Annual Reunion in 2015

Rev. Virgil Chittenden Hart, by Cathy Green

Drs. Omar Lesie Kilborn & Retta Gifford,  by Sandra Anderson

Rev. George Everson Hartwell, by George C. Hartwell

Dr. David William Stevenson, by Carla Nordstrom

Phyllis Donaghy
Chair of the Canadian School Association

Following the pattern established eighty years ago, or more, children, grandchildren, great children and friends gathered at the Dragon Legend Restaurant in Markham, ON, a suburb of Toronto, for their annual reunion.  One hundred and fifty six very excited and enthusiastic people of all ages started to arrive at 9:30 0n a very chilly morning. This year, for the first time, we welcomed a team from Sichuan Television, who brought name tags, a huge banner and wall decorations to make the occasion more festive. They came at our invitation to film for a five part documentary they are making of the work of a number of our ancestors. The production is to be completed by 2017.

We opened with introductions and brief presentations from a number of guests. The Executive Chair, Phyllis Allen Donaghy, was presented with two scrolls, hand painted by Professor Hu of the University of Toronto, as well as a beautiful book about pandas, which she will keep in trust for the Association. Betsy Anderson of the United Church of Canada spoke of her coming trip to China to meet with the China Christian Council in November. A cheque for $200 was presented to her to offset her travel expenses. Author, Alyvn Austin, who wrote. “Saving China; – Canadian Missionaries in the Middle Kingdom 1888-1959 and Ian Grant, a former pupil at the Chefoo School for Missionary children spoke briefly. The new editor of the newsletter, Pat Brown, spoke of her plans for the newsletter. The retiring editor, Bob Kilborn was thanked for his many years as a fine editor, and received a hearty round of applause.

Following the traditional grace -“LET US WITH A GLADSOME MIND” sung to a Buddhist chant, all went to lunch from a huge buffet of Chinese, Japanese, Thai and occidental food – all delicious, including Peking duck, a rare treat.

The program that followed a minute of silence in memory of Mary Joliffe, Elinor Kelly and Vivian Anderson was entitled “HOW IT ALL BEGAN”, the story of the first group off missionaries that went to Sichuan, China in 1891. The group included Dr. OL Kilborn, his wife,  Dr. David Stephenson, Rev. George Hartwell, and his wife accompanied by retired veteran missionary Rev. Dr. Virgil C. Hart. Their stories were ably told by their descendants, Sandra Anderson, Carla Nordstrom, George Hartwell III, and Cathy Green, respectively. Their talks were accompanied by wonderful pictures of those early days.

The afternoon closed with an old tradition – the singing of the Canadian School song, followed by the school yell, led by a great group of singers and cheerers. Many folk stayed to visit and to share old and new memories before returning to their homes.




photos by Li Ning and Susan Xu

Report about the CS Museum in Chengdu
by Marion Walker

Report of the Canadian School Building renovation and proposed museum. Suzhen informs us that the renovations to the building are almost complete. The museum will be in two rooms on the third floor of the building. Many items for the display have been shipped to China and the first 5 boxes have arrived in Chengdu. We were delighted to receive an original Chin Yu lamp from Neil Bell and a CS pennant that Glenn Walmsley owned given by Gail Walmsley. I have donated my father’s copy of Heal the Sick by Omar Kilborn.  Marion Emiry, Mrs. M. Longley’s grand daughter has just contributed many interesting and valuable items for our museum.  Suzhen was able to take these and other donated items to China when she returned to Chengdu in November. Many thanks to all contributors. Items such as diaries, toys, letters and pictures from days at the Canadian School are welcome. Thank you