Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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THE INGELOW CHURCH

In the early days of the Ingelow district church services were held in the school house with the minister driving from Carberry. Some of the early ones were Rev. Court, Rev. Crouch and Rev.

Wilkinson who was Mrs. Jas. Gowan''s father.

On March 25th, 1908, a meeting was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W.B. Ford, to consider the building of a church at Ingelow. Mr. James Dodds was appointed secretary. Mr. Geo Craig, Mr. John F. Mitchell, Mr. Thos McQuarrie and Mr. J.

McIllwrath (he lived where Roy Fraser later lived) formed the financial committee. Mr. Batt, a student, was serving the district as minister at the time, and was a driving force among the volunteer workers as the church was being built. It was ready to open in November 1909.

It was quite a large church in comparison with others in surrounding districts and accommodated a large congregation. It had stained glass windows and a full sized basement with a furnace to supply heat. Altogether it was a very fine building. The people decided to name it St. John''s Presbyterian.

Miss Evelyn Mitchell (later Mrs. AW. Moffatt) was organist and continued in that office for all of the 56 years that the church was open. Mr.

Booth was choir leader for many years until ill health forced his retirement. He had come from England and had a fine tenor voice. There was an invited choir for the opening but through the years the young people of the district formed the choir.

The church was on the Summerville- Petrel- Ingelow charge. The manse was at Harte. It made a lot of driving for the minister who had to drive from Harte to Summerville for the 11 a.m. service, to Petrel for the 3 p.m. service and to Ingelow for 7:30 service. He then had to drive back to Harte. In summer cars could be used in later years, but in winter the trips were made with horses and cutter.

Ministers were scarce at times and for a number of years, student ministers from Winnipeg serviced the field. They came out to Carberry on Saturday by train and spent the night in the Summerville district, taking the service there at 11 a.m. Sunday morning. Transportation was provided to Petrel for the afternoon service and from there to Ingelow where he spent the night after taking the church service at 7:30. He boarded the train Monday morning at 7 a.m. for the trip back to Winnipeg.

One of the students was David A. McLennan. He had a wonderful gift with words. After his ordination, he was minister for some time in the Eaton Memorial Church, Toronto, and later was minister in a large church in Rochester, New York. Some other ministers who served the church were - Revs. Lee Batt, Elliott, Riddel, McLennan, Little, Brown, Barber, Reynolds, and Weaver.

The church became the United Church in 1925 and was the centre of the district for many years.

Concerts, meetings, debates, etc., were held in the building. The Christmas concert was the highlight of the year, the program being put on by the pupils of the school, Sunday School, and the young people of the district, under the direction of the school teacher and Miss Evelyn Mitchell. Fowl suppers were held in the basement each fall - people attended from near and far. Long tables were set up. A cook stove provided a place to heat water and keep the scalloped potatoes warm. Tables and shelves at one end of the basement were lined with pies, cakes, salads, and jellies. Coil oil lamps were used for lighting and later gas lamps. Serving conditions were less than ideal, but many people remember the fowl supper with nostalgia. After the supper, a concert by local talent was held in the upper part of the building.

Early records of the Ladies'' Aid are not available but in 1913 some of the members were: Mesdames Wilson, RP. Fraser, James Millen, John Mclllwrath, H. Redding, J.F. Mitchell, W.B. Ford, and Wm.

Greenwood. After Union the name was changed to W.A but the work did not change. The ladies raised money for the church furnishings and helped out with finances of the church when the need arose, raising money by holding fowl suppers, teas, picnics, bazaars, quiltings, concerts. During the two world wars the men overseas were remembered with parcels of food, knitted socks, etc. Meetings were often held in the homes of the members, the mothers bringing their children that were not in school. Many ladies took turns at filling the offices through the years but Mrs. RA Muirhead was president for 31 years.

The Sunday School was held in the afternoon with usually a good attendance of children and young people. Mr. Geo. Craig was a very faithful superintendent for many years. He used to drive his old black pony and buggy (cutter in winter) from the farm to the church each Sunday afternoon for Sunday School and the family would return for church service in the evening. Those who carried on the Sunday School after Mr. Craig retired were: Mrs. E. Moffatt, Mrs. D.R. Mitchell, Rob Smith, and others. As the years went by there were fewer children in the district. In 1962 only six children were enrolled. No report could be found later than 1962 so it is assumed that no Sunday School was held after that date.

Mr. and Mrs. Thos McQuarrie did much of the caretaking over a period of years. They drove by team and sleigh in winter to start the fire in the furnace and do any dusting or other necessary tasks. The church would be warm for Sunday School in the afternoon, then someone would replenish the fire for church service at night. It is doubtful if they ever received any remuneration for this work.

The first wedding in the church was that of Betty McBeth and Ken Clements in 1943. Their daughter Lynn was also married in the church in 1969.

The church held its 50th anniversary in 1959 with Mr. Smith, a former minister, as guest speaker.

Many who had lived in the district and attended the church came back for the service and social time which followed.

Times changed. Population declined in the district as farms became larger. Older people passed away, young people grew up and moved elsewhere. It was finally decided to close the church in 1965. The building was sold to R. Drysdale and moved to his farm. There were only two treasurers in the life of the church - R.P. Fraser and A.W.

Moffatt. Mrs. Moffatt was the organist.

In 1979 a cairn was erected as a memorial to the pioneers who broke the soil in this part of the Carberry Plain. The inscription reads - "In memory of the Ingelow pioneers - United Church 1909· 1965 Hall 1917·1977." Robert Smith read the inscription at the dedication service. Mrs. R.A.

Muirhead and Mrs. A.W. Moffatt unveiled the cairn.

Mr. Leslie Jameson gave the address. A large crowd of former reside,n.ts,. ,a.ttended the service.

One Sunday when Evelyn Mitchell was clearing away after supper she found that a whole pie had not been eaten. She thought it would do for dessert on Monday, washday, but she knew ifshe put it into the pantry, her brothers would later eat it. So she slipped it into the downstairs bedroom and put it under a pillow. At church later that evening it was decided that the minister should spend the night at the Mitchell home. He was shown into the bedroom.

Evelyn had forgotten all about the hidden pie. She was a very embarrassed young lady when the minister came out of his room next morning and handed her the pie.

 

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