Box 12-074 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN, B.A. from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jan 29 1915 [approximate date]
To: Calvin McQuesten Buckingham, Quebec
From: 'Whitehern' Hamilton
My dearest Calvin,
We have been having quite a strenuous week, as our Presbyterial Annual began on Tuesday. Mrs. Dey was to be our guest, but a telephone on Monday said she couldn't leave Mr. D. not well enough. Our new plan of taking two days made the meetings a great success besides holding them in St. Giles, where we had perfect accommodation. Tea and lunch could be served in the basement, while we had the schoolroom for our business meetings, where every one felt free to speak and could be heard. Then for our public meeting of the Wednesday afternoon we had the church where every one could hear. The only thing I do not admire is the arrangement for the Choir, they look like the women of the East, peering through the lattice and I don't think their singing can be effective. Mrs. Ratcliffe and daughters were there and asking for you. Mrs. McLure from China gave a most interesting and touching address and our Prov. Pres. Mrs. Chas. Robertson gave a very fine beautiful and practical one.1 I treated myself to a sleigh and brought Mrs. R. home with me to tea, besides taking Mrs. Fletcher and Mrs. Walker to their homes. I like Mrs. R. very much and she is well adapted for her office. On Wednesday morning just as I was starting off for the meeting, came in by post a New Year's Card from Dr. M. Mckellar which I took to the meeting and read to the ladies, it seemed a remarkable coincidence it should arrive that very morning.2 Then last night I went to Calvin Church to address the M.B.[Mission Board]. I was quite pleased with myself that I stood it all with out getting neuralgia. Mary Taylor is spending the day here and going with our girls to see the moving picture of 30 leagues under the Sea. It sounds very weird. As to the stair carpet, the narrow 20 in. carpets we did not like, they were common looking; we think the 27 in. matting would really look better but perhaps you would not like the graining covered up. It seems a pity I know, and H. expects to go to see Mary T. next month some time and might look in Toronto. The matting would perhaps not be sold, as it is more in demand for summer houses. You have not told me yet, how you are now situated. Do you live in the Manse and go out for meals and have you got your library and bed-room settled? H.'s idea is to leave the dining-room without a rug and use Uncle's carpet for the living room. There are quite nice rugs like hearth rugs and some much longer for halls selling off very reasonably now.
We are getting in a new maid, Ella was hopeless as a cook and we think we have now found one who will suit, a widow, she is to come on Tuesday.
When Mrs. Dey phoned me, she asked for you said she knew Buckingham and there were very congenial people there. Well you seem to be fortunate in having nice houses to go to where you have a nice meal. Col. Logie is enjoying himself I think, as part of his business is to go round inspecting the district, found the Col. At Welland in full uniform fitting boots on a customer in his shop, another soldier asleep. Take good care of yourself and do not take cold.
Your loving mother
1 It is likely that this person is related to the well-known Canadian Dr. Robert Baird McClure (1900-1991). He was born in Canada but was taken to China when he was a baby and spent the first 15 years of his life in school there. This Mrs. McClure may have been his mother, since he was born to a missionary family. Dr. McClure is best know for his service in China and many other countries; he was a medical missionary for more than 50 years. http://collections.ic.gc.ca/heirloom_series/volume5/66-69.htm
2 For more on Dr. Margaret McKellar, see W6853.