W4745 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jan 23 1903
To: Calvin McQuesten Montreal, Quebec
My dear dear boy,
As I see by the "Herald" you have been having a cold and stormy time in Montreal. I was thinking you must have many a wearisome tramp especially in the morning before the snow is cleared. We had a beautiful fall of snow but not cold and not windy, so that we are very comfortable in the house with a small expenditure of coal. We find it best not to try to push the furnace on an [?other?] cold day, but just make a fire in the grate, a small fire there makes us perfectly warm and cosy and is more economical. I trust our coal will last out till the price is down, it is becoming more hopeful. Last Friday was the S.S. [Sunday School] festival. Edna took her two friends Olive & Lorna with her, so they thoroughly enjoyed an excellent tea of sandwiches and lovely cake. It always makes me feel sad to think that these things are over for the rest of you. After the tea, they had recitation and singing. Then Dr. Fletcher presented prizes for most regular attendance and in that way the little rascal Edna came in for a pretty book. Afterwards a small Cantata in which young Wright played the part of old Uncle Joe in a grey wig & whiskers to the amusement of the youngsters. Wednesday we had our Annual Congregational meeting and Dr. Fletcher read a pastoral letter to the people in which he asked for an assistant and announced his intention of resigning altogether in two years. Mr. Leitch spoke very nicely in reference to Dr.'s past services amongst us, but none of the rest ventured to say anything except Mr. Chisholm. Have rather regretted that I did not say something as others have wished I had, but I do not like to speak in gentlemen's meetings. If I did it once, should feel called upon always to express my opinion, if any thing was being done with which I did not agree. The Doctor himself seemed quiet happy about it and told me afterwards that he felt his legs giving out trying to overtake the visiting. For more than a week the Rummage Sale has been going on and they expect to realize a great sum by it. Mary and Hilda assist at the selling when they can. Yesterday Hilda & I were walking just at Watkin's door, when a cinder flew into her eye and she was in agony for awhile and had to go down to the Doctor to get it taken out. Maude Haigh spent last Friday and stayed over till Saturday on her way back to Boston. She is doing district nursing there under a society of wealthy people. George is there too, doing very well as a skilled accountant, he must be quite good, for he is sent over the country setting up books for business firms. Annie is away up in Winnipeg, she went up to see her mother's brothers and is anxious that the others should follow her which Ada would like to do and so would Maude, only she does not like to leave George alone. Beatrice is at Eaton's and Ada at present is in Arizona with Mrs. Lockhart who has consumption. Dr. L. sent Ada there with her to see if Mrs. L. can live there, he would leave Hespeler and go also.
I have been reading Lord Roberts' account of his life in India, it is most interesting and very easy reading. His father must have been a fine man, between them they spent nearly ninety years in India and Lord Roberts gives his father the credit of so keeping on good terms and strongly influencing others to keep on good terms with the Amirs of Afghanistan that the British were able to keep friends with the Afghans, so that in the Indian Mutiny, they kept a strict neutrality. Our subject for study this year is India and we come across so many interesting things. I never really understood Buddhism until I had to prepare a paper on it. That reminds me that I have forgotten to make thorough search for yours, but must do so at once. Mrs. Belhouse's daughter, Mrs. McGregor, had to give up a position she has held for years at Trafalgar School in Montreal, on account of her mother's health. She thinks everything of Dr. Barclay and says he is a much maligned man.
Well dear, I hope you are continuing to keep up your strength for I am really enjoying life, my health is so good. They seem still to speak of the new paper as "the News." Miss M. will be a loss to the Herald but I never knew Burnside's N.'s writings so could not judge. With much love from all, dear dear child.
Your loving mother
[P.S.] Did you know that Prof. Watson of Queens is in the old country, his mind having completely given way? It seems sad, but I understand he may recover.