Rose of the World Abbey

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennett_Rosamond

In 1825, in the village of Fenagh in county Leitrim in Ireland, a gang of Catholic youths attacked the Rosamond home. The Rosamonds were staunch Protestants. James, aged 20 (born 1805) and his brother Edward, aged 15, attempted to protect their mother. A shot was fired by Edward and a youth was dead. The boys fled to Canada. James went to Merrickville where he worked for James Merrick as a weaver. Edward, still fearing arrest, worked his way eventually to Memphis, Tennessee.

The Annals of the Four Masters states that Fenagh was, “celebrated for its divinity school, which was resorted to by students from every part of Europe”.

Much legend is attached to the area, a number of standing stones in the surrounding countryside were said to represent the petrified bodies of druids who tried to expel St Caillín. Nineteen Gaelic kings are also said to be buried in the graveyard.

On this day, January 25, 2o17, I declare all ecological organizations around the world to be members of the Rose of the World Abbey which will be registered as a World Religion, and thus know the protection all religions enjoy in the United States. I invite all world religions to contribute evidence, nature, and the planet itself, along with the stars in heaven, are The Base of most religions.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/25/politics/trump-epa-lockdowns/

The foremost proof exist in the Religious Ceremony honoring men and women who have died DEFENDING their world, their piece of the creation, their territory, their home, their King, their God. Such is the case of the monument dedicated to my kindred, Alexander Rosamond, that is located in Almonte Canada.

All men who go to war believe their nation is the most beautiful nation of all. When they die, their souls hurry home, down the beautiful street where they grew up, to the threshold of home, and into the arms to their waiting mother.

The marriage of my late sister, Christine Rosamond Benton, brings to the Rose of the World Family Tree, the Benton/Fremont family. Jessie Benton Fremont knew John Muir and helped establish several National Parks. There is a Real Worship here that does not include a Rapture, a Tribulation, a End Time. Thus President Trump, the Evangelical Doomsayer, has no authority when it comes to saving the Planet. If humankind is so willing to fight for what is ugly in the world, such as crude oil, how unwilling will this fight become when we treasure Beauty over War? How can Adventure Capitalists employ, and cloak itself behind the End Time cult, then go after all forms secularism that oppose it, such as Greenpeace?

The Dark Wall and Tower Master, Trump, restricted the immigration of Iraqis two days after he suggested he would lead troops into Iraq and seize their oil as War Booty. Surely the bounty all men who go to war, desire, is Peace. Enjoying this peace entails beholding the beautiful and majestic landscapes of our native lands, and, when as tourists, we visit beautiful lands of others. Open borders, and the idea of a One World, is a goal that most Men and Women believe is a Universal Ideal promoted by God.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenpeace

It is my hope that enlightened women from all over the world will come study at the Abbey, and from there be True Messengers who forever adhere to…….The Truth!

Jon Presco

http://www.mtdemocrat.com/opinion/california-rambling-californias-overlooked-heroine/

At the start of the Civil War in 1861, Frémont was in command of Federal (Union) forces in the West, an area that included Missouri, a deeply divided state teetering toward anarchy over the issue of slavery. Secessionist guerrilla forces were terrorizing the population.

As military governor of Missouri, Frémont believed his orders to quell insurrection gave him authorization to declare martial law. In August he issued a proclamation declaring that slaves within the state were “forever free.” Not only did he not have the authority to make such a declaration, he didn’t tell President Abraham Lincoln beforehand. The war was not going well for the Federal Army and Lincoln, concerned about losing the vital support of several slave states that had not seceded, was forced to revoke Frémont’s proclamation. Within weeks, Major General Frémont was relieved of his command.

John Charles Frémont ran as the Republican Party’s candidate for president of the United States in 1856. The Californian was strident in his opposition to slavery, and therefore only carried 11 states with 33 percent of the popular vote. He lost to democrat James Buchanan, who endorsed “popular sovereignty” that allowed new states to make their own choices about slavery.

Jessie led the movement to secure state park status for the Yosemite region, which she achieved in 1864 when President Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act. It was the first time the federal government had saved scenic lands for future generations. That protection enabled John Muir to push for the larger Yosemite National Park. Without Jessie’s efforts to establish the first park, there might not have been a Yosemite National Park

Thereafter, intellectual luminaries of the day traveled to meet the Frémonts at their homes in San Francisco and on their Bear Valley Ranch in Mariposa County during the 1850s and early ‘60s. It was in her parlors that Jessie spoke of the moral imperative of abolishing slavery and introduced the noble and novel idea of saving the still unspoiled wonders of Yosemite and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias for posterity.

Through those parlor discussions and trips to the Yosemite, she influenced such men as Horace Greeley, Thomas Starr King, Richard Henry Dana Jr., Carleton Watkins and U.S. Senator Edward Baker to join her, Galen Clark and Sen. John Conness in influencing Congress and President Abraham Lincoln to set aside Yosemite and its Giant Sequoias, what today comprises the heart of Yosemite National Park.

. Magnus son of Muirchertach Muimnech and Conchobar son of Cormac Mac Diarmata went into the house, and Magnus spoke to a man who was above him, at work on the house-breaking; ‘That’ said he, pointing upwards with the chape of his sword, ‘is the nail which keeps the house from falling.’ As he spoke, a rafter fell on his head and smashed it to pieces on the spot. He was buried outside the doorway of the church of Fenagh, and thrice the capacity of the Bell of the Kings of silver and thirty horses were given as an offering with him. Thus, then, did the coarb of St. Caillin at last recover compensation for his fosterling of God from them. A beautiful monument of carved stone with an excellently wrought stone cross was afterwards made [and set up] over him, but after a while the Ui Ruairc in their enmity demolished it.”

In 1856 Mr. Rosamond moved to Almonte and bought his present residence from Edward Mitcheson. After the mill was burned, a sale was called and the site—the one on which the #2 mill is built—was knocked down to the late Albert Tesky for about 90 pounds. Mr. Tesky afterwards repented of his bargain and sold the water power to Mr. Rosamond who built the #2 mill on it moving his machinery from Carleton Place to Almonte in 1857. The #2 mill was built in 1856 and additions were made to it afterwards by Messrs. Bennett and William Rosamond who put in more machinery and gradually increased its capacity. In 1861, too close applications to business beginning to tell on Mr. Rosamond’s health, he leased the business to his sons Bennett and William and afterwards sold to them. In 1860, Mr. Rosamond and his sons formed a joint stock company with capital of $100,000 to build a large mill which resulted in the erection of #3 mill. When Mr. Rosamond retired from active business he retained an interest in the #1 mill and at the time of his death was still a share holder in it. He was also fro some time in the tanning business his tannery being situated on the site of the present dye room of #1 mill. Although always widely and actively engaged in business, Mr. Rosamond did not forget his obligations as a citizen and was always ready to assume his share of public duties. He was a member of the Carleton Place School Board from 1833 until he removed to Almonte. He has been an active and useful member of the Almonte School Board for about 35 years and occupied a seat there ever since he came to town, with the exception of a year and a half (about the year 1869) when he moved to Vineland, New Jersey for the benefit of his health. He has filled the position of Justice of the Peace for the County of Lanark continuously for over a half century. He was also a life long member of the board of the Ottawa Protestant Hospital. Shortly after Mr. Rosamond took up residence in Almonte, he took an active interest in the union Sunday school which was attended by churches of all denominations. Later on he founded St. Paul’s Sunday school of which he was superintendent for over twenty years. He has always been a devoted member of the Anglican Church and was for many years church warden or lay representative to the Synod for St. Paul’s Church. He was an enthusiastic Orangeman, a strong Conservative in politics and a great admirer of the late Sir John MacDonald. Though Mr. Rosamond attained to a ripe old age he retained to a wonderful degree the use of his mental as well as physical faculties, his mind to the last being clear.

Fenagh Abbey, Leitrim, Ireland

Fenagh Abbey, as it is known, is in fact a 15th century church built on the site of an earlier Christian monastery. The original ecclesiastical site was founded by St Caillín in the 6th century, the Annals of the Four Masters states that Fenagh was, “celebrated for its divinity school, which was resorted to by students from every part of Europe”. Fenagh must have been a pivotal site in early Christian Ireland, the Book of Fenagh which was completed in the monastery in 1516 detailed the life of St Caillín, parts of which were transcribed from the earlier, now lost, ‘Old Book of St Caillín’.

Much legend is attached to the area, a number of standing stones in the surrounding countryside were said to represent the petrified bodies of druids who tried to expel St Caillín. Nineteen Gaelic kings are also said to be buried in the graveyard. The church was dissolved in 1541 but it appears that it was re-occupied at some later date until 1652 when it was sacked by Cromwellian soldiers. The church was damaged by cannon fire during the Williamite wars in 1690. The church was used by the Anglican community during the 18th century, the last service was said in 1729.
The importance of this are is reflected in its prominence in early Irish literature, Magnus, son of Muirchertach Muimnech (from the Annals of Connacht), wrote in 1244:

“Fedlimid mac Cathail Chrobdeirg made an immense hosting eastwards into Brefne against O Raigillig, to avenge his fosterson and kinsman, Tadc O Conchobair. They encamped for a night at Fenagh. At that time there was no roof on the church of Fenagh, and the coarb was away that night. And as he was not present, the common soldiers of the host burned the huts and tents which were inside the church, without permission of their leaders, and the coarb’s foster-child, God’s gift, was suffocated. Now learned men relate that the coarb received this foster-child by finding him on a large stone which stood in that place, and [the people] never knew of his having either mother or father; and the coarb loved him and gave him, as it is said, milk from his own breasts. Next day he came to them in anger and indignation at the death of the boy, requiring O Conchobair to pay the blood-fine for his foster-child, and O Conchobair said he could choose what fine he pleased. ‘I choose’ said he ‘the best man among you, as compensation for the child of God whom you have burnt.’ ‘That’ said O Conchobair ‘is Magnus, the son of Muirchertach Muimnech.’ ‘Nay, not so,’ said Magnus ‘but he who is leader of the host.’ ‘I will not go from you so’ said the coarb ‘until I get the fine for my foster-child.’ After this the host departed from that place, and the coarb followed them to Ath na Cuirre on the Yellow River, which was flowing over its banks, so that they could not cross it till they broke up the spital-house of John the Baptist, which stood beside the ford, and used its materials to bridge the river for the host to pass across. Magnus son of Muirchertach Muimnech and Conchobar son of Cormac Mac Diarmata went into the house, and Magnus spoke to a man who was above him, at work on the house-breaking; ‘That’ said he, pointing upwards with the chape of his sword, ‘is the nail which keeps the house from falling.’ As he spoke, a rafter fell on his head and smashed it to pieces on the spot. He was buried outside the doorway of the church of Fenagh, and thrice the capacity of the Bell of the Kings of silver and thirty horses were given as an offering with him. Thus, then, did the coarb of St. Caillin at last recover compensation for his fosterling of God from them. A beautiful monument of carved stone with an excellently wrought stone cross was afterwards made [and set up] over him, but after a while the Ui Ruairc in their enmity demolished it.”

THE CEREMONY AT ALMONTE TUESDAY. Parts of the story follow:

Mayor Thoburn presided and Major General Sir Archibald G. Macdonnell and General Hill,D.C.O. represented the militia department. Mayor Thoburn called upon Mrs.Alex G.Rosamond to unveil the statue ,which she did, hoisting the flag to half mast. Then the guard of honour presented arms ,and the Last Post was sounded by Then the guard of honour presented arms ,and the Last Post was sounded by Bugler McLean. Rev W .H. Green, Rector of St. Paul’s Church, of which the late Lieut. Rosamond was a member, read the dedicatory prayer, followed by a minute of silent prayer.

Alexander G. Rosamond , filled with high resolve, enlisted in 1914 as a private in the Sportsman Battalion and it was only when the dearth of officers became acute that he consented to take a commission. He went to France in December of 1915,and saw active service from then until he was killed at the Battle of Courcelette on September 15th , 1916.

He had made his will prior to going overseas,but after going overseas,he made a codicil thereto and amongst the bequests in that codicil was the following: I instruct my executors to erect in some promising place in the Town of Almonte, a permanent memorial to all those who lost their lives in the present war who were from the Town of Almonte,Township of Ramsay and surrounding district.

The monument has been erected by his executors to carry out the bequest contained in his will. There are forty-eight names on the monument. The Town gave the land on which it is erected for the purpose of the Monument.

The figure of the monument represents a Canadian volunteer and was designed by the noted sculptor, R. Tait McKenzie,a native of Almonte. He was born here in 1867,the son of the late Rev. Wm. McKenzie, for many years the rector of St. John’s Presbyterian Church. He received his public and high school education in Almonte and graduated from McGill. Both he and Mrs.McKenzie were at the unveiling.

At the conclusion of General Macdonnell’s speech,the Band struck up “O Canada” and heads were bared as wreaths were laid on the monument. The school children led the way and after them came representatives from the different societies in town,and the representatives of the dead soldiers and last of all, Mrs.Alex G.Rosamond and her four daughters,and Mrs. James Rosamond,the mother of the late Lieut. Rosamond.

Among the societies and others whose flowers were placed on the pedestal were:Women’s Insitute, I.O.D.E, Rebekahs,Sons of England,Sons of Scotland, Alpha Lodge of Oddfellows, Mississippi Lodge A.F. & A.M., Alexandra Club, Girl Guides,L.O.L., the Presbyterian Church, St. Paul’s Church, the Methodist church, the Town Council, Almonte and Ramsay Board of Trade, Daughters and Maids of the Empire, St.Andrew’s Society, G.W.V.A., Mayor Thoburn, the Rosamond Woolen Co.,Almonte Cricket Club and very many others.

Bennett Rosamond Grand Master of Orange Order

Above is a photograph of Bennett Rosamond the Grand Master of the Orange Order in Canada. Bennett is with members of Lodge 389 in Lanark, or, Almonte. The image on the banner is that of William of Orange who is carried in Orange Parades. That is Bennett on the far right, looking like Gandalf, or, a Levite Prophet.

According to the History of the Rosemond Family by Leland Rosemond, the Rosamond family were members of the Orange Order in Leitrim Ireland, and fled to Canada after a Rosamond son killed a Catholic lad who was invading the Rosamond home with a gang bent on doing my kindred harm.

Bennett may have been a Freemason as well – and an Oddfellow. There is a long history of the Rosamonds belonging to Guilds. They were members of the Swan Brethren.

My grandparents, Royal and Mary Magdalene Rosamond, begat my mother, Rosemary Rosamond, and her sisters, Lilian, Bonnie, and June Rice.

Jon Presco

Almonte’s Oldest Citizen Goes To His Reward
From the Almonte Gazette
A week or two ago we announced the illness of James Rosamond, Sr., little expecting we would so soon be called upon to chronicle the news of his death which took place on Wednesday morning. The old gentleman attended the Orange gathering here on the 12th July and owing to the dampness of the day contracted a cold which was followed by an attack of bronchitis and other troubles and after the wear of so many years his constitution had not the vitality to withstand the attack of the disease and shortly after midnight the end came calmly and peacefully.

Mr. Rosamond was born near Ballinamore, County Leitrim, Ireland on the 14th Feb., 1805. His parents were Bennett and Fanny Rosamond and his father followed the three fold occupation of reed maker and linen weaver and farmer. The subject of this sketch came to Canada in 1827 with his brother. The latter died at Prescott seven or eight years ago. For about two years after coming to Canada, Mr. Rosamond lived at Ogdensburg, New York where he learned the distillery business. In 1830 he removed from New York to Carleton Place. In 1831 he was married to Margaret Wilson of Ramsay, a lady who although of naturally an amiable and retiring disposition, has proved a faithful wife and helpmate for one who has led such an active life as her husband. Some years ago Mrs. Rosamond met with an accident from which she suffered considerably for some time and which prevented her from going out much among her friends but she is still hale and hearty although beyond the allotted three score and ten years. Their marriage has been blessed with seven children, four of whom survive namely Bennett, Mary Ann (Mrs. A. Bell), William (of Cobourg), James and Rosaline (Mrs. De Hurd).

After coming to Carleton Place, Mr. Rosamond was engaged in the distilling business for about three years and then went into the sawmill and gristmill business in partnership with John McEwen. Their mill was the only one in this section of the country at that time. This partnership lasted for four years when it was dissolved and a new one formed with Messrs. R. Bell and Company. The new firm determined to extend their business and had a carding and cloth – dressmaking establishment also the only one in this part of the province. The firm rented the mills in Carleton Place from Mr. Bolton for 16 or 17 years and continued for that time in business in that village, which was then known as “Morphy’s Falls”. In the course of time Mr. Rosamond went into the spinning, weaving and manufacturing of such goods as satinettes, etoffes, etc. These enterprising early manufacturers kept constantly adding to their machinery and increasing their business and towards the close of their lease wanted to buy or rent the water power but the owner Mr. McLaren of Beckwith would do neither. Just then an employee of Mr. Rosamond came to Almonte—at that time called “Waterford”—and succeeded in forming a company known as the Ramsay Woolen Manufacturing Company. Among those who held stock in this company were John Scott and the late John Patterson who about the year 1853 or 1854 one year after the company was formed, went to California but before going, disposed of their shares in the company to Mr. Rosamond. The mill was burned shortly afterwards.

In 1856 Mr. Rosamond moved to Almonte and bought his present residence from Edward Mitcheson. After the mill was burned, a sale was called and the site—the one on which the #2 mill is built—was knocked down to the late Albert Tesky for about 90 pounds. Mr. Tesky afterwards repented of his bargain and sold the water power to Mr. Rosamond who built the #2 mill on it moving his machinery from Carleton Place to Almonte in 1857. The #2 mill was built in 1856 and additions were made to it afterwards by Messrs. Bennett and William Rosamond who put in more machinery and gradually increased its capacity. In 1861, too close applications to business beginning to tell on Mr. Rosamond’s health, he leased the business to his sons Bennett and William and afterwards sold to them. In 1860, Mr. Rosamond and his sons formed a joint stock company with capital of $100,000 to build a large mill which resulted in the erection of #3 mill. When Mr. Rosamond retired from active business he retained an interest in the #1 mill and at the time of his death was still a share holder in it. He was also fro some time in the tanning business his tannery being situated on the site of the present dye room of #1 mill. Although always widely and actively engaged in business, Mr. Rosamond did not forget his obligations as a citizen and was always ready to assume his share of public duties. He was a member of the Carleton Place School Board from 1833 until he removed to Almonte. He has been an active and useful member of the Almonte School Board for about 35 years and occupied a seat there ever since he came to town, with the exception of a year and a half (about the year 1869) when he moved to Vineland, New Jersey for the benefit of his health. He has filled the position of Justice of the Peace for the County of Lanark continuously for over a half century. He was also a life long member of the board of the Ottawa Protestant Hospital. Shortly after Mr. Rosamond took up residence in Almonte, he took an active interest in the union Sunday school which was attended by churches of all denominations. Later on he founded St. Paul’s Sunday school of which he was superintendent for over twenty years. He has always been a devoted member of the Anglican Church and was for many years church warden or lay representative to the Synod for St. Paul’s Church. He was an enthusiastic Orangeman, a strong Conservative in politics and a great admirer of the late Sir John MacDonald. Though Mr. Rosamond attained to a ripe old age he retained to a wonderful degree the use of his mental as well as physical faculties, his mind to the last being clear.

http://roughian.tripod.com/BennettRosamond.html

The Volunteer       …… by John Dunn

The figure on the war memorial is a man in the service dress uniform of a lieutenant of Canadian Infantry in World War 1, which for a time in our generation we knew simply as The Great War, until a new cataclysm erupted in Europe and we too were swept up in war.

It’s called “The Volunteer”.

The name is carved on the monument in stone.

But that is not all.

     “To the Men of Almonte Who Fell for Freedom.” are the words that reach across the top from one side to the other. And down below is an explanation for the memorial :

     “Erected to carry out a bequest of the late Lieut. Alexander George Rosamond, PPCLI.”

   For fifty years now The Volunteer has stood on this pie-shaped piece of ground beside the town hall in the very heart of Almonte, flanked on two sides by the main line of the Canadian Pacific railway and the Mississippi River, the two modes of transportation, river and rail, water power and steam power which accompanied the town of Almonte from its birth as a pioneer settlement beside a falls in the Mississippi through nearly a century of woolen industry and into its present stature and growth.

     On a burning hot August afternoon in 1859 the rail-laying gang building the Brockville and Ottawa railway reached Almonte and near the pie-shaped piece of ground they hammered in the last spikes to hold the rails of what later came to be part of the main line of the Canadian pacific railway, an enterprise known to dreamers as “ a ribbon of steel” which they intended would tie together the scattered parts of a new nation, binding the parts securely each to the other and all together from sea unto shining sea.

     A few months, however, before the rails reached their terminus here, James Rosamond, a director of the company, and a local entrepreneur, resolved to venture additional capital to erect a woolen mill on a site beside No. 2 Falls. It was a stone structure, five stories in height, and was the start of the Rosamond Woollen Company. Only a few years later it gave way to the great undertaking called No.1, the head office and manufacturing center for the next ninety years of the Rosamond Woollen Company at the end of Coleman’s Island.

And all during those years Almonte was known to travelers on the trains as The Woollen Town, because the Rosamond Woollen Company, the Old Red Knitting Company, the Penman Woollen Mill, Campbell’s Woollen Mill, the Yorkshire Wool Stock Mill and Wm. Thoburn’s Woollen Mills all made the flat metallic clacking of the looms as familiar a sound of Almonte as the whistle of the CPR steam locomotive.

       Down on Coleman’s Island, right at the end where the island abuts against the No. 1 Falls of the river, Alex Rosamond, a son of Almonte, and scion of one of the largest woolen manufacturing firms, succeeded to the office of managing Director of No. 1. It was a big undertaking, and his responsibilities affected the lives and the livelihoods of hundreds of working men and women in the town. For throughout the town, on Mill Street, in the post office, at the drive sheds outside West’s Store, the talk was always No.1. No. 1, timeless and unchanging.

     Any day, Alex Rosamond could look out his window in the front office and watch Tom Leishman’s team of big chestnut horses, glistening with health and light perspiration, their harness all polished leather marvelously offset by gleaming brass buckles and hame fittings, bringing yet another wagon load of bales of raw Australian wool down the hill to the loading ramp at the back of the mill. Tom held a steady hand on the lines, but the team seemed to know what was to be expected of them.

      Steadiness. That’s what it was. Everyone called it a steady town of 2200 people, spinners, weavers, dyers, loom-fixers, millwrights, carpenters, masons, stationary engineers, and all the rest.

      Take Mick McKevitt for example, way down there in the boiler room beside the loading ramp. When it came to feeding steam to the big turbine power wheel resting there in its cradle as finely balanced as the works of a fine Swiss watch, Mick was like a master magician, feeling rather than knowing the right moment and the correct amount of steam to give the wheel. Steady. That was Mick all right. Real steady with live steam.

     On the way back to the freight sheds Tom Leishman’s team pulled a load of bales of another kind, and usually the full of the wagon, all wrapped in heavy kraft paper, addressed to places in the Old Country, to be shipped by CPR to Montreal and forwarding to England. And all of them bore the label:

                        Rosamond Woollen Company

                                            Almonte, Ontario

                             Makers of Fine Woollens

                                             And Worsteds

     And then it came to pass that in the early months of the summer of 1914 Alex Rosamond had to say good-bye to his wife and girls and go down to Montreal and take passage on a steamer to Liverpool, en route to a number of business conferences for the firm.

       In late July, while Alex was still in London, lightning struck from a clear sky at a small Serbian town called Sarajevo. An assassin’s bullet struck down the young Archduke Ferdinand, scion of the noble House of Hapsburg. Before a week had passed, war clouds thundered out all over Europe and the dogs of war barked and howled. The Kaiser’s armies rolled into action following the strategy and tight scheduling of the Stiffen Plan, to overrun Belgium, and bite through the Low Countries, and race around the French flank from Flanders to the Atlantic ports.

        Suddenly another duty loomed up in Alex Rosamond’s path like a ship coming out of fog, irresistible and inescapable. Caught up in the drive of patriotic duty, he was like the turbine wheel in the boiler house of No. 1, pushed and driven by a fierce sense of loyalty to home and to the nation. His resolve was firm and immediate: he, a mature man of forty, enlisted in the British Army as a private soldier.

      And back in Almonte, the same sense of duty drove spinners and weavers from No. 1 and from all the other mills into the recruiting offices where they exchanged their working clothes for the coarse woolen khaki uniforms, heavy boots, and woolen puttees of the Canadian soldier.

      In 1915 Alex Rosamond left the British Army to transfer to the newly-formed Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry with a commission as a lieutenant and platoon commander.

      The year 1916 was one that began with ominous foreboding. On February 21st the German armies launched a fierce attack against the French at Verdun, and Marshal Petain’s troops fought back with desperation, shouting “Ils ne passeront pas!” Nor did the Germans pass.

Months later, after a hundred thousand dead, wounded and missing on both sides, this place of incalculable horror called Verdun was nothing but a torture chamber and a tomb.

      On July 1st, General Haig pressed forward on the Somme front with British armies against the German armies that held a series of ridges from which they commanded the British positions. In the first three days of fighting British losses amounted to 50,000 men, including – oh, the shock of it – almost the entire Royal Newfoundland Regiment of 1,000 men, as well as 15,000 men of the Australian corps.

Knowing the terrible price of attack at dawn, that many a man who stepped over the parapet would never leave that frightful bullet-swept plain by the Somme, Lieut. Alexander Rosamond felt the close comradeship of soldiers growing stronger the more they suffered and survived together, and though they grew up poles apart in the social structure of Almonte, they shared in common the joy of memories of diving into the mill flume from the railroad bridge, fishing in Gleeson’s Bay, and drinking from cupped hands on a hot day from the cold clear spring in the Spring Bush.

      In September the Canadians were thrown in on the Somme. Alex Rosamond, a mature man of forty, could not help the premonition that he and many others might not survive. Accordingly he devised a bequest, expressing a wish that a memorial might be erected in Almonte after the cessation of hostilities, as he put it, to the memory of the men of Almonte Who Fell for Freedom.

        Premonitions are frequently well-founded. At Courcelette on the Somme, September 16th, 1916, Lieutenant Alexander George Rosamond PPCLI fell.

       Two years later, on a grey and cheerless morning, the morning of November 11th, 1918, a hoarse cry was shouted along the Canadian lines, “Cease fire!” Men staggered up out of trenches and threw down their tools for killing, and threw their caps in the air, and looked around unbelieving at one another, scarce comprehending that the ordeal of war was at an end.

       In Almonte it was midnight, and suddenly the bells started ringing from all the churches and the mills. Whistles too. And people came running out of their houses on the way to the town hall, in the centre of town, but it was a cold and cheerless night, and many of them had not dressed properly for the cold night, and they milled about wondering if it could really be true. Yet the telegram said that it was.

       A few years later Tait McKenzie unveiled the memorial called “The Volunteer” in the central place in Almonte, between the CPR tracks and the Mississippi River.

      The Volunteer is a figure strangely similar to another of Tait McKenzie’s sculptures, “The Call”, which was unveiled fifty years ago this year in Prince’s Street Gardens in Edinburgh. The figure in Edinburgh is that a young Scottish soldier, perhaps nineteen or twenty years of age, bareheaded, curly-haired, dressed in the uniform of a kilted Highland regiment with his hands resting on a Lee-Enfield rifle laid across his knees. The figure is seated on a stone pedestal flanked by twin friezes, the one showing a representative of each of the Scottish regiments, the other a representative of each of the crafts and trades of Scotland. From both friezes the figures face inward to the central figure of the young soldier, who leans slightly forward, with an air of quiet composure, confident, calm, ready to endure everything which might come. It is “The Call”.

       The figure In Almonte is that of a mature man, an officer of the PPCLI, a man of forty, with a full moustache on the upper lip, wearing service dress with forage hat, but without any weapons. He too sits on a stone plinth, flanked by flat stone friezes on which are carved the names of the Almonte’s dead from two world wars. The figure leans forward slightly with the air, calm, confident, ready. It is “The Volunteer”.

      And like a banner emblazoned above the roll call of the names carved in stone are the very words which Lieutenant Alexander Rosamond used before he fell on the Somme salient, and which stand out below the bronze Volunteer in equally imperishable stone,

                                    To the men of Almonte

                                    Who Fell for Freedom.

ROSAMOND, BENNETT, manufacturer and politician; b. 10 May 1833 in Carleton Place, Upper Canada, eldest son of James Rosamond and Margaret Wilson; m. 24 July 1852 Adair Mary Roy in Smiths Falls, Upper Canada, and they had two sons and a daughter; d. 18 May 1910 in London, England, and was buried in Almonte, Ont.

Bennett Rosamond was educated at the grammar school in Carleton Place. In 1857 his father moved the family and his woollen factory to nearby Almonte, on the Mississippi River, where he hoped to exploit superior water-power. Two years later, 26-year-old Bennett entered his father’s business. In 1862 he and his brother William took over the Victoria Woolen Mills from the elder Rosamond and began an ambitious program of expansion under the name of B. and W. Rosamond and Company. Within two years they had doubled the capacity of the mills and in 1866 they brought into the business George Stephen*, who provided an important link to Montreal financial interests. His contacts would lead to the Rosamonds’ involvement in the Canada Cotton Manufacturing Company at Cornwall, formed in 1872, and in the Cobourg Woollen Company, incorporated in 1885.

The 1860s witnessed rapid improvement in the technology of woollen production, which offered important advantages to progressive firms. In 1866 the Rosamonds built a large new factory on Coleman’s Island in Almonte; it manufactured chiefly fine-wool fabrics, for which there was increasing demand but which necessitated the importation of most of the Rosamonds’ wool. In addition, the firm erected a smaller mill to manufacture blankets. Five years later a joint-stock company, the Rosamond Woollen Company, was set up, with a capitalization of $300,000. Although Stephen was a partner, control of the company rested firmly in the hands of Bennett Rosamond, who was president and managing director until his death.

In 1882 Rosamond expanded once again, this time founding the Almonte Knitting Company with the help of a number of Montreal businessmen, including Donald Alexander Smith* and James Alexander Cantlie. The firm, which manufactured undershirts and drawers, was capitalized at $100,000. Initially managing director, Rosamond became vice-president in 1892 and president in 1898. By then the company had increased the number of its outlets and in 1899 it was employing selling agents in Montreal and Toronto. This mill, like the other Rosamond mills, owed its success in part to Rosamond’s practice of bringing over specialists from Britain and continually upgrading his machinery. In 1892 the Toronto Globe could refer to it as “the finest in the Dominion, and it is doubtful whether for completeness and perfection of its mechanical appliances it can be surpassed on the continent.” The prominence of Rosamond’s operations was evident too in his growing role within the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association. First a member of the executive committee, he served as president in 1890.

Within Almonte Rosamond behaved in the traditional manner of local patriarchs. He was active in municipal affairs, as a township councillor and reeve and in the 1880s as mayor of Almonte; in addition, he was chairman of the Board of Education. He donated to the town a hospital, named after himself, supported St Paul’s Church (Anglican), and was involved in a plan to conserve the upper waters of the Mississippi. Toward his factory workers he could be benign, treating them to Christmas parties, sponsoring a choir, and providing them with a “spacious croquet lawn.” In return, he expected and generally received their support for his ventures into politics.

Rosamond ran for the Legislative Assembly in 1864 as a dark-horse Conservative candidate in Lanark North, but lost decisively to William McDougall. In the federal election of 1872, the Perth Courier reported, his “factory hands were present en masse” at the nomination meeting; as a result of a schism among the Conservatives, Rosamond was again defeated. Only weeks later and against the advice of friends, he ran in the provincial by-election in Lanark North, but narrowly lost to William Clyde Caldwell. Caldwell beat him once more in 1883. Rosamond nevertheless remained an active Conservative, and his ties to the federal government of Sir John A. Macdonald* were cemented by the National Policy, which placed no duty on imported wool but protected producers of woollen clothing. In 1891 Rosamond won the federal by-election in Lanark North; he sat in the House of Commons until 1904. He devoted most of his time and energy there to defending the protective tariff and the woollen industry, especially after 1897, when the Liberal government’s revision of the tariff effectively allowed British woollens in at greatly reduced rates.

For nearly 50 years Rosamond provided the strength and leadership in the family’s business enterprises, as well as acted as a voice for the Canadian woollen industry. The fortunes of his companies, peaking in the 1890s and declining in the early 20th century, reflected the fate of that industry. In his personal life he did not fare as well. His early marriage caused him great unhappiness and led to separation within a decade. The son whom he had groomed to take over his business, John M., predeceased him, as did his other children. These events may help explain the harsh, practical image of Bennett Rosamond. He died in England in 1910, en route home from southern France, where he had spent the winter. His estate, valued at more than $296,000, went to his grandson, George Stuart Rosamond, a rancher at Innisfail, Alta. The management of the woollen business was taken over by his nephew, Alexander George Rosamond.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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