On this last Sunday of Advent 2019, with Christmas Day just three days off, I’d like to share a few items from Christmases past, found in St. Paul’s Memory Book, a series of four large scrapbooks lovingly compiled by Mrs. Grace McKinlay Kennedy in the 1940s.
Starting with the most recent, here is the cover for the 1945 Christmas bulletin
And a snapshot from the same year of the Christmas morning service in the Lancaster Street chapel. That’s the rector, George A. Taylor, reading the gospel. The two servers are his sons, Tucker Taylor and Frank Webb “Webbie” Taylor.
Taylor was rector from 1932 until 1948.
Next, two Christmas cards from the family of Arthur R. McKinstry, rector from 1927 until 1931.
The cards, from 1927 and 1930, show the four children, ready for Christmas morning.
And finally, a ticket from the Sunday School Christmas festival of 1880.
I’ve been unable to find any information about the event, but we know a bit about the location. Tweddle Hall (built by former St. Paul’s senior warden John Tweddle), was on the northwest corner of State and Pearl Streets in downtown Albany. Three years after the Christmas Festival, the structure burned, and was replaced by the Tweddle Building.
This ticket was given to Mrs. Kennedy by Mrs. Mary A. Halse, aunt of St. Paul’s organist Raymond Sherwood Halse.