Labrador History - 7.5 DIVERSIONS

Mary Taylor7.5 DIVERSIONS
Medical work was constant but there were diversions, like having visitors, going for walks to enjoy the scenery, or visiting the “outside.” I enjoyed all of these. The 10th anniversary of my arrival in Forteau was approaching, when my Dad’s illness brought about another trip to the West.
Early in 1963 we had a visit from a Scottish dentist and his assistant, who stayed for several weeks and did a lot of work. Most of it was extractions, but he and his assistant also made dentures. Most people were happy with the dental work, but some found it hard to adjust and would leave their new dentures on the cupboard instead of putting them in their mouths!
The beautiful scenery provided opportunities to admire the handiwork of the Creator. It was a lovely winter, with cold crisp days and I used to go for walks with Mr. Chips, my little dog. One day, with the dentist and his assistant, we walked up Crow Head, the cliff behind English Point, and found a snow cave. The bay in front of the nursing station was frozen over that year. Some winters the bay froze over and others it remained comparatively free of ice, although it could be packed with loose ice. The variety of nature.
Dad had surgery just before Christmas and needed care during his convalescence so, early in February I went home to British Columbia to look after him. While I enjoyed the break and the chance to meet family, I was disappointed because I would not be around to deliver Emily, who had come from Red Bay to await the arrival of her fifth child. (She had come with Bert when he brought a patient from Red Bay with a bleeding gastric ulcer.) Although Emily was staying at the nursing station, after I left she went to St. Anthony, where in due course she had a little girl.
Dad was still far from strong, so we stayed with a friend at Sooke on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the warmer climate being quite a change after the severe winters in Labrador. My friend’s home was by the sea, with a lovely garden, and some spring flowers came out while we were there - an added bonus. It was a pleasant and restful time for both of us.
When he recovered, Dad came back to Labrador with me, and we visited my sisters and their families on the way. Jean was in New Orleans and Brenda in Quebec, so it was quite a jaunt!
Crossing by train, we stopped in Winnipeg for the detour to New Orleans, and renewed an old acquaintance with Ruby and Wa! Bowering who had been in Red Bay when Wal was there with the R.C.M.P. Arriving in Chicago the following day, we spent the night, and next morning caught the train south. The further south we travelled, the warmer it got, so that we had to shed some of our winter clothing as we went.
It was wonderful to see Jean and her family again. Jean and George were both in a second marriage, so with his three children, and Jean’s two plus little Mary, who was not quite a year old, they had six! Quite a family to look after, but Jean seemed very happy in her new marriage. Bobby and Susan had grown, of course, since I had seen them last, and we enjoyed getting to know Sandy, Pat, and George Junior, and of course little Mary Lynn, my name sake. The weather was lovely and warm and we wore summer clothing. One day we even went to the beach!
It was hard to say goodbye to them all, especially when they were living so far away and we did not know when we would see them again. We travelled back to Canada by bus and, the further north we travelled, the colder it got. When we arrived in Winnipeg the temperature was about twenty degrees below zero (Fahrenheit.) We spent the weekend with Ruby and Wal, who met us at the bus station, and then continued across Canada on the train.
Brenda and Bob lived in Quebec City, where Bob was stationed, and they had two children by this time, Debbie and Christine. We enjoyed our visit, save for one unhappy event. We were sightseeing one day when my new camera was stolen out of the car, while we were in the museum. I was very upset because many of my New Orleans photos were on the film that was in the camera at the time. We reported the loss to the police but as we did not speak much French this was difficult.
We flew back to Newfoundland at the beginning of April, landing at Gander, where we waited several days (bad weather again) for the mission plane. One night, at Gander airport, we met Mona and little David, who were going to Scot1an to visit her parents. Mona was expecting her second baby, which later she lost in Scotland when the little girl was stillborn. It was good that Mona was at home with her parents at the time so that she could have their support, especially since George was so far away.
Reaching St. Anthony, we stayed with Dr. John Gray and his wife, Fiona, whom I had met previously. Their little daughter, Angela, was quite small at the time and played “radio telephone,” trying to reach the operator at the hospital. We would hear a little voice saying, “Hello, Dale. What is the plane doing today?” or, “What is the weather like today?” She was cute. It was good visiting old friends but, by this stage, we were anxious to get to Forteau.
When we finally arrived, “Aunt” Mary and the girls welcomed us with open arms. Dad had met “Aunt” Mary on his previous visit two years earlier and had enjoyed her company, especially when I was away in other communities seeing patients. I was not quite so busy this time, but did have some antenatal patients waiting for delivery. Dad called them my “ladies-in-waiting”!
To keep Dad occupied, I got him to type out diet sheets for the patients who were on special diets. One day, when he got tired of that, he typed out the following:

Normal Diet for Babies--little ones!!
Breakfast: One large filling of milk--preferably mother’s--otherwise canned, cow’s or coconut!!
Din din: Same as above--they make the same noise if they don’t get it anyhow.
Tea: Coffee or milk as before.
Supper: Straight milk i one of the varieties listed above. Midnight and the one
at BREAK OF DAWN:  send Pop!
DO NOT in any circumstances feed the baby milk in the bottle, earth-worms, beetles, flies, wasps or gallstones!

The last sentence was a reference to my liking for worms as a toddler apparently, and to a radio telephone conversation I had with St. Anthony about someone with gallstones!
I had a bit of an emergency at that time, when a mother lost a lot of blood after delivering her first. She lived in Forteau and I became friendly with her, visiting her from time to time, and showing her how to do a cable stitch. (She wanted to make a matinee set for the new arrival, and was using a pattern with a cable in it.) After giving birth she lost a couple of pints in a very short time.
I sent for Dr. Marcoux from Blanc Sablon, hoping that he would bring some blood with him in case we needed it, but there was none available. Fortunately the bleeding stopped after the placenta was delivered. My patient had not told me that some of her sisters had similar problems when their babies were born, or I would have sent her to St. Anthony. She had us all worried for a while. It was a frightening experience but the Lord was good and answered our prayers for her survival.
I had four other deliveries that month, all of them normal, I’m happy to say. It always made me nervous when the next patient came in for delivery after this kind of experience, for things could be pretty scary at times and one felt so helpless. But the Lord was good. I never lost a mother, thanks to Him.
One of the antenatals I had in at that time was a young girl from Red Bay. While she was in the nursing station, I had several talks with her about the Lord and her need of salvation and one day, after attending a meeting with me in L’Anse-au-Loup, she trusted Christ as her Saviour, a real answer to prayer.
The new roads were giving us more options for moving patients. In June a young boy from Capstan Island fell into a deep hole on a school construction site, and hit his arm just above the elbow. I thought his shoulder was displaced, so tried to transfer him to St. Anthony. The plane was not available, however, but the “Northern Ranger” was there, on its way to Corner Brook, so the boy’s mother took him across the straits to Sandy Cove. By this time there was a gravel road through to St. Anthony, so they got a truck to take the boy to the hospital there. Things were looking up!
Sometimes volunteers from the United States came to help at the nursing station for the summer months - volunteers that were nicknamed “WOP”s because they “worked without pay.” That summer a young girl from New Hampshire came to help me. Janie, a small, friendly young girl with brownish hair, was willing to do anything to help and was nice to have around. Later, on a return trip from B.C., I visited her and her family in New Hampshire. She was a nice companion. One day she went with Dad and me for a boat trip across the pond, where the plane landed in the summer months. A fairly large lake, the pond was on the Forteau River, a salmon river, and we could walk further up the river to a place where salmon jumped.
Janie, the “WOP”, did bookkeeping, saw patients off on the plane, and many other things. Many times I spoke to her of my Saviour and she started attending the meetings with me. One night “Uncle” Joe’s son James spoke in the meeting and afterwards she said to me, “Who told him about me?”
“No one,” I replied, “It must be the Holy Spirit speaking to you.” She trusted Christ that summer, bringing us great joy.
Dad was busy in the garden again (as soon as he was strong enough) and grew many nice vegetables which we enjoyed. He even dug up several large rocks, which he should not have done so soon after his surgery, so I scolded him, but he wanted to make the soil more serviceable. Anyone who can work on boats is welcome in a fishing community, so when my Dad repaired a boat ergine for a fisherman, his toil was much appreciated.
Dad returned to British Columbia at the end of the summer, visiting Brenda and Bob again in Quebec. He travelled by train, from Halifax, so I took him that far by car. Janie was leaving too, flying from Halifax to Boston so we took her along, together with Ethel, my nurses’ aide, so I would have some company on the way back. A further treat would be the chance to visit Olive in Rocky Harbour.
It was a long, tiring trip to Corner Brook as the roads were not paved then, and were very rough in places. We crossed the straits by coastal boat, my car being put aboard on a sling that was lifted by a winch. We stopped at Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland, to visit Olive and her two little girls. Wallace was away on the M.G.M. at the time, preaching the gospel and we saw him later. That night we went as far as Pasadena, staying in a motel and next morning continued to Port aux Basques, to connect with the ferry to Nova Scotia.
In Port aux Basques we booked into a boarding house and got Dad settled for the night, then the three of us, Ethel, Janie and I, drove along the south coast to Rose Blanche. The M. G.M. was there, for the brethren were labouring in the area, and we had a “lunch” and a nice time of fellowship with them. They told us of their adventures that summer, as they travelled to the different settlements in Newfoundland, and of how the Lord was working.
We left Port aux Basques next morning, had an uneventful trip to Halifax. We took our Janie to the airport and Dad to the station to catch his train for Quebec, after which Ethel and I stayed for the weekend.
Not having seen the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, we detoured to see it, notwithstanding the pouring rain and the low temperatures. As we were driving in one little village Ethel said she was feeling cold, so I stooped to turn on the heat, and the car went into a skid. We turned round three times and nearly ended up in the ditch.
“Oh, we’re going to be killed!” Ethel exclaimed.
Fortunately I was able to back up and we were on our way again, although somewhat shaken. We were grateful the Lord had preserved us from having a nasty accident, and we got home without further incident.
It was now ten years since I first came to Forteau and what an eventful ten years it had been!
It was especially a joy to see Wallace and Olive growing in the faith. Later they gave themselves full time to the work of the Lord and Wallace quit his regular job and spent his time preaching the gospel. When he got saved Wallace’s first feelings were, “Why was I not taught these truths about God’s Salvation before?”
Since he had not been told about salvation himself, he knew others didn’t know it either and he set about telling them. Like so many before him, his initial reaction was, “Why don’t others see it and get saved as well?”
He told others and preached the gospel as opportunities arose. Eventually, he gave all his time to the Lord. Many years later, he told it this way:
“What led up to it? I believe my call was, “Come over and help us,” and that is what I have been doing since 1961.
“After I got saved! was working in Seven Islands, but later my wife and I moved to Toronto, Ontario. Initially it was to visit my sister but I got work after a week, so we stayed. It was during this period in Toronto that I was baptized and received into fellowship in the Pape Avenue Assembly. A year later we returned to Forteau, Labrador and I started my own Garage. It did very well.
“Mr Herb Harris came along about that time and asked me to work on the boat, the M.G.M., for a month and, wanting to be a help, I went. We had meetings from the boat and in Rocky Harbour we saw the moving of the Spirit of God.
“Seeing a need for a worker living in Rocky Harbour,; Mr Harris asked me to find out if my wife would be willing to move there for the winter so he and I could follow up the work. There was no question of moving without her support. We closed the Garage and moved to Rocky Harbour but it was to be help in the work only, for it never dawned on me that would be a full time preacher!
“After working for about three years and seeing an assembly planted, I got a letter from the Pape Avenue assembly, wondering fl had any thought of going full time in the work? I felt I was full time already and did not understand what they were talking about! I wrote them to that effect and told them I would be going back to work as soon as I was no longer needed. However in 1965 Mr Harris told me the brethren in Newfoundland and Labrador were going to commend me to the work that I was seeking to do and I would be getting a letter.
“My job did not matter I was still doing a lot of that in the Lord’s work anyway! There were buses, cars and vans to keep in running order
“I never doubted that the Lord would meet my need. My greatest support was from my dear wife Olive without her I would not be in the work today. She will get the greatest reward.”