W6780 TO THOMAS BAKER MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jun 30 1912
To: Thomas Baker McQuesten 'Whitehern' Hamilton
From: On board the Steamer, Princess Mary1
My dearest Tom,
I cannot forget this is your birthday and feel how thankful I should be that God has so mercifully spared you to me for thirty years. It seems scarcely possible that you can have attained such an age and it makes me feel rather sad to think your youth is passing away and we can be only young once. But in these 30 yrs you have been a great joy and blessing and strength to all in times of great sorrow, and we pray God that he will mercifully spare you as long as my life lasts. That sounds selfish does it not? I can scarcely realize this is the Sabbath day, it is a very quiet set of people on board. It is a bright sunny afternoon M. [Mary] & Grace Weir2 are sitting out on deck, but we have a fine observation salon with large windows and I sit inside; we are passing through large islands with beautiful snow capped mountains rising up in the background all round we have just passed the steamer Princess Sophia with I suppose the Hendersons3 and Mrs. McLagan on board4. We have a lovely state-room, think it is one of the bridal suite and a fine steamer, but the meals are not very good, but we will not suffer. There is hardly any motion on the boat. With much love.
My dearest child
Your loving mother
[P.S.] Have just heard this can be posted at Prince Rupert Township. Do not send this on (night & go back by GTP line). Before leaving Vancouver after our meetings were over and we were going to Alberni and Victoria I drew $125, that paid bill at Glencoe Lodge and gave the funds for the trips. Then you see on my return I drew the $300 for Alaska trip ($160 each) and will need balance for trip through Rockies etc. $9 each extra for Lake Superior Steamer, that is less tho' than sleeper and meals on train. So our trip will have cost $425 plus about $175 for our fares etc. to Vancouver, $600 for two. Seems quite a sum but think we have seen a great deal and in great comfort and have purchased a few things for our Christmas presents which are all to the good5. So glad your roses have been so successful would be sorry if you had no success for all your time. With much love.
[P.S.] Do not be alarmed if you receive a telegram announcing our safe arrival back at Vancouver, but I may not get an opportunity to do so and it may cost too much.
1 Mary and her daughter, Mary, and a contingent of women from the WFMS had attended missionary meetings in Vancouver, and were vacationing as well (W8848, W6769, W6773, W6777, W6784, W6785).
2 Grace Weir Hastings of Vancouver, met them "at the elevator" of Glencoe Lodge in Vancouver (W6769, W8827).
3 These Hendersons may be the Gordon Hendersons from Hamilton (W5709) or the Joseph Hendersons from Toronto (W5283), or both.
4 Mrs. McLagan was also on the WFMS trip to Winnipeg in May 1906, see W5470.
5 In February 1912 Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten (Mary's brother-in-law) died and left Mary $36,000. The inheritance likely accounts for the financial contrast between this relatively expensive vacation and Mary's vacation of the previous year in which she was relieved to find room and board for "only $5.00 a week" (W6752, August 1911, see also W5012n).