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W7018 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jun 23 1928 Saturday
To: Calvin McQuesten Gaspe Quebec1
From: 'Whitehern'

My dearest Calvin,

Received your letter posted at Quebec yesterday. Very prompt. As your places are so frequently changed it has been a little difficult so that one B.W. and N.O. have gone to Carleton, but no callous Globe has gone or is going there too. Nothing special in it to-day if any thing occurs will cut it out or send paper.

Last night Tom made a speech by Radio for Liberal candidate. On Thursday we attended at most delightful garden party at Mrs. Charles Bull's on the Mountain. She had asked about four hundred, a large Marquee on the lawn. So many of the antiques like myself who never meet, that they all enjoyed it immensely. The situation is somewhat awkward; but Tom got Mr. Welby to drive us in our splendid new car2, as Tom was not yet able to drive; it needed good driving, for there was a jam of cars. The view is not very good there are too many bushes which ought to be cut out. No fine flowers yet. Our garden is magnificent Lady Duff Gordon and Therese are beyond description and all the others with profusion of yellow lilies, lupins, iris. The cool wet weather has been most favourable; but an anxious season for garden parties, however on Thursday it held up. We have decided that if day (next Thursday ) for our Ladies' Aid G.P. is wet, the house is to be "thrown open." This lifts a burden of anxiety off all concerned.

I was glad to know cheque with letter reached in good time. Back gate repaired and one coat paint on. Tom has engaged young man for a month to teach car driving3. Hilda took first lesson yesterday a.m. Raining to-day. H. sees no difficulty with practice.

Have had a few strawberries off our own patch. They are 38 cts a basket to-day, but as weather is cool, not such a craving for them. I am really wonderfully well, and report of Edna much better, she went to church and enjoyed it. Mary was very doubtful of your boat trip as she had such wretched accommodation, poor food and noisy nights because of stopping at places by the way.

Had a visit from Emily Colquhoun McCarthy and husband Wed. Eve. he is very likeable, seems to know so much about china and admired everything greatly4. Thursday Sydney Stevenson came for lunch and Jessie [Proudfoot] has car with chauffeur and drove her up; she has just returned from Egypt, Palestine and so on, but she has never tried to call on me, but went to Wood's house as she has always done, there can only be [?] Wilson, housekeeper now5. Take care of yourself, much love from all.

Your affectionate mother

1 Calvin was vacationing in Gaspe, Quebec. He loved the wilderness and had become an avid naturalist, birdwatcher and member of the Audubon Society. For a number of years he was president of the Hamilton Bird Protection Society, Inc (Protection Society Program, 1932-33, W8084).

2 Likely, Mrs. Charles Bull, wife of Tom's associate, friend and "Hamilton Club crony" (Best 136).

3 The make and model of the car is not known, it was likely not a Ford because on July 10, 1928, Mary noted: "fearfully hot, could not have stood it in a Ford car" (W7033). Hilda, Tom and Mary became drivers, with Tom and Hilda doing most of the driving. Daughter Mary was nervous and did little driving (W7033). On July 7, Tom drove the family to Grimsby (W7030). On July 21, Mary wrote: We had a delightful afternoon yesterday at Guelph Tom drove us up in our fine car leaving here about 1:45 and reaching Guelph before three. . . . M & H. have about mastered the car; which is a relief for at one time M. was so nervous for fear of injuring such an expensive car, that she almost gave up (W7044). On August 14, Mary wrote "Mary [Daughter] ventured out by herself in car this morning so we hope soon to have full use, but girls have not nerve enough yet to go so far as Guelph, and Tom cannot always get away, as he is off on other things often, but we hope to get up on Friday" (W7064).

4 Emily Colquhoun McCarthy, see W4549.

5 For Stevenson family, see W4605. For Proudfoot connection, see W4759. Possibly Woods of "Woods' Fair" (W6347).

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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.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

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