Dick Hunt's Blog

July 10, 2014

Billy Mills, the Bachelor Who Loved Company

Filed under: Current — Tags: — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 9:58 pm

Billy Mills, Bachelor Who Loved Company. by Dick Hunt, Friday, May 20th, 2014.

Billy came from England, where he was a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and also a successful and popular Steeplechase Rider. He was very fond of horses and dogs. And he was in love wth a woman who jilted him. As a result of the latter experience, he cut his ties with England, immigrated to Alberta, became a Homesteader about 1920 and settled down to be a Bachelor. He was a neighbour to us on the Cattle Ranch where I was born, about ten miles distant from him. I never saw him ride a horse but he drove about in a spanking two wheeled Phaeton, pulled by two beautiful Bay Horses. And when he wanted to visit his friends he simply “dropped in for a few days”, put his Horses in the Barn and left us to look after them. He was always assured of a comfortable bed and good meals and someone to “iisten to his yarns”. My Mother learned to ignore him so she could get on with her busy life, … caring for the domestic needs of family, Ranch Employees, gardening, Church and much besides. Billy was always glad to sit at the Heintzman Upright Piano and play at almost any hour. He had reems of sheet music for all tastes. He always showed up at our home on the great Festivals such as Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, Thanksgiving, or Valentines Day, or any other time he wanted company and good home cooking. And he never went to Church except to play at a Wedding or Funeral. He was fond of voicing his opinion that “when you are dead, you are six feet down and that’s it, none of this nonsence about Heaven”. Until one day he said to me, “I just can’t believe that there is no life after death. I sat with my old friend, Bill Tullick when he died the other day and he described heaven to me. And it was real. But he still didn’t go to Church. Some people take a good deal of persuading. In addition to being a glowing example and great teacher, my Mother was clever. When I was a teenager she “allowed me to drive her to Church”. But we all went to Church. When I was a small boy, she took me out to her flower garden one Sunday morning and asked me to look deeply into a blossom and describe it to her, which I did. Then she said to me “I want you to always remember that only God can make a flower”. My Father was brought up in a dual Church household in England. His Mother was a very devout Roman Catholic. His Father was a casual Anglican. As each of their nine children were born and with the approval of their two Priests, they were Baptised alternately, R.C. or Anglican. My Father came up R.C., and well taught by his Mother. When he became a Rancher in Alberta , there was no R.C. Church wihin many miles. But there was a Anglican Church and my Mother was active in it, with her Father. In due course, my parents met, in the little store and post Office founded by them and were married in the Anglican Church in Stettler Alberta. I became the Pastor of that Church in 1957. We were a United Family again. I became first, a Lay Reader in that Church, taking services in many Churches around the country. Then Ruth and I and the Children left the Ranch, moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where I prepaired for Ordination, at the same time being put in charge of a Suburban Parish for two years. Then we moved back to Calgary Diocese where I was Ordained and placed in charge of the Parish where my Parents were married, for seven years, only fifty miles from where I was born. Over the years I have preached in nearly 200 Churches, from once only to twelve yerars. God has never let me down, but has always met our every need, with my Dear Wife Ruth, who passed away last year, and Dear Family. Thank you Lord. Jesus never fails us.

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