Wednesday, February 5, 2014

from "Among the Deep Sea Fishers" | January 1913

--> Our Stewardship in 1912

St. Anthony is losing this year the services of our beloved friend, chief of outside workers, and "private parson," the Rev. Jesse Halsey. His house stands empty, and we lament his absence every time we look at it. We have never had any man whose Christ-like spirit in everything he touched has more gripped the love and imagination of our men. It is only a question of finances which makes us obliged to cut down this small salary. The price of a single dinner in so many of the large houses would add a year of his invaluable work.

Wilfred T. Grenfell

Items from the New England Grenfell Association

The coming of the schooner Geo. B. Cluett for the winter supplies was anticipated by Boston friends with more interest than usual. Her passenger list was a large one for this time of the year, among the passengers being Dr. and Mrs. John Mason Little, Jr., with their infant son of three months; Mrs. Halsey and her two boys (the youngest two months of age), and two native children whose father is a reindeer herder at St. Anthony and whose mother is not living. These two children (a girl and a boy) Mr. and Mrs. Halsey are to shepherd: the girl being old enough to act as a nursery maid, and both will attend school in Southampton, N.Y., which is the home of the Halseys this year!

Helen I. Halsey on board The Geo. B. Cluett
The voyage was the longest and most tedious ever reported by any of the Mission schooners, because of the constant and continuous head winds, and occupied twenty-one days between St. Anthony and Boston: the boat arriving on October 15th at noon. By telephone message from the Chamber of Commerce an hour in advance, many of the friends of the passengers on board were able to be at the wharf and see the Cluett come in, much to the surprise and delight of all. All on board gave great praise to, and expressed appreciation of the seamanship and cheerful optimism of Captain Pickels, which helped them to keep up their courage daily. The captain made the most of every breath of wind and caught and made use of it at every opportunity—but the chart showed that on some days the schooner was blown back almost faster than she could make up on the following day, and also showed a very peculiar zigzag path.

Beside a small amount of freight, the Cluett brought from St. Anthony a young black bear in the hold. The bear was for the Zoo in the Franklin Park of Boston. It was no small amount of labour to take the bear from the schooner to the park, and although it was all done in a scientific manner, by three of the men from the Zoo, the time occupied was no less than three hours, and young bruin showed some fight before he was finally placed behind bars in the cage brought in which to transport him.

Rev. Jesse Halsey returned early in November after superintending the building of the little home for the medical officer at St. Anthony, which was begun early in the season. The house was roofed in before Mr. Halsey left, and the work in the interior will go on early in the spring. It is hoped that it will be ready for Dr. Little upon his return in the coming summer. Mr. Halsey's three years of service have increased the possibilities for greater efficiency not only in the hospital but also the school, the orphanage, and the homes for the general workers. He has been the one man able to teach the native men about the plumbing, etc., etc. He is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary with a decided turn for mechanics--indeed, he might be called the Christian plumber of the Mission, for he has put furnaces into the orphanage and hospital at St. Anthony and has constructed a reservoir from which he has brought running water into these buildings. Skillful as he is in the mechanical line, he was no less successful when acting in the capacity of Christian teacher, in the absence of Dr. Grenfell, on Sundays in the church and hospital, and in teaching winter evening school, preparing the young men coming to Pratt Institute. It was a fortunate happening for both the Mission and the man when Mr. Halsey heard Dr. Grenfell lecture as he was graduated from Union Seminary, and he at once decided to join the volunteers in the Mission.

E. E. W., Secretary
17th December 1912

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