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[Written at top] Sent on New Outlook yesterday

W7085 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jul 8 1930
To: Calvin McQuesten Foote's Bay, Muskoka
From: 'Whitehern' Hamilton

My dear Calvin,

Yesterday Mr. C. [Chisholm] was operated on and a tube inserted to draw off pus of which there was a great deal from an ulcer back of appendix, but latter is not removed yet. He had a good night and doctor well satisfied.1

Last evening Tom took us all to see the Rock Garden and also approach to McMaster.2 It is all beyond description simply amazing. At Gage Park 120,000 seedlings were grown and used, the rock work is marvellous.3 We are having great speeches, but none on Radio since Dunning. But in this mornings "Globe" there [sic] Hon. Frank Oliver speaking in the West has given a great exposure of the Wheat Pool, which ought to help things.4 On the front page the Globe has actually come out quite well, of course taking praise to itself. I am doing well with my reading with my ette [sic] glass and the whole "Globe."5

The lady senator too I think is helping letting [sic] the women of cheaper tea and china.6 I surveyed the front garden last night, the Phlox D. is perfectly beautiful and the blue petunias round the Heart extremely fine. Another good shower last night, so that every thing is in profusion. Take care of yourself, with much love.

Your mother

M.B. McQuesten

1 James Chisholm had an appendectomy at seventy-two years of age, see W7085, W7095, W7103, W7111. He died in 1944 at eighty-six years of age (DHB3.33). For James Chisholm, see W2520.

2 In her letter of June 18, 1928, Mary wrote: "[P.S.] Very large individual contributions coming in for McMaster; nearly the $500,000" (W7010, see also Whidden W7095). Tom and his family and colleagues were instrumental in bringing McMaster to Hamilton from Toronto. Tom as head of the Parks Board and C.V. Langs as Chairman offered McMaster 50 acres of property and committed to develop a park setting free of charge to provide the campus, and "a citizens committee pledged to raise $500,000." Tom saw the acquisition of McMaster for Hamilton as one of the great coups of his career:

We've never landed such a fish as this. . . . Our whole development has been on mechanics lines. And the result has been, the owners don't live here . . . and Hamilton has become too much a factory town. This is the first break toward a broader culture and higher educational development. It was sorely needed. Did I ever think what a great work 'university' is? - It has never been let down, never become stale or commonplace, always dignified and lofty. (Best 58). See also W7095, Box 12-405.

3 At this time Tom had many parks and building projects under development (see Cauchon, W-MCP1-3b.015). He frequently took his mother on inspection trips. In 1909 they made a trip by train to Fonthill Nurseries and Mary describes "the botanical wonders they saw" (W6521). On July 3 1930 Mary wrote: "We are having beautiful weather and on Tuesday morning Tom took me to Gage Park and as it was rainy and a holiday at noon he drove over the grass. The ramblers over the bed and roses in the bed in front of greenhouse are beyond description; and long rows of scarlet geraniums etc." (W7080), on May 15 1931: "Rock Garden brilliant" (W7124), on May 19 1931: "Had been down to Gage Park the day before (Sunday). The honesty is a sight to behold in that bed against the fence. The whole place beautiful" (W7128, see also W7136). Also, Mary's letters give seasonal descriptions of the Whitehern gardens. In Mary's obituary, Tom gave his mother full credit for his dedication to beauty:

Mr. McQuesten himself has told of the large part his mother has played in molding his tastes, his standards and his plan of life. Not the least of her contributions to him was to give him a love for beauty that was large enough to spread out and influence the appearance of a great city. . . . Large areas of Hamilton are, in the last analysis, a reflection of her love of beauty. (The Hamilton Herald December 7, 1934)

4 Hon. Charles Dunning (1885-1958) businessman, Liberal politician, premier of Saskatchewan 1922-26, then minister of railways and canals, and then minister of finance under Mackenzie King 1926-30 and 1935-39 (CE 636). On July 3, 1930 Mary wrote: "Last night we heard Dunning from St. Thomas, his own constituency, heard him very clearly, so I was tempted to listen till nearly eleven when my head rang. I think the broadcasting worth the money. I doubt if ever the people knew before how much the Government had done. I am sure I had not the faintest idea and he gave such a presentation of conditions all over the world including the US. You probably heard it all from Cobourg" (W7080). The Hamilton Spectator, July 9, 1930 reported that in Dunning's previous address he had presented the budget and had upheld Mackenzie King's move toward greater Empire trade. This involved $250,000,000 "worth of trade [that] would be taken away from the United States and given to the Empire." See also W7111.

5 For Hon. Frank Oliver, see W5788. On July 5, 1930, The Hamilton Spectator reported on Oliver's "Strong Criticism of Pool Methods Made in Winnipeg. . . . The Pool as a business organization has achieved bankruptcy. The prices paid to farmer members for their wheat is lower than at any time since formation of the joint pool in 1924."

6 Mary purchased a lorgnette when she was in England in 1924, see W8719.

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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.
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