Early Days on Prince Edward Island
1907--Passenger service to P.E.I. was a boat from Pointe du Chene, New Brunswick to Summerside. When the workers arrived, that very same evening they preached on the street corner in Summerside. Then spent the night in the Police Station, which was common for travelers who had no place to stay. They were Willie Snedden from Scotland and Willie McAllister from England. They were not kindly received. They were stoned.
Extract from a diary of Lizzie MacCallum's, who was Harry Cannon's first wife. September 15, 1907 – ''Went to a gospel meeting in hall - Wm. Snedden, Wm. McAllister, two young men very much in earnest." Mission went on till the end of Oct. Workers moved on to Travellers Rest. A meeting was established in St. Eleanors in Harry Cannon's home (house next to monument on the North Rd.).
Early Days people: Harry Cannon, Lizzie MacCallum, his wife. Carrie Walker, Harry's cousin. Mrs. Lefurgey, Sam and Mary Bernard, and a daughter Lauretta, who married Ernest Tanton, (Roy's brother). She now lives with her daughter, Anna Ross, Albany, N. Y., the only surviving member of that group. Harry's sister Laura Cannon, married Will Graswell, living in that house on the corner in Miscouche. She died early in 1920. Will Craswell then married Winnie Adams, they had one son, Robert.
One of the first ones to profess was Carrie Walker, a school teacher, who lived at St. Eleanors. She went into the work in 1912. She died November 27, 1958.
Later in 1912 Harry Cannon married Susie Sweet who had professed in the O'Leary mission, the same time as Winnie Adams, who wrote "I Am Satisfied Indeed." #368.
After the New Year of 1908, workers tried Traveller's Rest Hall. Wm. Snedden and Wm. McAllister had meetings in Wilmot Valley Hall. Mrs. Alice Day lived there, she was a sister to Mrs. John Bryanton (Freddie Bryanton's mother). Alice visited Mrs. Bryanton and told them about the workers and the meetings. Mrs. Bryanton said that it sounded like the bible and they were looking for that. She asked Alice to tell them to come to Spring Valley, and if the hall was available, they could stay at their place, (Bryantons). They came one winter day. The Bryantons' took them in and gave them dinner and told them who the trustees were, and warned them not to tell who had invited them to come. Before the mission closed, 42 stood up. Some went no further, some went to a few fellowship mtgs., some were baptized. Wind blew, chaff blown and wheat left. The first Sun. Morn. Mtg. was in Mrs. Matthew's home, a widow in Baltic. Mother to Utley and Gertie Matthews who later went into the work. Mrs. Matthews died soon after with cancer. Alex MacKenizie's mother, a good lady, died with cancer in 1923. Alex professed in 1928--died in 1974.
Later in the spring of 1908, workers came to Stanley Bridge where Mrs. Isaac Brown, (Annie) professed. Isaac professed later. He used to smoke a pipe and he preached truth to everyone that would listen. One day he was asked if he believed that way, why did he smoke? It was his last smoke and he soon professed
In one "cottage meeting" there were 22 present and there was much talk in the community.
Later, Willie Snedden had Utley Matthews as a companion. A great Uncle to Wendell Mountain. It must have been about 1909 when Utley went into the work, as Utley Birt was born March 1, 1910, and Gramma Bin named him for Utley Matthews.
Bernard Allen, Sussex, New Brunswick, still living, quoted George Walker as saying about St. Eleanor's convention, 1910, it was lovely on the inside, but very rough on the outside. (The folk there tried to burn the tent down and they had to take it down each evening. The priest got his parishoners drunk and sent them to raid the convention. They went into the sleeping quarters and the women hid under the covers. They threw a stone through the tent and it just missed the worker's head that was speaking. They poisoned the drinking water.) This first convention was held on Carrie Walker's place in 1910.
At Stanley Bridge, where Isaac Brown lived, also Jake Best, Allen Stewart who would walk to meeting with them, heard a man say, "There goes Abraham to meet with Isaac and Jacob."
In England there was a lady named Helen (Ellen) Harrison. Mary Moodie and Martha __??__ from ___??___ came to the town where she was living. Helen had a big estate that her parents had left her. Servants inside and out. She was so busy. The two workers were looking for a place to stay. The neighbor said, go to Miss Harrison's she always keeps the clergy." So they went there and she let them stay but she was so busy she had no time to go to the gospel meetings or to even visit. The 2 workers went with her out into the fields and helped her. This was something new to her for preachers to do this. By being with her they could get visits in and eventually she professed and then sold all of her estate and went into the work. She and her companion, Janet Dougal came to P.E. I. in 1908. They came to Wood Islands. There was much opposition. They would try to make contacts during the day but would have to go outside of town at night and sleep in the bushes. One day they were walking along the road and Helen took time out to pray along the roadside, and when Helen looked over at her young companion, she was weeping. One time a man with a cart filled with turnips came along, a turnip rolled off the cart. That was their supper. Helen Harrison told us 7 stood up the first night the meeting was tested. Mr. & Mrs. Munn, Will Taylor, Minnie Martin, John Martin, and Joe & Charlie McPherson. Joe and Charlie soon lost out. Others decided later in the mission.
John Cook and Willie George Armstrong came to Stanhope in Sept. of 1909, first mission in the area. Ida Bell, Mary Ann Birt, Mary Brown, Will Ross and sister Gladys, now Downe, Louis and Maud Shaw, where the first Sunday Morn. Mtg. was. They lost out later and meeting was changed to Ida Bell's home. A number of the others sadly lost out also. Mrs. Wallace MacDonald decided soon after, Wallace didn't until 1916.
Workers went to Pisquid 1910 or 1911 where Alice Birt's people lived. Alice and her parents, John & Belle as well as some others decided. Alice went in the work in 1920, died in 1978. She had not been active for a number of years.
Janet Dougal was hit in the head with a stone and later had to give up the work.
One of Helen's companions came into the room and Helen had a hymn book in one hand and bible in another with her fingers in different places in each and she was saying, "So little time and so much to tell." She was 102 yrs. old and when someone asked her age she was so anxious to tell them, she said "201." She was full of life.