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W8708a TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother Mary Baker McQuesten
Jul 4 1931
To: Rev. Calvin McQuesten [England]
From: 'Whitehern,' Hamilton, Ontario

Dear Calvin,

Your letter from Glassmere with card came this morning; glad you are safe in England again. You have certainly seen an amazing amount. So fortunate to have friend at Geneva. I think one of your letters must have gone astray, for I never heard what you did during last week of May, but to our astonishment Grace Stevens sent us an "Edmonton Journal" with a most humorous and delightful account of "Hunting the Nightingale" written by someone, who with you had pursued the bird in Surrey. We had often wondered if you had ever heard it. We were glad to read that after long weary pursuit you had such a quiet restful spot as White Lodge Farm.

The paper came on Tom's Birthday and Alice's. She came up greatly excited to show me the lovely little present you had sent her. She was tremendously pleased and amazed at your thoughtfulness. We have been having for a week a fearfully hot spell and of course Son Tom had to act as pall bearer for Miss McIlwraith in her 93rd year. Was required to wear full dress & silk hat. By this time the money will have reached you for we sent it off immediately. H. took it, my cheque, to the Bank and an agreeable Clerk was to cable it right away. That was June 29th. By the Itinerary I see your left London before the King's Birthday, when he was to troop the colours, but the crowd was so terrific you might not have been able to see it, and I fancy you would want to go South as soon and possible; but you did not after all escape the heat. We are wondering if it was Lukie Johnstone who went with you hunting the nightingale. The article is so nicely written who says he received a letter from an unknown friend in Hamilton, Ontario. Finally he refers to you as Rev. Calvin McQuesten Pres of the Hamilton Bird Society Inc. Then gives a pretty description of the old Farm houses. He must be sending series of articles to that paper for at the end it says "to be Continued." Glad you saw the Lake Country. We did not. In one of the papers was a picture of Dean Johnstone a fine looking white haired man. It takes about ten days for your letters from England. When you get back to London, you ought to find a great many letters for I kept steadily writing.

Hurrah! Mary has just found in tonight's Spectator Luckie Johnstone's account of your "Hunt for the Nightingale," very amusing. Well you were very successful.

On Tom's Birthday we invited Norman L. over to have a piece of H.'s fine cake and then Tom read out to him the article in Edmonton Paper. Must close. With much love.

Your affectionate Mother

M.B. McQuesten

[P.S.] Monday. I missed Sat. night's mail. But will catch to-night. Am keeping some spectators for you for you friends, sending some myself. Called up to a terrible heat. Better to-day.

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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.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

Hamilton Public Library This site was created in partnership with and is hosted by the Hamilton Public Library. Canada's Digital Collections This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections initiative, Industry Canada.