Celebrates her 90th birthday(by Neil M. Leckie) One of the many satisfactions awaiting the members of my family and myself when we came to Grimsby a few years ago was the opportunity of forming a warm friendship with the venerable lady, Mrs. James Metcalf, whose 90th birthday fell on Tuesday of this week, and which was made the occasion of many compliments and good wishes from her neighbours and from others in more distant places.
When I was a student in Queen's University I was a frequent guest in the home of the brilliant and versatile Dr. Charles K. Clarke, brother of Mrs. Metcalf, and successor of Dr. Metcalf in the Superintendency of Rockwood Hospital at Kingston, and in later years head of the Toronto General Hospital. From Dr Clarke I had heard of the death of his chief and brother-in-law, Dr. Metcalf, at the hands of a wild maniac who was a patient in the hospital, and it was a link with the past to find as a neighbour in Grimsby, this wonderful old lady, twice widowed, who now enters the last decade of her century of years.
Mrs. Metcalf belongs to one of the early families of the town of Elora, a background from which have come many persons to contribute richly in forming the life of this Province, and the household of Clarke was not without its share of high intelligence and purpose. Our friend of 90 always maintains that all the others of her family were more gifted than she, but even at her present advanced age, and with some abatement of natural strength, she retains her interest in the life of the world that is passing before her eyes, seeing many visitors, taking her place in St. Andrew's Church, and gracing many social gatherings among her friends.
A large house party of her relatives came together at the beginning of the week, including her two daughters, Mrs. Cosgrave and Mrs. Johnston, her one surviving sister, Mrs. Ballantyne, Miss Goldie Clarke, Mr. and Mrs. Mervin Johnston and their son Robert, Mrs. Haynes and her son Jack, Mrs. Borbridge, Mrs. Frank Halbus, and Miss Hoffmeyer; and on Tuesday afternoon and evening Mrs. Metcalf received many other friends from the immediate neighbourhood, who brought a wealth of kindliest feeling. Mrs. Cosgrave, wife of Dr. Cosgrave, now ex-Provost of Trinity College, had remained from the earlier party to support her mother on the actual anniversary day, Mrs. Milne, who for 8 or 9 years, with some intervals, has been Mrs. Metcalf's companion, also assisting greatly in this notable event.
In this aged lady's own recollection of many years, the blessing of old age may be somewhat dimmed not only by the memory of a pitiful death long ago, but of the sudden death by accident of her second husband, Mr. James Metcalf, which occurred in more recent years near his own home. But even with such recollections it is possible to wish our dear friend still other solemn and happy birthdays in the days to come.