W9038 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN FROM [MRS.?] [R.?] J. JAFFARY
Nov 7 1910
To: Rev. Calvin McQuesten [Flanagan?] Hotel Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
From: 449-9th St. Edmonton, Alberta
Dear Mr. McQuesten,
It was a great pleasure to hear from you once more, & we are very grateful for the compliment implied in your request, at least I am & in order that a reply may reach you by return mail am writing in Mr Jaffary's stead.
First of all may we offer our deep regrets & sincere sympathy to yourself & family in your sister's illness. We had not heard of it & when I recall her photograph in Macleod days, it seems almost impossible. But I know well how brave she & you all will be about it, knowing these sorrows must [?] a [larger?] life. Am so glad for you all she is home. My oldest nephew has been out in Arizona for over a year with [same??] trouble & it is so hard for my sister to be separated from him & the chances of recovery are doubtful.1
As to First Church--you have asked some questions that involve very frank replies. Yet we know you will respect our wishes that any statements may be considered confidential. We attended that church for nearly four years but are now members at [Robertson?] Church. Therefore do not know why Mr. Dowling did not remain. The previous Assistant Mr. [Stevenson?]--now in charge at [?]--lived in our house during his year of office, & he found it a very difficult position to fill. Dr. McQueen has a mania--pardon the expression--for attending church [courts?] & Committee meetings thus being absent from his pulpit more than any minister we ever knew of. This throws the burden of work on the Assistant, both Sunday & [week?] evening services--not to mention the visiting. It is a large congregation--should be a very influential one, but is largely under old time management & so far as modern church work & methods go, is twenty-five years behind the present time. As it is the Presbyterian congregation in [wealth?], social position & [numbers?] (about six or seven hundred members) it demands a great deal from its assistant pastor & offers a poor salary in return. There are very few church workers except for the business part & these are largely selfmade men. If you can recall what you once told me of what Hamilton people endured under Dr. Fletcher or Dundas under Dr. Laing you will have a fair estimate in my opinion of First Church pastor & his relation to his congregation. We cannot sympathize with Dr. McQueen either in his preaching or methods of work--much as we regret it, & do know that previous assistants have found the position very trying. Now this is very plain, but it would be unfair to you & ourselves too did we not give you an honest opinion.
You are still at perfect liberty to apply for the position & if successful would have our heartiest wishes. It would be a pleasure to have you in Edmonton & I think you would enjoy our city. It is beautifully situated & though [over done?] with real estate agents & [deals?] at present no doubt has a fine future.
Remember us very kindly to your mother when writing & with kind regards to yourself in which Mr. Jaffary joins.
Yours very sincerely
[R.?] J. Jaffary, [likely Mrs.]
Mr. C. McQuesten
1 Calvin's sister, Ruby, was suffering in the final stages of Tuberculosis and had been sent to a cottage on the Hamilton Mountain to be close to her family. She died on April 9, 1911. See Ruby's Bio.