The Importance of Religion

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The following is an excerpt from an interview with Mr. Edgar Mudge

" I remember one time, I was probably about twenty. I was visiting a little tiny community on the Northern Peninsula and the bishop was about to arrive to do a confirmation. This was an Anglican bishop to do a confirmation. There was a great to-do about this. I took part in preparing an arch--a big arch--because he had to come in by boat. There were no roads there. On the wharf that he was going to walk in to we made a big arch made of green boughs with a big sign, "Welcome Our Bishop" on it. The women of the community had a lot of home- hooked mats--those large mats that you would hook. You see the Grenfell Mission selling them for lots of money. From where the bishop walked in, mats would be placed down all the way from there to the church so that the bishop could walk . . . like, remember the story of our Lord coming into the city and they cut down the palm branches and so on . . . he walked to the church on mats so that he couldn't have to walk on those gravel roads.

"A lot of men of the community would go out in their boats to greet him as the boat that he was coming in came in the harbour. I could picture now. They used the old sealing muskets to greet him because that was a form of greeting. Shooting off guns--New Year's Eve--shooting off guns. They would take these big old muzzle-loading guns with black powder and they'd load up. They'd start with like a finger; they'd call it. One finger was simply, you'd hold up a rod and when you'd pour it in you had that much powder. That's one finger, then two fingers--then five fingers! You'd have about this much black powder. Of course you'd look out and you'd see the puff of smoke, and flame, and then you'd hear the rumble coming in as those big old guns were fired off to greet the bishop. Of course, there was always an accident going to happen. I remember this particular time, one of the guys had a full load of powder in and he didn't have the old musket held tightly enough and it recoiled and the hammer came back and hooked in his hand and, you know, just did a number on his hand. Always happened, always when they were doing their thing with these old sealing muskets. That was a typical kind of greeting for the bishop. Bishops especially, but even clergymen were held in very high esteem with a degree of awe. My father never went to school very much in his life, and he could not read or anything like that, but tremendous respect for people like that. Whenever he was in the presence, and not only him, but all the men of the community, when they were in the presence of the minister-- always tilt your cap as a sign of respect."

 

The following is taken from in interview with Mrs. Ruth Anthony.

" Religion played a big role in my family. I was taken to Sunday school at a very young age, perhaps when I was a toddler. My mother was very involved, more so than my father. We would go to church in the morning and back to Sunday school for the afternoon. When I was in Junior High I helped out with the preschool class. By the time I was in high school I had my own Sunday school class. By that time Dr. Thomas, head of the Grenfell association did a Bible study class Sunday afternoon for high school students. Then we would go back to church Sunday night for choir practice.

"I practically lived in church on Sundays. I do remember this when I was 5 or 6 years old my grandmother came to live with us and I wasn't permitted to skate or ski or do anything like that on Sundays. Scissors didn't come out; you could use crayons or whatever but you weren't allowed to cut anything. I remember that when I got a bit older when all my friends would go skating my mother would put my skates out by the backdoor and I would sneak out because my grandmother wouldn't allow it."

 

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