The Rev. A. W. E. McComb, son of the late Dr. McComb, of Beccles, sends the following interesting account: "This summer I have had the wonderful opportunity of re-visiting Canada, and as I found certain links between my native East Anglia and the Dominion I have been advised to give a short account of my visit. The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge has for many years now appointed to each liner going West a chaplain to give spiritual help and any advice and assistance in his power to the emigrants. On June 26th I went aboard the R.M.S. Montrose of the C.P.R. Line, as a third class passenger and began my duties as chaplain. We sailed from Liverpool at 5 p.m.
On the Sunday I conducted five services, which were well attended, though the sea was comparatively rough. Daily during the few days at sea we had an early service, while two Roman Catholic priests on board also each said his daily Mass. The weather was good though cold, and the sea smooth with the exception of Sunday and Monday. We passed through the Straits of Belle Isle and saw three or four icebergs, and also the remains of H.M.S. Raleigh on the Coast of Labrador. On July 2nd we sailed up the glorious St. Lawrence and landed early on July 3rd at Quebec. During the voyage I was able to give many letters of commendation to those who were moving out to their new homes, and also to several young men who, with the grit of the old pioneers, were going to the Far West to find work.
As I was first visiting my old parish in New Brunswick I had to wait in Quebec for some hours. I visited the Montmorency Falls, and on the platform above them I found the word Norwich carved. During my short stay in New Brunswick I met the Canon Missioner of that part, who spoke very lovingly of a visit to Norwich which he made a year ago to recuperate after he had been in a bad railway accident on the C.P.R. I also was talking to the Archdeacon of St. John, N.B., the Ven. Archdeacon Crowfoot, second son of the late William Crowfoot, Esq., M.D., of Beccles, who was in his time and generation one of the greatest surgeons of East Anglia.
On leaving New Brunswick I was entertained at Kingston, Ontario, one of the most historical cities in Canada, by Mr. and Mrs. Halliday, the brother-in-law and sister of Mrs. Podd, of Norwich. I then went on to Ohsweken, on the Grand River Reserve, where I conducted a weeks mission. The Iroquois, or the Six National Indians, as they are also called, have always been very loyal to the British, and are a fine and lovable people. They gave me a very kind welcome, and did everything in their power to make my short stay with them enjoyable. I was a guest of their medical-officer, Dr. Davis, who has given of his best to them for a good number of years now.
On my return to the Empress of France we had a great variety of nations on board, but, as is usual on the sea, in a very short time our ordinary British reserve was broken down and we became to a great extent just one large family in spite of differences of race and creed.
To those who have not recently crossed the Atlantic as third class passengers it may be of interest to know that we were very comfortably looked after, and that no one could reasonably grumble at the food or accommodation. I can imagine some superior sort of people looking down with something of a sneer at third class passengers, but it would be an education to such people to have the opportunity to travel with many who were my fellow-passengers. Among others we had a Professor of the University of Toronto, also a young man who had taken his M.D., C.M., and M.Sc. at McGill University, Montreal, and will in all probability be one of the great medical men of that city or elsewhere in the future. We had another young man just waiting to be gazetted to some British regiment as a subaltern, and in addition to these few I have mentioned we had a good number of well-educated men and women, some of whom could speak five, six, and more languages.
Canada, with her great rivers, her great lakes, her great mountains, is a land of splendid opportunity, and as an East Anglian by birth I believe that to many of us belonging to these parts she is giving an invitation. Here we are crowded together on these little islands, but there in Canada even now, in spite of the great extent of territory, there is only a population about as great as that of London. Canada, a young country, needs the best sort of emigrants we can give her."