W7312 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from M. Alice Crombie
Mar 11 1902
To: Calvin McQuesten Montreal, Quebec
From: Fergus Ontario
Dear Mr. McQuesten:
It will soon be time to wish you a Merry Xmas again if I do not prove to you that you are in mind while not in sight. I am severely convinced that the old proverb is correct "great minds think alike" -- I am taking for granted you got my Xmas letter on or about the date of the arrival of your own -- for which thank you. It seems ridiculous to be mentioning items of such antiquity, but I was always taught to be polite so you'll be questioning doubtless what the heading of my letter means -- so in explanation may I say that with an abnormal amount of work recently it became necessary to have a rest time if I would go on -- so thither to a country retreat I fled, and expect to remain for a season. [?] even issued by the powers that be "as letters are to be written" -- this is only my third since breakfast -- please to consider yourself honoured.
Having concluded my rambling prelude, I shall proceed. I heard from our neighbour Mrs. Trigge that you were in the same house with her son -- she gave me the address but alas -- it has gone -- so I am risking the office again.
I was intensely interested in all your News items -- it is quite delightful to know that Toronto stands so high in your estimation. I trust it may continue so, while I also hope Montreal is proving more congenial.
Things are going on much as usual. We had such a privileged season during the recent Students Conference. English language is not expressive enough in which to eulogize the high tone of those days. We lived on the Mountain Tops: and in our new vision of the King were strengthened for the services before us.
It was our privilege to entertain six fine American lads -- each better than the other, and grieved when the day of departure arrived. It was one of the many good things from "Him who gives us richly all things to enjoy."
Central billeted 75 guests & gave $80 -- you would hear of the splendid delegation we had 2955 all told. Spencer & Mott were in their usual high place -- the former finer if possible than ever -- the latter growing daily in his marvellous power as a leader of men. Dr. McTavish was so gratified at our Church's response -- he himself worked like a Trojan -- he always does. What a man we have -- what a responsibility is ours.
The C.E. moves along -- the annual election of officers was taking place last night. I trust the plan rearrangement won this. As for the Mission I cannot give very intelligent information. I have been off duty in the S.S. for two months. The same reason that forces me here -- however young Gd. Jeffrey (the druggist's son) is coming out so well & I have him acting for me & enjoying his first experience of going [?].
The Tract Society is flourishing -- Smedley has done well indeed -- but he is to be out of town for the summer, so I hope his successor will do as well. I no longer have direct connection with that organization. We have had quite a lot of feeling between church & mission S.S. re our funds -- some of our worthy session did not want to be responsible etc. finally the church have been asked for special donations -- the amount we needed for the year was met.
My own opinion is, those worthies w'd like the afternoon school closed the sooner the better. Mr. Bruce (our assistant) expects to go to South America this fall. He really has done excellent service, in our church -- quiet but persevering, but not appreciated by members. There is some talk of Ned Robb being asked to succeed him.
Fred Anderson goes to India in October to do work similar to that done by Campbell White. I am glad he is to be off. Did you hear the news of him? I think it is public property now but in case hold your tongue.
Miss Murray of Kincardine (J.L's sister) is invited to accompany him as Mrs. A., do you know her? A young giddy lass, but genial & a brilliant musician. A little improvement on Miss Gordon anyway -- so let us be thankful. I wish it might have been a lassie with more character, & yet she may develop. Fred is so big we look for more stamina from him than he really possesses.
Then our worthy mutual friends the Duncan Clarks -- you would see the account of their nuptials in the daily's [sic] -- Mrs. Clark seems to be sprucing up since -- not nearly so sanctimonious (at least looking). I am sorry you did not see Mr. & Mrs. Turnbull on their return trip, "Fatty Jack" as you familiarly term him is as usual. We have nearly reached the skies with Kate's assistance -- a more inveterate [?] I never met. They have settled in really a pretty home in Rosedale & one might say "The world is smiling on them" -- long may it do so.
You asked about Dr. McCalla? Henry Grant remains in India until the fall of 1902 and then proceeds to China accompanied by the bride elect or possibly the real thing by that time.
John McEwen is really very well & is in [?] Calgary, where I think he will eventually make his home. You heard of course of Mr. Sampson's sad unexpected death -- the Mission has sustained a severe loss, almost irreplaceable one might say.
I hope "your kids" at the S.S. are proving more congenial -- & helping you to enjoy your afternoon's work -- also the Y.M.C.A Bible Class.
Father & Mother would be sending warm regards were I at home, so I may be at liberty to forward them.
Very sincerely, your friend
M. Alice Crombie