User:Tim/Letters of James McLean, Sutherland, Saskatchewan to Lachlan McLean, Brooke Township, Lambton, Ontario, Canada


Sutherland, Sask. Dec 17th 1941

Mr & Mrs Lachlan McLean and Family RR No. 7 Watford Ont

Dear Cousins, Another Christmas has rolled near to hand and with world condition in a state of turmoil it does seem as if each Christmas is getting more drear than that of the previous year. To us older people it is just that, but to the young people Christmas still means to them what it should mean to all of us, namely, a season for rejoicing and celebration on the anniversary of the birth of our Saviour. We here have come to be thankful as the savagery of war is not likely to reach us for some little time to come, but come it will in time. We would be hoping for too much to expect immunity from hostilities when so large a part of the rest of the world is involved.

We are all well. I am the ailing member of our family just now. I have been home eight days after spending seventeen days in hospital with inflammation of the bladder which is a most painful and flesh reducing ailment. It comes from a cold. I have never had it before and I do not expect to have it again. Lizzie kept the home fires burning and she visited me twice daily whilst I was indisposed and she then paid my hospital and doctors bills and brought me home where I am now recuperating rapidly under her watchful care and guidance.

The other members of our family are well. Flora and her husband (Edward George Grest) and their two children Keith 8 and Barbara Fern 5 were at home with us for six weeks this summer. The children had a wonderful time here and with Neil, and his wife Myrtle, on our farm. Here they rode round behind our horses; and on our farm Neil let them drive the tractor – after he had set it to a fixed speed and a positive course. They motored from Washington D.C. and their speedometer recorded the distance as 2451 miles one way. On reaching Minneapolis, on their homeward or return journey both children started to cry and they said that they did not want to go to Washington; but that they wanted to return to Grandpa’s and Grandma’s where they had such a good time. From there onward the children lost all interest in the scenic beauty of their ever changing surroundings. Early in May I wrote them rather a pressing letter advising them to come home and explaining to Edward how the war might affect the home of his widowed mother seeing that she has two sons in the air force. I did this in the face of the knowledge that Edward was building a new ten thousand dollar house; but they were most thankful for my timely advice which set them to thinking very seriously, and their decision came quickly. Now here is what happened. Edward saw his mother, two brothers and four sisters and they were all together on several occasions and had some very happy times together. His youngest sister had been recently married and she was expecting her first child. On July 20th, while Ed. was called back to Montana to do some inspection work his sister had to have the Caesarian operation from which she did not recover; but the child is doing well. Edward was unable to be present at her funeral, although his work, being completed, he returned here and to his mother’s place two weeks later. I believe in premonitions; but I did not at any time think that it was Ethel, Edward’s youngest sister who would be the first to break the family circle.

Our 1941 harvest, in the district where our farm is located was much like your description of your wet harvest of 1940. Neil was fortunate that he has his own truck, tractor and combine. After the sun shone for a few hours Myrtle would take the truck and Neil would take his tractor and combine and they would make a dash for the field. On occasions they would get one – two – or three loads of threshed grain and then they would have to wait for another day, or several days as the case might be. However, they got all their grain successfully harvested. The crop was light and made up of the following: Wheat 2,500 bu; Oats 600 bu; Flax 300 bu; Peas (“Cashaway”) 40 bu. Due to dampness he had to take lower grades on his flax and wheat. The oats are of excellent quality; and as seed is scarce he will be able to get 50 cents per bushel for them. They are of the “Barmer” variety which with the variety “Vanguard” are still very popular in the West.

We had a letter from Mabel last week and with it was the account of Dorothy Houck’s wedding in Niagara Falls, Ont. It was quite a social event.

This is my Christmas letter and once more we wish for all of you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous and happy New Year. From your affectionate cousins Mr. & Mrs. James McLean.

154 9th Street Sutherland Sask, Dec 18th 1942

Dear Lachie, Christmas gets closer daily, and with it comes memories of happy years gone by. You and we now stand closer to a great abyss than we have ever stood before. We are, as it were, between two worlds; the one slipping from under our feet; and the other approaching to receive us. All we can do is place our hands in the hand of God which “is better than a light and which will lead us in the known way.”

We were sorry to learn from a letter received from Mabel, in the late summer, that Christena had passed away. As a wife and mother she was without a peer and her presence, patience and wisdom will be greatly missed from the home which she loved, where she was loved and where she managed so well. To your sons, and daughters I say this: It was an old Bohemian who gave me the wisest bit of comfort that I had following my father’s death. Mr. Kredla said to me, “Well! Mr. McLean you lost your father. You must always remember that your father’s time had come, and although he was old and full of years, yet he had to go; but you will always miss him.” Now isn’t it a fact that no matter when our loved ones are taken away, be they old or young, we always miss them; and memories of them, when recalled, are ever sweet.

Lizzie and I are living alone here since I went into retirement on Nov 1st last, so we are no longer living in the government house which we enjoyed for 28 ½ years. We are now in our own home which we acquired 24 years and which has been undergoing slight improvements ever since. Our property has 100 feet of frontage and 150 feet depth. We have electric light, sewer and water. We are four miles from the center of Saskatoon, but our telephone No 4842 is on the Saskatoon circuit. All telephones in Sutherland are on the city circuit. We like it here much better than we would in the city which is only 10 minutes distant by an hourly bus in winter, and less in the summer when we use our own car in summer. We have one nice view of open prairie over the University fields with the buildings one mile from us. Our house faces south and this helps our lawns and flowers in summer.

Neil (our son) is now married and they had a young son born to them on Nov 6th last. He is operating our farm and with very good results. He has it on the “leans lend” basis (whatever that means) and he is doing real well. He has developed from a good school teacher to a real good farmer.

This year’s crop was a miracle from God. I sincerely believe this as we had the same thing happen when the Allies sorely needed the food in 1915; and during the last war. Mother and I are taking no share of Neil’s crop which this year amounted to 5,200 bu wheat; 3,300 bu Oats; 1,300 bu flax; and 200 bu peas. During harvest, which was catchy with much wet weather Neil handled the tractor and combine. I drove the new ton Ford truck and Lizzie helped by shoveling the grain out of the truck into a hopper to an elevator which placed the grain in the line. We harvested all the crop excepting 2 acres of very heavy oats. Rain followed by snow stopped us. We had been using an I. H.C. truck, but the rubber was getting old and we got the chance of a new truck with five new tires so we snapped it up.

Neil keeps raising hogs and feeding them on 1941 wheat, which was low grade; but which makes excellent hog feed. To the wheat he adds some oats, barley and peas, and flax screenings, all of which make a good balanced ration. He has been able so far to get all of the fuel and lubricants he requires, and now, he has his underground tanks full and ready for next year, providing, of course, he is not called for military service. There is always a possibility of his being called; as, according to classification, he is in the 29 year old class on the July 1940 register. He will be 32 years of age on Dec 27th, just nine days hence.

Alex McPherson’s and family in Regina are well. He is doing well at his work and the children are doing splendidly in their respective schools.

I trust that you received the two syrup cans which we returned to you. I will be writing to you again regarding syrup as we wish to get another five gallons in the spring of 1943.

Flora (Mrs Edward Grest) our daughter in Washington D.C. is well, as are her husband, Keith and Barbara Fern Grest. She is 6 years and she likes to be called “Barbara Fern”. It pleases her and it is immaterial to us; but even very little girls have their vain moments.

Nellie, the family standby, is still teaching in Biggar. She loves teaching above all other professions and walks of life, and, apparently, she intends to remain at it. Now, and speaking for all of us, we extend to your and yours our very best wishes for a pleasant Christmas and a prosperous and happy New Year., and may the God who watched over all of us keep us healthy and steadfast, during the dark days which are soon to come before the war ends.

Your loving cousin, James McLean

Sutherland, Sask Dec 14, 1943

Mr. Lachlan McLean & Family R.R. No. 7 Watford, Ontario

Dear Lachie and Family,

Another year is drawing to a close and My! How swiftly they do go as we grow older. It reminds me of when I was a boy, Thomas Reese of McGillivray said, “If you want time to go quickly borrow $800.00 for 60 days, and when you have not the money to pay it back, just watch the time fly.” I never forget it as it was sound advice. Another wise word well put was by a Mr. Pawe here in Sutherland when a young man started in the butcher business. Mr. Pawe remained in his store all evening and saw customer after customer buy meat and charge it. At the close of business Mr. Pawe and the young butcher prepared to walk home together. When all was still Mr. Pawe casually said “Monte” “You are a good man; with the pencil.” Monte understood it too, and it taught him to be cautious. I believe that people who are cautious live longest, as they have less to worry over.

We are all well here. Neil is operating the farm for himself and he is doing real well. Nellie is teaching and she is doing well. Flora and her family are still living at 1527 Ivanhoe St. Arlington Va. and her husband Edward Grest works over the Potomac in the US Capital. Keith McL and Barbara Fern (Flora’s children) are doing well in their respective schools. Alex McPherson, 2127 Winnipeg St. Regina, his wife Mildred and their three children Arlean, Lloyd and Hazel are well. Alex had a short spell in the hospital this year, for treatment for a minor disturbance which necessitated a slight operation. The three children are very smart in school, Hazel is a good singer, singing over the radio on occasions. All are big, strong, handsome and bright. “Good stock”, as Alex puts it.

Lizzie and I are getting along fairly well in our retirement. Retirement with idleness is not good; but retirement with plenty manual labor thrown in is an ideal life. When I retired I just walked away from my desk and chair and work. This was not good at all. The transition was so sudden and complete that it almost seemed like tyranny for a time. Now I keep busy with flowers and vegetable garden in summer. Put new fence parts in the 100 ft fence in front, and built a new 100 fence at the rear of our home. I went to Neil’s and stacked his oats, stained the house roof, put new siding in the south end of the house, and Lizzie and I painted the outside walls once over. We have the second and third coats to put on yet for which purpose we have on hand sufficient white paint. Neil harvested his entire crop alone this year. His combine is operated by a power take-off from the tractor. When he was working near the buildings he would evaluate the grain from the combine into the line. When he was a mile or more away he would load the grain into his truck and then elevate it into the line with a elevator which he built himself from the 16 foot elevator of an old threshing machine. Last fall, for gasoline and oil, it cost Neil $3.00 per day to operate. In addition to this, of course, there was the cost of operating his truck. He would take 75 bu flax to town at noon and a similar load in the evening; there, at a cost of not more than $5.00 he could deliver daily over $300.00 worth of flax seed. Wheat and oats are not so good as the quota curtails our marketing, and these grains have to be stored for long periods. Neil hopes to be able to sell the balance of his 1942 wheat (of which he has a few thousand bushels) in 1944. The same applies to 1942 oats.

Our weather here has been mild and beautiful for the past few months; but, this morning, our thermometer reading s 18 below zero. We have a year’s supply of coal and wood in our basement; and, when the furnace is going we do not use much fuel in the cook stove as it is cheaper to operate the oil stove for cooking. Electricity here is 13 cents per KH. So we stored our electric stove in a storeroom which is a division walled away from our garage room.

I will be 70 on May 1st. Jack McKenzie, Lambeth, is getting close to 80; and Alex, his brother, will be 75 at about April 16 next.

We have two Air Training Schools (No’s 4 and 7) in Saskatoon; an my! What busy places these schools are, and what lovely young men these boy aviators are. Our pioneering into the remote West (80 miles from a store, post office, railway station or blacksmith shop) was nothing at all as compared to what these boys are going through. Every once in awhile some young friend’s name appears in the casualty lists, and it makes us feel very badly, and the tears come in spite of us. We attended the funeral of one such young aviator a week ago yesterday. He was Edward Grest’s brother. The wings were shorn from his plane in a collision at 3500 feet at Prince Albert. He was not injured in the actual collision and in the descent he tried to rescue his injured pilot who was helpless. At 300 feet he tried to save himself by jumping; but his parachute opened only partially. This was on Nov 24. On Dec 3 he died from his injuries. His student pilot and the four pilots in the other colliding plane were all dead following the crashing of their planes which were as helpless in mid-air as insects which had flown through flames and their wings gone.

For this Christmas season we wish for all of you peace; and the comparative safety of peace at home such as we have always known. Most people, in the nations at war, have their homes broken up, many never to resume normal home life again. We wonder what will come out of it all. We hope and pray for the best, yet, sometimes, we fear for the worst. Let God’s will be done. Your loving cousins Lizzie and Jim McLean

Sutherland, Sask Dec 9th 1944

Mr. Lachlan McLean and Family Watford Ontario

My Dearest Cousins, Your most welcome letter of Dec 5th arrived this evening. We are glad to learn that all of you are well, that both your boys are home and that all is going well with all of you. We here are all enjoying good health; with a little increase to our number in the form of a baby boy. “James Ross” at Neil’s home at Zedlander. Nellie gave up teaching school last June 30th, and on July 18 she became Mrs. Robert Martin Brown. She will continue to live in Biggar where she taught for 12 years. Robert says that he has to watch her, lest she runs away when the bell tolls at 9:00 am. She can both see it swing and hear it toll from her kitchen window. She says “I still feel as if I should go when I hear that first bell.” As a teacher she has been an outstanding success. In the days when students had to pass, by written examination, from public to high school, Nellie passed 43 students out of 43, which constitutes a record for this province. She had a mannerism which sent her pupils into howls of laughter two or three times a day. She could teach incorrigibles as well as the best behaved students. At times Mounted Police would ask her if she could handle boys whom they did not wish to place in a school of correction. She never refused, and she never had trouble with any one of them.

On her retirement from the school staff the Supt. Of Education said to the other teachers, “ I am going to make a statement and I know that you will all agree that Miss. Nellie McLean is the best teacher that ever came to Biggar.” Of course it is Nellie’s gift of humour, inherited I believe, that made her famous as a teacher. My father could make people laugh when he wanted to. He could, likewise, make people shed tears when he preferred to assume an emotional mood. After my father died, and when I would return home, people who knew him best always laughed at the mention of his name. At first I could not understand this; but soon I found that every one of his friends had laughed at and enjoyed his witticisms, and that the very mentioning of his name struck friendly chords in their hearts, and that the vibrations of those lost chords, so long dormant, awakened memories which caused them to smile and laugh once more. I should like if you, or any member of your family, would try it out by mentioning my father’s name to some of the McPhersons, McNaughtons or Scapes at Ailsa Craig some time; then watch their reaction.

Well! So far I have been dealing with reminiscences which are not unpleasant to recall; excepting for the fact that the actors are beyond recall. You too have corresponding memories of your parents, and their sterling characters and qualities which are now, in a large measure, in possession of your family. Coupled with these are the sterling attributes which Mr. and Mrs. Henry Spalding, have handed down to your children through their mother, your Christena, whose sacred memory all of you will ever cherish and hold in reverence. It seems to us that sacred memories are the everlasting foundations of the Spirit of Christmas, and that greeting cards conveying good wishes and other felicities are but beautiful superstructures adorning those ever permanent foundations. It is true that we all, almost longingly, look forward to Christmas and the renewal of the birth of our Saviour. The sacred hymns, associated with the occasion, are reproduced in our minds and hearts long before the arrival of that sacred day. The Spirit of Christmas remains supreme in our hearts until the stroke of midnight tolls the New Years in reminding us to return to whatever tasks life has given us and admonishing us to do our duty toward God and to all mankind. So! All of us here are wishing all of you there a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

We have not heard from the McKenzies at Lambeth for several months. Neither John nor Alex any longer write, and Mrs. McRae acts as their secretary. She writes a very nice letter always including such matters as they wish her to relate. Early in the year I had in my possession a copy of the register for June 30th, 1870, for S.S. No. 8, McGillivary. I had it for many years, and had often perused it with much interest; and made upon it with much interest; and made upon it such notations concerning births, deaths and marriages as came to me from time to time. Kate’s and John’s names were included; but Maggie and Alex’s names were not recorded as both were still too young to attend school. On the other hand Jessie’s name was not there as she was kept home to keep the house and raise the younger children, owing to their mother’s tragic death.

Mrs. McCrae (or McRae) wrote us saying that the old register, giving all the names and ages of the pupils attending our school at that time, revived their interests in life “more than anything else” she could think of. This made me think that I should have forwarded it to them long ago, and while Jessie, Katie and Margaret were alive, and would have been able to enjoy it.

We have had no letters from California (excepting a line from Catherine in Los Angeles announcing the arrival of her fourth son “Neil Houston” Edwards) since Jean, Kate’s youngest child, was married some months ago. We believe, however, that all are well there; because, in the past, they have not been slow in advising us when fate decreed events of trial or difficulty. Your letter will be going on to Kate in a few days. I usually send them down to her. Kate is eleven months and thirteen days younger than I. Our birthdays are: Mine May 1st, 1874 and Kate’s April 13, 1875.

Neil, Myrtle and their two boys are well. This year brought a hailstorm which destroyed 50% of their crop; but they collected nearly one thousand dollars as hail insurance, and still harvested four thousand dollars worth of peas, wheat and oats. Via motor car and provincial highway our farm is 82 miles, from door to door, from here. We, one year – 1907 to be exact – hauled all the wheat we had for sale to Saskatoon, 82 miles, to sell. A round trip took 6 days. It was 3 days to come in with a load. One day to let our teams rest, and two days to go home with our supplies. Those long journeys were, for the most part, very pleasant; because, on the trails one seldom traveled alone. We came into town, as it were, in convoys, and these convoys were never pre-arranged. In the West here that practice still prevails among motorists who travel long distances. All drivers may be complete strangers; but cars seem to travel in threes and fours fairly close together, and then a considerable distance before the next group comes along.

Flora, in Washington and her husband, son and daughter are all in good health. Edward was in California about a month ago. The nature of his work takes him to every state in the Union. In nearly every letter Flora mentions about inflation there; and this coupled with the scarcity of necessary articles of food and apparel makes living difficult. Edward’s salary is quite good; and they own their own home; but the inflation is something that they have never experienced before. In some cases textiles have advanced to twice and thrice their pre-war levels which makes living difficult.

Alex McPherson and his wife and family are well; Mabel and her family are well. All her family are back in Toronto now. Pat (Alex’s youngest son) has been awarded the Order of the British Empire for bravery for entering a grounded and burning bomb-laden plane and saving the pilot and co-pilot. An explosion could have blown them all to atoms. The McPhersons were all in good health when we last heard from Mabel, almost one week ago.

The Ottawa shakeup looked serious for a few days; but is all over now, Thanks be to British cohesion. Lizzie joins with me in sending our love and best wishes to all of you.

Your affectionate cousin, James McLean.

Sutherland, Sask. Nov 3rd 1945

Mr. Lachlan McLean R.R No. 7 Watford, Ontario

Dear Lachie & Family,

For the past month there has not been a day pass without you coming into my mid, and I had a premonition that all was not well with you. Our fears were confirmed when we received, from Mabel, a letter on the 1st instant telling us that you had been ill., but that you are somewhat improved now.

After we pass our three score and ten years we canot be sure of anything; but it is always wise to have a cheerful outlook and to maintain a cheerful disposition. My father always said “I will never give in until I have to,” and he stayed by this principal to the end. In his last few minutes the Dr. gave him a tin bed-pan to use; and, having never used one before, he was amused and turned to my mother and said in his driest wit; “You never did stop until you put the eave-throughs on me.” Every one in the room laughed quite heartily, only to be instantly chagrined by the presence of death in their midst. But they remembered how that he had said about being “cheerful to the last,” and they knew that he knew that his end was near, and that he even took delight in making them laugh. Father died in 1919; but yet, when I meet people who knew him, they always smile at the mention of his name. I was 71 on May 1st last, and father time has not interrupted me in any way yet, excepting to remind me occasionally about the “Three score and ten” proverb. None can escape it by any great margin. But in the house next to ours there is a lady 92 years of age, and it is a pleasure to see her run to and from the clothes line back of their house. Her name is Mrs. Small. Her maiden name was Meridith. Ed. Meridith, Tom Meridith and Hon. William Meridith, of London, were her cousins.

Our crops on our farm, due to lack of rainfall were the lowest yields that we have ever had. Wheat averaged on the whole 7 bu per acre. Oats 10 bu per acre. Neil sowed 280 bushels of peas and harvested 240 bushels, or 40 bushels less than he sowed. Due to a late spring crops were sown three weeks late resulting in poor polinization of all bloom; consequently all grains, but particularly peas, were greatly reduced in yields due to lack of polinizing insects and suitable weather.

However it might be worse, for Neil combined 2,150 bu wheat, 800 bu oats and 240 bu peas. He will have quantities equal to these for sale as he retained seeds from 1944.

Lizzie and I are living quite alone in a fairly large house. Nellie (Mrs. Robt. Martin Brown) spent yesterday with us. Neil and Myrtle and their two little boys, Lynn Sterling and James Ross, were in town here about a month ago, and when we happened to be away. We hope to make the circuit once more this year. I mean by this that we will motor 80 miles to Neil’s, thence to Rosetown, and then 40 miles due North to Nellies, then 62 miles due east home where I can pull on my prettily beaded Indian moccasins (which are my house slippers) for the winter. I purchased these moccasins from the Hudson’s Bay Company’s trading post at Montreal Lake which is over 200 miles north of here, and where Indians abound. Many of them are good citizens, but, with the men hunting is an instinct; and, with the women, art in making wearing apparel, ornated with beadwork is a gift.

We were very sorry to learn of the passing 1st of John, and, second, Alex McKenzie, of Lambeth, both of whom I knew so well through al the years I can remember. I saw them frequently in my youth; wrote to them regularly during my 40 years absence from Ailsa Craig, and called for them everytime I went home to see my parents. Considering them as a whole the family was one of the finest that I have ever known; and for every member it could be truthfully and honestly said that no social, financial, moral or intemperate complication had ever cast a shadow over their home.

From now on I am going to miss their letter I know; but memories of them will be ever sweet.

Trusting that this letter may find you in a state of improved health , and trusting that all your children, and your children’s children (which “are the joys of old people”) are well we remain your loving cousins,

Lizzie and James McLean

P.S. Lizzie says that she would like to have your Rachel write to us.

Sutherland Sask Dec 22nd 1946

Dear Lachie and Family

Our shortest day has come and gone for another year, and we are still behind in our Christmas mailings. I am in good health; but Lizzie is not. She had an attack of arthritis, a very severe attack too, about June 1st of this year, and she is not over it yet; but she has improved considerably. It is a most difficult disease to throw off, and it affects the vision very severely. Her right eye which had perfect vision in May was almost blind in June, and it is hard for the Doctor to do anything to improve it. All the other members of our family are well. Edward Grest, Flo and their children Keith 13 and Barbara 10 years were here from Washington D.C. to visit us in June last. We get on the average, 6 letters a week from them, and parcels and suggestions galore. We wish they lived closer to us. Neil and family and Nellie and husband are well. Merry Christmas and love to all from Jim and Lizzie.

Sutherland, Sask Dec 22nd 1948

Mr. Lachlan McLean and Family Watford, Ontario

Dear Cousins,

This time my Christmas letter must be brief as there is little to relate. We are all well, as are al the members of our family and their families. The weather is severe –32 yesterday and –19 today. There is but little snow, and all highways in the province are open for motor traffic, as is the ice on lakes and rivers for motor traffic now. Lakes are dangerous to traverse, on account of air hole; but youngsters like to take their automobiles on the ice to see how fast they can go. It’s really lovely to watch them so long as nothing happens. The exuberances of youth are divergent and delightful to behold as long as accidents do not happen. A few years ago a party of five young people were driving recklessly after nightfall on a lake near a school where a party was being held. One young man managed to shove a girl out of a door as one end, the front, went down. She returned to the school quite badly frozen; but survived. The other four were drowned in the car. The lights of the car continued for 4 hours, which enabled searchers to locate the car and bring the car with its four dead passengers back unto the ice. The sudden, unexpected and careless demise of these young people cast a gloom over our entire province for a long time; and no accident of a similar nature has since been reported. There are, however, and from time to time, fatal accidents to bathers, skaters and daring people who, against the law, persist in crossing our river here on thin ice.

Due to the drought, our 1945 crops were the poorest ever; but as we had a considerable acreage in crop we trashed about 3000 bu consisting of 2000 bu wheat; 800 bu oats and 200 bus peas. In anticipation of drought we kept from our 1944 crop sufficiend seed for the spring of 1946; so, although the 1945 crop was light it took care of all expenses which, usually, are considerable where all equipment is motorized and we have no horse.

Kate Arlett sold her Berkeley home recently, as all her children are married and away. Grace lives in Caribou, Phineas County, Calif; Catherine in Los Angeles; Gordon in Taft, Calif, and Jean in San Francisco. Kate sold her house to a next-door neighbor.

We trust that you are enjoying your usual health Lachie. We are not as spy as we once were; but have to make the best of things as conditions come to us.

Ever since we came West there was one Christmas letter, aside from your’s, that I delighted in sending; but this year there is no recipient, for Jack and Alex McKenzie are gone; and about the same day that Jack died, his boyhood chum, Norman McLellan passed away in Vancouver. We used to send greetings to Norman too.

There are between 30 and 40 new houses being built here, and several have been moved into S’land during the summer and autumn. 32 of the new houses are ‘War Time’ houses. Our proximity to the University here is equal to that of Saskatoon. It is the University grounds that divides the two urban centres. The enrollment at the University is approximately 4,000 students. Industries in Sutherland do not warrant so many new homes; but as we have electricity, sewers, water and pavements, also lower taxes, Sutherland is ideal location for families who wish to take advantage of the best educational facilities in our province.

With love to all. Lizzie and I wish you good-bye for this Christmas season, and may the New Year bring health and happiness to all of you.

Affectionately yours Lizzie and Jim McLean