on Prince William Street.

Lots were leased at Public Auction on Manawagonish Road in 1796.

William Donald was appointed Harbour Master and William Godsoe was appointed the Collector of Taxes in April of 1813.

In 1936 it was written, “That only those who have all personal property and income taxes paid, including the year 1936, twenty days before voting day, have the right to vote at the November election.”

A communication was received on June 01, 1934 from a Barrister on behalf of his client whom he alleges sustained injuries on the steps leading from the East side of the Ferry building.

Also, on this date, Stall #13 in the City Market was leased for $20.80 monthly instead of the yearly fee.

I found the details of the Market Stalls leasing very interesting.

In 1934, Taxi Owners agreed to keep the rate of fare, namely 35 cents per passenger in District One.

When I came across the words “jitney bus”, I had to head for the dictionary for clarification.

On the 57th Anniversary of the Great Fire of 1877, several citizens were honoured for their dedication to the fire department.

In 1939 there were several interesting recordings such as:
Four horses for the Street Department were to be purchased for $700.00,
The Saint John National Labour Council sent a letter, protesting the spending of $10,000 on the Royal visit,
Louis Burt Mayer was made a Freeman of the City,
Several pieces of property were sold by the city - Lot #105 Erin St. - as well as others were in the hands of the city due to a Tax Sale.

One petition in 1936 from residents concerned making a skating rink at the corner of Carmarthen Street and King Street East.

The Saint John City Common Council Minutes from 1785 to the present can be read online at the website.

I plan to sit at the computer for hours to travel through time to learn more about the goings on in Saint John, whether it be sending and receiving of letters, dilapidated houses, complaints from residents, invoices that needed to be paid for various items, petitions from residents and businesses, and the introduction of rules and regulations.

Reading the yesteryear Minutes of Council is a great way to lift the curtain of the past, to peek in the window, and get a personal look at officials, companies and the everyday people who make up Saint John and maybe even find reference to a family member.

Query 1895
Fundy Club of the Blind:
I am seeking information on The Fundy Club, a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind.  The Club held its founding meeting in 1948 on Hazen Street in Saint John.  
Scott Rinehart

Query 1896
Jordan - Boyd:
Maria Jordan of Studholm, Kings Co., NB, had a son, Robert (Robin) born circa 1839. After his birth, she reportedly married Thomas Boyd, but no record of children from this marriage has been found.
Norma Cook

New and Used Genealogical and Historical books of
New Brunswick for sale.

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