About this time 100 years ago a life started, and that baby grew and was “fearfully and wonderfully made” until her birth to Noah and Elizabeth Ann StClair (MacNab). They named her Irene Elizabeth. She grew as a regular child with good friends, five mischievous brothers, sickness, school troubles but overall enjoyed her younger years, especially visits to Bear Lake where Uncle John and Aunt Sarah lived. But time went on and responsibility stepped in with her finding her first job at Royal Victoria Hospital and later at a bank. She worked for Mr Kion who lived next door to the Chapel and then when her children were of high school age, she was employed by Chrysler Outboard Canada.
At the age of 12, her father was killed in a train crash. The man in her life was gone! But two years later she had the “love bug” bite when she met Lester Prince, age 17, attending the Hamilton Conference with friends. Love grew but due to World War II, they didn’t marry until 1946 so, like Jacob of old, Lester had to wait seven years for his bride. Sunday preachers were guests in their home but a special couple from England, the Cricks, made lasting memories.
Lester and Irene had a heart for missions but didn’t get “into all the world” but their world was the youth of Northside and other assemblies. Camping trips to Six Mile Lake happened year after year. Two of their children became overseas missionaries. However, she, with Lester, went to Ireland on a six-month mission trip working as a secretary and he as a handyman for the group.
Camping on Manitoulin Island led to the purchase of property on the south shore facing Lake Huron. It was a well-loved retreat with a wee cabin built in 1967 to replace the old tent.
Irene always had supper ready for Lester but if he was late getting home, she would sit at the piano. Sure enough, she would just start playing and home he would come. Besides playing the piano she enjoyed knitting, cross stitch and reading. Canoeing was a pleasure when they retired and moved to Duck Lake. While living in the area, she was secretary for a church in Parry Sound.
By now her four children were married and during those years she was blessed to visit Joanne and Galo in parts of Central America, David and Rose in Spain with side trips to outlying areas of Oviedo and Madrid as well as France. Robert and Shirley had her pack her bags for a month in Arizona. In later years, times were enjoyed on the porch of a rented cottage with Joanne and Doreen.
She was a Prayer Warrior! She truly expected to be caught up in the Rapture but would ask, “Why am I still here?” The answer of course, “Because you are a Prayer Warrior, and the Lord still has need of you here.” And so, she continued her prayer times and as time went on, would forget names but the Lord knew her heart and her desire.
Finally on April 7th she passed from this life to her eternal life. She finally saw her dad again after 87 years. She saw her Lester, her mom, brothers, and grandchildren who had gone before. But the most glorious and joyful meeting was with her Lord and Saviour who she knew for years but now sees face to face.