Hamilton I Band - 1890

Hamilton Citadel Band - 1948

Founded in 1883, the Hamilton I band, as it was then known, was one of only two Salvation Army bands in the Canadian territory. Founded by Corps Officer Captain Joe Ludgate, and under the leadership of Jacob Smith, the band was comprised of only six men willing "to play for the honour and glory of God".

It was decided that December 25th would mark the band's beginning. All gathered in the corps at 2:30 and, with comrades following, the band marched to the City Hall playing thier first tune in public, "The Eden Above". Arriving at thier destination the band played the Doxology. Testimonies were given and invitations were extended to attend the meeting. The band then played "We have no other argument" as they marched back to the corps.

In 1884 the band, augmented by immigrant British bandsmen, was part of the first Canadian congress and led a triumphal procession of two thousand uniformed salvationists.