Dick Hunt's Blog

December 14, 2011

How My Mother Came Out of Her Shell

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How My Mother Came Out of Her Shell.
by Dick Hunt, December 14th, 2011.
Her name was Florence Elizabeth Hunt, (nee Foreman). Along with her Father, William Foreman, she founded the Village of Endiang, which in 2010 celebrated it’s 100th Anniversary. My Father, Harold Hunt passed away just seven weeks before I was ordained and then immediately I became the Deacon in charge of St. Georges Church in Stettler, the first week of June, 1957. Mother was then living at DeWinton, south of Calgary. On September 30th, 1959 I was privileged to officiate at her marriage to Jack King , a rancher who lived at Millarville, who we had known since the depression years.

Mother then became a member of Christ Church, Millarville, when Archdeacon Waverley Gant was the Rector. One Sunday he announced that Elsa Bray in the Synod Office in Calgary was looking for a volunteer to serve as a contact and development person to work with Children and their parents through the “Sunday School By Post” unit. She told me that when they heard the announcement, everyone looked around to see who would volunteer, and no-one did. She (and they, she believed) said to herself, “rum bunch, no-one volunteered” . When she got home she couldn’t forget the need, but over the next day or two she thought about it but tried to put it out of her mind. She made lot’s of excuses why she couldn’t do it; I am too shy, I don’t know enough about my faith to be able to share it; my husband will not approve…….

But by Thursday she gave in and phoned Elsa Bray. On Friday she went to Calgary and met with Elsa who was delighted that this elderly Lady would help out. Mother was supplied with maps, lists, Sunday school supplies etc. and went off home wondering what she had let herself in for. And her husband strongly dissaproved, saying she would be interfearing with private lives.
The following Monday after she finished the Monday washing, she set out. She called in at a farm house which had a Mother and four young children. Knocking timidly at the door (and as she told me later, hoping no-one would be home), the door opened and a somewhat frazzled looking woman with four young children looked out. Mother said, “ Hello. My name is Florence King and I have come to visit you from the Church”. The woman said, “you’ve what?” Mother said again, “I’ve come to visit you from the Church”. The woman said, “But I’ve lived here for 18 years and no-one has visited me from the Church”. Mother said, plaintively, “well, I’m here”. After a pause of many seconds, the woman came down the steps and threw her arms around Mother and wept tears of joy, with Mother weeping right along with her.

That was the first of many visits she made down through the foothills , until she became too ill with cancer to carry on. The good that she did was immense as she brought the Grace of Christ to lonely people. She herself came alive as a Christian and filled with the Holy Spirit, did great things in the Parish Church and congregation. She started a Sunday School where there had not been one for many years, and recruited and led the teachers. She organized a Childrens Choir, became the Chair of the “Guild” which until then had been chiefly a social group and it came alive with studies and useful activities. The younger women wanted to have their own study group so she helped them get started. She became the first woman elected to the Parish Vestry and then as a member of Synod. She started and chaired a Flower Festival in the Parish and it has been going now for 49 years without a break. And all that with no attempt whatever to be in the limelight. When she finally passed away in January, 1969, I was recruited to drive her husband to the funeral home to see her in her coffin. He wanted to put a red rose on her breast, as she loved red roses. He did so and then he said, “she doggone near got me going to Church”. The tears started to flow. He hated having me see that.

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