A History of the Rice Lake Indians by Mary Jane Muskratte Simpson

Baptism

The same newspaper, the Peterborough Examiner, of November 18th, 1907 describes the christening of the infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Simpson; Fred was a noted Indian runner:

"In the presence of a large number of interested spectators the two-months old son of Fred Simpson was baptized, and given the name of Frederick Herald Simpson in view of his father's splendid achievement on Thanksgiving Day when he took second place in the Herald road race. Had he won the race, Fred says, the baby would have been called Hamilton Herald Simpson.

The ceremony took place at the home of Mr. Muskratte, father-in-law of the noted runner; and the pastor of the church, the Rev. Geo. Dunkley, Methodist Minister, officiated.

Among those present at the christening were a party of young men from Peterborough who have been instrumental in having Simpson come to the front as a runner. They presented, with a few appropriate remarks, a handsome baby carriage to the youngest son of the great runner. "Dick" Baker made the presentation.

Photo

Fred Simpson

The Baptism was an impressive event and nearly all the Indians on the reserve were in attendance".

A newspaper account is further given:

"On Wednesday evening, August 12th, a large and enthusiastic audience assembled in Hiawatha Hall to do honour to Mr. Fred Simpson, the famous Indian runner who represented Peterborough at the recent Olympic Games in London, England. The evenings entertainment partook of the nature of a banquet to Mr. and Mrs. Simpson; followed by a programme of music, speeches, and a presentation to Mr. Simpson of a beautiful marble clock as a slight token of appreciation on the part of Mr. Simpson's friends in Hiawatha and vicinity.

The Chair was occupied by the Rev. Geo. Dunkley, Missionary of Hiawatha Reserve.

Photo

Susan Simpson

The programme consisted of music by the Indian choir, and speeches by Chief Alfred Crowe, Mr. Daniel Cowie, and others. Miss Dunkley, of Picton, also rendered a well-chosen recitation. The principal item came early in the evenings programme, when Mr. Robert Cowie in an excellent speech introduced the guest of the evening with a few remarks. Mr. A. W. Dunkley, classical master at Hamilton Collegiate, then came forward and after pointing out the significance of Mr. Simpson's performance in England, read the following address:

'Dear Mr. Simpson; We, a few of your friends assembled here desire to express our appreciation of the honour you have brought to us during the short time you have devoted your attention to athletics. We have followed your athletic career with much interest, and we are proud of the success which has thus far attended your efforts.

In the recent Olympic Games in London, England, you showed your superiority over many of the famous long distance runners of both the new and the old world. We are also very proud to say that your conduct in public and private life has always been a credit to yourself and your friends and an example to those with whom you have mingled. We ask you to accept the accompanying clock as a memento of the high esteem in which you are held by your friends of Hiawatha and vicinity.' Committee: Chief Alfred Crowe, Daniel Cowie, Robert Cowie, A. W. Dunkley.

Mr. Simpson on rising to reply was greeted by the audience with "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow". In a few words he expressed his thanks on behalf of himself and wife. Mr. Baker of Peterborough who was present, eulogized Mr. Simpson, both as a man and an athlete, testifying to the high regard in which Mr. Simpson was held by the members of the Olympic Team while representing Canada. The evening's entertainment was brought to a close by the singing of the national anthem."

Newspaper Clipping; "1909, April 10th: Fred Simpson, Indian runner, defeats Fred Appleby of England in a twenty mile race in Toronto".

WebPage courtesy of Totem Consulting www.totemconsulting.ca