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W6967 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Mar 10 1916
To: Calvin McQuesten Buckingham Quebec
From: 'Whitehern'

My dearest Calvin,

When I reached home from Toronto on Wednesday afternoon I found your very kind letter awaiting me and one also from Ethel MacLaren to Edna. She writes very nice letters, and we were greatly pleased to hear her account of the snow-shoe party, she seems to have enjoyed it immensely and the wind-up at the Manse and liked Miss Smith very much1. It must be a great satisfaction to you as it is to me, to be able to entertain a little. It pleases people you know, and I always felt if you were not able to write them there, they would not be satisfied.

On Monday I took the noon train to Toronto, it was snowing and blowing considerably, when I arrived, but was able to reach Mrs. Robertson's on Euclid Ave. But as the afternoon went on, the storm increased to a blizzard with thunder and lightning, so I was obliged to send for a taxi to take me over to William Mackay's and had to wait a long time for it the travelling was so heavy. The next day however was fine, when we had an all day session.

Then I had planned to see the Temperance procession on the Wednesday, but it was at an awkward time 1:45 to 2 p.m. I was tired from the previous day and had no place of view where I could go and wait, for these things are generally uncertain, so I had to give it up. But I was quite disappointed, especially now since it seems to have been quite a sight. We are of course boiling with indignation at those soldiers. It is all very well to blame the Liquor men for urging them on, that was to expected, but they should have known better, and these recruiting sergeants are far too smart. The poor young lads have no peace at all, if they are tall for their age, they pretend not to believe them. To think that we have to support men like those convalescent soldiers and their conduct shielded. Col. Denison actually said the procession should not have passed that way. I am afraid there are a great many undesirables amongst the soldiers. Gen. Logie has all he can do2.

Edna has not forgotten about the things for the lawn and wants to know if you have a nursery near Ottawa where you could get hydrangeas and lilacs etc. Also the length of space opposite verandah. Your letter has just come in. H. once met she thinks this Mr. Cameron and he had such a nice wife. We hear that part of the congregation wishes to get rid of J.P. not caring for his preaching, but others want him to return after war is over. Mr. Lees moved to this effect in Presbytery the other day, so things seem unsettled3. I first called up Mrs. Strong who says she thinks Mr. P. wants to go, but some are trying to have him return, they are to bring it up again at May Presbytery and she thinks Mr. P. wishes to keep on the church as long as 86th are here. How long that will be is uncertain. Mr. K. thinks he will be very unwise not to give up altogether, as there are really a large number not wishing him to stay. It seems to me it would not do for you, as a friend of P.'s to write too soon. When I hear of any decision will let you know. Cunningham, the photographer is there, but do not think they have any outstanding men. I do not know them.[illegible] A.M. McKenzie 129 Fairleigh Ave. S. But as things are say nothing for awhile4.

You are certainly quite gay when you go to Ottawa, but it must be a treat after Ottawa [sic]. Am sorry Marion Robinson could never take any interest in church work. The love of theatricals has always the effect of making every thing else seem slow. Must close now with love from all.

Your affectionate mother

M.B. McQuesten

[P.S.] Poor Louise, John Becker's wife died last Saturday.

1 Miss Smith was Calvin's housekeeper, see W6951. Ethel MacLaren was likely a friend that Edna had made when she visited Calvin at the manse in 1915 (W9175).

2 For Gen. Logie and family, see W4759, W6805, W6828.

3 Likely, Thomas Lees, church trustee, see W6053.

4 Calvin may have been considering applying for a position as minister in a Hamilton church.

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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