Anglicans still going great!

It was a well-deserved reward when St. John’s Anglicans won first prize for their entry in the Canada Day parade.
Excelling in social event of all kinds here, the Anglicans have been community-minded to the core right along, and I can go back a long way with these great people.
Not only do they put on unbeatable banquets regularly, they have long been outstanding for backing youth activities of all kinds. Before my family moved out of town, I was in their young Wolf Cubs and would have become a Boy Scout later.
I had also joined St. John’s Sunday school with my parents’ full approval and sometimes they could spare a dollar for church collections.
Here I must have been outstanding for once in my lifetime, because I won the class attendance prize—a Bible. Our Sunday school teacher was usually Dorcas Hampshire (later King of Emo).
In those days and apparently even yet, the Anglicans had the knack of keeping the kids keen and active especially when we were offered a one-week stay up Rainy Lake in summertime. We went to historic Lost Island which preceded Sunny Cove Camp, and had the same appeal.
Our venerated preacher of those days was Archdeacon H.V. Maltby, who depended on a pair of parish leaders, Jack and Mrs. Keenahan, to keep us going all out, both at the camp and throughout the years.
They led us with ideas like sing-songs, corn-roasts and a hockey team–and later, of course, the famous and well-travelled Fort Frances Drum and Bugle Corps, a marching band.
The Anglicans kept everyone going in one way or another right along, and I always regretted not always being around for more of their fun stuff.
But I didn’t forget them while living away and once brought a young bush rabbit to Mrs. Keenahan for a pet. She and Jack were delighted and raised it in the post office basement where they were the caretakers.
Although I had missed their Drum and Bugle Corps training, Mrs. Keenahan made sure I was invited to their reunion dinner, so I got the chance to cover that event for the Times. Recently, I met some of their grandchildren. The Keenahams will always be dear for many of us.
So, the Anglicans, who are most fond of recalling their historic church and missionary career in this part of Canada, have long shown us their human side, too. Many of us cherish our old photos.
Fort Frances needed the Anglicans to get us moving along the right lines, and I want to congratulate them again here on their latest triumph, the Canada Day parade. But they’ve always been winners!
The Anglicans used to involve us young boys in their choirs, too. I don’t suppose I could ever sing well but there I was, black gown, stiff collar and bow tie, attempting to fill in with several others I could name. I believe the late George Calder may have been our best voice, but we all tried, along with the adults who possessed some very fine tones, so we struggled to make ourselves heard.
The late bank manager, W.T. Russell was there too, a powerful presence.
Nostalgia always sneaks in when St. John’s is mentioned, although my own family was anything but Anglican. Mother grew up near Kingston as a Methodist and my dad had never been near any church as a farm boy in Italy although he generally presumed to be Catholic.
But they encouraged my early Anglican connection as a healthy thing and came to church too, if not regularly. There were father and son dinners my father attended and Minister Maltby would visit our home.
On one such occasion he told my mother the churchyard needed someone to push the lawnmower and he paid me 75 cents every Saturday to use his motor-less machine all around the church building as well as over the field behind and also around the manse as Anglicans call their minister’s home.
Then I got a quarter through the winter months for going through his home basement window to empty the ashes from his coal furnace.
That paid for the movie Saturday. I continued depending on the old white-haired archdeacon for spending money through the thirties when lots of other kids went with empty pockets! He may have been somewhat crusty with others, but I never got a cross word during our lengthy relationship.
It does me good to look back on my Anglican days and wish them all more good fortune right along. I still take in a supper there once in a while and brag about how well they can feed you!
My regular connection ended before the war years, when I was away in the shipyard, airforce and college afterwards. Then I married into another denomination. But every once in a while, I recall the good old times with St. John’s.
• • •
Howie Hampton never mentioned this to me, but his father, George, wonders how long our popular member of provincial parliament can carry on the new and much faster pace that goes along with the expansion of his riding.
George points out Howie’s present constituency stretches far outside Rainy River District, which was his regular beat and required plenty of travel before this. Now, Howie looks after provincial affairs right up to Red Lake.
His dad compares the new circuit, requiring much extra air travel, to approximately the same size as all of England.
Howie has been an extremely active legislator–as well as leader of his NDP party now, and George is worried his conscientious son may wear himself out. As it stands now, Howie doesn’t even get home even to see his parents very often.
• • •
Calvin Muckle, here from his home in Oshawa, has been another busy guy since arriving to shake hands with all his old friends here while waiting his Canada Day appearance and dedication of the new big chair at Point Park which he sponsored.
Having been in school here with some of us, he stopped for breakfast in McDonald’s to take a picture. He also recalled Point Park beach, where his folks ran the pavilion for a while, during the thirties. He said there was one summer when the lake was even lower than today! He thought that was probably 1933, a sad year for many reasons.
His older brother, Lionel, operated the Daily Reminder newspaper briefly. Their father was a district railroader, so Cal was headed east up to the Glenorchie where his dad worked about 100 years ago.
• • •
U.S. Newsman Larry King revived the UFO’s story the other day and wonders why the American Army is keeping it under wraps so long because the so-called “flying saucers” landed in New Mexico 56 years ago. Believed to come from outer space, the Americans have not confirmed or denied there were bodies found near the crash site. And we’ve been seeing UFO’s here ever since.
Rainy Lake was all agog with such sightings for many years. Until lately, we couldn’t leave the story alone and the U.S. space officials insist on keeping us guessing!
• • •
Now it’s haying time around this district and there’s not much satisfaction, especially since the rain Sunday only made a poor crop worse. The haymakers were putting the hustle on their pitiful crop when they found themselves out of step with the weatherman again. Now they’ll be wearing out their rakes to keep on turning the windrows in hopes of drying the hay for baling before the feed value leaves it completely!

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