W5765 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jan 15 1907
To: Calvin McQuesten 22 Sewweud Toronto Ontario
From: 'Whitehern' Hamilton Ontario
My dear Calvin,
There is really nothing at all going on except meetings and last week, we had such a number and I have not yet recovered, and simply dread going to one to-day, the W.H.M.S. But I seem to have been dragged into it. Elsie Buchanan1 was forced into being President and the Evening meetings are to be discontinued they are to be in the afternoon now, for after Mrs. Fletcher declined and Mrs. Marsh went away no other lady would face a general meeting.2
I do not want them to look to me, because I find, I cannot stand too much in the way of being responsible. We have so much material to help us in the W.F.M.S. meetings, but it is not so in the Homework.3 If one had Mrs. Ross's gift in giving Bible Readings,4 it would be a great help, but it is very difficult for me now to fix my attention sufficiently on my subject as to make a study of it, my mind wanders so much.
We had a great snow-storm on Friday night and it cost me a dollar to get it off. I had a letter from Dr. Gilbart last week, which I will send in the parcel, it is so sad about poor Mrs. Gilbart, it was far too hard a life for her.5
Well, I have just returned from our W.H.M.S. meeting. We had quite a large turn out, having the meeting at 4:30, we had a number of teachers, and others who have never before come to anything. I always feel quite ashamed of the way in which I have to fight myself, the W.F.M.S. has so long been the chief thing with me that I know I am jealous of any other society coming in, so I am constantly reasoning with myself and fighting the feeling.
Isn't it terrible this Earthquake in Jamaica? They seem to be coming all over. When we came home we found a message left by Edna, that she had gone to take tea with Mrs. Mullin. Last night we had Lorna Culham for tea, she teaches Domestic Science at one of the schools.
I am glad you have friends to go to on Sabbath. I often wonder that Tom does not keep up with his friends more. I hope to write a more interesting letter next time, but am somewhat stupid myself just now. With much love to Tom and yourself from all.
Your loving mother
[P.S.] We got off the parcel to-night.
1 For Elsie Buchanan, see W4367.
2 For Fletcher family, see W4479.
3 The "Homework" is the Women's Home Missionary Society (WHMS). It was formed in 1903 to minister to the men in the gold fields of British Columbia and Alaska. Mary held executive positions in both auxiliaries and was exhausted. However, on February 5 she gave another address to WFMS auxiliary :
The subject for our Mission study this year is 'The Islands of the Pacific' and as the London Miss. Society was the first to send Missionaries to the South Seas and as I had heard that it had published a report of its work from the beginning at the time of its Centennial, I determined to write for it hoping the cost would not be much. So on January 8th I wrote to Rev. Wardlaw Thompson, the Secretary whom I met at Ecumenical Conference. So on Friday I received a very nice note from the Ass. Sec. and on Saturday the book, a very nice one bound in cloth and illustrated for one shilling and six pence for postage. I was just delighted. There was the full account with portraits of Capt. Wilson who commanded the Mission ship, having been converted under Rev. John Griffin at Portsea Chapel (Grandpa's Church) and Dr. Bogue who was principal of the Missionary Seminary Grandpa attended and full of names most familiar to one in childhood. (W5784)
I have been unable to locate Mary's finished paper or the book. In March 1907 Mary had another of her "blind turns" (W5804) and she remained exhausted throughout the year. In May she was in Brantford at an annual meeting of the Presbytery WFMS (W5844). At the annual meeting of the MacNab WFMS in December 1907 she resigned "her office as president on account of ill health" but a plan was adopted that the society retain Mrs. McQuesten as president and that ten of the members be asked to preside at the monthly meetings (WFMS "Minutes," December 1907; DHB3.6). For a note on the conflict between the FMC and the WFMS and the WHMS, see W5172n for Mrs. Shortreed and W6853.
By the following article, it appears that both the WFMS and the WHMS continued for a time.
A newspaper clipping [unidentified] in the MacNab Street Presbyterian Church archive, about the annual meeting of five congregations (likely dated 1908 since it mentions 1907), gives a report by Mr. W. H. Wardrope for the "Womens' Foreign Missionary Society [WFMS] which now has 38 members or an increase of 3 over 1907. The receipts for the year were $148.25, or $5.43 over the amount raised the previous year. The expenses of the society for the year totaled $2 and the remainder was devoted to missions." Mrs. Moncour reported that the Women's Home Missionary Society [WHMS] now had 34 members and held nine meetings during the year. Its work had been chiefly in aid of Mr. Allan, who is working in the lumber camp about [illegible]. The receipts for the year were [illegible]76.65. [it is impossible to know if there was a digit preceding the 7.]
The Ladies' Aid [?] had raised during the year the sum of $667.39 and of that $666.10 had been expended on a new carpet for the church. The balance on hand was $2.29. [the article continues with other church business and then continues with another financial summary]
The total amount raised by the congregation for all purposes was $9,559.16. The amount given the missions was $2,774.69, or an increase over last year of $782. [balance of article illegible].
4 For Ross family, see W4651.
5 For Gilbart, see W5464. Mary visited the Gilbarts while touring the Western missions during May 1906.