March 13, 1917
This evening I attended the Annual Meeting of the Ontario Society of Artists. I was invited to be a member so it’s my duty to attend. I arrived at 6:00pm and helped set up the chairs and lectern. About 40 people were in attendance. I took a seat in the back, and Florence, arriving late, sat beside me.
In the front row sat George Reid and his wife Mrs. (Mary) Reid. George is the principal of the School of Art, a man of public stature. I keep my distance from him. Also seated in the front from was Charles Jefferys, Robert Gagen and Jim MacDonald. Fred Varley was in the second row sitting beside Mary Wrinch.
The proceedings were a dry series of formalities, interrupted by occasional coughing and wheezing. I could barely hear Jefferys read his report (he mumbles). But I did hear that the Ontario Government was not making any purchases this year, but the National Gallery in Ottawa continued buying. Jefferys lamented that the Canadian National Exhibition Selection Committee is stuck on French and Belgian works to the exclusion of anything North American.
My main reason for going was to vote for the new members: Florence, Frank Carmichael and ‘Franz’ Johnston (don’t call him Frank). Frank and ‘Franz’ both got a unanimous vote. For Florence (she was sitting beside me, gripping my hand during the vote), the support was not nearly as strong. About ten members abstained and I couldn’t see up to the front who voted against. Regardless of the objectors, Florence is now a member.
After the meeting, I offered to walk Florence back to where she is staying with her friends. But she wanted to stay with me. We got back to the Shack around 11pm and the electricity was out once again. We had to make do with the kerosene light. It’s past midnight now. Florence is sleeping in my bunk. Once I finish this entry, I’ll be back on the floor.