From The Scrapbook By Rev. Bill Randall

From The Scrap Book 

1989, Nov. 29

Dr. Bill Randall

A Pastoral Visit

Making a pastoral visit to the Littles in Little Settlement in 1954 wouldn’t have been a whole lot different than a visit there in 1889. The same gentle unchanged atmosphere was there. Lizzie met me at the door with her friendly greeting, and over her shoulder said to Maggie, “It’s the Meenister, go call the men.” No matter how busy or at what season, when the “Meenister” came they treated him special. The horses were tied to a fence post and David and Harry came into the back kitchen, slapped some dust from their cloths, washed their hands, ran a comb through thinning hair and came into the kitchen where they politely shook my hand and welcomed me. After a brief conversation ranging from weather to crops to health, Maggie got up and went to the parlor for the Bible. As expected I read a chapter, probably John 14, then we all bowed our heads as I asked Gods’ blessing on that house hold, the neighbors and the church.

Now it was David’s turn. David was the youngest, a bachelor in this early sixties. Again he went into the room and brought out the dish of peppermints – pink and white.

I was served first out of respect for my profession, then Lizzie the unmarried sister, and the oldest, at about 75, then Maggie, 73, who had been widowed young and came back to make her home with her sister. (Her husband George Embleton had been killed in a construction accident.)

The youngest brother Harry at 71 was served last. Harry had been a veteran of World War I, an employee with the Railroad  and perhaps had lived a more adventurous life than the others. But it was all some homey and predictable – just as it had been since their parents Thomas and Isabel had settled there. Except this day something different happened. We were interrupted.

A green Volkswagen bug drove up to the door, not showing any New Brunswick Electric Power Commission Logo. An effervescent young summer temporary employee came to the back door. Lizzie met him and asked, “And what you be havin’?” “I came to read the meter,” the young un replied. “Well”, says Lizzie, “We only read the St. Stephen Courier, and it doesn’t come til Thursday.” The young un still a bit puzzled, responded in a simpler language, “Well mam, I came to see about your lights.” Lizzie with her left hand pointed across her right shoulder to a shelf where sat three spotlessly clean Kerosene lamps – “Well they’re yonder”

This time the fellow looked up where he saw no elec tric wires, and made a hasty retreat to his car.

Lizzie returned to her chair and with her hands folded placidly in her lap remarked, “Well, that was a strange yon!”

Strange maybe to modern ways but beautiful and simple and kind. As a minister I was back in the front room four times. Davis died 1965, Lizzie died 1966, Maggie died 1969 and Harry died 1973.

Source: Rev. Bill Randall’s “From The Scrapbook Vol. One.”

Recommended Reading

Interested in learning more about the rich history and heritage of the Harvey region? Here are a few blog posts that might pique your interest: