Box 12-482 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN, B.A. from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Oct 1 1910
To: Calvin McQuesten [Glenhurst, Saskatchewan]
From: Gravenhurst, Ontario
My dearest Cal.,
To-day is a stormy windy day, after two beautiful summer days and a thunderstorm last night with torrents of rain; which is not conducive to sleep. I am making ready to go to Hamilton on Tuesday; as the tenant is to be out of the cottage to-day, I am anxious to see what is needed there; and the girls will follow as soon as possible. A lady has been looking at the house for herself and husband, and I am hoping to get something for the verandah fixings, at least the price of the awning. Yesterday and day before I spent afternoons calling on various people, Mrs. Young, Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Cockburn. Mrs. Y. had gone to Toronto with little boy, they are now to start the skin grafting. Then I saw Mr. Young and Mr. Myers at the Minnewaska. Mr. Myers has returned recently from Toronto, where he had an operation for some trouble which was quite successful, for he is now free from head-ache and indigestion, and expects to be alright. Mr. Powis left the Minnewaska and has been all summer down at Gull Lake. He is now preparing to go to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the climate will permit his doing some business if he can get it. It is so hard for him, poor fellow!
I feel as if I could scarcely stand it a day longer here. One hears of nothing but woe and heartbreak from this terrible disease.
I am sending you a "Times" with a very good letter. I wrote to the Editor enclosing a note of appreciation for the writer (one of them "he" signed himself) and asking him to send it to the "The Presbyterian." One feels almost desperate with the ministers, so many like Mr. McK. here who say many good things but never deliver the gospel message. I have been lending him the British Weekly and there have been many fine suggestive thoughts by Alex Whyte but it makes no difference. Last Sabbath was Children's Day and they had quite a nice service and the church prettily decorated with leaves and flowers. The S.S. Ass'n had sent out free a very good programme with responsive readings for all to take part. The subject was "The Royal Service" and it was divided into parts beginning with the Coming of the King and ending with address on "What service does the King Expect of us." The pastor gave them a very plain talk on not drinking or smoking, the care of their bodies, but not a word as to where to get help to fight these things. I do not believe he can teach the Bible at all and there the people are Sunday after Sunday. The minister giving his principal energy to pushing the new church, which I am afraid, like the Central Church, Hamilton will not be what the people want. The site is so flat that Mr. Cockburn thinks Jack Lyle's design will be too squat. The inside very handsome, but too expensive. I hope you will not be placed where you have to shoulder the building of a new church, it is invariably the means of alienating some, and takes up far too much of the minister's thought and time. It is almost impossible for it to be otherwise unless it is plainly understood that the managers shoulder the whole responsibility. Dr. Lyle's ministry has gone down under a cloud just because of it. Well, we are much the same, Ruby keeps very comfortable, temperature low for the most part and able to enjoy her food. We shall be so thankful to have the moving over.
Tom has taken the moving of the Montreal Bk. Stock on himself. I do not know anything about it, will be for the best.
The last news of Janie James is that she has started. Friends in China,--not missionaries--gave her [$]50 to supplement her passage money, (which had finally come) so that she could take an A1 passage by sea all the way to England (5 weeks) and consult a physician there (can't remember his name) who has been successful in curing the trouble Janie has. Mrs. J. is planning to go to England to meet her. The mountain people seem to have treated poor Harris very kindly, they would like him personally I am sure.
Well Cal. dear, the time is flying along, if it were not for R. I would not bother at all with that Mountain Church, I doubt if the people would appreciate you.
Tom said he was making a very profitable investment of the stock and Mr. C. approved; that's all I know. With much love from all and hoping you are keeping well.
Your loving mother
M. B. McQuesten
[P.S.] We never cease to admire your forethought and skill in planning that awning. It is such a comfort.
Received the second letter from you this morning. We are so thankful to have got the cottage.1 I feel it was just a special Providence that got it for us, as it would simply be impossible for me to go up every day if she were far away on the mountain. Did I tell you that it is next the Mountain View Hotel, but that will not trouble us in winter and in the Spring, we will see how things are and the cottage is only $19.00 a month. Of course we shall have to get a certain amount of furniture, stoves, &c. It seems hard for you to hand over your savings to me and yet I know it will be a great help if you can let me have some, I hope not to take all you have. If you are settled someplace, you will need some money, probably to start you. But I am very thankful you and Tom are both started.
We have just been washing R.'s [Ruby's] hair and she is sitting in her reclining chair out on back stoop to get it dry. She stood it very well and says she is not tired. With much love from all and fondest love from
M. B. McQuesten
[P.S.] It seemed such a special Providence that Mr. C. [Chisholm] should be part owner of house and tenants lease expire just the day ours expires here. Wonderful how God helps us!
1 This is the same cottage mentioned in paragraph one of this letter. Tom had arranged the lease and Calvin gave up his savings to rent it for Ruby who was suffering from tuberculosis. She died there on April 9, 1911, just a month shy of her 32nd birthday. For more information on Ruby's illness, see W6135.