W-MCP2-4.048 TO THOMAS B. MCQUESTEN from his sister Ruby
Feb 25 1907
To: Thomas B. McQuesten 22 Grosvenor St. Toronto, Ontario
From: Ottawa Ladies' College
My dear Tom,
Silence reigns along the halls though it is only 9:10 p.m. But the children are to be out late to-morrow to a symphony concert & Dame Needham sent word to have the bells rung early. And it suits me all right.
Now that our second terms' reports are over we seem sailing in a smooth sea. And it gives me a chance to write some of the letters so long on my mind.
Mama has been sending on to me some of your and Cal's letters so it doesn't seem as if you were quite so far away. I didn't think I ever congratulated you on passing your exams. It was a poem from the Bard that first acquainted me with the fact. But you're a fine boy Tom to have passed and I hope you'll soon have all exams over for it certainly has been a very long [ink blot] of study and exams.
I'm rejoicing in the fact that February is nearly over. It has really been a very cold winter here--much less outdoor sport such as snow-shoeing than usual. And though our rink was finally ready for skating by the end of January the girls have not been able to use it very much. The Civil Servants have an outdoor rink to which are welcome all who buy their coupons 4 for a quarter. I had a lingering idea that children might not be there but they seem to have many small descendants these Civil Servants. And since Rideau Rink has been burned they and others swarm to the open rink.
A week ago Saturday Thompson-Seton was in the city & the president of our Field Naturalist Club secured him to give a lecture in the Normal. It was on "Minds of animals and Heroes" & so interesting. He spoke steadily for fully two hours & kept up our interest without the least flag. I thought he was fine when I heard him five years ago but he had certainly improved. After it was over nothing would do but I must be introduced to him--Dr. Ami and Mr. Haskett hauled me up,--& Miss Scott also who is a member of the council & we were introduced to him. Wily man! He said he remembered my name on the back of the Field Naturalist paper. But he was very genial. I think Cal met him didn't he? 1
Then after that I went & stayed with Miss Scott one Sunday. Miss Berry who lives there & is a music teacher & a connection I think of the Greens was out riding with Mr. Green Senior & he was asking about you & told "He is a fine fellow, that Tom McQuesten!" But I guess he didn't mean it.
I'm hoping now that your Xmas exams are over it may be a little easier. But I suppose spring exams are ahead. Well, my dear, my time is done. Take care of yourself & don't bump your head against the ceiling of that lofty mansion of yours.
With much love.
1 Ernest Thompson Seton was born August 14, 1860 and changed his name from Ernest Evan Thompson in 1898. He was born in England and came to the United States in 1898. He died October 23, 1946 in Santa Fe, New Mexico is buried at Seton Village, Santa Fe. He is best known as the founder of the Boy Scouts of America. He studied art in Toronto, New York, London and Paris. He worked as an illustrator for several publishers and as a naturalist for the Government of Manitoba. He published his first children's book "Wild Animals I have Known" in 1898. He published a large number of children's and nature books as well as numerous articles. (Taken from: "Contemporary Authors." Hal May, ed. 1983.)http://www.trentu.ca/library/archives/85-005.htm
The McQuestens were avid naturalists. Ruby was a member of the Field Naturalists Club, and if her name was on the back, as she states here, then she was likely on the executive. Her brother Calvin was president of the Bird Protection Society for several years, and was a friend of Jack Miner's. See W8084 and photo at IMG053