W5464 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
May 17 1906
To: Calvin McQuesten Standoff Alberta
From: 372 Assinaboine Ave1 Winnipeg Manitoba
My dearest Calvin,
Our meetings are over finished this afternoon. It was assigned to me to give the closing words, so the weight is now off my mind. As you are my own, you would like to know how I did. Well, it seemed to me, as if I were inspired for it, for my memory was so aided, that what I had prepared came to me without having to glance but a little at my notes. Any thing to equal the kind words of praise given me especially by the Western Women you cannot imagine. They all said I had helped them so much, it was more touching than I can say2.
We were all invited on Tuesday to Mrs. Colin Campbell's for tea, and Mrs. Campbell invited me to come to her to-morrow and stay till Monday, they have a magnificent house3. Then on Tuesday we are arranging a party to go out to see some of the schools. We had a great number of the missionaries in the West at the meeting and among them Dr. & Mrs. Gilbart, they both asked most specially for you, and I expect to visit them at Rolling River, as we make our tour; She, Miss Clark of Toronto, is a dear little woman but so delicate4.
On Wednesday afternoon we were invited by Lady McMillan to Government House5; then this afternoon we were at Mrs. J.M. Aikins, Solicitor of C.P.R., magnificent house. They are Methodists of course, but these Winnipeg people have feted us royally. Chas. Gordon asked for you to-day6. Winnipeg is a beautiful city and I am in such a lovely family. It does seem such a long time since I heard from you. Our only draw-back has been the weather since Tuesday, extremely warm, then thunderstorms, which took a great deal out of us, cool to-day but threats of rain.
Rev. John Taylor and wife arrived and was to have spoken at last night's meeting, but word came of the death of his mother and they went right on, was introduced to her mother, Mrs. Copeland7. If only I could remember all the people I have met. Just before I left a letter came from Geills McCrae Kilgour8 to Miss McLean who was visiting Mattie Davidson, with a message for you to stay a few days at Brandon9. Well dear, I must close. My heart is full of thanksgiving for all the way by which I have come. Do hope you are in good spirits. With fondest love.
Your loving Mother
1 Mary traveled to Winnipeg to attend a Missionary Society Conference and to inspect some of the Mission schools in Western Canada. She travelled with twenty-eight people, all prominent missionary society members, many of whom are mentioned in the letters during the trip from May 10 to June 15, 1906 (W5453, W5502). She was billeted with various prominent missionaries and political officials. I will annotate only those who are significant to the larger body of letters.
2 I have been unable to locate a copy of this speech.
3 For Hon. Colin H. Campbell, see W5470.
4 For Dr. and Mrs. Gilbart were missionaries at Rolling River, about 16 miles from Winnipeg. Mrs. Gilbart's death is noted in letter of January 15, 1907, W5765 (W5470).
5 Daniel H. MacMillan was lieutenant-governor of Manitoba 1900-11 (CE 1296).
6 For Charles Gordon (Ralph Connor) and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Copeland, see W5359.
7 For the Rev. John Thomson Taylor family, see W5172.
8 Geills (McCrae) Kilgour married Mr. Frederick Kilgour and went to live in Brandon where he had a law office (W5388, W7738). His parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Kilgour (nee Sophia Oliphant) lived at 144 Bloor St. E., Toronto in 1900, and had a summer home at Roach's Point on Lake Simcoe (Tyrell 71, and some genealogical information from Geills Turner, graddaughter of Geills McCrae Kilgour, Dec. 8, 2004). Mary's daughters, Mary and Hilda, vacationed near them at Orchard beach and visited often for play and prayer-meetings. Mary commented:
The Kilgours are such nice people, so religious and yet--jolly. . . .[They] have an elegant house beautifully situated with a smooth lawn stretching to the river and a number of large acacia trees scattered around. In fact everything is as perfect as it can be. It seems so fortunate that they should be such good people, for of course what the Kilgours do is the thing. There is very little communication between the Roaches Point people and the Orchard Beach ones. You might call the Roaches Point the aristocracy and the Orchard Beach the commoners. (W5053, W5474, W5483)
For McCrae family, see W4651.
9 For Davidson, see W4544.