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W6746 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Aug 11 1911
To: Calvin McQuesten Staney Brae Muskoka
From: 'Whitehern'

My dearest Calvin.

Am obliged to use a pad, as am out of any but best paper and it is too warm to go out. Tom came home with good news last night; his salary is raised from July 1st to $100 a month. Mr. C. said they cleared last year $12000 of this Mr. C. gets 3/5, Mr. L. 2/5; next year they expect to make more and then Tom is to have a "very substantial increase." This is very encouraging and Tom certainly deserves it from the way he treats us1.

Well yesterday afternoon H. E [Hilda, Edna] and myself actually went to the matinee at the Temple Theatre, (formerly Bennett's). Isn't it terrible? The Thomsons going to-day. Well, we went to see the Kinemacolor pictures of the Coronation and London scenes I do hope you will have a chance some day of seeing them. They were perfectly wonderful, coloured, said to be taken just as they were. You seemed to see the whole thing before you, it was just marvellous [sic]. Must tell you when I see you, we were just lost in wonder. There you saw the King and Queen bowing etc. The Lord Mayor presenting, the addressing, bowing, then being helped on his horse, his voluminous robes being much in the way, then riding off. In fact we were being raced along all the time at such a rate I was quite out of breath The Peers and Peeresses hurrying into Westminster Abbey holding up their robes here most comical and so natural, elderly gentlemen looking much "fussed". They concluded by showing spring flowers coming into bloom, very wonderful2.

I do not hear of any vacant churches except those I noticed in Presbyterian, Kincardine and St. Thomas. Before we went away Mrs. Steele came in. Mr. Gray, she said, was not at all a good visitor and she wondered if he would not be expected to do a great deal of that, as he was only to preach once a day. Then he was no use at all either in his own house or in other peoples' in making a pleasant evening with young people. They had so many years of always "considering" Mr. Gray and he still needs it, that they would like to get one in good health3. The Steeles will be away in Vancouver till Oct.1st4. I hope you received the Globe, they promised to begin last Saturday I am going down to Chippawa on Saturday to see what sort of a place Mary is in, her two weeks will be up on Wednesday and I want to see if it is a good place for her. Can go for week end for $1.40.

Edna was pleased to hear from you, she is very well indeed, stands heat better than any of us. Are your rooms all taken. Hilda is off to Toronto to-day with Jean MacLaren, thinks her nose improving a good deal and has gone for another treatment. Fortunately for us us [sic], the nights cool off, very nicely. We had a Mr. Sillars from Edinboro' preaching, think I told you about it. Mr. Thomson came in last evening, just delighted with him and not at all pleased I think, that our young people were not enthusiastic5. He wants to settle in this country as he has daughters here and is much taken with the West, he is far too old for it. Well, I must close, glad you are not having to preach this hot summer. Have not yet heard from you how to send the money or when. With much love.

Your affectionate mother

M.B. McQuesten

[P.S.] As Tom was away with Strap.Watson last Sabbath6, he did not get British Weekly read.


1 Tom's salary was increased to $1200 per year. Tom wrote to Calvin, August 17, 1911: "I am getting a larger office, which I suppose will be a gratification to Mrs. McQ. She sniffed every time she came into the present office" (W8239).


2 The Hamilton Spectator, August 8, 1911, reviewed the show at the Temple Theatre in the "Music and Drama" column and described the Coronation pictures of George V in 1910 as a

grand tour round the world by. . .this marvelous invention. . . . How perfect this color motion photography is by Kinemacolor. . . . It was possible to see the coronation procession as it actually took place with the rich colors of the . . . military, the gaudy decorations in the streets, and the multitudinous shades of the thousands of horses. These were not tinted pictures, but the actual reproduction of the scene as it was. Foods and wines were depicted. Then came a trip of Lake Garda in Italy. . . Then a film dealing with ships that were reviewed by the King. . . . Then the growth of flowers . . . a performance which had a distinct attractiveness from a scientific as well as a purely pictorial point of view as the blossoms were shown from their growth from a bud to full bloom.

Mary did not normally approve of going to the theatre and her children were not allowed to attend. But presumably the Coronation pictures were considered acceptable theatre fare. Also live theatre was permitted and Mary describes the Shakespearean plays they attended in June 1904 (W5233).


3 Rev. Samuel Harper Gray (1873-1916) B.A. Queen's University 1894, M.A. 1895, Knox College 1895-98, ordained Calgary 1898, missionary Banff and Canmore 1898-99, Knox Church, Dundas 1899-1911, Toronto 1911-16.


4 For Mrs. J. Emily Steele, see W4387. In 1911 she was elected as president of the national WFMS, at which time she moved to Toronto (Brouwer 41).


5 Sillars was previously mentioned in W6738.


6 For Watson family, see W4588.




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The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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