Box 08-202 TO THOMAS BAKER MCQUESTEN, from Rev. Beverley Ketchen
Jul 11 1947
To: Thomas Baker McQuesten 'Whitehern,' Hamilton, Ontario
From: 14 Alexandra Street, Oshawa, Ontario
It was with surprise as well as regrets that I learned of your indisposition. It was difficult to associate your robust energetic, strenuous, almost indispensable self with illness and a hospital. I hope that the enforced inactivity will not last long but even that for one with your intellectual and spiritual grip on the vital verities, will not be without some lasting profit.
You have sown bountifully and reaped bountifully. Very few men can point to so many public benefits of enduring value. Like Christopher Wren's, your monuments are beauty spots.1
You have never been appreciated as you should have been, but what can one expect with the average intelligence what it is?
You have meant a great deal to me; I could only put your unfailing loyalty down to a wonderful generosity. I do not like to think of the day when MacNab Street will not have your faithful support, and the inspiration of your regular attendance. But I trust that that time is far distant. You should have twenty more useful, constructive years for the exercise of your artistic enthusiasm and enterprise.
You have my best wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery.2
1 Thomas was heavily involved in the development of parks and monuments in Hamilton and Niagara regions. As a member of the Hamilton Board of Parks Management, he was Chairman of the Works Committee and contributed to the development of the North-West entrance to the city, McMaster University campus, Gage Park, Kings Forest, Chedoke Civic Golf Course, Bruce Park and the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG). He served as the first president of the RBG from 1941 to 1948.
As the Chairman of the Niagara Parks Commission from 1934 to 1943, Tom was involved in the reconstruction of Fort Erie and improvement of its grounds, the development of the Oakes Garden Theatre, the building of the Memorial Arch (IMG032), the rebuilding of Navy Hall and Fort George, the rehabilitation of the monument to Sir Isaac Brock and the reconstruction of William Lyon Mackenzie's home at Queenston.
2 Thomas Baker McQuesten, K.C. died on January 13, 1948, at the Hamilton General Hospital, reportedly of throat cancer (Minnes 5).