I wondered if Pres. Willis was a local man–and was pleased after a quick look at Family Search to discover that he was. Born in a small farm town about 80 km northwest of what was then Berlin, Ontario–its name was changed to Kitchener about 100 years ago when “Berlin” was out of favor with the Canadian public–his parents and he (and most of his 10 siblings) were baptized in the early 1920s. The rather bare bones record on Family Search of births and baptisms and temple ordinances suggests a history of faithful service in a branch of the church that must have seemed a long way from the center of the church. Temple ordinances received in Cardston, Alberta, nearly 30 years after the first of the family joined the church, remind us just how far away temples were in those days. Add to that a clue from the letterhead: “Services held in the Trades & Labor Hall”–having met in a building here in Brooklyn that used to be a union hall, I can imagine that the building didn’t feel much like a church!
But my Canadian relatives all like the maple leaf on the letterhead! Not an official church logo anywhere but in the True North Strong and Free.
Thanks for that, Mark B.! It’s wonderful to see you look behind a utilitarian thing like a letterhead and realize what human stories it hints at.
Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 27, 2014 @ 10:36 am
In the early 1980’s, the branch in Boston, MA met for a while in a Knights of Columbus hall before moving to a mental health clinic. The clinic was larger, a great deal cleaner, and more ironically appropriate to a few of my experiences there. Now, of course, three or four wards are meeting in a beautiful chapel a mile or two from that clinic.