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The Queen’s Birthday (1857)

The strong German presence in the Waterloo Region did not overshadow British imperialism in the late nineteenth century. On May 24, 1857, the Village of Berlin, alongside the newly inaugurated Village of Waterloo, celebrated Queen Victoria’s birthday with cannon fire and brass bands. Some citizens even boarded trains to Toronto to join in the imperial festivities there. The Queen’s birthday celebration in 1857 is one example of the ethnic German population rallying together to prove their loyalty to the British Empire. Beginning in 1899, the region enthusiastically celebrated the first Empire Day, which occurred on 24 May (Queen Victoria’s birthday).This event became an annual opportunity to celebrate ties to Great Britain.

(McLaughlin, Kenneth. Waterloo: An Illustrated History. Waterloo: Windsor Publications Canada, 1983.)