Newfoundland Times, March 26, 1884
Mr. J.W. Dunscomb
A short time ago we referred to the retirement of Mr. John W. Dunscomb from the office of Collector of Customs at Quebec, and it now affords us pleasure to print some of the addresses presented upon that interesting occasion. In his earlier years Mr. Dunscomb was well known in this city. His father - Mr. John Dunscomb, in the later part of the last, or beginning of the present century, founded the business which is still carried on by Harvey & Co. under the old "gridiron" flag, an emblem of continuity which has covered the labors of three generations.
We believe an address of friendly farewell was presented by the inhabitants of this city to Mr. John Dunscomb when, about forty years ago, having transferred the management of his business to his son George and Mr. Eugenius Harvey, he took his departure from this colony. Mr. J.W. Dunscomb, then a young man, went to Quebec, and entered the Government service as Commissioner of Customs which appointment he held for ten years, at the expiration of which he was appointed Collector. He occupied the latter responsible position during thirty three years, and the addresses which we print below testify to the high esteem which his ability and integrity commanded from those most intimately associated with him. Mr. Dunscomb has several times accomplished important confidential commissions connected with the fiscal policy of Canada, and his opinion upon tariff questions has always been considered of the highest value in official circles.
To those who have had the privilege of his acquaintance in social life, who have enjoyed his cheerful humor, his genial hospitality, and the kindliness of his disposition, one thought will arise. The duties of an honorable career have been faithfully performed; may the well earned repose be brightened by all those joys with which kind friends and an unblemished reputation may cheer the declining days of a true hearted gentleman.
Presentation to J.W. Dunscomb, Esq.
A large and influential meeting of our leading merchants and citizens was held at the Merchants' Exchange on Saturday afternoon, for the purpose of presenting an address to J.W. Dunscomb, Esq., the late popular Collector of Customs at this port, as an expression of the high esteem he has always been held in by all classes during his long term of office. The address, together with a purse containing one thousand dollars, was presented by Hon. J.G. Ross,as spokesman for the gentlemen present, who, on handing it to Mr. Dunscomb, in a few and well chosen words, expressed on his own behalf as well as for his fellow-merchants, the pleasure they have always experienced in their business relations and intercourse with him in his official capacity. The address was handsomely engrossed on vellum and read as follows:--
To John William Dunscomb, Esq.
Dear Sir - We, the undersigned, merchants and others interested in the trade of Quebec, on the occasion of your withdrawl from the position you have held for so many years as Collector of Customs at this port, beg to express our sincere regret at the severance of your commercial connections with us and our heartfelt wishes for your happiness and prosperity in the future.
For upwards of thirty years, during which you have so honourably and conscientiously fulfilled the duties of your important position, you have by your invariable kindness and courtesy endeared yourself to the whole mercantile community of Quebec, and at the same time by your firm and skillful administration of the department under your charge you have rendered great and good service to your country.
We hope that you will accept this souvenir from us as a mark of our high esteem and that it will often serve to remind you of the pleasant relations that have invariably characterized our mutual intercourse.
Ross & Co., R.R. Dobell & Co., J. Burstall & Co., Jos. Hamel & Freres, Thibandeau Freres & Co., P. Garneau, Fils & Co., Joseph Shehyn, John Ross & Co., Smith, Wade & Co., Beaudet & Chinic, Whitall & Co., Evan John Price, J.B. Forsyth & Co., G.B. Hall & Co., Thomson & Son, Wm. McLimont, Dunn & Co., Bryant Powis & Bryant, William White, J.R. Young, Verret, Stewart & Co., Wm. M. Macpherson, E.J. Hale, W.D. Campbell, James Patton, G.R. Renfrew & Co., W. & R. Brodie, A. Joseph, O. Murphy, James Macnider, W. Herring, D. & J. Maguire, Bennett & Co., H. Stanley Smith, Allans, Rae & Co., J. Louis & Sons, John Laird, Allan Gilmour & Co., Robert Hamilton, Lemeasurier & Sons, Whitehead & Turner, Hy. Dining, J. Porteons, J. Stevenson, H.M. Price, P. MacEwen, P. Lafrance, H.S. Scott & Co., J. Chabot, Ed. Lemesurier, Geo. E. Humphreys, jr., Joseph U. Laird, Henry W. Welch, E.H. Duval, M. Miller, John Roche, C. & W. Wurtele, Thompson, Codville & Co., S.J. Shaw & Co., John Brown & Co., H.W. French & Co., John Dick, Benson Bros. & Co., Henry Fry & Co., William H. Crawford & Co., Leger & Rinfret, J. Greaves Clapham.
Mr. Dunscomb in a very feeling manner made the following reply:-
Mr. Ross and Gentlemen, - It is very difficult for me to express the feelings with which I receive your kind and flattering address; although I cannot say much on this occassion, pray, believe, that I feel deeply your great kindness.
With pleasure I can say that my life among you has been passed very happily, unbroken by any untoward circumstances, and I am glad to avail myself of this opportunity to express the high esteem I entertain for the merchants of Quebec, grown up and strengthened during my long intercourse with them, in the performance of my duty as Collector of this port. My services have been required from time to time at the principal ports in the Dominion, thus affording me a good opportunity of judging and forming an opinion, that there is not a more honorable body of men to be found anywhere than in this old city. Let me assure you all that I value highly your kind approval of the manner in which I have performed my duty.
I thank you very sincerely for the handsome present you make me, and shall always treasure a lively remembrance of the honor you have done me this day.
Accept my cordial good wishes for your happiness and prosperity.
Quebec, 2nd Feb., 1884
To J.W. Dunscomb, Esquire, Collector of H,M. Customs, Quebec.
We, the undersigned officials and employees, desire to unite in wishing you a cordial farewell in parting from us, and beg to express our sense of the uniform courtesy and kindness we have invariably experienced at your hands in our official relations with you as our chief.
With few exceptions, our career in the Civil Service has been entirely under your regime, and we remember with gratitude the readiness with which your great experience in the public service and your knowledge of the laws of the Customs have always been at our disposal in the performance of our duties.
It is unnecessary for us to refer to the manner in which you filled for so many years the responsible position of Collector of Customs at this port, and peformed with such marked ability the arduous, intricate, and at times, difficult duties of your office, as it has been long well known and appreciated by the public.
We hope that you may long be spared in the enjoyment of good health, and find in retirement from official life that ease and leisure to which your long services entitles you to.
D.D. O'Meara, A.E. Langevin, N. Neilson Ross, Vincent Cazeau, Alfred Wheeler, and 44 others.
Custom House, Quebec, Oct. 31, 1883.
Gentlemen,- I thank you heartily for the address which you have kindly presented to me.
With pleasure I look back to the many years we have been associated together during my long Collectorship, and shall always remember your zeal and honesty, in conscientiously assisting me in the performance of our common duty.
I sincerely reciprocate your good wishes, and trust that the Customs Department may continue for many years to have the advantage of your experience and valuable services,
Your obliged and humble servant.
To D.D. O'Meara, N. Neilson Ross, A.E. Langevin, Vincent Cazeau, A. Wheeler, Esquires, and 44 others, signers of the address.
The following was communicated to Mr. Dunscomb in a most complimentary letter from A.H. Verret, Esq., Secretary-Treasurer of the Quebec Harbour Commission:
At a meeting of the Quebec Harbour Commissioners held on the 31st day of the month of October, in the year one thousand eight hundred and eighty-three, the following resolution was adopted:-
Resolved,- That the members of the Board, in acknowledging with gratitude the thanks tendered to them and their officers, by Mr. J.W. Dunscomb, in his letter of the 24th inst., on the occasion of his retirement from the Collectorship of Her Majesty's Customs, take this opportunity of expressing their most heartfelt gratitude for the valuable services he has rendered, to the Commissioners in connection with the collection of the harbor dues, and more especially for his useful assistance in interpreting and putting into operation the statutes affecting the management of the harbor; and that the members of this Board also take this opportunity of expressing their best wishes for his future, and that it may be as bright and happy as such long and valuable service in the public interest so richly merits.
Below will be found a copy of a resolution by the Quebec Board of Trade on the retirement of Mr. Dunscomb from the office of Collector at this port, and also his reply thereto:
Resolved,- "That the Secretary be requested to convey to Mr. Dunsocmb the regret of the Quebec Board of Trade at his retiring from the office of Collector of this port. Its appreciation of the very able manner in which he has filled the duties of the position, combining strict attention to its duties with the courteousness to all having business to transact at the Custom House."
Ste. Foye Road, Quebec, 29th Nov., 1883
Sir,- I have much pleasure in replying to your letter of yesterday, transmitting a resolution passed unanimously by the Quebec Board of Trade, at a special meeting held on the 20th inst.
It is with deep regret that I find my connection with the merchants of Quebec, which has been marked at all times by undisturbed harmony and pleasant relations for over thirty years, now severed.
I feel gratified that the manner in which I have performed the duties of Collector of Customs has met with the distinguished approval of the representative body of the large seaport of the Dominion of Canada, and I request you will do me the favor to make my acknowledgements to the President and members of the Board of Trade for their handsome appreciation of my services.
I have the honor to be,
Your obedient servant,
(Signed) J.W. Dunscomb
F.H. Andrews, Esq., Secretary Quebec Board of Trade