Bits and Pieces

A Sticky Issue

I think I will mention a rather amusing incident in connection with a service held at Tisdale. A young bachelor of the district decided to go to church that morning, remembering that his syrup can was empty, took it along to have it filled, and presented it at one of the stores, remarking that he would like to have it ready to take back after the service. The weather being cold and the storekeeper having a few minutes to spare, placed the can under a 56 gallon hogshead and turned on the tap, intending to turn it off before leaving for the service. Being one of the main singers and a leader of the choir he made haste to be at the service in time for the opening hymn, service being held in the boarding house, he forgot all about the tap. All went well until the last hymn, when half way through the first verse, he remembered the syrup. Having no music at that time, he held the key to the situation; and each verse was faster and faster, and the congregation wondered why the haste. Needless to say, he did not stay for the Benediction, but left quietly by a back door making the quickest time he had ever done, for the store; However, the found things not too bad, the bachelor got full measure, and the floor got some, but I do not think the loss was very serious, but it was a good ' joke around town and country for some time. The store keeper referred to is now a resident of Killarney. Byron Mason


Mrs. John Williams tells of her first start in poultry raising. Securing a setting of eggs from a neighbor, she found a wild duck’s nest and a prairie chicken’s nest, and traded eggs with the nest owners with the result, that in due course, every egg but one brought forth a little chick, which was watched for, and carefully tended in the house, until able to fend for itself. T.J. Lawlor

Distinguished Visitors

We had an occasional concert too. The first concert was held in the school, in March 1885, as a farewell to Rev. Andrew Stewart, the first minister to hold services in this district. We also had a banquet and concert in September of the same year, to say goodbye to Charles W. Gordon, then but a student, never thinking that he would become, as “Ralph Connor”, such a noted writer in later years. The centre of community life, in the early days, was the church service, and every one attended, no matter what the denomination of the preacher. Some of the early Settlers will remember how J, G. Smith used to get the right tone for the hymns from his tuning fork, and how, once Mrs. John Williains started “Nearer My God to Thee” to the tune of “Robin Adair.” It went well, too. T.J. Lawlor

Some notable persons were entertained in the humble farm homes in those days. Among them were Lord John Pollock, of London, Eng, Professor Tanner, of Edinborough, Scotland. These two were accompanied by Mr. J. W. Dafoe, later editor of the Winnipeg Free Press. He was on duty as reporter. It was Mrs."Geo. Haight, who did the entertaining on this occasion.  J. Haight


Mr. Rowsom, when telling Mr. Gordon of the new game laws, expressed the opinion that it was quite right for the prairie chickens to be protected, as they stayed here all winter, but the ducks, being here for he summer only, didn’t need protection. Mr. Gordon could not see eye to eye with him there, his opinion being that a bird that could fly, and hadn’t sense enough to get out of this country for the winter didn’t deserve protection. In expressing an opinion on returning borrowed articles, he said it wasn’t right to break the laws of the country, if people wanted their things let them go after them, and be mighty thankful that they knew where they were.  Alex Rankin