“If I had deeper pockets I’d donate more but we’re getting closer to using up the old ‘Ration Book of Life’ on a fixed income. So let’s just say we’ll be there to the end.”
World War II, an evacuation across the Atlantic and John Wood’s aunt Emily all had a part in introducing the British wartime evacuee to the concept of good works and sustaining Moorelands.
John was a youngster when his parents sent him and his two cousins to Toronto in 1940 to escape the war then ravaging Europe.
He found shelter in Mrs. J.C. Nicholson’s (who soon became “Aunt Emily”) home on Oriole Parkway, and, as he recalled, “One of the memories that stuck in my mind was the regular attention to her favourite charities.
“She gave as she sat at her desk in the sun room at 471 Oriole Parkway. She explained about helping those less fortunate than herself and sharing the money she was blessed to enjoy,” John wrote.
“She regularly attended St. Clement’s Anglican Church to listen to the ‘fire and brimstone’ pulpit-thumping sermons of Canon Nicholson, so you’ll understand the connection with the Downtown Churchworkers’ Association.”
At war’s end John returned to England and his family, but Canada had made an imprint and he returned, this time to stay, at the end of 1950, lodging again with Aunt Emily.
“And, of course, the earlier memories of dispensed generosity, in the form of cheques written at her favourite desk, were reinforced,” he added.
When Aunt Emily died in 1985 at the age of 101, John recalled, her good deeds did not die with her.
“I rather felt a gentle nudge to maintain a token of esteem to her memory,” John wrote. “You can thank this wonderful lady for planting a seed.” World War II, an evacuation across the Atlantic and John Wood’s aunt Emily all had a part in introducing the British wartime evacuee to the concept of good works and sustaining Moorelands.
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