© 2003 Glenn F. Cartwright
He cares not for Pope, Priest, Parson, or King William of the Boyne; all Joe wants is the Coin. He trusts in God in summer time to keep him from all harm; when he sees the first frost and snow poor old Joe trusts to the Almighty Dollar and good old maple wood to keep his belly warm, for Churches, Chapels, Ranters, Preachers, Beechers and such stuff Montreal has already got enough.
In the 1800s, Joe Beef, an Irishman whose real name was Charles McKiernan, was a colorful inn-keeper in old Montreal close to the harbour. His tavern was known to stranded sailors as a place they could always get a meal and a warm place to sleep in exchange for chopping a few cords of firewood. A notorious atheist who was deplored by churchmen of his era, he was less well-known for his generosity and charity. Joe had the above manifesto printed on handbills and advertisements.
When Joe died in 1889, a great send-off was arranged. All the shops in the area closed out of respect for Joe as he was laid to rest on Mount Royal.