Edith Annie Weekes Notes

1881 Census Place Mosa, Middlesex, East Ontario, Canada Source FHL Film 1375905 Nac C-13269 Dist 168 Subdist A Div 1 Page 13 Family 57

Miss Edith A. Weekes
Miss Weekes was a missionary at Wahstao and Kolakreeka Missions. She graduated from Victoria College, University of Toronto and was appointed by the Methodist Mission Board in 1905. She was a regular writer for the Missionary Outlook, a Methodist publication.
In 1910 she married Rev. William M. Leonard and in 1913 went with her husband and two children to West China. She was there in West China for five years, and by the time she returned to Canada her family had grown to include five children.
She died in Norfolk General Hospital on July 13, 1959.
Sources: G. N. Emery "Methodist Missions Among the Ukrainians" in the A.H. Review Vol 19, No 2. Spring 1971.

In Frank Mitchell's A History of Pioneering he includes the following story of Miss McLean:
On another spring day before the ice went out of the river, two mission ladies, Miss Weekes and Miss McLean, arrived at the river in the late afternoon to find they couldn't possibly drive across. This would mean returning twelve miles to Andrew to spend the night, then on about seventy miles to Fort Saskatchewan the following day to cross on the bridge. From there they could continue on home to Kola Kreeka Mission at Smoky Lake after two days of travel. So to avoid all this, a friend, Harry Gordon, my brother, Gordon and I decided we would try to help the ladies in distress. We put long planks and dry dead trees together to make a kind of rough bridge across the twenty-foot stretch of open water that was flowing on either shore. This proved sufficient to hold the ladies. Crossing the horses over was much more difficult as they had to be forcefully led into the icy cold water up to their necks. Dr. Lawford met us on shore with horse blankets and took the horses to his warm barn. The buggy crossed last but not without a thorough ducking also. Without too much loss of time, the ladies went on their way rejoicing, promising they would remember us in their wills.

Ella is also mentioned In the Washtao Memories collection written by Ethylwynn Chase to Edith Weekes, forty years after the time when they had worked together as missionaries at Wahstao:

When our thermometer registered no more than 40° below we guessed at the lower temperature by the thickness of the hoar-frost that coated everything in the kitchen as soon as the morning kettle began to boil. Burning so much poplar wood naturally caused soot encrustations in the stove-pipes and ever so often they caught fire. We got to know the sound even before the pipes showed red, and each of us rushed for our favorite deterrent. Caroline separated the pipe from the stove and inserted a pie-plate of salt. You secured a pail of water and the only thing I could think of was the tin baking board - rather silly - but I had always a fear of a length of horizontal pipe falling. But one of our fire drills I never can forget for the scare we unintentionally gave Ella McLean the first winter after she joined us. We were all at breakfast when our experienced ears caught the ominous roaring in the stove pipes. We three exchanged startled glances but never a word. As one, we jumped up and dashed each for her individual specific while poor Ella sat startled and still, wondering if we had all gone crazy together. She had heard nothing of the menacing sound.

Emery's macro-investigation of the Church on the prairies is balanced by his micro-approach to Methodism's two major undertakings: the All Peoples Mission in Winnipeg and the Star Colony of Ukrainians northeast of Edmonton. The Winnipeg mission began with Slavic people but developed quickly into a multi-ethnic outreach. Its first superintendent, James S. Woodsworth, scorned the faith of the church catholic even as scores of workers under him did not. The Ukrainians, meanwhile, preferring the subsistence farming of the old country to incipient agribusiness, forsook prairie grasslands for the forested park-belt northeast of Edmonton. Missioners here laboured indefatigably, not least in providing medical services and schooling for children. Most of the women Methodists were graduates of Victoria College, University of Toronto; Edith Weekes, who pioneered a Ukrainian-English dictionary, had been awarded the gold medal in modern languages at Victoria.
George Emery. The Methodist Church on the Prairies, 1896-1914 McGill-Queen's UP xxi, 260

This was a hard time for me, no permanent work, jobs were hard to get, soon finished and then hunt for another. About this time, I learned that a Miss E.A. Weekes, a W.M.S. Missionary, wanted a Mission House built up in a Russian Settlement some 45 miles north of Lamont on the C.N.R. The fellow who suggested that I should tackle this job, did not have time because of other contracts. I got to know what was wanted, worked out a plan to suit, made out the bill of lumber and supplies. Got some seven teams loaded, then Frank and I landed at the building site, the teams went round in a circle, dumped off their loads and off they went. Frank and I rigged up our tent as soon as possible, kindled our wee stove, made something to eat, piled on more clothes, and tried to sleep in this wilderness of snow. Next day we shoveled off the snow, staked off the house, and commenced to build.
Our first job was to put up a shack to live in. The tent was too cold and that shack went up in a hurry. Covered with tarpaper, it kept out the wintry winds. We kept at it, (the Mission House). Soon the building was up and roofed in. It was plastered and ready for the ladies about the beginning of 1909. Frank returned to Edmonton, and I did most of the finishing work myself after the ladies took up their work in this Mission House, which was called "Kolakreeka". This name I was told, was formed of the two Russian words meaning, near the creek.
Miss Weekes and Miss Maclean were hardworking missionaries and were kindness "embodified"! During the building period, Frank and I, had to eat bread. So the ladies came from Wahstao, the other Mission House 15 miles distant, and brought us Home Baked bread. Ah what bread! Somebody suggested that these fun-loving ladies put some kind of "love-filtre" in the bread. However it had a very peculiar effect on me for I fell in love with Miss Weekes.........
Then came the glorious fourth of October (1910) when I was married to the W.M.S. Missionary, Miss Edith A. Weekes B.A., down in the little Mission House in "KoIakreeka" which Frank and I had built. So we began our married life in own Home at 1436 Ottawa Avenue, Edmonton. I continued at my trade, made the grade, sometimes up, sometimes down. We were members of Grace Methodist Church on Kmistino Avenue. Rev. Robert Pearson was our Pastor, we engaged in the usual Church activities, and the Epworth League. I was active in the Temperance and Moral Reform League. Rev. A.J. Ayerst was the General Secretary who was active and alert for any combat with the liquor traffic.
In the Methodist Church Hospital in Pakan (Rev. C.H. Lawford M.D. Supt.) on July 31st 1911, our Catherine was born. When Mother and Baby were ready to come home, they had a forty mile buggy ride to reach Lamont C.N.R. Station. I hurried from my work to meet the train at Edmonton, missed my Family, but Edith's brother Abel met them and all was well. Now we are three, so life grows brighter, so did Catherine, a Baby to be proud of.......