TRINITY CHURCH, PARRY SOUND 1869/1876/1894/1910
by The Very Rev. Nelson Small, former rector of Trinity Church
PARRY SOUND in 1895
Early Parry Sound and the Beatty Family
THE BEATTY COVENANT AND THE CHURCH
First Religious Services in Parry Sound
TRINITY ANGLICAN CHURCH
PARRY SOUND in 1895
An incorporated town 165 miles north of Toronto, situated at the mouth of the Seguin River (which flourishes power) and on a safe harbour on the north shore of Georgian Bay, and is the capital of the vast territorial district of the same name. It is 50 miles by water north of Midland with which it has daily communication by steamboat during navigation, 21 miles west of Rosseau, at the head of the lake of the same name, and it is now within 10 miles of the Ottawa and Parry Sound [Booth] Railway which will be completed and running into Parry Sound during 1895. It will form a connecting link between the great lakes and the seaboard. Extensive lumbering operations are carried on in the neighbourhood and there are several saw mills. The town contains Baptist, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist and Catholic churches, 6 public schools, a bank, a court house and a registry office. It has also a good system of water works and will be lighted by electricity by September 1st. A newspaper, the North Star, is published weekly. There is daily communication with Rosseau, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, McKeller, Dunchurch, etc., fare 5 cents per mile. Population 2500. Mail daily. Julius Ansley, postmaster.
Early Parry Sound and the Beatty Family
(Fleetwood K. McKean, "Early Parry Sound and the Beatty Family,"Ontario History, vol. 56, no. 3. September 1964, pp. 167-184.)
The first men to come to this wilderness who were interested in something other than the fur trade, war or hunting were the Gibsons of Willowdale, York Township. William Milnor Gibson, who became interested when he came north as a land surveyor, saw the potentialities and in 1856 made application for a timber limit and mill location at the mouth of the Seguin River....
In the summer of 1863 William Beatty of Thorold, along with his sons, William and James H. and his son-in-law, Nathaniel wakefield, sailed up to the mouth of the French River, fifty miles north of Parry Sound, in search of timber limits. In the course of these explorations they learned that the Gibson limits at Parry Sound were for sale. (One version has it that they were driven into Parry Sound to seek shelter from a storm, and thus came in contact with the Gibsons). The result was that James and William Beatty bought what the Archives in Ottawa refer to as the The exact details of this business deal of a hundred years ago are lost in antiquity. The important thing is that young William Beatty, an intelligent, well-educated man of twenty-eight years with great personal drive fell in love with the North Shore and decided then and there to make its development his life's work. All could see that young William had been smitten, and when the party returned to Thorold, Nathaniel Wakefield told his friends there that their promising young man could be expected to walk out of his little niche in the environs of Canada West, in favour of the broader, but more arduous task of carving a domain for himself out of the wilderness. He had found his destiny.
The Parry Sound Estate consisted of a small mill taking its power from the Lower Falls of the Seguin River, a few cabins, and fifty-square-mile timber limit which began a mile and a half south of the river mouth and encompassed the land upriver and along the north shore of the Big Sound. When surveyed, this limit was found actually to contain 84 square miles more than the original specification called for, and William Beatty acquired additional limits in later years. The Beattys also bought the land where the town of Parry Sound now stands; it is recorded that on May 14, 1867, they acquired 2,198 acres of land at the mouth of the Seguin (the present townsite) for the sum of four hundred and thirty-nine dollars....
The family is reported to be of Scottish descent but in 1835 they resided in Cootehill, County Cavan, Ireland. In that year it is recorded that William and Frances Beatty had a son born, and in the same year they came to Canada and settled near Thorold, Ontario. Their family consisted of James H., William, (the boy who was born in 1835), John and three daughters.
William Beatty prospered in his new home. He took up a homestead, secured a water power concession on the Welland Canal, and started a grist mill and a tannery. Beyond this we know little, for most of the family records were lost during the Rebellion of 1837 in Upper Canada. William the Elder leaves the impression, however, of being devoted to hard work and enterprise, a Beatty characteristic. He also appears to have been much interested in the advancement of his sons.
His son, William, certainly justified this interest. He was educated at Victoria University, then located in Coburg, receiving his BA in 1860, his MA in 1863, and the LLB in 1864. In 1865 he was elected to the Senate of Victoria University and continued to be a member for the next twenty-five years, by re-election. The acquisition of such an education at that time, and his election to the Senate of the University while still a new graduate, indicates that young Beatty was an outstanding man.
At the time of the exploratory visit to the North Shore in 1863, William Jr. was a young man with bright prospects. His father was prosperous and well established in Thorold; in the same year he was a candidate for the Assembly of Upper Canada on the Reform ticket, and he was ready to begin the practice of law. His confreres and even he, himself, must have had strong doubts about his leaving all that for an indefinite future and a life in the wilderness. But in the end he went north, at first as resident manager for the partnership, and later as sole owner of the enterprise.
James H. Beatty, the oldest boy in the family, was also a promising young man. Until his interet was bought out by his younger brother, William, he was the senior partner in the J. & W. Beatty Co., which was formed to exploit the family timber limits at Parry Sound, and also in J. & H. Beatty & Co., which he, his father, and his cousin Henry formed to operate their steamship business in Sarnia. He also had an interest in the Collingwood Shipping Co., and in other similar companies on the Great Lakes.
John the youngest of the three sons, joined his brother in the Parry Sound venture in the early years. He also became Crown Lands Agent and Indian Agent for the district. But when the J. & H. Beatty Co. was formed by his father, his oldest brother, and Henry Beatty to operate a line of steamships from Thorold and Sarnia, John Beatty went with that company and lived in Sarnia except when he was called north to assist his brother, William, in Parry Sound.
The three daughters of William and Frances Beatty of Thorold were: Ann (Mrs. William Switzer) of Bimbrook, Rosetta (Mrs. Nathaniel Wakefield) of Thorold and Parry Sound, and Harriett, who died while quite young, some time before 1879. Nathaniel Wakefield was one of the original exploring party which came to the North Shore in 1863; in the early years he was active with William Beatty's affairs in Parry Sound, where he died about 1869.
Henry Beatty and his family should receive mention here, since he was nephew of William Sr., and was very closely connected with him, and with his sons, in business enterprises. His story, even when told briefly, speaks of high adventure and accomplishment among the leading Canadian figures of his time.
He also originated in Cootehill, Ireland, where he was born on May 1, 1834. The family emigrated to Canada when Henry was nine, and joined William Beatty at Thorold. There the boy was educated and he learned the hardware business in the nearby town of St. Catharines. He spent a year in St. Paul, Minnesota, practising his trade, then moved to California where he set up a hardware business of his own. The gold rush to the Cariboo District of British Columbia drew him to further adventure in 1860; there he set up a store selling miners'supplies, took a fling at mining gold on Williams Creek, and reported back to Thorold in 1864 for a visit with his ageing mother, with a fortune of forty thousand dollars.
There he found opportunity to join in further ventures. William Beatty and his two sons, James and William had entered the steamship business, building the Waubuno in 1865, and Henry Beatty joined them when they started the construction of their second ship, the Manitoba, in 1870. Both vessels were built at Port Robinson, near Thorold, but the partners soon formed "J. & H. Beatty & Co."and moved their headquarters to Sarnia. This was the famous "Beatty Line"(Northwest Transportation Co.), one of the important pioneers in Canadian shipping, operating in those early years the Manitoba, the Ontario and the Quebec.
The Beatty Line amalgamated with others to form the Northern Navigation Co. in 1899, which in turn became a part of the Canada Steamship Lines in 1914, after a second merger.
Henry Beatty left the organization in 1882 to join the Canadian Pacific Railway Syndicate, where he immediately took up the task of ship construction and organization of the company which is now known as Canadian Pacific Steamships.
His son, Sir Edward Beatty, became president of the Canadian Pacific Railroad, and bore the burden of piloting that mammoth organization through the difficulties of the Great Depression. Another son, Henry Albert Beatty, MD, became the chief surgeon of the CPR...
THE BEATTY COVENANT AND THE CHURCH
Governor Beatty did many things in his active career, but probably the most famous act, and certainly the most contentious, was his introduction of the Beatty Covenant.
The Covenant was an agreement entered into between William Beatty and those who purchased land from him to the effect that the land would be granted to the party of the second part (the purchaser) provided said party of the seond part did not sell, barter, or exchange "any spirituous or intoxicating liquors on the said lands." The penalty for the violation of this covenant was that the lands should be returned to the grantor. This agreement was to endure during the lives of the parties entering into the covenant, during the lives of the grandchildren of Queen Victoria, and for twenty years and ten months after the deaths of the parties named.
Since the Governor owned substantially all the land on which the town was built, with the exception of Parry Harbour, the Covenant was almost universal in its application. And it was so well drawn up, legally, that it survived until 1949 without serious challenge, even though the Beatty family took no action on its clauses governing enforcement.
To understand the reasons for the introduction of the Beatty Covenant it would be necessary to know the background of the Governor and the Beatty family. The important items to note are that he was a member of the Reform Party; and that he was a Wesleyan Methodist from Canada West. As such he was bound to be something of an evangelist, with a determination to bring a new dispensation to replace the old scheme of things. He had seen the ravages cause by strong drink in the towns and lumber camps of the time, and he was anxious to avoid the same conditions for his own community. And the problem was very real, both in Canada West when William the Younger was growing up, and on the frontier where he came to make his home.
Thomas McMurray, Crown Lands Agent and newpaper publisher of Parry Sound and Bracebridge, frequently referred to the evils of intemperance. He called strong drink "The Settler's Greatest Enemy"[sic]in articles expounding the attractions of Parry Sound and Muskoka. He answered criticism of these northerly district in which he was interested by pointing out that the success of at least some of the settlements in the sould could be ascribed to the fact that liquor was forbidden in their environs. And undoubtedly he was faced every day with sad examples among those who disobeyed his advice; the men who worked long hours at the drudgery of clearing a farm in the bush or in the isolated shanties of the lumber camps of the day were peculiarly susceptible to the urge to "hit town and blow her in."
Methodism at that time aimed at a revival of religion and decency in southern Ontario. Early travellers to the settlements from England constantly remarked on the depraved condition of the "Americans,"and their frequent revels at the local taverns or on the occasion of a community event such as a barn raising. A dedicated churchman himself, it was inevitable that the young William Beatty should attempt to forestall the development of the same conditions in his new settlement on the North Shore. To this end he devised the Beatty Covenant, and lent his efforts to the furtherance of temperance.
In 1872 he wrote to Isabella Bowes: "We passed the Temperance Bill by a unanimous vote of the electors a few days ago. We have always prevented the sale of intoxicating liquor here, but this will give additional strength to our efforts to make this a temperance place."
He was alluding to the Duncan Act, an early dry law. Parry Sound itself remained dry, under the Canada Temperance Act, Local Option, and through the influence of Governor Beatty, for half a century after his death. But the village of Carrington, afterwards Parry Harbour, was in Foley Township and thus beyond the influence of the Covenant. To that place a bushed logger repaired, after coming down with the river drive, and there joined others of his kind in the bacchanalian rites of spring and the process of getting unbushed. Hotels were built, a liquor store was established, and prosperity came to Parry Harbour until it began to rival the main town.
This aspect of the case did not go unnoticed by those who suffered in the prosperity of their businesses by the diversion of interest from the town to the Harbour. There were grumblings against the Covenant over the years, but in the end it was not the liquor question which brought about an end to this controversial decree instituted by Governor Beatty; the Covenant finally succumbed in 1949 before recommendation from the town to the effect that it imposed cumbersome limitations on the sale and use of property. The wets took a considerable interest in the matter, but clarification of the owner's rights in his property was the main influence...
First Religious Services in Parry Sound
The Governor was just as much a man of action in promoting the cause of religion and the church in Parry Sound. Almost immediately after his arrival, in the fall of 1863, he called the townspeople to a meeting for worship which in all probability was the first religious service held along the North Shore since the devout Catholic fathers had passed from the picture with the elimination of the Huron Nation in 1653 [note: The Roman Catholic clergy were active at Sault Ste. Marie and Wekwemikong on Manitoulin Island from the 1830s]. This meeting was attended by all, without distinction of creed or denomination. It was held in the only possible gathering place - in the rough cookery of the sawmill by the mouth of the Seguin.
Such informal meetings were continued until 1865, when the first church was constructed. Services were conducted by William Beatty or in his absence by a cousin, J. H. Armstrong, or a brother-in-law, Nathaniel Wakefield. John Beatty led the singing, and Mrs. Beatty played the organ.
It makes a pretty picture to look back now on how they celebrated the Sabbath in Parry Sound in those early years when Isabella and William Beatty were young. The Beattys walked down to church from their house on the hill on Sunday morning, carrying with them a little melodian (still preserved by the family) with which Mrs. Beatty accompanied the hymns. As they went they would be joined by others, friends and relatives. At first they worshipped in the cookery of the lumber mill, then in the first church, and later in the present United Church which stands on the corner of James and Mary Streets. In summer they carried on camp meetings, first in a small grove where the District Court House now stands, and later near the town beach where a meeting place was established in the woods above the lake shore, complete with benches, a platform and pulpit, and four huge stone braziers at each corner to give light and to fend off marauding mosquitoes.
These camp meetings were arranged to take care of the influx of settlers and Indians from the surrounding district. William Beatty again led the services when he could, though he was assisted by Solomon James, the chief of the Naiscootang Reserve, and by the Rev. Alan Salt, a half-Indian missionary who had been assigned to the Parry Island and Christian Island Reserves.
The Rev. Salt was a distinguished looking man, with the long grey locks and flowing beard of a Biblical character. He had begun his mission on Walpole Island in the St. Clair River, and had served the church in many places, including an arduous journey to Lake of Woods (1854)... He served for many years at Parry Sound, and on Parry Island after a church had been built there.
By 1869 the community had grown to a point where Beatty, in view of his other expanding duties, no longer felt capable of keeping up the services at the church. The Rev. Charles Augustine Hanson was appointed to the charge, the first conference minister. The Rev. Mr. Hanson served for one year in Parry Sound; he later withdrew from the ministry, went into business, and by 1917 local records show that he had prospered and had become Lord Mayor of London, and was pleased to entertain the soldiers from Canada at the Guildhall during World War I, especially those from the town where he had served as a young minister. The old church, built in 1865, was too small for the growing congregation after the district began to receive a rush of new settlers attracted by the Free Grant Lands. In 1877 a new church was built (the St. James United Church of today) at a cost of six thousand dollars. Mr. Beatty assisted with the task, and donated sufficient land for a spacious churchyard and parsonage. He continued to serve as a local preacher, class leader, and recording steward during his lifetime, and in his will he left one thousand dollars to retire the last remaining debt rom the building of the new church.
While William Beatty was establishing a church in his pioneer village, his brother James H. Beatty, was occupied with the task of building the first Methodist church in their home town of Thorold.
TRINITY ANGLICAN CHURCH
Trinity Church. Lots 11,12 & 13 east side of Church Street, North of Seguin, McDougall township. Original rectory was located on Lot 13 and was sold in 1988.
Algoma Quarterly, 1 March 1875 - This is the Rev. R[obert] Mosley's Mission. The village contains about 600 inhabitants, and it boasts of six stores, three saw mills, a grist mill, bakery, two schools, printing office, telegraph office, jail and court house, and last, though not least, an observatory. Mr. Mosley travels 13 and 14 miles on alternate Sundays, either on horseback or with horse and buggy. He has no churches in his mission. At Parry Sound the service is held in the court house, and in the country in the school houses. The mission was established in 1869, and is now in a prosperous condition. Service is held regularly morning and evening at Parry Sound; the congregations have increased, and since the purchase of an organ, the singing and chanting have been very good. The people are mostly employed in the lumbering trade; among the settlers are Norwegians and Icelanders. The house in which Mr. Mosley lives, is a rough building, which the proprietor kindly permits him to occupy free of rent. The rooms have not been plastered, but are merely lined with rough boards, so that the family suffers to some extent from the cold.
Algoma Quarterly, 1 March 1876 - Sunday, 5th inst., the Bishop preached in the Sound morning and evening to large and attentive congregations. After morning service, he administered the Holy Communion to twelve communicants; at 8 p.m. preached at Waubamick, 10 miles out of the Sound, confirmed four adults, and administered the Sacrament to ten communicants. On Monday, 6th inst., held a confirmation at Wilcox School-house, on Parry Sound road, 11 miles from the Sound, nine candidates being presented to the Bishop, and received into full communion with the Church by the Apostolic rite of Confirmation. The Bishop's address to those confirmed will, I am sure, be of lasting effect on the minds of all who heard him. After service accompanied his Lordship to Rosseau, thus making a tour of 177 miles [up Nipissing Road to Magnetawan].
"Bishop's Charge,"First Synod of the Missionary Diocese of Algoma, 1906, pp. 9-10 - The first meeting of the Algoma Diocesan Council of Clergy and laity [an early form of Synod] met in the month of August 1887 at Parry Sound. "Though not endowed with legislative authority, the Council played an important part in the management of diocesan affairs during the twenty years of its existence. It not only served as an advisory board to the Bishop, but by mutual consent its formal pronouncements were respected alike by Bishop, clergy and people; and its decisions upon the various matters submitted to it for judgment, had great weight in moulding the opinions of the diocese at large. Nevertheless, having no legal status it lacked those very important powers which are a synod's chief distinctions: the right to hold and manage property; ability to execute as well as to pronounce decrees; and the privilege of electing its own bishop."
Parish History of Trinity Church, Parry Sound, 1876-1965, pp. 3-11
We cannot record too many facts about this man [The Rev'd Robert Mosley], who made the beginning for the Anglican Church here in Parry Sound. They are all too meagre, but here is a clipping from the Aurora Bonner, in 1903, supplied by Mrs. Phyllis Bradley, granddaughter of our first Anglican Minister: "One of the early pioneers of the District of Muskoka and Parry Sound passed away, in the person of the Reverend Robert Mosley, on the 17th instant [July]. The deceased was on a short visit to his daughter, Mrs. R. Taylor, in Winnipeg, when he succumbed to an attack of gastralgia. He was born in Toronto in 1820 and consequently at the time of his death was in his eighty-fourth year.
After receiving his earlier education in the school of the celebrated [Bishop] John Strachan, he entered the first Model School established by the late Dr. [Egerton] Ryerson, and graduated as a Public School Teacher, teaching, principally in the then village of Aurora, whee he also studied for the ministry of the Church of England. He was the first missionary sent into the then Diocese of Toronto, northern section, by Bishop Bethune, and he continued his labours under Bishop Fauquier and Bishop Sullivan, enduring the many hardships and privations of the early days of the backwoods.
The field covered by him was very extensive, at the present time (1903) being served by no fewer than four clergymen. There was then no regular place of worship, but in the course of time churches began to be erected, the present ediface in the town of Parry Sound being put up in 1876.
In 1885 Mr. Mosley was placed on the superannuation list, but with the help of an assistant continued his duties as a meteorological observer until the time of his death, being accounted one of the most careful and correct observers in the service. His lasting resting place is the cemetery at Aurora, whence his body was conveyed from Trinity Church, which stands upon a site presented by his brother. The pall-bearers were Messrs. F. Long, A. Yule, A. Brown, J. Henry, J. Webb, all residents of this town. He leaves his widow, and four children: Mrs. J. D. Knox of Orillia, J. F. Mosley of Parry Sound, Mrs. R. Taylor, of Winnipeg, and Dr. W. H. Mosley, of Midland.
From the above we note that the Reverend Mosley first began the Anglican Church services in Parry Sound as a Missionary from the Diocese of Toronto, supervised the building of the church where he served as Rector for 20 years, and took the meteorological readings in Parry Sound for 30 years. He continued to serve, following retirement in 1885, as a missionary in Broadbent and Waubamic, villages to the north[east] of the town....
With the start of the first Vestry Meeting Book, in April of 1887, the recorded history of the church begins to take shape.
At first the Vestry Meetings were held only at Easter time, and they were concerned principally with the election of Church Officers, the Vestry clerk, and the reading of the financial statements for the year. Things did not always work out as planned however, and several times another meeting had to be called a week or so later to hear the Warden's financial report, which had not been prepared on schedule. Finances were not a pleasant subject - on April 22, 1889, the Church Warden, Mr. W. B. Tindell, had to report a large deficit of over $200.00.
It was not that church funds were expended on large salaries, at least not by present-day standards. At a meeting held on April 7, 1890, it was passed that the minister's stipend paid by the congregation should be increased from $400.00 to $500.00! Miss E. Jukes, the Organist, received $25.00 per annum. Funds were scarce among those pioneers of the town, and the Church Wardens were often hard pressed to keep solvent.
At that first recorded Vestry Meeting on April 11th, 1887, the Reverend G[eorge] H[erbert] Gaviller presided. Members present shows many names, only some of which are still noted on the town roster: W. B. Tindall, F. Dowell Sr., V. A. Starkey, W. Taylor, M. Ansley, Chas. Clark, W. Foote, L. King, W. Ireland, F. Dowell Jr., Thos. Clark, E. Virgo, A. L. Homes. F. Dowell Sr. was elected People's Warden, with Mr. Taylor and Mr. Foot as his sidemen, while the Minister's Warden was Mr. King, with Mr. Tindall and Mr. H. Walton as his sidemen. Miss Foley was Organist.
The Reverend G. H. Gaviller was called to a charge in Buffalo, New York, in the Spring of 1893, having served as the second minister at Trinity since the retirement of the Reverend Robert Mosley in 1886. His replacement was discussed at a meeting on May 2nd, 1893, presided over by the Reverend [Arthur] W. Chowne, Rural Dean, who was presumably on loan from the Synod to assist in choosing a new Rector. It ws resolved that the Reverend W[illiam] Evans should be offered a stipend of four hundred dollars a year, with a parsonage to be supplied. Mr. Chowne sent off a message setting out these terms, and thereby opened a Pandora's Box of trouble for the people of Trinity's congregation.
For, in committing themselves to the building of a parsonage, the church officials did not consult their headquarters, the Bishop of Algoma, and the Bishop took them to task in no uncertain terms for this oversight.
The first step in this proceeding was recorded on April 3rd, 1893, when Henry. W. Walton, Vestry Clerk, wrote that the Wardens were authorized to acquire a "lot between Wm. Beatty and Hy. Armstrong as the site for the parsonage at the proposed amount of $250.00." This house stood on the top of the hill where the CPR tracks now pass. In Mrs.[Amy] Foote's memoirs it is referred to as "Tasker's House"; she also mentions that all were very fond of Mr. Evans and his wife, that the couple had no children, and that the little brick Rectory was a pleasant place to visit. The Tasker House got its name from Mr. F. Tasker, who lived there for many years after it was moved to Church Street. He was Warden for some years at Trinity, and Sunday School Superintendent.
At first a sum of $1,600.00 was authorized by the Vestry for the new parsonage, later increased to $2,000.00. The building was completed in the fall of 1893, after it was moved by the Building Committee "be empowered to borrow the necessary sum to complete the building of the parsonage."
By November of that same year more borrowing had to be authorized, and the Bishop of Algoma was wrathful at this extravagance: "As the result of my correspondence I gather substantially that all diocesan rule and authority has been set at nought, that a mission largely dependent on the Diocesan Fund has taken the law into its own hands and proceeded to purchase a site, mortgage its purchase, build and plan its parsonage and take every other step as though it was an old independent self- supporting Rectory. This, as you very well knew, was contrary to all rule and precedent, but you were afraid to take a proper stand and refuse to countenance such lawless proceedings. You did not like to chill their enthusiasm, you say, but enthusiasm awakened by the prospect of money raised by a heavy mortgage could be secured if necessary in the very poorest of our missions. That one of the poorest, hitherto most satisfactory, of our missions should have set to those around it an example of such total disregard for all diocesan authority, I regret extremely. Having carried their spirit of independence so far I think their most consistent course would be to carry it one step farther and provide the whole of your stipend from next Easter."
So much for the people of Trinity Church, as the Bishop went on and on, page after page; about all they had left on the plus side, when he was finished, was their "enthusiasm"! Admittedly they transgressed his authority, forgot for the moment their status as a mission dependent upon the Diocese for survival, and young enthusiastic Reverend Evans was left to bear most of the brunt. The Vestry composed an apologetic and explanatory letter to the Bishop, who accepted their statements in part at least, though continuing to reiterate the need for compliance with authority. The incident does not disappear from the record until a point where two pages have been cut out of the Vestry Book; apparently this open quarrel ended with what was on those pages whatever they might have been.
Although their enthusiasm in the task of building up their church had been sharply ciriticized, both the Rector and the congregation needed much of that quality in the years to come.
But at the same time the Wardens of Trinity had instituted something like a rebellion against constituted authority. The laws of the Anglican Church definitely state that the deeds of all property shall be in the hands of the Bishop of the Diocese; in making their apologies without conforming to the law the congregation of Trinity merely added fuel to the fire of indignation with which Bishop Sullivan had met their first infraction. The situation further deteriorated when the congregation forwarded a memorandum to the Bishop stating that they thought the new Rectory should be held in trust for the congregation, and criticizing his Lordship for not visiting their church for Confirmations.
At this the Right Reverend E[dward] Sullivan, Bishop of Algoma, got into such high dudgeon, that he stayed away from the church for a year. The officials of the Trinity congregation were just as adamant; they held the deed in Parry Sound in defiance of the best efforts of Bishop Thorneloe, Bishop Smith, and others, who tried to persuade its guardians that by church law it must duly be on deposit with the head of the Diocese. Even Aylmer Richardson, a popular lay reader in the church, could not bring the rift to a conclusion. Finally, after the Venerable Archdeacon C[yril] H. G. Peto returned from service overseas, in 1945, and on the explicit orders of Bishop Wright, he persuaded the property committee to give up the deed to the Rectory. The long standing quarrel finally settled although it still is not quite forgotten.
Actually, the church came out of the indebtedness for their new Rectory with flying colours. In 1906 when the CPR was acquiring a right of way and required the land, they sold the first Rectory for $3,700.00 plus a lot on Church Street, for which they later received $80.00. On April 9, 1907, purchase of the Second Rectory, known as the Halliday Property, was confirmed, at a price of $3,500.00. (This was the George Johnston House, on George Street). The first Rectory, known as the Tasker House, is now at 68 Church Street, a red brick building. It formerly stood in the vicinity of the CPR Freight Sheds, between the William Beatty house, now the Penn house at 62 Church. What monumental labours must have gone into the task of moving all those houses down from the top of the hill to their present locations!
In fact, in 1909 they were able to report the church finances to be in very good shape, a building fund was begun against the day when they would need a new church, and the W[omen's] A[uxiliary] were willing to pledge $500.00 towards the purchase of a new organ, $25.00 of which they had on hand at the time.
The installation of the new organ was a mixed blessing to Trinity, however. It was greatly superior to the old reed organ but quarrels developed over who should play it, and how it should be paid for. The regular organist refused to turn the keys over to the Organ Committee; the WA withdrew from any plans to help pay for the organ. It was ruled that the organist, Mrs. Taylor, should decide who, besides herself, would play the instrument, and order - if not peace - descended upon the new organ. But not until after the Bishop had been called in to hold a Bishop's Ecclesiastical Court of Enquiry.
The year 1909 was one of contention and ended on December 18, with the resignation of the People's Warden, Mr. Clement, because of "lack of support of the congregation to provide the necessary funds for carrying on the church". The long standing quarrel over the organ and the lack of unity in the Choir were contributory factors. The Rector, the Reverend R[obert] A. Cowling, tried but found difficulty in getting the various committees to work in harmony. However, on April 10, 1910, the contentious Organ Committee resigned at his suggestion, and after that the only mention of the organ was over the matter of paying off the debt, which took some time.
At this late date all this is of interest mostly because it shows the difficulties and the clash of personalities which were bound to occur in an organization such as Trinity Church, in those early years. Bishop Sullivan was a stickler for proper procedure and Church Law and very properly insistent upon the rights of his office. He had a steam yacht [the Evangeline], which had been given to him by somebody in England with which he toured the Diocese along the North Channel, around Manitoulin Island, and as far south as Parry Sound. The people of Trinity were hardy pioneers, dependent on their own resources, and thus all too ready to stick up for what they considered their own rights. The result was many differences of opinion.