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Excerpt from Cherished Memories.
A compilation by Ardrossan Unifarm. (1972)
ISBN     0-919212-16-6
 

ARDROSSAN CHURCH HISTORY by Dwight and Mary Rice

     The following are those who were instrumental in forming the first churches in Ardrossan: - Mr. and Mrs. S. Bready, Mr. and Mrs.William Carbe, Mr. and Mrs. C. Baker, Mr. and Mrs. MacNaughton, Mr. and Mrs. E. Thomlinson, Mr. A. Matheson, Mr. and Mrs. Angus Matheson, Mr. and Mrs. A. Horton, Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Wardrop, Miss Edmiston, Mr. and Mrs. R. Harrison, Mr. and Mrs. C. W.Parker, Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Storms, Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Attewell, Mr.and Mrs. F. Higley, Mrs. Hughes, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Hamm, Mr.and Mrs. George Clapp, Mr. and Mrs. Angus McKinnon, Mrs. Allen McKinnon, Mr. and Mrs. H. Lackey, Mr. and Mrs. George Lackey, Mr. and Mrs. John Wardrop, Mr. J. Reith, Mrs. Heacock and Sons.The first worship service in our district was held in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Clyde W. Parker. Agnes Lackey Peck can remember that Rev. Adamson came out and dedicated their home for worship in 1900. Services were held in neighboring homes too, until a church could be built. A lot of hard work was required before organized bees made that a reality.

Hamilton Lackey of Killam writes:

     "Just going away back - I can remember my first church service in Canada. It was in the little home of Bella and Clyde. Such a lovely day in the fall.  Mr. Sparling was the student.  I remember I sat beside Bella during the service.  That would be say 72 years ago.

     I don't remember just too much about the building of the Presbyterian Church.  I remember Pa asking Mr. Howatson if he would go out and cut logs.  This was January I think, and Mr. Howatson said "If it's a coarse day will you go?, and Pa said "Yes, it will have to be a very coarse day if we don't".  I think the men slept outside in the snow.

          Of the student ministers my favorite was Mr. Wallis.  He had a little pony and he gave me his saddle when he left.  Mr. Hay was another of the students." (H.  R. Lackey, died June 16, 1972)
 
 
     The first Presbyterian Church was erected in 1901 on the S.W. corner of section 13,53,22 W4th.  It was used also for school purposes and became the centre of what was called the Lackey Settlement.  Rev.  Forbes, who was stationed at Fort Saskatchewan, was the first minister.  The Agnes Forbes Lodge, a home for elderly ladies, was named in honor of Mrs. Forbes.  Rev.  Beet, an elderly Scotsman, also preached in that church.  The early officials were Mr. Hamilton Lackey, Sr., Mr. Stewart Bready and Mr. George Lackey. Presbyterian Church - 1904
 
 

          A METHODIST Church was built in 1902 on the N.E. corner of section 12-53-22 W4th, one mile east of the Presbyterian Church.  It and a cemetery beside it were called Fairmount.  Rev.  Robert Findlay, who was Clover Bar's Minister was the first to preach in this new church.  Students who followed were Mr. Joe Woodsworth, Mr. Shaw, Mr. Kettles and Mr. Laidman.  Rev.  Aldridge and Rev.  Howard came from the Fort for special services.
Mr. J. M. Fawcett was here from 1907 - 1909.  He lived with the Rileys.  His appointments were Fairmount, Hillsdale, Cooper, Brookville and Garden.  Taken from his interesting diary, estimates in August 1908 for the yearly budget were Fairmount $110.00, Hillsdale $100.00, Brookville $25.00 and Garden $15.00.

          Mr. George Clapp organized the first Sunday School and was its Superintendent.  Cora Vance was secretary.  The church officials were Mr. C. W. Parker, Mr. George Clapp, Mr. C. W. Storms, Mrs. George Clapp, Mr. Charles Riley, and Mrs. C. W. Parker was representative.
Ardrossan came into being in 1908 and in 1909 the railroad was constructed.  To provide worship facilities for the men working on the railroad Mr. Fawcett pitched a tent on the townsite.
On February 17, 1909, a debate "Resolved that the liquor traffic has been and will be more injurious than war", was held.  Such a subject clearly indicated the calibre of our pioneer church members.  On the affirmative side were Elizabeth Lackey and Jack Fawcett, and Mrs. Beggs and Rev.  W. Hamilton defended the negative viewpoint.  The affirmative debaters won by one point. judges were Clyde Parker, Clyde Storms and Hamilton Lackey.
Although Jack Fawcett assumed responsibilities eleswhere he retained a keen interest in the people of Ardrossan, especially in one of its girls, who with her folks had moved to Edmonton.  Retus Clapp had become his sweetheart.  Retus and Jack completely dedicated their lives to the glory of God.

          Mr. D. P. Cameron took charge of the field in the summer of 1909.  Elizabeth Lackey, daughter of Hamilton Lackey, Sr., became his bride.  She devoted her special talents to helping Duncan in his ministry.

          Both churches were moved to Ardrossan in 1910.  Soon afterwards a bush fire engulfed the Methodist Church.  Before the year was out a new church replaced it.  Rev.  Millar held the opening service.  His sermon was entitled "The people had a mind to work." Hearing of the loss of the church Rev.  Sparling, who by then had become a missionary in China, sent $5.00 as a token of his concern for this faithful congregation.

          Before the Presbyterian Church was taken to Ardrossan ', lightning struck it, during a severe storm.  Mr. Bready caught sight of the danger in time to summon help and save it from burning.

          Its new site was where Mr. and Mrs. Alex Lawrence now live.  A new name "Knox" was given to it.  A manse was built east of the church.  During the same year Rev.  Alexander Forbes went to a mission field at Grand Prairie and the Partridge Hill Presbyterian congregation joined Ardrossan.  Rev.  W. J. Allan was their minister.

          Rev. and Mrs. Hamilton were the first occupants of the manse.  Successors were: Rev. and Mrs. Allan, Rev. and Mrs. McLellan, Rev. and Mrs. Smith, Rev. and Mrs. Boyd, Rev. and Mrs. Sneddon, Rev. and Mrs. Langille and Rev. and Mrs. Skinner.

          We remain indebted to Rev.  Boyd for his splendid work with the young people.  The accompanying slate of officers reminds us of his unselfish endeavors.

          In 1915 an addition was built to the Methodist Church to serve as a home for the student ministers.  Mr. McCubbin helped and was its first occupant.  During 1916 he enlisted and Mr. Stainton replaced him.  While here Mr. Stainton was assured of the affection of Irene Hackett, the Baker School teacher.  The Staintons were very loyal to their Master.

          Other students were Mr. Geeson, Mr. Marshal, Mr. McLeary, Mr. Sid Bainbridge, Mr. Kemp and Mr. Hargraves.  Prior to church union our two churches had already united.  Following it Mr. Chappel, Mr. Harback, Rev.  Upton and Rev.  Brunton were here.

          Rev.  Alex Stewart who was retired, gave unstintingly of his talents that had been enriched by many years of devotion.  When he could no longer serve he called upon Robert McLaren, an enthusiastic young student, who organized girls and boys camps in 1937.  His zeal and fellowship meant a great deal to our young people.  After leaving the Alberta Conference Mr. McLaren went to B.C. and founded the Christian Leadership School at Naramata.  Supplying for Mr, McLaren during the winter months were Mr. Johnson, Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Reikie.  We are very grateful to "Bob" for this story:

Bob McLaren's Story

          It is with real happy memories that I think of my time at Ardrossan.

          I went there on my first field as a student for two months. I arrived on the first of July, when I was to go with the congregation on a picnic to Elk Island Park.  I remember standing at the pump at Storms' farm, where I met the first member from the congregation, Mr. Storms Sr.  I felt a bit stupid, inexperienced and not very worthy to be even a student minister, but he, in his own quiet, gracious way, made me feel real and worthwhile.  He made me feel accepted and soon I could accept myself for what I was, and everyone else too.  I have been accepting and growing ever since.  I will always be grateful for Mr. Storms' friendship.
 

Ardrossan United Church - built 1910        I preached that summer and every Sunday through the fall.  I marvel now, as I look back, at how little I gave those people, but in spite of that they were so warm and gracious and they always made me feel taller when I went back to my work at college.  This is true of other students that went to Ardrossan.  No wonder Mr. Stewart could say, and did on many occasions, that those people at Ardrossan were the "very salt of the earth". 

          We enjoyed the camping and on one occasion, to humiliate Mrs. Mackay and Mrs. Dowling, on their excellent pie, we gave permission to all the boys to take their hatchets and their hunting knives to the table in order to penetrate that awful crust!  I am not sure that I was ever forgiven for that suggestion. 

          A lot has happened to us.  Allen Searcy and I were married at Pouce Coupe and from there went together to Toronto, where she took a course as a deaconess and I took a B.D. at Emmanual College.  I then served two years at Castor, Alberta, before becoming a Field Secretary for Youth Work in B.C., doing some work in Alberta.

 

          In 1947 we launched a Christian Leadership Training School at Naramata in the Okanagan near Penticton, B.C., and we worked there for 17 years before leaving.

          We took a year out to get some refueling and went to New York.  Most of our experience was in Union Theological Seminary but we tried to get the feel and the meaning of the church in a changing world, particularly in a vast centre like New York, as well as in Washington and Boston.  We even got as far south as Florida and Cape Kennedy.  Since then we went to Renfrew United Church in Vancouver for six years.  It is an East end church, with all its inner-city problems.

          I ran as an alderman for the City unsuccessfully but found it an excellent experience tnd was sorry not to remain in the city to run again.  This past summer we moved to a residential area of Victoria in a very beautiful location called Cadboro Bay.  We have just started our Ministry here.

          We had four children: - Betty, who is married and is now Mrs. Richards, and lives at Trail; Bobby, who is a Linesman with the NHL: Eddie, who was 17 when he was killed in an industrial accident in Vancouver shortly after we moved from New York; Kenny, who is now 16, going to high school and living with us.

          Although Ardrossan and its people were our first contact as we began our ministry, they remain ever new and fresh and meaningful after all these years.  There is something about friendship that will grow deeper and more meaningful through the years.  The people from Ardrossan, particularly the church community and fellowship, have had a very large influence on my life and this influence continues.

          From 1938 - 1942 students Carr, Harvey Johnson, Vogel, Mathams, Ted Kolber and George Spady gained experience in church leadership.  Rev.  George Spady has now unselfishly and effectively taken charge of Bissell Centre.

          Ardrossan joined the Clover Bar Charge in 1942.  Rev.  Kidd of Clover Bar conducted only a few services.  His health had failed him.
 
 
        Dr. Scott came the same year and stayed until 1946. 

          In 1943, the home of Mr. Foster of Bremner was bought, to be used as a manse. We are fortunate to have Dr. Scott's account of his ministry. 

          Rev.  Morse Johnson here from 1946 - 1953, seven years of faithful ministry, tells his story. 

          Rev.  John Wing, on this field from 1953 - 1958, began the Scout movement in Ardrossan. 

          Rev.  Harold Ricker kindly provided us with the church history for the years 1958 - 1965 while he was minister. Our present minister, Rev.  Douglas Berry, succeeded him. 

          Our sincerest thanks are extended not only to our ministers, but also to their wives, who contributed so graciously to the work of our church.

Ardrossan United Church Congregation - 1941
 
          We remember with extreme gratitude our devoted pianists and organists.  With them we associate all of our fair sex who by their angelic songs - songs with such wonderful and beautiful harmony have appealed to the best within us, have so inspired us and touched our hearts.

          We owe a very great deal to the ladies' groups.  They have worked extrcmly hard in helping to finance the church and in supporting and promoting its ideals. How can we thank them enough? We take pleasure in paying tribute to Mrs. Guest, who for many years kept our church clean.

          Profound gratitude must be expressed to all who have, through supreme sacrifice and loyality maintained the Christian Education and Sunday School work.

          We think too of the church officials who have felt the responsibilities of stewardship and have given freely of their time and ability.

          May God bless all who through the years have been steadfast and true to the faith of our fathers.
 

ARDROSSAN YOUNG PEOPLE'S SOCIETY
OFFICERS 1922-23
Hon.  President 
-- Rev.  H. A. Boyd
President 
-- Mr. D. Rice
Vice President
-- Miss A. Scott
Secretary
-- Miss M. Storms
Treasurer
-- Miss F. Williams
Organist
-- Miss M. Hodgins
Editor
-- Mr. L. Storms
CONVENERS OF COMMITTEES
Devotional
-- Miss M. Wardrop
Literary
-- Miss D. Lackey
Social
-- Mrs. T. Jewell
Recreational
-- Mr. E. Hanlan
 

REV.  STANLEY SCOTT, Ph.D., MINISTER CLOVER BAR CHARGE (Clover Bar, Bremner, Salisbury, Ardrossan) 1942-46.

          My first service at Ardrossan was, I believe, in the summer of 1911.  Rev.  J. M. Millar, D.D., of Edmonton was expected to take the services at the three points served by the Presbyterian Church but was unable to go, and he asked me if I could substitute for him.  I had recently arrived home from Queen's University, where I had just completed my third year in Arts.  I agreed to go, and on Sunday morning waited at Whyte Avenue for the street car to take me to the station on the north side.  After a considerable wait it dawned on me that there were no Sunday morning street cars.  I had no alternative but to run from Whyte Avenue to Saskatchewan Drive, down the steps, then across the bridge and up the long stretch of nearly 200 steps, then on the level again to the station.  I had no time to spare.  The train was just pulling out.  I was still panting for breath when the train stopped at Ardrossan, where I was met by Mr. Bready.

          He looked after me for the day, driving me in his buckboard to the three services, which were held if I remember correctly, at Agricola, Partridge Hill and Ardrossan.

          In 1942, when the Ardrossan charge was added to the Clover Bar, Bremner and Salisbury points, I was invited to become the minister of the combined congregations.  The Manse was at first at Clover Bar, but soon the Bremner Manse was purchased.  Under war time regulations the amount of gasoline permitted was greatly limited, but after a time I was allowed more, which made more week-day work possible, and soon I was meeting more than 125 young folk each week in various groups.  As an old Lacrosse player, I had a set of Lacrosse sticks given me by the Canadian Lacrosse Association and I introduced this game to my Trail Rangers and other groups.

          The Fort Saskatchewan United Church joined with us in our boys and girls camps at Cooking Lake, where we used largely our local young people as leaders with limited help from the Provincial Religious Education leaders, and from student ministers.

          In those days Clover Bar was noted for its annual dinners to which Edmonton folk came in large numbers.  Bremner added pews and improved its lower hall, and added a memorial plaque, Salisbury was considering a sanctuary more easy to heat and Ardrossan, still a small point, had to wait quite a few years before the present boom began.

          Of my family, Gordon and Ellen live in Toronto, and Janet is in Barrhead, Alberta.  There are twelve grandchildren and one greatgranddaughter.

          Since I "retired" in 1957, 1 have served in Dominion Church Ottawa for four years, and in Highlands Church Edmonton for ten years, with two ministries in Ottawa, and three in Edmonton.  In a few weeks I will be celebrating my  57th anniversary since ordination.  My wife Una's training both in Theology and in Religious Education, and as an experienced teacher made her a most valuable assistant in all our work.  Mrs. Scott passed away in 1952, at Blackie, Alberta, when I was the Minister there.
 


REV.  MORSE A. JOHNSON, MINISTER AT ARDROSSAN, BREMNER AND CLOVER BAR FROM 1946 TO 1953

        In the earlier years of the development of the  communities of Ardrossan, Bremner and Clover Bar (the areas for which I had a ministry) the Church played a very vital role.  I think it is safe to say that the majority of the people looked to the Church, not only for spiritual comfort and guidance, but as a place to go and meet with their neighbors.  Many were drawn into the fellowship of the Church because it was a center of fellowship.

          Ardrossan was not always part of the Clover Bar Charge, having come in shortly before I came to be the minister in 1946.  But when I came there were four well established congregations (Salisbury on Highway 14 being the other).  There were four of everything;'four services each Sunday, four Sunday schools, four Women's Associations, four C.G.I.T. groups, four Explorer groups, three Trail Ranger groups (which I led each week), four annual meetings, four annual fowl suppers, four annual Christmas programs to attend.  I often felt as though I should have been four people.  However, I was comparatively young, and enjoyed the people, young and old, and all the activity.  I believe at the time that these activities did serve a need in the lives of both the young and old and I was proud to be the minister.

          Many changes in the structure of the field took place while I was there, as the highways began to change and the new oil and chemical industries began to build.  But the great changes were to take place after I left in 1953 as Ardrossan and Salisbury began to grow and the population of Clover Bar was depleted as big industry bought up the farms.

          Bremner was our first home following World War II and although the manse left much to be desired as to warmth at first, the spacious front rooms, the lawns and gardens attracted us greatly.  That is until we tried to maintain the gardens which had been so beautifully laid out by the Fosters' who had built it up when they ran the Bremner store.  Besides a sunken garden I believe there were 14 rock gardens containing every kind of plant imaginable.  We worked faithfully and cheerfully each year to the end of June to get the gardens in shape for the annual lawn party of the four W.A.'s. But then holidays and camps came and by the end of August chickweed had taken over and we lost heart.

          Bremner was also our home when we adopted our two girls, Carol and Gail.  Before we got Carol we had not informed anyone that we had made application for a baby.  So when I arrived at the 1947 Annual Fowl Supper at Clover Bar minus my wife, Zeke Keith, sitting next to me inquired if Mrs. Johnson were not coming.  I quietly informed him that Mrs. Johnson was looking after our new baby.  The look of surprise on his face was something to see.  When I convinced him that we had just brought home a three-week old baby girl in the afternoon, he had a delightful evening spreading the news.

          It was at the conclusion of the service at Bremner when our younger girl Gail was baptized and Dean Elson of St. Stephen's College was our guest speaker for the day.  The Dein was pronouncing the benediction in suitably reverent tones, "Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling. . ." At that precise moment there was a resounding crash, for Pat McCalla, who had been standing quietly on the pew beside her father, Fred, had edged too close to the edge of the pew with the disastrous result that she had fallen flat on the floor.

          There are many memories of our associations with the Ardrossan people.  I cannot but think of the courage of the men of the community (with a bit of prodding from their wives) when they took on the serving of those delicious beef suppers.  What roasts they were and what a sight were the men decked out in their chefs' hats and aprons.

          But the crowning sight of all (and the most courageous) was the fashion shows staged in the community hall by the same men.  Hardly a man in the community failed to parade up and down the reviewing stand with some ridicuous feminine costume, well-padded in the proper places.  However, the audience out in front missed a performance I can still see in my mind's eye of George Ottewell ,and Mel Olson waiting their turn to appear.  George, property decked out in feminine hat and tresses and long flowing gown, had hitched the gown up sufficiently to take out his pipe and a box of matches.  Lighting a match on the seat of his trousers he was puffing away on his pipe and nonchalantly discussing the price of hogs.  No one would have guessed that in a few minutes they were to appear in review at the greatest show on earth.


CLOVER BAR PASTORAL CHARGE by Harold B. Ricker

          I was called to the Clover Bar Pastoral Charge in 1958 and served it until 1965.  It has been since its beginnings around 1900, an active rural field with the distinction of always being financially self-supporting. It is located in a very fertile agricultural area that extends mainly east and south from the outskirts of Edmonton.

          During my ministry there were four separate districts with Bremner and Clover Bar uniting for services of worship on a monthly alternating basis, and thus with Salisbury and Ardrossan, making three preaching appointments.

          From the early forties, the manse was located at the Bremner corner on Highway 16.  This property, consisting of nearly an acre, had been made a beauty spot by its original owner, a former English gardener.  He had planted good nursery stock, landscaped it well, and cared for it like a park.

          Such care, however, became quite impossible after it was purchased by the church, though considerable time was given to it.

          We decided that in attempt should be made to restore it, in part at least, to its original condition.  A work bee was organized; twenty men turned out bringing with them all manner of tools and equipment for the purpose.  Such a transforming piece of work was done that it give encouragement to carry it on for the next six years, until the property was taken over by the Government for road development.  The manse was sold in 1964 and moved seventeen miles to josepbburg, at which time an almost new church home was purchased in Sherwood Park.

          Early in 1959 it was decided that the little church at Salisbury was wholly inadequate to meet the needs of the district so a new church was planned and built, with the official opening taking place on October 25th of that year.  In 1964 this church had to be moved because of major road changes, and was eventually located on a good site in the northwest corner of Sherwood Park, where it now ministers to in urban as well as a rural congregation.

          The Ardrossan Church was also found to be too small, especially for the many children who were coming to the Church School.  After considerable discussion tnd planning it was decided to erect a new church, with the understanding that considerable labour would be donated by men of the congregation.

          The response was most favourable and the building was completed and officially opened on November 10, 1960.  Memorial pews given by members of the congregation about a year before the church was built, were used in the new building.

          It is also interesting to note that the membership of the Church School was further expanded when the four school drivers volunteered their time and buses to bring in children from outlying areas.  This carried on for several years.  An active choir was also organized, which helped a great deal in the Sunday worship services.

          Besides the need for these two churches in their respective districts, there were also the future needs of the pastoral charge as a whole, as it was believed that the properties at Bremner and CloverBar would,in the not too distant future, be taken over for road expansion. Thus, Salisbury and Ardrossan would become the two focal pointsof the charge.  By 1965 over 80% of this total indebtedness on the new churches had been paid.

          During the years from 1958 to 1965, 347 children and adults received baptism, which in a small way indicates something of the potential of this church area.

          The hand of change was just beginning to make itself felt in these years as we witnessed the initial stages of new road constructions, new industrial plants springing up, small acreages appearing over a wide area, and with it all the inevitable shift of population.  If one could compare an aerial picture taken in 1958 with one in 1972, the many differences noted would be almost beyond imagination.

          With all the many and marked changes that have come, and will come in the future, may the uplifting and steadying influence of the church go forward to ever greater achievements in your midst, and the vision, faith and sacrificial labors of the pioneers be remembered and maintained.


REV.  DOUGLAS L. BERRY

          When we were children one of our favorite toys was the kaleidoscope in which bits of colored glass were reflected to form ever changing patterns.  For the past few years the Berry's have been a part of the ever changing pattern of the church and community life reflected in these pages.  As minister of the Ardrossan Church it his been our privilege to share the joys and sorrows that make up the history of an area which in times past has seen buildings and ministers come and go, but his remained constant in service to the people of the surrounding districts since the turn of the century.

          In our time here we have seen many changes.  The Bremner church was closed to make way for an interchange in 1967, while the 70th Anniversary of the Clover Bar Church in 1969 with combined choirs, double piano and organ and a full congregation marked the end of the Bremner-Clover Bar services.  On the positive side 1969 was the year the mortgages were burned on the Ardrossan and Salisbury churches ten years after their construction.

          In 1970 the Moderator, Dr. R. B. McClure, and Lieut.-Gov. Dr. J. W. Grint MacEwan officially opened Clover Bar Pioneer Court, probably the largest social service project ever developed and financed by a single Pastoral Charge of the United Church of Canada.  Funds from the Bremner-Clover Bar church sale have helped in developing new programs in the expanding Ardrossan and Salisbury areas, and the future of the Clover Bar Charge looks promising indeed.

          As a family we have enjoyed being associated with many social and recreational events in Ardrossan and its environs, as part of the passing parade of this living historical record of the community and the citizens who have given it the breath of life.


ARDROSSAN UNITED CHURCH CHRISTIAN EDUCATION 1970-72 by Mrs. Helen Simonson

          Ardrossan United Church throughout its long history has sponsored many Church-centred children's and youth groups. Continuing in this tradition, in the fall of 1970, Sunday School, C.G.I.T., Explorers, Playschool and Pliyschool Mothers programs continued to operate. Hi C, Tyros and Messengers were organized.  All groups had dedicated leaders who provided challenging and interesting programs.  The mid-week groups met on Tuesdays from 6:30 - 8:00.  This new format met with enthusiastic response resulting in high attendance on Tuesday nights.
In 1971, a Cub and Scout program was organized to replace the Tyro program.  Unfortunately, there was no Hi C program in '71.

          Vacation Schools were held in August of both summers.  The second year, the Ardrossan and Salisbury schools were coordinated.  Children from both churches were encouraged to attend the one week session at each church.  Special activities included horse-back riding, swimming, pot shows, penny carnivals, sharing projects, and closing family programs.

          Special events during these two years were combined mid-week  and Sunday School Concerts at Christmas, Children's shows, an Explorer rally for 100 girls from six churches, Mother and Daughter banquet, parties, family nights, and a leadership training event for Playschool leaders.

          The congregation of Ardrossan United Church is attempting to uphold the work of Christ with imagination, willingness and creativity. The program of the church contains many worthwhile elements with which I'm pleased to have been associated.



ARDROSSAN CHURCH LADIES by Mary L. Rice

          I would like to tell a little about the work of the women in our church.

          In 1906 the women of the Presbyterian Church formed a W.M.S. with Mrs. W. C. Wirdrop as president.  She continued in that capacity until 1931.  This little band of women called themselves the Willing Workers and they worked faithfully for their church.

          About 1916 a Y.W.M.S. was formed under the leadership of the Minister's wife, Mrs. Langille.  It was named the "Alice Langille Y.W.M.S."

          The Methodists too had a very active Ladies Aid, although we aren't sure of the date of its origin.  They held strawberry socials, suppers, concerts and bazaars.  In those days the churches were the meeting place for fellowship.
After union took place a new W. A. was formed.  The meeting took place at the home of the late Mrs. C. W. Parker on April 9, 1928. (This was the wedding anniversary of the late Myrtle and Dick Mackay.) Mrs. Parker became the first president and named the group "United Workers".  Our objective was to help our church spiritually, socially and financially.  These were depression years and money was scarce.  This little group of women was the backbone of the church.  One of the first things we did to make money was make quilts.  We sold them for $5.00 each. We put on a play called "Strictly Business".  It was the story of a Ladies Aid in the country church.  It was quite humorous.  Many of the things discussed were far from having anything to do with a church.

          In those days when we put on a supper the men would make temporary tables in the church.  After the meal, these were taken down and a concert would follow.  We took our own dishes then and cutlery, as well as all the baking.  After it was all over we washed the dishes in tubs, in water brought from home.

          One of our first purchases was a piano for the church.  It cost $350.00. Mrs. Hutchison, Sr., lent us the money and we reimbursed her whenever we could.  We have an organ now but the piano is still in use.
When Rev.  Upton was our minister here, Mrs. Upton was choir leader at Norwood United Church.  She brought out her singers one evening and put on a concert to help pay for the piano.

          After the community hall was made in 1948 we had our banquets and suppers there, also our Christmas concerts.
Our new church was opened in 1960.  We have a well equipped kitchen now.  Clover Bar Church gave us some cupboards and tables (for these we are very grateful) when they had to close on account of the highway.  We had twenty tables that the men had made, so now we feel quite adequate.

          Bremner gave us their piano.  It is used in the little church for Sunday School and youth groups.  We are indeed very thankful to the Bremner people for this.

          A few years ago some of our members compiled a cookbook and had it printed.  It was hard work but it paid off well. In 1970 we had a permanent finish put on our basement floor.  It is a form of plastic and is very decorative.  It cost $1,500.00. So, you see, we have to keep on working.

          In January 1962 the W.A.'s and W.M.S.'s across Canida amalgamated to form the United Church Women.  This is our purpose: "To unite all the women of the congretation, for the total mission of the church and to provide a medium through which they may express their loyalty and devotion to Jesus Christ in Christian Witness, Study, Fellowship and Service".

          We still carry on the same way, having been an affiliated society.  Besides helping our local groups we give to missions and various other worthy causes.

          As I write this it is nice to think of all the dedicated Christian women down through the years, who gave so freely of themselves.  In closing I humbly say,  "Thank God for them".
 



 
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