The Way We Were, December 14, 1941
It had been a very eventful and anxious week when parishioners arrived at St. John’s Church on Sunday, December 14, 1941. The front page of Saturday's Globe & Mail captures the latest news. Early the previous Sunday, on December 7, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and declared war on the United States, along with Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Canada immediately declared war on Japan and the next day, the U.S. and Great Britain did the same. It was now truly a World War. St. John’s bulletin for December 14, 1941, included a quote from Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain, “It is in times of adversity that the British qualities shine most brightly.”
I recently found this copy of St. John’s bulletin from Dec. 14, 1941, tucked in a Vestry Report from the early 1960s. The bulletin and the Report, along with several other items, had suffered some water damage while kept in a box on the church balcony. However, most of these historically significant items were in better condition that I originally expected and can be scanned and then preserved more securely.
The St. John’s Church bulletin for the 3rd Sunday in Advent 1941, provides a rare window into the life, people, activities, and organization of the parish 81 years ago. St. John’s was a very busy church at that time, led by Rev. H.R. Hunt (rector from 1935 to 1949) who was provided accommodation at the church’s Rectory house at 208 High Park Avenue. St. John’s would sell the Rectory house in 1986.
As indicated on page 1 of the bulletin, in December 1941, St. John’s had two wardens and a sexton, who served as church custodian. St. John’s held numerous services on Sundays, depending on the week of the month, with “Morning Prayer” and “Evening Prayer” services on Dec. 14, as was listed on page 2 of the bulletin.
Page 3 provided space for news and announcements, reflecting St. John’s significant contributions to the war effort, as well as several Christmas activities that were planned, including the Sunday School’s Christmas Party, as well as its Christmas concert.
Included here is a photo of SJWT from the cover of a 90th Anniversary booklet and members listing published in 1971. A scan of the full booklet is available here, although it suffers from some water damage. 90th Anniversary Booklet (1971)
Originally published in the St. John's Newsletter on December 17th, 2022