One of the boardrooms at THQ is called the Brown Boardroom and in fact is on the 7th floor – our executive floor. It is a room that is used frequently for all kinds of meetings. It has a map of Canada in it and a wall of windows looking out on our neighbour – a hydro station!
On the wall hangs these two historic pieces. To the right is a sketch of General Arnold Brown at the time of his election to be General. On the left is the actual document (deed) that was signed by the members of the High Council electing him as the 11th General of The Salvation Army. Some familiar names are signed there including Eva Burrows, later to be General plus Lesley Pindred and Arthur Pitcher, two Canadians in attendance.
Arnold Brown was a family friend and was in our home with some frequency over the years so it is interesting to review these two historical treasures.
One of the dreams I had coming into this office was to find a way to release for general viewing some of the interesting treasures in the archives. An early find was the 166 episodes of the television program that we produced in the late 1950’s (which went to we think around 1961). This program was called The Living Word.
I now have 65 episodes in hand and they are fascinating. They feature a variety of formats, sometimes it’s a drama and other times more of a musical format. It certainly is a variety program and places a strong theme within 15 minutes. The people involved seem to be from our territory and that of the USA east. It will take some time to catalogue and identify some of the people involved.
Here’s what I have learned so far. This was led by Arnold Brown and involved Ken Evenden and Ernie Miller. It was filmed in the basement (2B) of THQ and was done in the evenings so the elevators could be turned off so there was adequate power to run the lights. There was also a radio program but I haven’t got to that project yet!
It seems that there was in time a partnership with TSA in the USA as I’ve been able to identify the NYSB – and there are other hints of their help. There is, unfortunately no reference to a narrator, script-writer, producer, etc – and so far we have been unable to find a catalog so we can know which were produced first and in what order.
There seems to be involvement from officer and soldiers and slowly I think we will find names for those involved. As part of that research I am taking these to the Meighen retirement residence in a couple of weeks to let them help me identify those involved.
The other thing that is clear is that this was cutting edge in it’s day – both in terms of the effort and in time the format of the production. As I watch and listen I am constantly amazed at what they accomplished. But then that seems true of much of what TSA does down through the years.
Last night’s news featured a story about this address – one many a Salvationist would recognize as the site of our unwed mother’s home from many years ago. Described in the media as a mansion – well old mansion – it is indeed a huge property and one that saw dozens of young women reside in during years past. It was also the place where Wendy’s Mom worked for a number of years. She was the house mother.
If you want to learn more about the current story you can go to http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/mansion-in-riverdale-sets-the-scene-for-horror-film-it-1.3029802 .