Modern Mississauga and Heritage Mississauga have come together to present an ongoing series called “Way Back Wednesday’s."
We’ll share information about the history of Mississauga here and answer your questions.
Today’s topic is the history of Ben Machree Drive.
Ben Machree Drive in Port Credit is named in reference to the estate of A.M. Hobberlin. The name origin is Scottish, and is believed to mean “Within My Heart”. A.M. (Andrew) Hobberlin was a wealthy resident of Port Credit, and the owner of the “House of Hobberlin Limited”, a major men’s clothier in Toronto.
A.M. Hobberlin and his wife Alicia were among the founders of the Peel Memorial Hospital in Brampton, and were widely known for their work among the wounded veterans of the First World War. Their Port Credit home, Ben Machree, was also open as home for local wounded veterans to receive medical care and convalescence on their return from the war. They were members of the Loyola Guild and the Port Credit Catholic League, which were both focused on supporting soldiers and the war effort overseas through donations and fund raising efforts at home. They were also life members of the Canadian Red Cross, the Port Credit IODE (Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire – a women’s charitable and educational organization), and founding members of the Navy League of Canada.
Among the Hobberlins most significant connections to the First World War was the establishment of a trust called “Justice for Seaman and Airmen Decency and Chivalry Trust”, which was set up to provide income for wounded seamen and airmen returning from the war and unable to work as a result of injuries sustained in war. In September of 1918, the trust had raised $380,000 (equivalent to almost 7 million dollars in 2018 – one of the largest private funds raised in Canada at that time), all solicited through private donations. On August 4, 1919 the Hobberlins hosted a Return Man’s Parade and Victory Party at Ben Machree for returning soldiers from the First World War.