Supper Party

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Supper Party - The Supper Party to a ruii-ply to By C. B....
The Supper Party to a ruii-ply to By C. B. PYPER 1IJ little hall was full, and a man with an artificial leg was standing with his back against the glass doors, to keep them shut The audience was mostly men In working clothes. In the two front rows wen women and, sitting on the edge of the platform, their feet on the ground, a few better dressed men. A man was standing at a reading desk In the middle of the platform. uii'l vg'rl waH seated at a piano. The man at the desk Invited Ihose In the audience to give their "experiences," and four or five of these responded. After each there was a hymn, in which all joined heartily. Then theio was a sermon, then a prayer and then supper. The men and women near the platform brought In the supper, from a room at the back. Sauce pans of coffee one for each man-buns and doughnuts. The eager fiici'g lit up as the coffee and food were brought in and handed round snd for a few minutes everyone was husv. It was all very quiet and orderly and business-like. Half-way down the hall were two men I knew; I ha1 slept with them in St. Boniface police station. One was the fuel teamster who had lost his Job owing to the mild weather; the oilier was the little Englishman who had worked for a farmer and hnd been iccuscd of eating too much at breakfast. Both were enjoying their supper. When the supper was over I spoke to them and Bsked them how they wire getting along. "Just the same as usual,' the teamster said. "Where are you sleeping now?" "At the roundhouse." "What do you do for food?" "C'h, we get a little hre and there; sometimes the bakerlee give us something, lrot they're not so good at that now as they were.' I asked about tho other man who had been at St. Boniface, the slim, dark Englishman, with the cheerful smile lie was there, too. They hrmiiiht him over, grinning as usual, The teamster had haal a Job for a few days during the last cold spell but was out of work again. The meal he had just had was his first since the night before. The cheerful one wss going to the police station attain and the teamster thought, he would go with hlsn; he was still hungry and might gel something to eat there. The HttU one was afraid he might get a per-permanent home If he went back. I told the other that a man had been sent to prison the day before for going hselt too often. "Yes, but he asked to he sent," he snld. He put it to me questionly. "That's the best thing a chap could do, to go to prison for the winter? Of course, there's the die-grace and all that?" I asked them what they would do in the spring Said the little one: "I'll be all right In the spring. I'll get work all right And I'll have some money to last me over next winter. No more of this foe me Some of them like It, but I don't The cheerful one said he was going bark to England. Ho had friends there and could get a job. The teamster said he would be all right once the spring came. N more "bumming" for him next winter, either. I reminded him he had been thinking ot fcoing to the bu.ih. "There's nothing doing In the bush now," he said; "no snow. The stations down the line to Port Arthur are full of men. That's why I didn't One of the men in charge of the mission spoke to me I wag there by Invitation. He wanted to know what I thought of It I asked him how they got the funds for the work. He said the "mission started four years ago, when eight of them got together and all subscribed a little money. Then people looking In and seeing what was going on had given them money, a dollar here, a couple of dollars there; It had allt helped. One of the ladles who had helped to found It bad had some money left to her and when she died she left It to the mission. That had put it on his feet Then one or two men who worked for a large business firm In the city attended the meetings and the charitable association of their firm had given $75 for two winters In succession. They had regular prayer meetlnge during the week and on Sunday, and two nights a week Tuesday end Friday they had free suppers. On Tuesday it was coffee and buns, on Friday soup and sandwiches. Their ambition was to have a bigger hall and better facilities; they wanted shower baths and son e place fjr horreless men to sleep. They used to have beds for a ut 15 men In the basement but the health authorities had forbidden that. They had tried to find Jobe for some of the men, but It was no good. Of course, some of the men didn't want to work, but there were any number who wanted aothlng better. The mission was undenominational, not connected with any church or other organization. They had speakers from outside to address them occasionally, and some times visitors from other missions. The mlsalon Is the Lighthouse mission, on Alexander avenue, between King and Main. I had heard men In the Salvation Armj hostel speak of 11 asa good place, and of those In charge es "good people", working people, who'll ghre yotl food when they have It."

Clipped from
  1. The Winnipeg Tribune,
  2. 16 Feb 1928, Thu,
  3. Page 13

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