W5477 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Mary
May 29 1906
To: [Rev.] Calvin McQuesten, [Standoff, Alberta?]
From: Whitehern, Hamilton, Ontario
My dear old boy,
I guess it's about time I buckled up and wrote to you. Have been having quite a busy time since you left. Saw Mamma off for Winnipeg, and then went down to Toronto for a short visit to Mary Taylor. Enjoyed my self immensely. Went out to the Gartshore's with Tom one Saturday. They were all very well and were inquiring for you. Seemed so sorry that you had to give up your work but thought North West was best place.
Isn't Mamma having a gay and giddy time. I tell you what there isn't a woman can touch her.
We have a whole family here, Mrs.Gilbert, Bessie the baby Edwin and the nurse. Edwin is a dear little fellow very quick and speaks quite plainly; but not as beautiful as Donald. The poor kid is frightened to death of the trains and when ever one passes it takes the united efforts of all to soothe him.
I did want to send you some lilies so badly, but you were too far away. The bed was a perfect sight; we sent fourteen bunches to different people.
Hilda is just beginning to recover herself she was nearly done out with Gourlay Colquhoun's devoted attentions to Sydney Stevenson. Sydney came up to stay with Hilda while I was away and Gourlay came down every night. As he is somewhat noisy in his "plative affections" 1 as he calls it, the girls nerves suffered somewhat. Did you know that Maude Haigh had left for Winnipeg? Spent the whole of one morning hunting for her only to find out from Tom that Mamma had mentioned in one of her letters to him that she had seen Annie, who said that Maude was coming up. Did you know that Charley Locke was a " happy poppa". Tom says he feels quite old but not at all anxious to follow Charley's example.
We had quite a time the night of Sherring's reception. As soon as he reached the wharf from Torono every bell and whistle sounded fireworks and blue lights burned and 13th band in full force. It was suggested to have the regiments out but the men objected, as they would not be able to enjoy themselves. The procession marched up to Victoria Park, where Sherring was presented with an address, a purse of money and a job worth $50 per month..2
Gourlay and Roderick Colquhoun came down for Sydney and Hilda, but finding them out condescended to come with the Clarks and myself. They insisted on our going all the way to the park and I was nearly dead.
I met a Mr. Ames at Mrs Ketchen's a little while ago. Did you know him? You are not as bad off as he is since he is threatened with another attack of Spinal Meningitis which will end either in insanity or death if he overworks himself.
We expect Edna home on Monday it will be nice to have her back. We wish she were here to see Edwin he would amuse her immensely. May Stephens leaves for Grimsby on Saturday. She does not expect to go up to Muskoka this year, but the others are there already.
Well my dear boy do take care of yourself, and don't attempt to do a thing unless you feel like it, your health is your chief concern.
With lots of love,
Your loving sister.
Mary B. McQuesten
1 Possibly referring to the use of platitudes.
2 BILLY SHERRING. Hamilton's Billy Sherring won the marathon in Athens, Greece
at the 'unofficial Olympics' of 1906. He also came second to Jack Caffrey in the Ancaster Old Mill Race, and was acknowledged to be the world premier marathoner.