An Insider’s Story of the Rise and Fall of Canadian Airlines

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Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-0-9868793-3-3

Sid Fattedad a former Canadian Airlines VP, intertwines his and the story of the Rise & Fall of Canadian Airlines.


The demise of Canada’s other National air carrier, Canadian Airlines International in 1999 was heart-wrenching to employees, unions, management and to the citizens of Canada.

Confusion and stories abound as to what actually happened. This book sets the record straight as the man behind the employee rescue plan to save the airline decides to tell his story. Sid Fattedad emigrated to Vancouver from Hong Kong in 1968 to play the drums in a rock and roll band, the Five-Man Cargo. Having worked as an articling student in Hong Kong, the lustre of the music industry soon wore off and he found himself working as a junior accounting clerk for Canadian Pacific Airlines.

It wasn’t long before Canadian Pacific became CP Air, the planes were painted orange and Sid became senior clerk of corporate accounting.

The rising cost of oil in the 1970s, labour unrest and the acquisition of new planes made running an airline hard on the bottom line and the accounting department was always in the forefront. It was work all week, socialize at the pubs on the weekend with a tightly knit group called the ‘boat crew,’ who would often travel to England commandeering riverboats on the canals of the Norfolk Broads, visiting pubs along the way. Sid became known as Kato.

After receiving his CGA Sid was promoted to Travelling Auditor where he learned first hand CP Air’s overseas operations. The ‘night of the long knives, the Kremlin and ‘The General,’ all play into the story as the 1980s saw a sea of change at CP Air… Colussy fails to purchase Wardair and Sid is named to the board of TransPacific Tours Limited a little known but highly profitable subsidiary company. Don Carty purchases Nordair and Sid becomes Comptroller of CP Air.

A backwards take-over. Carty attempts to purchase PWA but is thwarted by the FASB and PWA purchases CP Air. Sid is appointed Vice- President of the Pacific Division, the most profitable division in the company. In 1988, PWA buys out Wardair. The new company made up of PWA, CP Air, Wardair and Nordair is called CAIL.

Sid loved working in the field and got to know all the key players in the Pacific Division Tony Buckley, Tokyo, Harry Hargadon, Hong Kong, Keith Pope, Australia, Roy Fullerton, Hawaii, David Solloway, Thailand, Willy Thorogood, Shanghai, Warwick Beadle, New Zealand, Mike Waters, Fiji and Larry Nelson. Sid institutes the Quality program which leads to another promotion to Calgary as Senior Vice President in charge of customer service worldwide.

In 1991 he returned to Vancouver as Vice President Western region and retired in 1992. Loved by all for his devotion to the company, he was given a huge send-off.

A PWA merger with American Airlines, that same year, falls through and PWA stock drops, leaving the real possibility that a merger with Air Canada might be in the works thus creating a domestic monopoly. Not good for management, unions, the consumer or the airline’s employees.

Sid maps out a plan to save the airlines and forms the Council of Canadian Airline Employees. The employees decide to try and purchase the airline themselves. They get all but one of the unions on board and present their offer.

What takes place from here on in you will have to read about it in Sid’s book but it is filled with treachery, deceit and government interference.

Sid went on to a second career as Chief Financial Officer for the Workers Compensation Board of British Columbia for 14 years from 1993 to 2007.

In 2012, Sid was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

My Greek Barber’s Diary

The George Chronopoulos Story!

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Release Date: Available
Pages: 371
ISBN: 978-0-9868793-4-0


The heartwarming true story of how one man influenced so many over the course of his lifetime.

Born in the small village of Militsa, Greece in 1935, George Chronopoulos lived through the Nazi occupation of Greece in World War II and the Greek Civil War of 1944-1949. In the early days, his village had no electricity yet his family lived like kings on their farm.

His father decided that he would become a barber in Pilos, where he had moved as a young boy to be by the sea for health reasons. It wasn’t long before he moved to Kalamata and then to Athens where he eventually joined the army. Because he was a barber he was in great demand in the army and got to know Generals and others in high command. After the army everyone was leaving Greece, so his father said, “If you want to go, I do not mind,” and he too immigrated, to Montreal.

In Montreal, he married a girl from back home, Savoula. He learned how to do the latest in styles and razor cuts from the guys in Montreal, Perry Como Style, Hollywood Style and in 1960 they moved to Vancouver.

His first job in Vancouver was at the Hotel Vancouver Barber Shop for three days. Next, he moved to a small shop at 41st & Oak. “I’ve got the best barber in town,” bragged the owner. It wasn’t long before Gus Lloyd spotted him and hired him for his Waverly Barber Shop on Georgia Street. Jack Wasserman wrote about him, “There is a new guy in town who does styles for men. Men’s hairdos.” Lots of business types came into the Waverly and the lifestyle was contagious. Seeing himself as an entrepreneur, he went into partnership with Gus; they bought a building on Richards Street and opened the Bouzouki Greek Coffee Shop.

He opened his own hair salon, the Riviera on Seymour, in 1964. It wasn’t long before he was established in Vancouver. “There was no one doing what I was doing!” He had the establishment coming to him, the Jewish Community Syd Belzberg, Leon Kahn, Irving Kates, Sid Golden, Max Fugman, Roy Cantor, Joe Segal, members of the Richmond Golf & Country Club; every CEO in town including Jimmy Pattsion and Peter Brown all came to him through word of mouth.

In the seventies, he opened a second location on the lower level of the Hyatt Hotel called The Royal Riviera. He continued buying other businesses, mainly restaurants at first and later condos. He started his own painting and renovation companies. His real estate and business dealings took him first to the US and then to Britain, Switzerland, Bucharest and India.

He and Savoula raised three daughters over the years and he was instrumental in raising money for the Greek community and through his connections, for many other charities in Vancouver and across Canada. Church and family were always foremost in his life!

Mr. D – The Life & Times of a Legend

The Arthur Delamont Story!

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Pages: 362
ISBN13: 978-0-9812574-6-4


The story of the youth band movement in Canada. The youth band movement in Canada, began in Vancouver in 1933 when Arthur Delamont’s Kitsilano Boy’s Band won the Junior Band Championship of the World at the Chicago World’s Fair.  Besides all the main players, it brings into the picture a host of other characters and musical figures that were around during the day, such as the unsung heroes: the parent organizations which played a crucial role in getting Delamont’s bands off on their amazing two to five month trips, Garfield White who was instrumental in securing the assistance of the CPR both in Canada and abroad for his trips, Lillie Delamont, Arthur’s wife, who accompanied him on all the 1930s and 1950s tours. Both Lillie and Garfield were responsible for leaving a thorough accounting of the boys’ adventures both at home and on tour over the decades. It also tells the story of the group of music educators who in the early 1960s, struggled to get instrumental music into the school curriculum in B.C. It is also my last book to date, on Arthur Delamont and his Vancouver Boys’ Band. 

Competition was keen in building musicianship. The music festivals which were around from the 1930s to the present are mentioned whenever possible. The band was always entering contests at home and abroad and they always took first place due to its members high level of musicianship. British adjudicators showered praise on Delamont’s boys often comparing them to the crack Grenadier Guard’s Band.

I tried to make sure every boy had a voice. Of the over 100 interviews I conducted with old boys, I tried to include at least one anecdote passed down to me by each boy. With some boys, I included several, such as Dal Richards who was a wealth of information as was Kenny Douglas, Gordon Laird and Michael Hadley to mention a few. All were interesting and deserve remembering.

What was it really all about? This book also explores the meta-narrative. Was it just a man with a band who took a bunch of kids on a few trips to England? It was anything but as you will discover as you read page after page of how Arthur took a bunch of ragtag neighbourhood kids and built them into the finest junior band in the land, in five years. Their march through the provincial, national and world band titles is the stuff of legends. And as one adjudicator said in Chicago in 1933 when they beat the Chicago Boys’ Band by 24 1/2 points to win the world band title, “Their win was anything but marginal.”  Arthur knew what he was doing. When one of his boys asked him what was next after their win in Chicago, he said,” Why England of course!”

Comparisons were many. Arthur’s band was often compared to the John Philip Sousa Band and would stand in for them on concert programs while on tour in England. I have explored this comparison in depth and compiled it here for all to see. One interesting comparison is Sousa’s band library and Delamont’s library were the two largest privately held music libraries of their kind in the day.

We have to mention the photos. The band’s best now iconic photos are all included as well as lots of photos never before seen from the private collections of several of the boys, given to me by their relatives who I managed to track down over the years. This book is a photo archive in itself.

What the Greater Vancouver Book is to Vancouver, this book is to the Kits Band. It is chock full of details, facts, names, places; everything about the band that you could ever possibly want to know. It also explores the historic connections the band enjoyed with the RCMP Band, The Ted Heath Orchestra, The Boss Brass and Gordon Delamont. It is the only complete book on the band to date. Each of my other five books only cover a part of the band’s story. It also comes with a CD of the band performing nineteen well-known pieces (its signature repertoire), from 1934 to 1978. It was published in May 2014 and copies are currently available.


“You deserve the Order of Canada for preserving this unique musical history.” – Bill Millerd, Director, Arts Club Theatre


July 21, 1934. The boys arrive in Bugle, Cornwall for the 17th Annual Bandsmen’s Festival for the West of England held under Royal patronage.

“When Frank Wright, the noted adjudicator, stepped from the train the setting, glowing under the rays of a glorious sun, was in itself complete compensation for the tedium of his all night journey from Lancashire. It was Bugle’s Gala Day, for the West of England band championships were to be decided during the afternoon. One could feel the enthusiasm and vitality in the atmosphere. Bandsmen in their gaily colored uniforms were everywhere, and one could gather from the snatches of conversation that the one topic was: “WHO WOULD WIN?” (The Cornwall Guardian, July 26, 1934)
A local newspaper reporter wrote the following article: The day dawned ominously for the Festival. When all awoke to see rain greyly falling from skies uniformly grey, the hearts of those doomed to go to the Festival were heavy indeed. It seemed, in prospect, as if the revival were to be doomed by the weather. But there was magic in the air. Before mid-morning the grey clouds began to lift. Magnificent, lofty cumulus clouds sailed across the blue and for the whole Festival the sun burned down and scorched all as they sat or stood listening to the playing of the bands. They were not doomed after all; fears were fortunately liars and their initial hopes were anything but dupes. For even listening was made hot work! What then must the heat have been like for the competing bandsmen? One of the St. Dennis bandsmen said when he was having a late tea, just before seven, that he had never known playing to be hotter work. How refreshing the trees looked, parched though they were, by contrast with the arid white china clay cones (huge mounds of clay used for English pottery seen nearby).
Arthur’s boys however, did not seem to mind the heat. They went about in two’s and three’s, eating innumerable ices and resting in whatever shade they could find, before and after their playing. After all they were world champions in their class, gaining their world championship at the mammoth brass band contest in Chicago. That they had come to Bugle to compete in the only British contest they had ever entered was due to the perspicacity of Mr. F.J.P. Richards, the zealous honorary secretary of the Festival, the presiding genius of the occasion as one might well describe him, who, when he heard earlier in the year that the Boys were coming to England, snapped them up for his Festival. It was the first time that any overseas band had competed at the West of England Festival and naturally Bugle and the four thousand people who heard them gave the Kitsilano Boys a rousing Cornish welcome.
The boys, whose ages ranged from eleven to nineteen, added greatly to the picturesqueness of the scenes. The sight of some of them under the trees near the marquee made one half fancy that one was at some Continental fete galante. Their tightish fitting black trousers with a broad red stripe, white silk shirts and flowing capes with bright red sides and black backs and black and red Glengarry caps worn at an angle were quite dashing.

June, 1939 Winnipeg, A Boy With A Horn
The following article appeared in The South-East Corner (a Winnipeg newspaper) It was written by Harris Turner in June, 1939 the day after the boys played in Winnipeg.

I met a lad who plays a horn in a band. Anybody who ever played any kind of horn in any band always aroused my envy, but this young fellow played a slide-trombone, which is the most enviable of all musical weapons, and he played it in the Kitsilano Boys’ Band, which, according to the Century of Progress Exhibition, is the best boys’ band in the world. This boy had a uniform that would make a peacock look like a dirty, grey sock. Why was I deprived of the privilege of learning to play the slide-trombone? Why didn’t somebody handcuff me to a slide trombone and refuse me food and sleep until I learned to play it? Why don’t they make slide trombone playing a compulsory subject in public schools? Why don’t they give slide-trombones away with subscriptions to the Western Producer instead of handing out carving knives and aprons?
You may not know that the Kitsilano Boys’ Band comes from Vancouver. It comes from Vancouver every year or two to startle the Boys’ Band universe with its magnificent uniform and its still more magnificent musical accomplishments. It played in Kamloops, in Calgary, in Regina, in Winnipeg, in Kenora, in Fort William and in Sudbury. It is playing in Toronto today and in a day or two it is going to play at the World’s Fair in New York, and then it is going to play in Montreal, and from Montreal, on June 30, it is sailing on the Duchess of Bedford for England, and on the other side of the Atlantic it is going to play in London and all the places in Europe that are aware that metal can be used in the manufacture of slide-trombones and cornets as well as in the production of guns and grenades.

September 3, 1939. SS Athenia Sunk by a German
U-boat Britain and France declared war on Germany.

The Athenia which left Liverpool at the same time as the Empress departed Southampton was sunk by a German U-boat just out of Liverpool (see photo page 98). When news of the Athenia reached the boys, they were greatly saddened because the contingent of American art students whom they had befriended on the journey over had been on board. When news of the Athenia reached Vancouver the boys’ parents thought the boys had been lost, as it had been widely reported that they had been booked the Athenia for their journey home. The Empress remained in the Cherbourg harbor overnight and under cover of darkness at least a hundred (a guess) Polish peasants swarmed on board and concealed themselves in the forward hold. There were people of all ages, some families–none with luggage, other than what they could carry on their backs. Of course they had no tickets and for a while it looked as if they were to be forcibly put ashore. Also, there was talk of delaying the sailing so that the ship, which was painted a brilliant white, could be camouflaged. However, it was likely that the news of the sinking of the ‘Athenia’ off the north coast of Ireland influenced the Captain’s decision to “make a run for it.” The peasants were allowed to remain on board. (Carson Manzer, chartered accountant)

The Empress zigzags back across the Atlantic to avoid U-boats!

To avoid any chance of encountering the submarine which had torpedoed the ‘Athenia,’ the Captain set off to the southwest, down the Bay of Biscay and off the coast of Spain, wisely reasoning that the submarine likely planned to proceed south, down the west coast of Ireland, to intercept the boys’ ship had it taken the usual direct route to Canada, in about the same area that the ‘Lusitania,’ had been torpedoed in 1915 with the loss of eleven hundred lives. Once safely at sea, zigzagging constantly, but at the full speed of 26 knots, (as compared with a U boat’s estimated top speed of 10 knots), daily morning boat drills commenced. (Carson Manzer 1939, chartered accountant)

PHOTO CREDIT: (TOP) The band in the 1930s and 1950s, always had their photo taken in front of Victoria Monument in London when on a tour of Great Britain. It was a mirror image of the photo of the band that the boys sold on a postcard to concert goers. The photo on the postcard was of the band in front of Vancouver City Hall when it was located in downtown Vancouver. It is now the Vancouver Art Gallery. It was also Arthur’s way of showing his respect to the land of his birth.


Denton Park

Denton Park

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Pages: 278
ISBN: 978-0-9868793-1-9


Meet some of the ’50s boys from the Vancouver Boys’ Band. Listen to them talk about their days in the band and Arthur Delamont’s influence on their lives and on generations of Vancouver’s youth. The lessons they learned while in the band were far more than musical. They had to do with management skills, deportment, discipline, team work, standing on your own two feet, representing others, performance skills, programming and showmanship. They learned what it meant to live a competitive lifestyle and to strive to be in the top one percent. “Do the best you can each day and don’t settle for second best,” he would say! “Nobody remembers the also ran! You either win or you lose!”

Some of the interviews are done posthumously, as one boy reflects
on some of the others who have passed away. The interviews offer
some insight into what it was like to have been a member of “The
Worlds Most Famous Boys Band,” a true Canadian success story. The stories they tell run the range of emotions from the humorous, to
the serious, to scary, to loving, to surprising but always from the heart.
The boys went on to become doctors, lawyers, accountants, civil
servants, engineers, teachers, scientists, composers and writers and
are today, twenty-five years after his death, the Legacy of Arthur

The Kitsilano Showboat

The story of Bea Leinbach and her Kitsilano Showboat.

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Published by: Warfleet Press
Release Date: 2nd Ed/ Fall 2020
Pages: 189
ISBN: 978-0-9868793-6-4


The Kitsilano Showboat just keeps rolling along! Now in its 75th year, this book, compiled for the 75th anniversary of the Showboat, looks at:
* The  origins of the Showboat  in 1935
* The lady who single handedly was  responsible for the success
of the Kitsilano Showboat over the years, Bea Leinbach or Captain
Bea as she is known to all
* The many performers who over the years went on to star status
and to become celebrities
* Supporters of the Showboat over the years, the executive and
volunteers who without their help Showboat would never have
been possible
* The 100s of dance and musical theatre groups who provided the
acts over the years
* The 1000s of entertainers who became better citizens and lived
happier more fulfilled lives because they each had their moment of
stardom on the stage of the Kitsilano Showboat.
Everyone remembers seeing Showboat at sometime in their youth
if they lived in Vancouver. Families would stroll down to Kits beach
and lay a blanket on the lawn or sit on the bleachers. It was all free
and still is, no one gets paid, the performers, the staff, the
executive, only the audience. The audience gets paid in spades
with a beautiful evening under the stars watching the acts unfold
on stage and the activities around them, in the water, the pool and
on the beach. The moto of the Showboat has been since it began,

“amateur entertainment for three months during the summertime
in the most beautiful setting in the world.”
A place where kids can come and perform in front of a real live
audience  on a real stage. No matter what stage in their lives they
eventually wind up on, they all remember fondly  the first stage they
were ever on, the Kitsilano Showboat with Captain Bea.

Since the 1940s, Bea Leinbach has been the organizing guru
behind many civic and municipal organizations in Vancouver and
Kitsilano. When ever entertainers were needed people called on
Captain Bea. In the early days when Bert Emery thought up the
idea for a Mississippi Showboat moored on the beach at Kitsilano,
he also developed a Kiddies parade which was held at the
beginning of each summer. Then there was the venerable Miss
Kitsilano Contest which was held for decades. Bea Leinback
started another institution akin to the Showboat called the Kitsilano
Community Concert Party.  Made up of around 12 to 15
entertainers from each past Showboat season, they performed at
institutions around town, seniors homes, hospitals, during the rest
of the year for people who were unable to get out to see the
Showboat…..  all these activities including the Showboat were
designed to increase civic spirit and bring the communites closer
together and they sure did!

Over the course of the years Captain Bea received many awards,
from the Kitsilano Best Citizenship Award, to a National Citizenship
Award, to  a much coveted YWCA Women of Distinction Award all
the way up to the Order of Canada.

We hope you enjoy the story of Bea Leinback’s Outdoor School of
the Performing Arts, ‘ The Kitsilano Showboat.’

The Red Cape Boys


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Published by: Warfleet Press
Release Date: Copies available
Pages: 410
ISBN13: 978-0-9812574-9-5

Some well known alumni from the Kitsilano Boys Band:

Gordon McCullough, Clif Bryson, Roy Johnston, Gordon Delamont, Dal Richards, Jim McCulloch, Don Radelet, Jimmy Pattison, Ray Smith, Ron Collier, Kenny Douglas, Brian Bolam, Donny Clarke, Bing Thom, Arnie Chycoski. Bob Calder, Bill Millerd, Bill Ingeldew, Bob Buckley, Richard Van Slyke, Bill Inman, Malcolm Brodie, Marek Norman, Dave Calder, Tom Walker…


What makes some people successful and others not? There are
lots of theories going around but one thing that successful
people seem to all have in common is that they were usually
inspired at an early age to excel. Call it a role model if you like,
but it is more than that. We can all think of someone who was a
role model in our lives.I believe it has to do with experiencing
success ourselves at an early age which makes us always want
to aspire to that level and beyond throughout our lives.
Such was the case with the fellows you will read about in, The
Red Cape Boys. They all belonged to the Worlds Most Famous
Boys Band at some point during the fifty-year history of the band.
The band was the most successful band of its kind in history,
winning over 200 championship awards. When they were in the
band, they were all between the ages of 8 and 18. When they left
the band they all went on to individual careers in many fields,
accounting, teaching, music, the military, government and so on.
Five of them received the Order Of Canada. What makes their
stories even more remarkable is that they were all inspired by
the same man, the conductor of the band.

Read about the life journeys of twenty-seven prominent and
successful Canadians, who went on to have wonderful lives and
very successful careers but never forgot the man who inspired
them all!

Read about  their first encounters with the legendary conductor
and founder of the band, Arthur Delamont,  the trips they went on,
other fellows in the band that they knew, their lives after the band,
and how the whole experience influenced their lives, some 30,
40 or 50 years after they were known as, the red cape boys……

Woodwinds, Brass & Glory

Photo album of the Kitsilano Boys Band.

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Published by: Warfleet Press
Release Date: Copies available
Pages: 329
ISBN13: 978-0-9812574-5-7


   When Arthur Delamont died in 1982 at the age of 90, it was thought the story of his band was soon to be lost to all, as no one had ever recorded all the successes and triumphs the band had achieved during its fifty-year history. Amongst  the difficulties in piecing together the story after his passing, many of the original boys in the band had passed on as well, their stories lost to history.

     Christopher Best investigates the story through those still living and through scrapbooks and archival photos accumulated from Montreal to Vancouver. As the story unfolds, it looks like a documented history
of the band is possible after all but then the question is whether
or not the quality of the archival material that survived is good
enough to include in a book! Christopher Best manages to piece
together the amazing story of the worlds most successful boys
band and through the aid of modern technology, edit the over 450
photos he accumulated into the only pictorial record of the band in
existence today!


This is the only one of my books on Delamont and his band, that includes trip itineraries for all his fourteen trips to the old country.


PHOTO CREDIT: (TOP) 1936 Vancouver Girls Band, The Vancouver Girls Band only lasted a few short years. Delamont started it around 1930, when the sisters and friends of his Kitsie Boys wanted to play in a band.  He did enter them in local music festivals and adjudicators remarks indicate they were almost playing at the same level as his boys band. The story goes that Delamont’s temperament was too much for the girls and they often went home crying.

By Jove What A Band

Novelette (short) version of the history of the Kitsilano Boys Band!

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Pages: 260
ISBN13: 978-0-9812574-4-0


    The story of Arthur Delamont touches many people. It is about the famous and the not so famous. The young and the old. It is about four generations of boys who became men. It is about four generations of men who never forgot how to be boys….. It is the story about the band which never grew old. A band that won over 200 trophies and awards during an unprecedented 50-year history. A band that made 15 European tours and attended 5 world fairs. A band that dined with royalty but never lost the common touch.
          As one Vancouver columnist wrote: “Woodwinds, Brass and Glory,” a Vancouver institution, more famous in Europe than in Canada. When Arthur Delamont died in 1982 at the age of 90, the band died with him. He had not groomed a successor. He had not wanted his band to go on without 


“By Jove what a book.” – Marek Norman, composer in residence Stratford

“I take my hat off to you for doing the legwork and preserving this important history while most of us were busy with more left brain pursuits of our own.” – Bill Inman, resort developer

“The book is written clearly and is easy to read and filled in many of the gaps in Arthur’s story, of which I was unaware.” – Keith Christie, Canadian ambassador



Chapter 1 – Moose Jaw 1914

When father was a bouncer for General Booth

Moose Jaw in 1914 was not your bustling metropolis, just a small town of fifteen hundred with its fair share of roads, houses, picket fences and boys and girls playing in the streets. It was about what one would expect to find on the Canadian prairies before the 1920s. There was something though that did distinguish Moose Jaw from other towns on the prairies. Something which was the object of much pride throughout the town: the Salvation Army Band. Salvation Army bands in Canada had only been in existence for ten years but were quickly growing in popularity and quality, bolstered by the immigration of high-caliber bandsmen from England. That is how the Delamont family came to be in Moose Jaw.
John Delamont, a seasoned baritone player, having emigrated to Canada six years earlier, brought with him his entire family, which included his wife, four daughters and five sons. It could well have been called the ‘Delamont Family Band,’ as all five boys played brass instruments, a formidable addition to any band and especially for a Salvation Army band whose members usually only counted fifteen to twenty strong. The boys’ names were Walter, Frank, Herbert, Leonard, and Arthur.
John Delamont was a big burly man who never learned to read or write, but he was a very intuitive and intelligent man. He was a leather tanner by trade, having learned his occupation in Hereford, England before answering an ad in the Salvation Army paper, War Cry, for bandsmen to come to Canada. There was much commotion and excitement in the Delamont household on the evening of April 12, 1914, as a very significant letter had just arrived in the morning mail. John Delamont would not disclose the contents of the message to his five sons who had been waiting all afternoon patiently for him to come home until after he had finished his evening paper.
Every three years, Salvation Army headquarters in Toronto sent out a call for bandsmen who were interested in joining the Territorial Staff Band to participate in a world congress of Salvationists in London, England. The third world congress was coming up in June, and all the boys had been too young to participate in the first two, but this year it was different. All of them had sent in their application months ago, and now, all that was left was for their father to get around to opening the letter so they could see if any of them were lucky enough to have been chosen. It was highly unlikely they would all get to go, and the boys knew it, so there had been much competition among them to practice and keep on the right side of their mother and father.
Finally, their father got around to opening the letter, but he went about it very slowly, building the suspense, something that prompted one of the boys to say,

“If you played that slow you wouldn’t get to go to England.” Father grunted and shoved the letter to his wife.

“Only two of you get to come along, I’m afraid,” his wife replied, “Leonard, you’re one, and Arthur, you’re the other.”

“Did I ever tell you about the time I was a bouncer for General Booth,” father added, and soon their disappointment had passed away, and they were all rallying together behind Leonard and Arthur, glad that at least two of them were going and determined not to lose out on the joy and happiness which they felt for their brothers.
For Leonard was the eldest, and conductor of the Moose Jaw Salvation Army Band and Arthur was second eldest, so they guessed it was only appropriate; anyway, their time would come, and there would be other world congresses for them to participate in another time. Along with the letter came an itinerary and a list of items which they were to bring. Besides Leonard and Arthur, there would be their father, mother and sister Elizabeth who, while not in the band, was a Captain in the Salvation Army. They had to be in Toronto on the evening of May 26, where they would be performing their first concert of the trip, but there was much preparation before then.
They were only going for two weeks, but John had to let the townspeople know he would not be open during that time, so they could get their repairs to him before he left. There were arrangements to be made, such as having friends look after the younger children and letters had to be written to the old country, letting the relatives know they were coming, and much, much more. They would be traveling to Toronto by train, something that excited the boys, but what excited them, even more, was the boat they would be going on across the Atlantic. Like all boys, they were interested in things that moved: trains, boats, airplanes, and a new invention, the automobile. But for now, it was the boat that held their attention, as she was the biggest in the CPR fleet with two smokestacks. As their father handed them their tickets, they looked at each other, smiled, and read out loud the name on the cards: the SS Empress of Ireland.