W6173 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jul 2 1908
To: Calvin McQuesten Glenhurst Saskatchewan
My dearest Calvin,
This morning we got Ruby started off she went by the ten o'clock train and will take lunch with Mrs. Whittemore and then leave Toronto at 1:00.1 Helen Locke was just returning from her holidays on this morning's train, otherwise she and Helen would not have seen each other at all, it seemed quite a coincidence.2
I wrote you last in great haste after Ruby had been to the doctors in Toronto. She really seems perfectly well and I cannot help feeling thoroughly cross with Dr. Arnott for giving me such a fright and I really think a good rest and change at Ancaster would have been quite sufficient,3 but I did not like to disappoint Ruby and I also felt if she should happen to have any return of trouble I would blame myself. Besides the doctors in Toronto said, she needed a good change, so poor Tom again came to the rescue with $90 towards her expenses. The tickets to Laggan cost just the same $80 as to Calgary, so she will be able to see Lake Louise and I don't know what more. She goes by boat from Owen Sound. Florrie Whittemore is on the outlook for a boarding place for her. Now that I have no anxiety about her health, I am feeling much better, the money is of small importance, although I scarcely see how I am to get through.4
I wish indeed you could have seen the catalpas, they were a great sight, and the roses were so fine and so many of them, it is doubtful if there were any prettier sights, the catalpas form such a magnificent background people just stopped and gazed. The grass has kept so green too, and now the poppies are out.
Tom had his birth-day celebrated as usual, he has always been lucky in being home for a birth-day tea as next day is Dominion Day. When we were cleaning out the loft we came upon an old chair of your father's which had been broken and I got Gentle to repair it, so we just gave it to Tom for his present; as he will never lie down, it just suits him to stretch out in. He was fortunate enough to have business to do, so his expenses up were paid. He has had to bring up some large sum of money to Mr. Gibson in connection with some deal and was introduced by Mr. G. to Mr. Dewar of the Bank of Commerce, so he is getting to be known a little by people.5
Mrs. Colin Fletcher came in to-day with Mr. Irving6 who had come over the holiday to see Colin [Fletcher].7 He [Colin] is not exactly on his feet again, he is at Dr. [Donald] Fletcher's but the wound is not healed yet and Mrs. Colin seems a little doubtful as to his being altogether well again.
Ruby went to see the Uncle before she left, he says he has had a good many attacks lately she says he seems to think a great deal of you. I was thinking perhaps you might find time to write him, poor old chap. Tom thinks he ought by all means keep on right side of him, 49 Main St. is his address.8 I am afraid summer is over before you get the preserves, they are all jam so will keep till another year if you had a place to leave them.
Prof. McLaren had a slight stroke, he fell coming home from church, but recovered quickly.9 Edna is well indeed and active, has taken to visiting Aged Women's Home, taking roses to them. One of 105 years interests her very much. Capt Fairgrieve is in his office to-day first time for months, and I luckily happened in, so he offered to put in all my coal now, as the price is now at lowest and let me pay in October for which I am very thankful.10 Well, Calvin dear I must close, with much love from all.
Your loving Mother.
1 For Whittemore family, see W4815.
2 For Locke family, see W5382.
3 For Dr. Arnott, see W4815.
4 For Ruby's illness, see W6135. Ruby went to a sanatorium at Calgary for a rest cure.
5 Likely, Sir John Morison Gibson, see W4436.
6 For Irving family, see W4803. Mr. Irving was likely a relative of Dr. Irving, who died in 1901. Dr. Irving was Mrs. (Fletcher) Irving's husband (W7296).
7 For Fletcher family, see W4479, W4635. Rev. Colin Fletcher had abdominal surgery for "peritonitis" in May 1908 (W6125) and was not expected to be well enough to preach again for at least six months (W6223).
8 For Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten, see W1380.
9 Likely Prof. William McLaren, principal of Knox College since 1905. In 1875 he was convenor of the Foreign Missions Committee (FMC) and instrumental in establishing the first Woman's Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS). His wife Marjorie was the first president and they were closely involved in the first training centre for women overseas missionaries. In 1906 "the venerable" McLaren spoke against a union with the Western auxiliaries to form the WHMS, which Mary also resisted because it would effectively deplete funds and personnel for the overseas effort, but they were defeated (see my note to Mrs. Shortreed, W5172). McLaren was also involved in attempting to resolve the "gender conflict" and the Wilkie case, see W4651 (Brouwer 21, 24, 26, 36, 48, 133, 135). In the "Higher Criticism" and "Church Union" debate he was firmly on the side of the fundamentalists and the "anti-unionists" (as was Mary). See "professors & preachers" at W5283n (Moir Enduring 176, 199, 204; W6173). It is not known if he was related to Rev. W.W. McLaren (1873-1915) missionary pastor and principal of Birtle Indian Boarding School when Mary visited the West in 1906, see W9180n.
10 For Capt. Fairgrieve, see W4713.