File 119 - King, William Lyon Mackenzie to Harvey J. Sims.

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King, William Lyon Mackenzie to Harvey J. Sims.

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  • Textual record

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  • January 2, 1923 (Authorship)
    King, William Lyon Mackenzie

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4 p. (of 4 , folded leaf) ; 20 x 13 cm

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Biographical history

The Sims family were early white settlers of what is now Hawkesville, Ontario. Members of the family are the descendants of Reverend James Sims was born ca.1812 in Insch, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. On June 1, 1836, he married the widow Janet Harvey Robertson and in 1837 came to what is now Canada with a large party of relatives: his father and mother, his wife and step-children Alexander, John and Jane Robertson, his brothers Peter and Andrew Sims, his sister Margaret, and nephews James and Peter Sims.

In 1838 the family settled as squatters on Queen's Bush land near Hawkesville in Wellesley Township. James and Margaret Sims had four children: Janet Sims, (1838-1926), James Campbell Sims (1842-1929), Peter Harvey Sims (1844-1920) and William Andrew Sims (1846-1930). James Sims died October 31, 1880. Both he and his descendants played an active role in the the educational, religious and commercial development of what is now the Region of Waterloo.

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Handwritten letter from William Lyon Mackenzie King to Harvey J. Sims dated January 2, 1923, thanking him for a gift for Laurier House and discussing the delay in reconstruction at Laurier House and the reconvening of Parliament on January 31, 1923. King also speaks of his "deeply valued friendship" with Harvey Sims.
Salutation: "My dear Peter"; Signature: "Ever your true friend, Billy K."

My dear Peter,
Your wonderful gift has kept me more or less at bay for the past ten days. I have hardly known how to acknowledge it, not having words [wherewith?] to express my appreciation of your great generosity. I am still at a loss and shall have to ask you to accept the will for the deed. It will be a great happiness to do as you suggest, to purchase for Laurier House something of which I may be in need to put the finishing touch required and to be a reminder through the years of your kindness. The bookshelves and library equipment which has made my present house the joy it has been in that respect, and which were the fruit of your previous gift, I am moving, in fact, out to Kingsmere, so summer and winter alike I shall be surrounded by evidences of your benevolence. I had expected to be in Laurier House by this time, but it has taken longer than anticipated to complete the work of reconstruction. It is going to be worth all the delay, however, and I shall look forward with delight to having you as a [first?] guest whenever you can come. I shall be able now to look after Florence's comfort as well, so do bring her with you when you are this way on some future occasion. Your generous gift enabled me to do a little better by some of my friends at this Xmas season than I would otherwise have felt I could. It came at a moment I was debating what I should send to May and the two young lads at Denver, and permitted me to make without thought of sacrifice what I was anxious to send. I must thank you therefore in more than a two fold sense for your goodness as well as your generosity.
I am very very busy as you can well imagine. Parliament re-assembling on January 31 and three of the ministers still overseas and two or more hors de combat. I may put your gift into riding or boxing lessons. A health investment is the best possible for my job.
I hope you all had a happy Xmas and I think, dear Peter, that this New Year will be the best you have ever known. My grateful thanks for your deeply valued friendship goes with my best of wishes to you and to all near and dear to you.
Ever your true friend,
Billy K.

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Donated in 2019 by the Sims Family.


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  • English

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Physical description

Embossed seal: Prime Minister's Office, Canada, with the Arms of Canada.
Includes envelope addressed in Mackenzie King's handwriting, postmarked Ottawa, January 2, 1923: stamped "Free" in upper right corner, marked "Personal" in upper left corner and initialled W.M.L.K. P.M. in lower left corner, the latter two in Mackenzie King's handwriting.

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Described July 2019 JSB

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  • English

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