W5157 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
May 2 1904
To: Calvin McQuesten Standoff, Alberta
My dear dear boy
You were in all our thoughts yesterday morning and we all wish you very many happy returns of the day and wished you were nearer that you might run home for your birth-day. Yesterday too was our Anniversary at the Church, we had W.J. Clark of London and certainly he is a most delightful preacher, there is something particularly winning about his way of putting things. In the morning he preached from "Wist ye not that I must be about my father's business?" It was really beautiful, as he pictured the Father's care for us. Of course we had large congregations. To-night we are all to a tea in the school room and a social time and Dr. Pringle is to be there too.
You may imagine how busy we all are, for to-morrow I start off to our W.F.M.S. Annual meeting at Toronto. I am to stay at a Mrs. McKay's, 84 Madison Ave. It seems so strange to go to a stranger's; but I did not think it would be convenient for any of my old friends to take me so did not ask them. As nobody such as Mrs. Henderson invited me, so I had to send my name for a billet.
To-morrow is Ruby's birth-day and have remembered about your bag. I have got her watch repaired and am sending it. H. [Hilda] is sending some underwear. I hope you receive your birth-day parcel & books in good condition it was too bad that the postal conditions would prevent you receiving till after the date. Mrs. Mewburn & May left for Calgary last Monday. We shall miss May very much and poor Ruby has scarcely a friend now in Hamilton. We understand a Mrs. Needham is appointed as Principal at Ottawa & how the two Mr Fletchers quite approve. Colin & Mrs F. [Fletcher] came in for a cup of five o'clock tea on Thursday. The Synod of Hamilton & London was meeting here. Colin was chosen Moderator & I went over one evening, unfortunately I was just so engaged that I could not go through the day and so missed some discussion.
You will see by the paper cutting they had a lively time one day. Fancy Dr. Lyle closing up a discussion because Mr. Dey dared to differ and as Mr. Colin [Fletcher] said, after forbidding Mr. Dey mentioning Prof. McFadyen, he himself took up 15 minutes eulogizing him. Dr L. [Lyle] is the most aggravating man, he had come out the previous Sabbath, saying that Hell was not a place of burning fire. The evening I went Dr. Rose the Methodist and Mr. Unsworth Congregationalist, presented the subject of organic Union of the Churches.1 Dr. R. [Rose] spoke remarkably well & won all the Presbyterians by his eulogy of Prof. Caven's address at the previous conference held in Toronto. He spoke of him as apostolic in his utterances. Afterwards Dr. Lyle moved a resolution of agreement by the Synod and of thanks to the speakers, which was seconded by Dr. McMullen another Irishman. Of course this was Colin's opportunity. So in presenting the thanks he said, it seems appropriate that the two gentlemen representing the Shamrock and he himself the Thistle should present their thanks to the Rose. Of course the house shrieked. It was quite clever too, but no matter how serious the occasion Colin must have his joke.
Of course they were both asking most particularly & kindly after you. Mrs. Colin [Fletcher] has been intending writing you for some time & will do so.
Your letter written on 25th came in this morning, cannot understand how my letters are delayed, for I never miss posting mine on the Monday, on the postal timetable it says mails for Winnipeg close at 12 p.m. and I have always supposed that meant midnight, but I'll inquire at the P.O., but even if it did not go till 10.30 mail Tuesday morning I should think it would reach Macleod by Monday. I always liked to wait till I have received your letter on the Monday morning before replying.
We had the same great snow storm on April 15th but yesterday was quite a fine spring day, so that we put on our Summer bonnet and Spring dresses, but only last week could we do anything to the garden. Many things are winter killed, only a few violets, and the grass only just getting green. That was very funny about the Irishman and Mr. Brookes. It must be quite interesting to explore new regions. It is wonderful how you come across people who know somebody you do.
Tom's examinations begin to-day; there is nothing more about Rhodes Scholarship, all has been done that can be done, and now we must just leave it, "the odds are about even" what ever he means by that. I hope Tom comes out well at these exams, it might have some effect. Well, I must close, am sending to-day also the April number of Record of Xtian work. I have sent all the other numbers. With much love from all.
Your loving mother
M. B. McQuesten
[P.S.] A very nice young Austrian Jew who came to our class, came to our church yesterday, so that is the second one and I am sure another one would, if he could understand English at all.
1 Presbyterian discussions on "higher criticism" of Scripture, and on "Church Union" continue for many years, see W5283.