Bob Edwards' "Society Notes"

by Shaun Hunter


Calgary Through the Eyes of Writers

Passengers in an automobile, Calgary, Alberta, circa 1915 -- perhaps off to the Mariaggi. The Stephen Ave restaurant was a landmark in frontier Calgary, and briefly home to The Ranchmen's Club. In the background: William Roper Hull's mansion, Langmore, on 6th Street & 13th Ave West.  (Photo: University of Alberta Peel's Prairie Provinces)

Passengers in an automobile, Calgary, Alberta, circa 1915 -- perhaps off to the Mariaggi. The Stephen Ave restaurant was a landmark in frontier Calgary, and briefly home to The Ranchmen's Club. In the background: William Roper Hull's mansion, Langmore, on 6th Street & 13th Ave West.  (Photo: University of Alberta Peel's Prairie Provinces)

Money, Bob Edwards wrote, “has a curiously snobbifying effect in codfish society.” What better place to skewer it than in a social column in his weekly newspaper? A century ago, Edwards filled the Eye Opener’s “Society Notes” with fictitious names, but attentive Calgary readers may have recognized, if not themselves, then the city’s social climbers. As Will Ferguson notes, Edwards was an egalitarian when it came to his social page: women and men would be roasted equally.

 

Last Wednesday night a charming dance was given at the charming residence of the charming Mrs. W. Sloshcum-Kachorker. Old Sloshcum-Kachorker, who had inadvertently got drunk at the Mariaggi that afternoon was unable to be present, but a pleasant time was had nevertheless. The rooms were tastefully decorated with flowers and ferns. Among those present were:

A beautiful gown of blue satin with net trimmings and touches of gold.

A gorgeous creation from Paris, Saskatchewan, of sequin trimmings and sage and onion stuffing.

A charming gown of white crepe de chêne [sic] with apricot trimmings and apple dressing.

A cream brussels sprout net over silk, trimmed with old point lace.

A lovely gown of green satin, edged with point d’esprit and old rose silk, with touches of burlap.

There were many more beautiful gowns present and they appeared to be having a good time. It really does not matter who were inside the gowns.

 

Bob Edwards, Eye Opener (Feb. 19, 1910)