W4847 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Mar 18 1903
To: Calvin McQuesten Montreal Quebec
My dear dear Cal,
I have just come in from a meeting, at which I was unexpectedly called to preside. Our Jewish mission has for its President Mr. Hewitt and thinking it a merely honorary affair, I allowed myself to be made vice-pres. But as it turns out Mr. Hewitt is quite often away and always so--if there happens to be a special occasion. Miss Ben-Odid, daughter of the Celebrated Converted Rabbi had been brought here by First Methodist Church to give three nights' lectures on Customs in Eastern lands, she brung [sic] about thirty costumes with her and has young girls & lads wear them on the platform & she uses them to illustrate her lectures. They are most interesting. She is most charming herself, very handsome. Has traveled a great deal with her father having lived in many Countries and speaks with a very pretty cultivated voice. Well, she very kindly consented to speak for our Jewish Mission this afternoon on "Prophecy as it is being Fulfilled in the Holy Land," and she spoke for an hour in a very interesting way. I have not heard a word whether Anderson has accepted invitation of church or whether even it had been sent. Saw Mr. Leitch, he said the reason he did not vote for Anderson was he thought him too spiritual to handle Dr. F. and he is very independent at the way he thinks the Doctor has tried to work things. As the doctor was too unwell to be at the meeting, Mrs. Fletcher was sent (the first time I ever knew her there, for she always said she would rather not be there) but we cannot help feeling the doctor managed that, so that no one could express a contrary opinion. Just think the Dr. is 70 this Spring and for him to plan to hold on for two years more with an assistant, he is just exhausting his friends' patience. You know they offered him quite a liberal retiring allowance, but he would not do it.
We expect Hilda home to-morrow, at present she cannot do anything for Reggie, as no one is allowed to be with him more than ten minutes at a time, and we cannot do without her any longer. She is away now two weeks and it is too much for Mary.1 Mrs. W. [Whittemore] came home of course but when she saw R. she could not control herself and it was not good for him. It has been a terrible expense special nurse &c. H. & Tom took tea at Mrs. Mackay's and Tom came away with a "Tenner" in an envelope, which was most acceptable. H. was at the Hill's for dinner, said the house (their own on George St) is perfectly lovely arranged in the most artistic manner. I sent Mr. Proudfoot your description of the Court house vaults and he was most pleased. H. [Hilda] has been there a great deal. Sydney is very troubled about Helen Gartshore, she is not well and her father is not, he has had already a hemorrhage of the lungs. To-day I heard that Dr. Gilbert Gordon is dying in the South of Consumption of the bowels. Katie Irving is having a fine time in Toronto going to the House every afternoon & hearing discussions on the Gamey affair, it is decidedly "high" indeed.2 Mr. Irving says that the only one of the party whom the Doctor felt was entirely above all crookedness was Ballantyne. Even Ross was a little crooked perhaps only in small things. Uncle Calvin brought me in a copy of Saturday "News." It was the first I had seen, it has a very good appearance. In it a sketch of Hamilton history, your fathers name was mentioned amongst the former officers, and in the Varsity News was Tom's name Elected President of Political Science Club. Wasn't it quite remarkable luck he should have happened to get it. Did you hear from R. [Ruby] that Annie Ross has left the College. Dave told Tom she was going to look for position in Boston. Those Rosses seem to have no fear of pushing about the world. There has been a sort of feeling growing at the Caroline Mission that the teachers ought to have the appointing of their officers but the ladies of the association were very indignant at the idea, but I think the teachers are in the right. Miss Larson has always been a sort of go between but she has a very unpopular manner, as a result she has finally put her foot in it, and a new superintendent, finding to his surprise that the teachers are not allowed to elect their own officers wrote to the Board. Hence the excitement, Mr. Watson is on the Continent, but if the teachers were paid servants she could not have spoken in a more domineering tone. Think I will give up going to these societies. They do such stupid things, then it raises the worst part of my nature and makes me feel in such a wrong spirit. I noticed account of Isolation Hospitals was exactly the same in Montreal Herald and "News." Does S.[?] get paid for both? Do you see the Presbyterian? If you do not, let me know for I sent it to Tom & he can send it on. In last week's was an account of scenes in Italy by Sally Lunn and it read like Sarah McDonald's writing. She has just been or is now there. Must close. It does seem such a long time since you were home. Will not Mr. Brierley want a special correspondent for Ham[ilton] Old Boy's Carnival? With much love my dear dear boy.
Your loving mother
1 For discussion of servants, see W4343.
2 See W4863 for account of Gamey affair.