Callander and Canadian Quintuplets, 1936-1938

On August 4th 1938, Provost Liles of Callander Burgh handed over five silver brooches to Mr William Baird, Passenger Traffic Manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway outside the Dreadnought Hotel. He was take them back to Canada and present them to the Dionne Quintuplets of Callander, Ontario.

The Dionne Quintuplets, the first known quintuplets to have survived infancy, were born 10th May 1934 just outside of Callander, Ontario. The quintuplets became international news as the remarkable story came to light.

Back home in Scotland, the Burgh wanted to recognise the event given the close connection with the town in Canada. It is said that Callander in Ontario was named after Duncan McIntyre, a native of the town in Scotland. He was the first Vice-President of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and founder of the Bell Telephone Company in Canada.

Within the Callander Burgh collection are papers and correspondence between the Canadian and Scottish local authorities concerning the donation of the silver brooches.

The brooches were designed by D & J Stewart, local jewellers who operated in Callander and Stirling.  It was subscribed by the public of Callander and featured a reproduction of the Burgh seal showing the outline of Ben Ledi.

The original intention of Callander Burgh was travel over to Ontario to make a formal presentation. Unfortunately this was not possible leading to the organisation of the event at the Dreadnought Hotel. The programme for this event reveals that ‘an intimate motor run to Aberfoyle over the new road to Loch Katrine and Trossachs’ would conclude the day.