A Social Club, The Thirty Club, was organized in 1892 through the efforts of Dr. D. S. Hoig, Larry Maxwell, and Dr. Kaiser ; with an original membership, in addition to these gentlemen, of J. P. Owens, P. H. Penshon, A. Hinds, John Tamblyn, Wm. Lauchland, Father Jeffcott, G. Beck, Robt. McCaw, R. C. Babbott, W. F. Cowan, E. 0. Felt, H. T. Carswell, and C. A. Jones. In the course of a few months other leading spirits of the day joined this Institution, such as L. K. Murton, T. H. McMillan, W. E. N. Sinclair, L. G. Drew, E. M. Henry, Walter Coulthard, Fred Lambert, Albert Sykes, Wm. King, E. P. Morgan, M. D. Campbell, Jas. Cowan, Fred W. Cowan ,G. H. Pedlar, F. L. Mason, M. F. Smith, W. F. Eaton, M. Thwaite, Dr. F. L. Henry, Col. J. F. Grierson and Robert Mackie. For twenty-five years its place of meeting was on the second floor of the building on the South West Corner of the main part of the town, when, in 1917, it moved to the North-West Corner, over the Dominion Bank. The part played by this Club in the history of Oshawa during its stay, in its original quarters, should be recorded as among the important factors in the municipal progress of Oshawa. Not alone because it gathered together, as in a family group, the outstanding characters of the day, but because without endeavoring to do so, it generally counted among its numbers, the Mayor, and the leading minds of the Council of the Corporation. While it was among the rules that no discussion of religious or political topics was to be indulged in, the fac s were that political municipal matters constituted the great bulk of the daily conversation, and many matters of great importance to the life of the town were practically settled around the huge old coal heater of Thirty Club. Scarcely a day passed by when every rule of the Club was not deliberately broken into fragments, except two : No intoxicants and no gambling! These rules were strictly obeyed. There is not the slightest danger that any member of the Thirty Club will ever forget, while he is alive, many of the scenes, events, and circumstances which crowd upon his memory when the institution is but brought to mind. Foremost amongst them is, probably, the annual Club supper, when J. F. Tamblyn and Dr. Kaiser would choose up sides and play euchre for the oysters. The Oshawa House, where Mrs. Millar and Mrs. Cooper, would spread a banquet that would do credit to a visit from the Prince of Wales the after entertainment, when W. F. Cowan, T. H. McMillan, L. K. Murton, or some other members, would deliver a social address that would contain as much solid and useful information as one would expect to find in the budget speech of a Minister of Finance at Ottawa When Tom Galway would sing “the Old Scotch Songs” so as to force the tears to flow down the cheeks of dear old Will Lauchland, and when Walter Coulthard would follow with “Billy” Barlow; or P. H. Punshon with an original poem or song, setting out with sublime humor, the weakness or erratic conduct of the various members during the past year; when father Jeffcott would sing “Father O’Flynn,” and H. T. Carswell follow with “Nancy Lee.” These were glorious nights: An annual entertainment, but the daily entertainment was scarcely of less interest, whether observed as a social feast or as a character study of the day. Briefly, let us visualize, first the little line of “Down and Outers” who waited in succession for the little donation tipped off by members as they arrived at the entrance door. Little Jonny Farrell, in his pea-jacket coat, Frank, (our only colored citizen), Crowly with his pipe of clay, or Irwin, staggering on his black thorn cane; while Christmas, from a pass-the-hat collection provided them with a real riot. Within the doors, the plain chairs and tables, and the simple furnishings were scarcely observed by any one who had imbibed the family spirit of the place. Sometimes we wondered that Mr. W. F. Cowan, President of the Standard Bank, would hurry from his weekly meetings in Toronto, where he belonged to some of the most luxuriantly fitted Clubs in a great city, in order to be present every afternoon at a session of The Thirty Club in Oshawa. It was equally pleasing to see Mr. G. H. Pedlar, Mr. T. H. McMillan, Thos. Millar or Walter Coulthard leave the exacting labors of business for an hour or so, and play a game of cards or Euchre for no stake, with as much earnestness, as they played the game of life. There may not occur any better opportunity than now to give a little sketch of the characteristics of Mr. Alphonso Hinds, without which no history of Oshawa could pretend to be complete. He was one of the silent but potential forces which helped to construct the town, as well as to supply a constant stream of good feeling and merriment to The Thirty Club. He was a stalwart supporter of every town by-law which meant progress, but a persistent dodger of all publicity. During the middle seventies of the nineteenth century he was the proprietor and manager of Oshawa’s leading hotel. He possessed a very engaging manner ; erect, handsome, and athletic ; one of the most astute minds, and one of the most pleasing tongues, that could be met with in any society. Little wonder that his house became the Mecca for every Knight of the Road, and for every farmer or business man in the district, and equally little wonder that it only took a few years to accumulate a competence for life. He was considerate of everybody’s feelings, a faithful member of the Anglican Church, and a consistent Conservative in politics. A charming feature of his life was to observe how he protruded the bouyancy of youth into his advancing age, a characteristic which made him a most agreeable companion and the source of much merriment as a member of The Thirty Club. Let me give a little incident which illustrates these facts. After the death of his beloved and respected wife, he boarded with Will Law, our present Councilman. Poor man, Law, while coming to town from his farm one day on a load of hay was tossed off, and fell upon the ground, sustaining some wounds upon his face, not of a serious character. Mr. Hinds shortly after the accident came into the Club and found everybody quietly playing cards. With a view of breaking up a game so as to make a place for himself, he began to picture the awful accident which befell Will Law. His description was irresistible, and shortly a place was created and Mr. Hinds quietly settled down to his afternoon game. This exhibition of smooth tactics was too much for some of the younger members of the Club. They went out about town and secured the co-operation of about twenty people to call up, by phone, the Thirty Club, ask for Mr. Hinds, and to enquire about the condition of “Will Law.” The interest in Law became contageous, and all afternoon, away into the night, and into the next day, Mr. Hinds was kept busy at the phone. He only escaped the torture by finally absenting himself for a few days from the Club. No one enjoyed the amusement more than Mr. Hinds. If space would permit such incidents could be multiplied as indicating how many of the sober, steady men of the day took a relaxation from business by spending a few hours at the historic Thirty Club of Oshawa.
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