Wednesday, February 5, 2014

from "Among the Deep Sea Fishers" | July 1912

St. Anthony Items
March 1st, 1912

Dear Mr. Editor,

Our chief is away. We get occasional hurried glimpses of his activities by letter, but we wish he were here. However it can’t be helped so we have to do the best we can without him. This is the first day of spring and I am writing a few of our doings through the winter to try and interest those interested in us. It does not seem much like spring, as the poets describe it. The mail has just arrived and it has taken the mail man with his team of dogs five days to bring it on its last relay of eighteen miles for it has been blowing north-east and “dirty.”

. . .The fuel problem gets more and more difficult as the wood gets cut out so that this winter the people found it impossible to keep their own fires going and provide ten sticks for each child for the school. We had therefore to close the school and divide the children between a big room at the orphanage and the lower ward at the hospital, both of which buildings, thanks to Mr. Halsey, are now steam heated. In this ward at the hospital also is held the night school five evenings a week, where Mr. Halsey, Mr. Blackburn and Mr. Fallon teach. I meant to say that Mr. Fallon also came on the last boat.  . . .Mr. Evans has had complete charge of the reindeer; has not only made trips and proved their speed in travelling under adverse conditions, but has taken charge of and driven our second dog team, doing much hauling and courier service.

Helen I. Halsey with Charles Henry
Mr. Halsey has been our general manager and overseer and besides his night school, holding services and preaching has generally had his coat off to help along some job or do a kindness to whoever comes within his radius. Mrs. Halsey takes care of the music in church and out, giving music lessons in her spare time and at present is mother two infants besides her own Charles Henry, while their mother has a much needed rest in the hospital.  . . . Mrs. Little took on the new job ob teaching me this winter instead of sixty children and I guess wishes she was “back on the old job.” Modesty forbids me to talk about myself. Too bad!

We are a happy busy family and only wish we had more of the friends and workers of the mission along with us to enjoy the winter. . .

This has proved a very vague outline of our winter’s doings. The life is so different from that at home that it is difficult to describe, but I shall have failed utterly if my readers do not understand that the mission is trying to teach Christ’s love through service in many forms and that its members are tasting the happiness that comes in doing it.

John M. Little, Jr.

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