Account of Gospel Coming
To Traytown, Newfoundland, Canada in 1912
James Patrick and John Verge came to Traytown in 1912, had use of a little house for meetings from Charles Kean on a point of land later bought by Hedley Patten. They had a few meetings there, and then the people got up against them and drove them away. When we saw Jimmy in 1934, he told us that 6 men came to the door and asked them to leave. So they left, because there wasn't any interest there, only stiff opposition. Two of the ringleaders, just young men in their late thirties, died within a year. 22 years later, James Patrick came back that year and performed a baptism service from that same point. A number of people were standing near watching and laughing. The remark was passed by Willis Ralph to those who were scorning that Jimmy Patrick had a wonderful privilege to come back and perform a baptism service from the same point he was asked to leave 22 years earlier, and the ringleaders are now laying in their grave. That ended the laughing.
In August 1932, Willie Hillgrove and Alex Wood came to Glovertown. They came by train to Alexander Bay Station. Joe Arnold, the taxi driver from Glovertown, took them to his home for the night. Next morning the United Church Minister, on his way to Happy Adventure, found out from the taxi driver that two preachers came to Glovertown the previous night. He was very upset and sent a telegram to his wife saying "close all doors against all other sects." She didn't understand it so went next door to the taxi driver's house, read the telegram out for all to hear. Willie and Alex were setting there eating their breakfast when she read the telegram. After breakfast, they left to find a boarding house, found one on Bridge Hill with Avalon and Ruth House, and then they were given the use of the L.O.L. Hall for meetings. Quite a number came at first.
After a month or maybe a little longer people got up against them and asked the Orangemen to close the hall. The Orangemen called a meeting and it came to a vote, it was 50/50. So the Master, J. Denty, had to cast his vote. He cast his vote against them and they closed the hall. Then, the boarding house lady said they couldn't keep them any longer. They would have to leave. They were up against it and planned to go. They came to Traytown to say Goodbye to the few contacts they made there. They came to Hedley Patten's to say Goodbye; his wife was sick, not able to do very much, and three young girls going to school. He said, "There's a small room there if you can care for yourselves, you are welcome to it." They gladly accepted and stayed. Aunt Jenny Wyatt was the first to open her home for meetings; shortly after Ronald Ralph and Hezekiah Ralph opened their homes for meetings. They continued meetings till time for Special Meeting rounds. That fall Sarah Ralph, Clara Ralph, Nina Ralph and Tilly Ralph professed. They went for Special Meetings, came hack in January, continued meetings in the same homes and that spring a number professed. Hedley Patten, Ronald Ralph, Mary Ralph, Katie Patten, Jenny Wyatt, Florrie Chaytor, Annie Patten, Nan Ralph, Earl Ralph, Jack Ralph, Ewart Patten, Maud Patten, Lloyd Ralph and others. There was much resentment and opposition by relatives and friends.
At convention in 1933 Mary Patten, Alma Wyatt and Eileen Ralph professed. There was a Sunday morning meeting in Hedley Patten's home, Sunday Night meeting at Ronald Ralph's home and Wednesday night meeting at Aunt Jenny Wyatt's. There was also a day's convention at Ronald Ralph's home till 1940.
In the fall of 1934, Alex Wood and Arthur Beattie had meetings in the home of Em Smart, Glovertown. When they left for Special Meetings, J. Burry from Glovertown said "if they come back again, I will have a crowd of men at the station to put them back on the train." Before they returned in the spring, he was under the sod. He died from pneumonia. Within the next four years, Alex and Arthur Beattie, Willie Hillgrove and Willie McKinley, Alex Wood and Willie Martin had meetings here and in Glovertown. Willie Hillgrove and Willie McKinley had meetings in the home of Frank and Blanche Wells. There Mrs. Janes and Annie Butt professed. Helen Harrison and Charlotte Hendy were the first two sister workers to come to Traytown.
Helen Harrison and Eva Strickland had meetings in Edgar Butt's home in 1939. Edgar professed during these meetings. In February 1939, Chesley Ralph professed, shortly after the death of his first wife, Ena. Helen Harrison and Eva Strickland had her funeral, the first in our cemetery. At the funeral, a lady stood near Helen jeering with her mouth twisted in a mocking manner. Later she took a stroke in the side of her face, leaving her mouth in the same mocking manner as at the graveside. It remained that way till the day of her death.
Frank Ralph professed after the death of Earl Ralph in May 1939. Winnie Patten professed in Hildren McRitchie's and Ruby Harper's mission in 39 or 40. Mrs. Kean professed maybe around the same time, also Bruce Wyatt, after the death of his wife, Jenny, in 1940. His first testimony was "I mean to fill the place of the one that's gone."
Gerald Ralph, Gertie Ralph, Katie Wyatt, also Marion Adams professed in Freddie Bryanton's and Charlie Beyea's mission in the spring of 1942.
Bertha Denty professed during convention 1942. Allister Ralph professed during convention at Brigus in 1947. Leslie Ralph professed around the same time or maybe a little later.
In 1942, Mrs. Kean was visiting her daughter in St. John's. She took sick with heart attack and died during Brigus Convention. Her daughter, Tilly, who was also professing, had her grave dug in our cemetery. Jack Holland had her funeral. Meanwhile, her son, Robert was very angry about it and dug a grave in the United Cemetery. He said in January when the weather is cold he was going to have her dug up and buried in the United Cemetery. That same fall in November, he took sick and died within two weeks and was buried in the same grave he had dug for his mother. It was a very remarkable thing.
December 6, 1989, there are ten of us here in the little church today - Chesley Ralph, Allister Ralph, Leslie Ralph, Tom, Gertie and Glen Abbott, Ewart and Effie Patten and Jack and Mary Ralph. Sunday morning meeting is at Jack Ralph's, Wednesday night meeting at Tom Abbott's.