Noel Stewart to Alice Ravenhill (July 26, 1941)


Noel Stewart to Alice Ravenhill (July 26, 1941)


Stewart, in reply to Ravenhill’s previous inquiry as to providing artwork from his pupils for an art show in Victoria, indicates that all their art is currently out being sold or displayed elsewhere. He mentions almost meeting up with Anthony Walsh, but the latter’s bus didn’t stop. Stewart informs her he has been made the acting Principal at St. George’s and complains about his predecessor, Ft. Lett. He informs her which printer he used to produce “Meet Mr. Coyote” and how they facilitated the images by using linoleum cuts.


Noel Stewart


Royal BC Museum, BC Archives (F/I/R19)


July 26, 1941


St. George’s Indian Residential School
Originated by the New England Company
(The oldest English Missionary Society, founded 1649)

Lytton, B.C. July 26, 1941

Dear Miss Ravenhill:

In reply to your letter I am sorry to say all our wood cuts and drawings and practically all school crafts are out for sale or exhibitions at present, and it seems I could not locate anything worthwhile to send you for the coming display you mention. I am of course sorry, but as you know things here are higgledy piggedly---spelling may be wrong.

Yesterday Anthony Walsh passed through on the bus and I ran down intending to see him, but he wasn’t on the first bus and the second bus sailed right through and didn’t stop. So he would be as disappointed as I was, I am sure. These greyhound busses are uncertain. I travelled on one from home here and lots of places they missed to call at, if time did not permit.

Well I am getting on with my temporary work. The Government have me now the acting Principal and I have engaged the staff or age folk as the young ones won’t stay or take responsibility and the old staff can’t keep up to the grind, and it really is a problem. Mr. Lett was expected to go July 15th from premises but has been very contrary. He is still here against Gov’t wishes, and pokes into everything and it looks as if the Gov’t will have to take severe measures to get him away. He went off to Vanc. with school care two days after 15th and is just being as stubborn as a young child would be. He says he is going to Victoria for a holiday soon, and no doubt will call on you, but he needs no sympathy though this sad tales do touch the hearts of strangers.

It was terribly warm here. None of us could sleep at night. However, it is cooling off again, thank goodness.

The printer for my booklet was the A.J. Davis printing co., Calgary, alta. They used the Reynold’s linoleum cuts. It is being sold by SpencersVane for 15 cents. I am also sending it out to odd stores in the Interior and in Vanc. I only have the 500 copies, and as it didn’t cost me anything I am not worrying much about the sale. It should have been better set and I am annoyed at my name appearing on page one. However, Mr. Lett’s idea to put children’s names to things they never do won’t go with me. At present these children can’t write down the legends. Of course the drawing is purely their’s [page break]

You are very busy with all your meetings. I can’t see how you do it. I am up to my neck in work with only ordinary things yet you can delve into so many sidelines. You must be one of the world’s great workers. Some people can work with the least loss of motion, but my trouble is so many people come in and talk and talk.

Father Lett has just been in and while my back was turned gone off with the mail bag. This is so annoying. The Indian Agent in town will be furious if he sees him with the school car and getting our Gov’t letters at the P.O. One can watch a child but an adult it is impossible to watch him. However, it will all come to a head in the near future I am sure.

This letter sounds terrible all my troubles. Please don’t let it get you too. I should not trouble you this way. Everyone has his own load.

As to the Vancouver Exhibition we are not certain if we will exhibit this year or not; There is such an uncertainty and the school is to reopen August 18 and no doubt I will have to act as principal and teach the Jr. High School class too, and there is no time to go to Vancouver. However, we will wait and see and things may change out of a clear sky.

Today the engineer has tested all fire hoses for me in the premises. There are missing three altogether and most others leak. So one can see how careful Ft. Lett was.

Well am so sorry Miss Ravenhill I could not furnish anything for your display at present. However, better luck next time. As ever,

Noel Stewart




Noel Stewart, “Noel Stewart to Alice Ravenhill (July 26, 1941),” The Story is More than Itself, accessed November 20, 2019,