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W5253 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jun 28 1904
To: Calvin McQuesten Standoff, Alberta
From: 'Whitehern'

My dear dear boy.

Your letter of June 18th reached us exactly a week later. You spoke of the Woodland Plays and would notice many interesting items in the "News" with regard to the actors, it was all certainly very beautiful. Have sent you a Mail with a very clever bit from Emily Colquhoun I really thought it wonderfully bright and original. On Friday evening we had a Garden Party for the Church at Mrs. Proctor's, it was a fine warm night, which was just the thing we needed and quite a number were there. Tom went with [me] and endeavoured to be as polite as he could. It was such a warm night (the second this year) that we took the Belt Line coming home.1 On Saturday morning Ruby reached us by boat. She came to Kingston with Miss Boyd between one and two a.m. Friday and saw the city coming on by steamer to Toronto. There was a thunder storm on the Lake and her room was over the engine. So the poor child was thoroughly tired out when she reached us and had hours of sleep to make up, otherwise she is looking perfectly well & has brought some lovely pictures with her.

On Sabbath a Service of Sacred Song was announced for the evening, printed programmes being put in the pews. So we all stayed away. I was determined not to countenance any thing of the kind.2 Some went to Mr. Hewitt's and Tom, Edna & I to Mr. Sycamore's. Dr. Fletcher was away. Mrs. F. did not like it and thought me perfectly right. Skedden consulted no one and no one seems to think enough or care to control him. Mrs. Ribetti is here just now and was glad to hear of your work in the West. Miss Neal3 was married very quickly a few days ago, they kept it a perfect secret from every one, which Elsie considered "Quite a triumph in a town like this." Mrs. Ribetti says he is a very nice man refined and cultured. Mr. R. seems very happy & well. Florrie Bell is getting on nicely. I met John Knox, he was inquiring for you and "Bob" Allen's wished to be remembered to you. Then I met young Little who is assisting Dr. Lyle and he spoke of knowing you, he said he went out to the West broken down with nervous prostration and was completely cured. Your picture of "Many Bears" came to-day. Edna was very much pleased that you sent it to her. She is in the depths now preparing for exams next Monday. We all thought the photo very well done indeed. I am sure you will derive much pleasure from the camera.

Tom went off yesterday for Quym [P.Q.] he did a lot of work in the Garden and I enjoyed having him home for a while, indeed it is very lonely without him, he is such a comical chap. The New Steamer "Turbinia" has arrived, but is being painted before starting, she is considered a very handsome boat. You would be sorry to see the death of Mrs Creelman, have not heard a word as to the cause. Isn't the time flying? I have just been writing a Birthday letter to Tim [Tom] as Thursday is the 30th of June, & you will soon be away nine months 3/4 of your year. It is really terrible the way time slips.

Tom says it was a mad craze ever to think of the Rhodes Scholarship he does not think he would take it now if he could get it. It is far better for him to go right on with his profession. If he had gone to Oxford, he would have been past 28 before he was earning, although he expects $3.00 a week the first year, for law students are so scarce, there is a great demand and Tom says there is a great amount of law business in Toronto now.

I am very glad those books I sent you have been so useful, Ruby thinks a great deal of them and says there are others on the Epistles, would you like any? Let me know.

Mr .Alex Murray and Charles are going to the old country next week. Uncle Alex is greatly delighted, if he goes & returns it will be the 163rd [sic] time. It must be very interesting to see those Black Foot Indians and their curious ceremonies, but they seem to be a stupid sort of people.

Well, I have exhausted my news, I think I must dress for I am to go to the Manse for Afternoon Tea with Mrs. Ribetti and a few others. The Highlanders paraded at St. Paul's last Sabbath, but I did not go to look at them. With much love my dear dear boy.

Your loving mother

M.B. McQuestern


1 The Belt Line was Hamilton's Street Car system around the city. It was replaced by a bus system.


2 This is an example of Mary's strict rules about the Sabbath and the appropriate music for Church. Another example occurs at the end of this letter when she declines to view the Highlander's parade on the Sabbath.


3 Wedding announcement is enclosed: Miss Helen Elizabeth Buchanan announces the marriage of her friend, Mary Strachan Neal to Mr. Charles Percival Babcock on Tuesday the twenty first of June nineteen hundred and four at Auchmar House, Clairmont Park, Hamilton, Ontario.




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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.


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