29 May 1916 – The Committee of 99

On 29 May 1916, The Committee of 99 met to select six possible names for Berlin, Ontario. According to newspaper reports, an estimated 30,000 suggestions were received, and a few days before the Committee met, Aldermen Cleghorn, Hahn, Hallman, Rudell, and Master  winnowed the names to 113. They easily tossed thousands of entries: contest rules precluded names already in use in Canada (the Post Office demanded an original name).   It seems as if the group imposed new regulations, which weren’t previously published: the names couldn’t be related to present or previous wars, and names of famous generals, statesmen, (etc.) were also removed. The following was the list presented to the Committee, as printed by The Berlin Daily Telegraph on 30 May 1916:


Ontario City Edwardstown Verbena Brock
Cabot Anzac Superior Haverlin
Teck Hydro Beneby Pontiac
King George Homeland Khaki Ontario
Tamakwa Huron Empire City Prince Edward
Keeshenah Empire Dunard Brief
Imperial City Nundawa Hydro City Ouneta
Atkins Bretania Keshenah Vinita
Cadac Reading Prince George Canata
Renoma Amity Emporia United City
Industria Progress Saxon Alliance
Naidanac Baladan Factoria Kannata
Edison Arcot Cosmos Verdale
Vero Keowana Corona Benavy
Woolwich Lester Kennuck Emblem
Dawn Mutual Altyne Agnoleo
Burbank Ontonia Newborn Unison
Premier Bodmin Ontacan Patria
Patoria Wakasha Engada Henley
Belda Georgia Balamore Cameo
Uranus Windigo Imperator Macassa
Aidan Arena Panada Orion
Bawaca Bercana Arteaga Colonia
Matabanick Canario Astraca Mineola
Mechano Scotteby Huronto Hydropolis
Honora Twin-City Candor Benton
Confidence Nacada Industry Alcota
Chicopee Brocton Majesty Canadia


Twenty-five names were selected from the above list, but 10 were removed as towns and cities in the US had those names. The following 15 names from the above list made it to the next round:


Agnoleo Benavy Bercana Canadia
Canata Dunard Huronto Hydro City
Industria Keowana Nundawa Ontario
Ontario City Renoma Scotteby  

The final selection was made using the Hare-Spence ranked balloting system. Each member marked his 1st-6th choices. These are the six names that received the most votes (in order

  • Huronto
  • Bercana
  • Dunard
  • Hydro City
  • Renoma
  • Agnoleo

21 June 1916 – Berlin City Council

On 21 June 1916, Berlin’s city council met, as a committee, to select the shortlist of possible city names. Earlier, a special committee had already plucked 235 names “out of the grist,” from the more than 30,000 received suggestions.

The committee members reduced the list to the following 38 names, according to The Berlin Daily Telegraph


Adanac Amber Ascension Beaver
Benton Berlen Berwell Britana
Brock Brocklin Brockton Colonia
Connaught Confidence Corona Derby
Dominion City Dunard Edison Empire
Emporia Georgia Grandhaven Hampshire
Huron Industria Keowana King George
Kitchener Ontario City Patria Phoenix
Pontiac Premier Prince George St Julien
Superior Tamakwa    

After checking the names against a list of Ontario Communities, the list was reduced to 32.

Next, any name without at least three supporters was eliminated; this left 20 names in the running:

Adanac Amber Benton Berwell
Britana Brock Brocklin Connaught
Corona Emporia Grandhaven Industria
Keowana Kitchener Ontario City Phoenix
Pontiac Premier Prince George Tamakwa

A series of votes took place to determine which six names would appear on the ballot; the most popular name from each round would go to electors:

  1. Round One: (no clear majority)
  2. Round Two: Brock, Kitchener (it seemed they tied or both had high numbers)
  3. Round Three: Corona
  4. Round Four: Adanac
  5. Round Five: Keowana
  6. Round Six: Benton

28 June 1916: Referendum results

Name (as per ballot order) Number of Votes Percentage of unspoilt votes
Brock 335 45.95
Kitchener 346 47.46
Corona 7 00.96
Adanac 23 03.16
Keowana 3 00.41
Benton 15 02.06
Total 729 100

How many people cast a ballot isn’t clear because The News-Record and The Berlin Daily Telegraph reported different numbers. The News-Record reported 892 votes, while The Daily Telegraph reported a range of 800-825. Both papers agreed the returning officers counted 729 unspoilt slips. The number of people eligible to vote was 4897.

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