Armistice Day in Wolfville
Celebrating Peace and Victory
It was early on a Monday morning on the 11th day of November in 1918 when the telegrams started to arrive. They gave official notice that the Germans had signed the Armistice, surrendering unconditional to the Allies and bringing an end to the Great War.
At 5:30 a.m., the student body at Acadia University was awakened by the college bell announcing the signing of Armistice and the end of the war. Classes were suspended for the day, and by 6:00 a.m., nearly every student had congregated in the college chapel. There, President Dr. George B. Cutten led one of the most impressive, although short, thanksgiving services at Acadia. At 9:00 a.m., the students met in Assembly Hall, where they joined in patriotic song and after were addressed by several professors, each one speaking on behalf of one of the Allied Nations.
Meanwhile in the Town of Wolfville, the college bell prompted residents to pour on to Main Street, some in various stages of undress. Their singing and dancing with bells, whistles, and horns notified any citizens still sleeping that the anticipated news had arrived: the war was over. Once relative calm had been restored, the day was proclaimed a holiday and all places of business closed so that every person could celebrate and give thanks. At noon, the students and the townspeople met in the churches where services were held to mark the momentous occasion.
At 2:30 in the afternoon, a parade was held on Main Street, which included almost every citizen in town as well as the whole student body of Acadia University. It was said that the line of jubilant people, young and old, stretched over a mile. As the town's citizens and students made their way down the street with flags, horns, bells, and whistles, many had tears in their eyes and clutched handkerchiefs. After four years, three months and fourteen days of war, this was a glorious day for everyone. Celebrations continued into the evening with a large bonfire on campus followed by fireworks and sky rockets, all prepared by students.
The day of celebration was considered a success in every way and was executed without damage to property or person. Some eleven days later, however, the Acadian reported that Mr. David Thompson was still looking for his flag, which was removed from his veranda on the evening of the Armistice. He asked “that it be returned at once and further trouble will be avoided.” Hopefully it was!