"A Tribute to Mother" by Annie Maye Armstrong

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This tribute describes Mrs. Esdale's passing, the people who attended her funeral and the words spoken by the reverend at her funeral in Edmonton, Alberta.
From Armstrong family collection
Personal Name(s):
Annie Maye Armstrong Matthew Esdale
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Huggins, Jean A. E. (1895-1989)
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Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library
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10 Anderson Lane P.O. Box 430
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
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A Tribute to Mother

A Tribute to Mother

In loving memory
Annie Maye Armstrong
beloved wife of matthew esdale
born at montreal, que., july 29, 1879
died at edmonton, alta., feb. 19, 1923
Aged 44 years

FEBRUARY 21, 1923

Mrs. Esdale Passes to Great Beyond
(From the Edmonton Journal, February 19, 1923)
     Annie Maye Armstrong, wife of Matthew Esdale of the Esdale Press, passed away shortly after midnight on Sunday, following an illness of some five weeks.
     Mrs. Esdale was the daughter of the late Duncan Armstrong of Carlton Place, Ontario She was born in Montreal just forty-four years ago. Besides her husband she leaves a family of four boys and six girls. Three brothers and three sisters of the deceased reside in the East. Miss Zelma Armstrong, Carleton Place; Miss Isabel, Toronto; Mrs. Scott, Bowmanville; William Armstrong, Montreal; John, Springfield, Mass., and Adam, Plymouth, Mass. Other relatives residing in Edmonton are Mrs. Fred Heath of 123rd Street, and Mrs. Andrew Andrews.
     Mrs. Esdale had been sick for just five weeks today and had been in perfect health previously. The cause of her illness was neuritis, which, with complications, culminated in her passing away.
     With her husband and family, Mrs. Esdale came to Edmonton in 1913. She was a member of Robertson Presbyterian church. The funeral arrangements will be announced on Tuesday.

Funeral of Mrs. Esdale was largely attended
(From the Edmonton Bulletin, February 22, 1923)
     The funeral of the late Mrs. Matthew Esdale took place on Wednesday afternoon. The funeral service was held in Robertson Presbyterian church, of which the deceased was a member. There was a very large attendance of sympathizing friends. The Rotary Club, of which Mr. Esdale is a member, attended in a body. A most eloquent and affecting funeral address was delivered by Rev. H. Dickie, pastor of the church. He was assisted in the service by Rev. J. M. Comyn-Ching of Christ Church, Anglican, and Rev. W. E. Lloyd, of Wesley Methodist. Mrs. R. Cockburn sang "The Sweet Bye and Bye" as a solo. The organist, Mr. H. Wild, rendered the "Dead March" at the conclusion of the service.
     Interment took place in the Edmonton cemetery. The pall bearers were: Dr. H. Whittaker, Messrs. Duncan Brown, W. J. Power, S. A. Dickson, J. W. Jeffery and W. J. Thompson.
     A short service was held at the family residence before the service in the church. A brother resident in Springfield, Mass., is on the way to Edmonton, but cannot arrive until Sunday. Another brother is resident in Montreal, but is himself very ill and there¬fore cannot come.
     A very large number of beautiful floral offerings testified to the esteem in which the deceased was held and gave evidence of the sympathy felt for the bereaved husband and children. The following are the floral tributes:
     Pillow, "Mother," from the family; pillow, from her brothers John and Adam; wreath, Mr. W. T. Esdale and family and Leonard Esdale, Calgary; wreath, Robert J. Esdale, Ottawa; spray, Reg. Armstrong; spray, Mrs. WT. Brown; spray, Melba and Lova Shaw; spray, Household Science, University of Alberta; spray,. Mrs. Annand, Bella and Bill, Ottawa; wreath, John Martin, Winnipeg; spray, Mr. and Mrs. S. A. Dickson; sheaf,

McDermid Studios; wreath, La Verendrye Hockey Club; cross Mr. and Mrs. D. A. Clark Winnipeg; wreath, Hudson's Bay Company; wreath, Edmonton Auto and Good Roads Association; spray, Dr. and Mrs. Whittaker; spray, Mr. and Mrs. Keeling; spray, E. J. Holland; spray, Office Specialty Mfg. Company; cross, South Side Hockey Club; spray, Mr and Mrs. J. W. Jeffery; cross, Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Heath- wreath Mr. and Mrs. W J Power and Mr. A. G. Pallister; half-circle, Mr. and Mrs. George Wilson Winni¬peg spray, Mr. and Mrs. Percy W. Abbott; sheaf. Room 9, Victoria High School; spray, C. G.Sheldon; sheaf, Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Thompson; spray Mr and Mrs. George C. M. Boothe; spray Mr. and Mrs. F. G. McDermid; spray, Col. andI Mrs P. E. Bowen and family; spray, Mrs. Brown, Beth and Lyn Brown; spray, Mr. and Mrs. W WPrevey and family; spray, Mr...and Mrs. R. J. Hamilton and family; spray, Ladies Aid of Robert¬son church' spray, J. C. S. Blowey; spray, Mr. and Mrs. F. Barnhouse; spray, Oliver School rooms 6, 9, 12 and 18; spray, Mr. and Madame Milton Martin; wreath Department of Education; spray, Mr. R. J. Daly; spray, Ina and Jean; spray, Mr. and Mrs. Duncan Brown; spray, Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Flavin; spray, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Clegg; spray 5th Trcop, Edmonton Boy Scouts and Mothers' Auxiliary; spray, Mr and Mrs. Earl Pfrimmer; spray, Irene Smith, Helen Carswell, Alney Minear; spray, Mr. and Mrs. H. C Cook Millet; spray, Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Hutton; wreath, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Harry, Calgary;' pillow on stand, Ottawa Old Boys' Association, Edmonton; sheaf Mr. AS. Neale and family; wreath, Mr. and Mrs. Archie Smith; spray, Cecil Helps; basket, Mr. and Mrs. James Helps; basket, Mr. and Mrs. H W. B Douglas; spray, Dr. and Mis. Landing; basket, Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Reed; basket, Maurice and Mrs Brown Clyde and Mr!: Hook; spray, Mr. and Mrs. A. W.Challand, spray Mr. and Mrs John M^ullen; wreath Mr. and Mrs. Ernest West, Calgary; spray, Mr. and Mrs. L. G. Scott; wreath W. I. Henry spray, Chas. Layland; star, Edmonton City Dairy; gates ajar, Employees Esdale Press wreath, Patricia Lodge, No. 90 (A .F. & A. M.); wreath, Edmonton Printing Press¬men's Union; sheaf, Mr. and Mrs. Dagsgard; basket Metropolitan Pnnting Company wheel, Edmonton Rotary Club; sheaf, Mayor and Mrs. DM. Duggan; wreath, Mr and Mrs. Andrew Andrews; harp, Employing Printers of Edmonton; large cross, The Esdale Press Ltd.

A Tribute to Mother
(From the Edmonton Journal, February 24, 1923)
     In his address at the funeral services of the late Mrs. Matthew Esdale on Wednesday, the Rev. Dr. Dickie paid a rare tribute to Mrs. Esdale and all Mothers, the text of which is here given:
     "Some one has said that the greatest word is God; the longest word is Eternity; the darkest word is Sin; the broadest word is Truth; the strongest word is Right; the tenderest word is Love; the sweetest word is Home, and the dearest word is Mother. And, my friends, it is because this is the funeral of a Mother, and one of the sweetest and best of Mothers, that the occasion is so unspeakably sad.
     "Before now, in crossing a field or meadow I have come to a spot that was filled with fragrance; yet I could see no flowers, and I wondered whence the fragrance came. At last I found low down, close to the ground, hidden by the tall grass, innumerable little flowers. It was from these that the fragrance came. I enter some homes. There is a rich perfume of love that pervades the place. It may be a home of wealth and beauty, or it may be plain and bare. No matter, it is not the house nor the furniture nor the adorn¬ment that makes this air of sweetness. I look closer. It is a gentle woman, Mother or daughter, quiet, hiding self away, from whose life the fragrance flows. That has always seemed to me to be singularly true of the home we are all thinking of today. There is a wondrous charm in a gentle spirit. The gentle Mother may not be highly educated, may not be musical or an artist or particularly clever in any way, but wherever she moves she leaves a benediction. Her sweet patience is never disturbed by the sharp words that may fall about her.
     'The children love her because she never tires of them. She helps them with their lessens, listens to their frets and worries, mends their broken toys, makes dolls' dresses, straightens out the tangles and settles their little quarrels, finds time to play with them. When there is sickness in the home she is the Angel of Comfort. Her face is always bright

with the outshining of love. Her voice has music in it as it falls in cheerful tenderness on the sufferer's ear. Her hands are wondrously gentle as their soothing touch rests on the bed of pain. Who can tell the influence of a Mother like that and who can rightly estimate the loss to her family when a Mother like that is taken?
     "The two brightest names in modern history are perhaps Oliver Cromwell and Abraham Lincoln. Concerning Cromwell, the historian says: 'No other member of his family, neither his wife or father, influenced him as did his Mother.' He followed her advice when young, he established her in the royal palace of Whitehall, London, when he came to greatness, and when she died he buried her in Westminster Abbey. In regard to Abraham Lincoln, he himself affirmed, 'all that I am or hope to be, I owe to my Angel Mother.'
     "From the Mother of Augustine to the Mother of John Wesley, and from the Mother of John Wesley to Queen Victoria or our present Queen Mother, the story of Christian Motherhood has been the brightest thing on the page of history. Henry Ward Beecher, whose Mother died when he was three years old, said, 'No devout Roman Catholic ever saw so much in the Virgin Mary as I beheld in the childhood vision and memory's dream of my sainted Mother.' That angel form was ever present in the life of the great preacher. She haunted his thoughts in youth. She hovered over the study hours of his maturity. She lingered at the sacred desk as her famous son entered the holy of holies in the house of prayer and petition. She stood by him in the moments of his fierce oratorical conflicts when he stood before angry mobs and opposing elements. "I sometimes think that the sweetest Mother is an angel Mother, a Mother who has passed over the Jordan flood and for whom we wear the white flower of a never-failing memory.
     "That, at least, is where this angel Mother is, leaving a husband, to whom she was as dear as life itself, leaving six daughters and four sons, a number of them just at the age when they most need a Mother's counsel and companionship and love. It is pathetic and yet beautiful that she should go first. Her light has not gone out; it has only been transferred from earth to heaven to lighten the others thither, and to bring them more than ever under the power of the world to come.
     "Now in the sore bereavement in which this home finds itself today and with whom we all deeply sympathize, for their loss is as well our loss and particularly our church's loss, what is there that one can say? Well, only this: Just trust. You will remember that Jesus in the days of His flesh was always at home to people in trouble. However busy in other respects, and often He had not time so much as to eat, He could always spare time to listen patiently to those who sought His help in their need. The rich young ruler who came to Him with a sorrowful heart, the Syrophenician woman who begged His help on behalf of her stricken daughter; the centurian whose son was torn by evil spirits; the woman exhausted by the issue of blood; the Bethany sisters when they lost their brother by death—each alike found Jesus willing to listen and help; and the best thing they and thousands like them ever did in their lives was when they went and told Jesus all that was in their hearts. "It is with trouble, as well as with certain bodily ailments, the best remedy is to give it an outlet. ‘They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright,' said Burns. 'More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of,' wrote Tennyson. Blessedly true, both these lines, as multitudes of troubled hearts have found to their surprise and joy. But better still are the Saviour's own gracious words, spoken to men when the future was very dark to them, and they knew not what a day might bring forth, but He knew, and yet He said: 'Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me.' It was as if He had said 'just trust,' for that was what He meant. And He meant it for you. He meant it also for me.
     "The great war through which we have come is making us realize as never before that the Bible is the book for troubled hearts. It has always been read most when calami-ties and sorrows have overtaken men; and just as one has to wait until night to see how bright the stars are, so, when the darkness of trouble has settled down upon our hearts, it is then, as never before, that we see the shining promises of Jesus to help and comfort

hose who just trust Him. All the men and women of whom the Bible speaks of being "more than conquerors" were great sufferers, but they conquered through trusting Jesus. Even Moses amid the Egyptian slavery and darkness had given to him a forward-looking faith in the greater Deliverer yet to come. He 'esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.' He 'endured as seeing Him who is invisible' and what more, or what better can you or I do? Mary and John and Paul and all the saints since, when in affliction's furnace, had just to trust and nothing, neither life nor death nor any other creature, was able to separate them from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
     "So, my friends, we bury our believing dead out of our sight in submission to the Divine will. Very trying to you and me today is the thought that we shall see her face on earth no more. Her sudden and unexpected removal leaves a terrible blank for she filled a large place in the home, the church and the community. But let us content our¬selves with thanking God for one whose character was as gentle and beautiful as her work was beneficient, whose life made Jesus Christ appear to us more real and more winsome, and who now enjoys the higher fellowship and service for which by God's grace she was prepared.

"Farewell, brave heart! Thy strife is o'er;              "Sleep well, tired heart! Thy narrow bed
And eyes now closed to earthly things              Is broad enough for lasting rest;
Have opened on the eternal shore,              The throbbing brain and aching head
Where death to loved ones never brings farewell.              May now within earth s kindly breast sleep well.

"Live on, dear friend! This fleshy veil
Bedims thee not in realms above;
The soul matures while senses fail;
Encompassed by Eternal love—live on!

     "And the reunion draws nearer. It may be nearer than we think. It may be for some of us before this week ends. Yes, time is passing. Eternity is coming, the veil which now divides us shall lift and we shall meet again.
     "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, comfort one another with these words."
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"A Tribute to Mother" by Annie Maye Armstrong

This tribute describes Mrs. Esdale's passing, the people who attended her funeral and the words spoken by the reverend at her funeral in Edmonton, Alberta.