W7365 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from M. Alice Crombie
Dec 18 1902
To: Calvin McQuesten Montreal, Quebec
From: 113 Maitland St., Toronto, Ontario
Dear Mr. McQuesten,
Note the complete heading of this, and be assured that I am not treating you to a geography lesson -- I've been writing so many out-of-the-country letters that the full description has become a habit. Well, after this interesting prelude I'll proceed -- you'll never make me believe your letter last week was anything more than a gentle reminder that Thurs. was coming, and however delinquent friends are during the year, they surely
mean to pay up their debts when the year expires. Then too, your knowledge of my methodical habits (?) would tell you that I had an unaccustomed letter (dated April 7th) on file, and so I am convinced that Mr. Terry was a mere blind -- n'est-ce-pas? Well, we'll let that pass, your cute, no mistake, and I do admire the courtesy, but I'll have the last word, and to do myself justice was planning a visit with you to enclose holiday greetings. The rush is abnormal at present has been for six months or more, but I'm too Scotch to drop my friends for the sake of a few minutes in which to mail a bit scrappie [sic] of Xmas wishes. And so this goes full of merry greetings for Xmas, New Year.
Mr. Terry has as yet not materialized, all the pink complections I could see in the C.E. did not have a name similar to your friend -- no doubt he is getting his city bearings, & we shall see him later. I shall be most happy to play the agreeable to your friend, & must scare up my most gracious manner. I hope he will find Central all & more than you reported. It will be a pleasure for us to "mother" any friend introduced by you, for their own sakes as well as yours.
Toronto looks much as usual at this time of year -- we've had little severe weather as yet, but there is intense suffering for the want of fuel, & it will be more ere the season ends. The Mission nearly died & was buried in summer, it was certainly in its final throes, but it is creeping slowly back to life, & is assuming its normal Xmas activity -- they are planning for the entertainment on the 2nd Jan. I have not been at school for over two months on account of added home cares, & I found I had to rest on Sabbath. There was absolutely nothing for the lads at the time, so I felt more justified in doing so.
The C.E. is in good healthy condition just now -- we are having quite a number of young men coming in, if we can hold them. They gave an evening last Monday in the Working Men's Home (Frederick St.) which was much appreciated. Then we were active on the Prohibition Campaign distributing literature -- wasn't the majority good in Toronto? Our miss'ny Com. [missionary committee] is in capital shape. (I've been acting convener, so you know the reason why). Seriously we have had real life this year: we have got a fine new library case, and ever so many good new up to date missionary volumes -- & it is in working order now. I asked Ed. Jeffrey to become librarian permanently & he accepted so very cheerfully it did me good: and I know the work will be carefully done. He is such a splendid fellow, & one to be depended on. We are writing each month to one of our missionaries, to keep up interest, & have no difficulty in getting help for our Miss'ny meetings, so altogether we have reason to be very thankful.
I had a letter from Bro. Bruce last week -- the party had reached their destination in safety, but was greatly grieved at the news which awaited them. Mr. B. was to have been with Mr. Hord at his station. Have every confidence in Bruce, he will do excellent work wherever it is. At prayer meeting last evening Albert Thompson said a few words -- do you remember him? He is going off to Jerusalem to work there I believe -- you know he was always so much interested in the Jews -- his perseverance & faith were always an inspiration to me.
Fred Anderson is at last finishing up at Knox: he is looking better & is feeling fairly well, but admits he has no reserve strength -- he is, & always was of such a sanguine temperament, one scarcely believes him when he says he is well: however he got such a thorough shaking up, he is different now -- I still live in the dark as to his future movements. The C.E. are planning their usual pound offering for Xmas eve, for distribution amongst the poor -- I hope the congregation will respond as liberally as usual.
There is a startling event in Toronto today, an old Jew beggar rag picker died in Toronto Gen. Hospital -- he came there in the most abject poverty & died of pluro-pneumonia. After death he had on his person bonds worth over $100,000 -- think of it? It has been the town talk.
The Boy's Guild in Central is quite a flourishing organization, they have now an advisory board no less composed of Charlie Gordon, Forbes, & Dave Gibson R. B. Mills & Will McTavish -- I'm ever so glad McTavish has been induced to help -- he has always been so much in the Y.M.C.A. we c'd never lay hands on him. They had an evening a week ago in Assn. Hall. Barton's brother from Hamilton Y.M.C.A. gave an illustrated talk on exercise & muscle development, which was most entertaining instruction. Did you know the girl J. L. Murray married? I hear she was giddy -- & some one had the audacity to tell me social life was important in the work he had gone to? Think of putting that first?
As usual there is no end to my tongue, but I must conclude. D. M. Vicar's death was very sad, but how beautiful a home going & ending for such an active career -- Greetings from all
Sincerely y'r friend
M. Alice Crombie