China Diary: The Life of Mary Austin Endicott

China Diary: The Life of Mary Austin Endicott

China Diary: The Life of Mary Austin Endicott

China Diary: The Life of Mary Austin Endicott

Excerpt

In the early 1950s my father's name was a household word in Canada. Jim Endicott was either revered as a peace champion or pilloried as a “Communist stooge.” The Endicott Uproar, as I call it, began in the United Church of Canada when he resigned as a missionary to China and returned home. He plunged into a one-man crusade urging Christians to stop military aid to the corrupt Nationalist government in China. The Chinese Communists were becoming victorious, he said, because they gave land to peasants; the revolution was not being instigated by Moscow.

Soon he became the leader of the Canadian Peace Congress and spearheaded the first “Ban the Bomb” campaign. In the spring of 1952 the media dubbed him “Public Enemy Number One” when he accused the United States of using germ warfare in the Korean War. To this day his family members, including grandchildren, are asked: “Are you one of The Endicotts?” Hardly anyone asks about my mother.

Within the family, stories about my father (“Popeye”) abound, while the life of my mother (“Grandmary”) has faded like an old photograph.

One such family legend—The Turtle Soup Incident—began on a summer day in the early 1940s, at a wooded site on the shores of Lake Muskoka. My Uncle Norman and his wife Betty left their three children, ages six to ten, in the care of my parents for several days.

The afternoon of the first day my cousins were horrified when my father, their beloved Uncle Jim, caught a huge snapping turtle—and gleefully announced it would make a “wondrous” soup. In spite of their protests he went ahead with this plan. Outraged, they declared they were leaving until their parents returned. Gathering up their sleeping bags, they traipsed off indignantly into the woods. This act of civil disobedience was the heart of the legend.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.