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A LITTLE CHAT WITH...  RUTH MOOERS

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Ruth Mooers is the pretty lady who always sits in the very last pew, alongside her husband, Ron, every Sabbath.   She and Ron have witnessed a World War, raised a daughter and a son, worked side by side and, among other things, have built and maintained a solid love relationship for 56 years now.   Read on as Ruth shares some highlights of their life together.

Bev: Thinking back on the more than 56 years you and Ron have been married, how did you meet?
Ruth: Considering how readily things worked out for Ron and I, we believe it was the Lord who brought us together at a dance at the Royal Canadian Airforce Base at Halifax, Nova Scotia in late 1942 while he was stationed there. It was a simple beginning. He asked me to dance, then later asked to see me home. Similar backgrounds gave us much in common, and we found ourselves attracted to each other. We had grown up 100 miles apart in Nova Scotia in families where church attendance was only occasional. Even so, the Lord was known as a Friend by each of us.
Bev: At the time of your meeting were you familiar with Adventists?
Ruth: I knew no one who was an Adventist, and Ron had never heard of them. But that was soon to change. Early in our acquaintanceship my father died of a brain tumor. Shortly after this, my mother saw an announcement in the newspaper telling of meetings, with the next subject to be "Where Are The Dead?” Naturally, we were interested, and that meeting was the beginning of my mother and I attending an Adventist church. We liked what we were hearing.
Bev: Meanwhile, how were you and Ron doing?
Ruth: Having a diploma from the Maritime Beauty Academy in Halifax, my regular daytime occupation was as a hairdresser, which was going very well. Ron and I began dating frequently in the evenings. Our relationship was going very well too, and soon we became engaged.
Bev: Any immediate wedding plans?
Ruth: With Ron being a serviceman, it was not always possible to make plans and bring them to fruition in our own time frame. In the middle of it all he was posted to Ontario. We took it in stride, for he was going on a course which would lead to a promotion. That could be called the up-side. The down-side was: how long before we would see each other again?
Bev: Was it a long wait?
Ruth: It did seem long. Actually, it was four months. Ron was able to arrange a two week vacation in August 1943, which, by train, the normal mode of travel in those times, was two days in each direction, leaving us ten days to get married and be together. Taking one day at a time was the norm with so many things affected by the war.
Bev: Tell us more about you and the Church.
Ruth: Mother and I continued attending the Adventist church and were baptized along with others just three weeks after the wedding. Ron was unable to be present but didn’t mind me going ahead. For the next two years until the war ended in 1945, we kept in touch by writing letters every day between infrequent opportunities to see each other.
Bev: What did Ron do after his discharge from the Airforce?
Ruth: Being into Morse Code, he went to work with the Canadian National Railways as a telegraph operator, later qualifying as a train dispatcher to be ready when an opening occurred. In the latter part of the 40’s, he occasionally attended Sabbath services with mother and I, but working the night shift, he had difficulty staying awake.
Bev: During this same period how did you occupy the time?
Ruth: I worked full time as a hairdresser, and as Adventist mothers often do, I became involved in the children’s departments when our son was in the kindergarten and primary levels. Later, I assumed greater responsibilities when asked to serve as Church Clerk.
Bev: When did Ron join you as an Adventist?
Ruth: Eight years after my baptism, Ron studied with the Pastor and was baptized in 1951.
Bev: The railway operates seven days a week. Were there any Sabbath problems?
Ruth: He had an unusual experience after the baptismal service when a church member shook his hand and said: “Now your troubles begin.” It was an accurate prediction. Five weeks later it happened. Both then being Adventists, our together relationship with the Lord was more meaningful and helpful in the situation that developed. Working as a train dispatcher replacing someone on vacation, he saw a Sabbath shift looming. Asking the superintendent for the day off for religious reasons brought the curt reply that there was no one to replace him. Ron knew there was, and we both remember the evening several years earlier when we were getting ready for bed about 10:30, when the phone rang with someone from the CNR telling him he was needed to work the midnight to 8:00 a.m. shift as a telegraph operator, because the regular man was too drunk to function. After making inquiries, Ron saw clearly that continued employment with the CNR would not allow him to keep his Sabbath commitment. A replacement could be found for someone too drunk to work, but not to have the Sabbath off. Also, it was a poor environment for spiritual growth. Ron quit the railway and entered the church literature ministry to sell books door to door. Interesting times followed.
Bev: We’d like to hear about the interesting times.
Ruth: There was variety. No two days were the same. Neither were any two weeks. Sometimes a week ended with little to report in sales. Or it could be like the happy occasion of our daughter’s birth being followed by a big week of sales. Or the unhappy occasion of Ron having a door slammed in his face being followed by an even bigger week of sales. Yet, there was a constant. It is put best in the chorus “Jesus Never Fails.” The Lord always provided. Having earlier sold books as a Sabbath School Investment Project with the Halifax church, and thus being familiar with door to door selling, I occasionally participated. With Ron having a regular program of working in the city and suburbs during colder weather and in rural areas during warmer weather, things continued essentially the same until 1959.
Bev: I am guessing that what changed was found to be very satisfying.
Ruth: Yes! The Lord blessed with a change of work and location. Local Conferences were still operating individual Book & Bible Houses, and the position of manager became vacant in the Maritimes. Ron applied and was awarded the position.
Bev: Obviously this required a move for the family.
Ruth: Just a short move within the Maritimes from Halifax to Moncton for Ron to be part of the Conference staff. It was a one-person operation serving 18 churches and plenty else to keep one busy. During part of our eight years in Moncton, as Church Treasurer I had busy times too, especially when Ingathering -- which ran five evenings a week for most of December -- due mainly to small donations (usually 25 cents) and size of the goal. Ron and I took part with the solicitors, then worked together preparing the money for deposit each day. And I took part helping at various times with book and food sales at camp meeting and visits to the churches. Our time in Moncton was an experience we look back upon with fond memories. Then in 1967, the decision was made to reduce overhead by transferring the local B&B House function to Oshawa as part of what later became known as the Eastern Canada Adventist Book Centre, a move also made in other parts of Canada and the U.S.A. as smaller, local B&B Houses gave way to larger, regional ABC’s.
Bev: I can see another move was approaching for the family.
Ruth: It was a move to Ontario, where the Canadian Union and Maritime Conference presidents arranged employment at Branson Hospital.
Bev: Is there anything you particularly remember about the move from New Brunswick?
Ruth: Of first consideration was selling our house in Moncton to make possible buying one in Ontario. The Conference lawyer indicated the local real estate market was flat and prospects for a sale were bleak. For what could have caused us a major difficulty, the Lord was ready with a solution. A neighbor whose house was in sight of ours near the city limits, and who owned the supermarket where we bought groceries, just “happened” to be at a service station when we stopped to get some oil and, as a bit of neighborly news, we mentioned our upcoming move to Ontario. He said “Oh! I’ve been trying to get my son to buy a house.” Shortly after, he and his son came asking to see the house. They left and were soon back with the son’s wife. During the evening the son came asking the house price and amount of down payment. When told, he said, “We have the money and want to buy the house.” Next for the surprised Conference lawyer was doing the required legal business to complete the sale, and next for us was preparing for the move. Before long our furniture was packed in the Conference moving van and on the way to Ontario.
Bev: How did arriving in Ontario and getting settled go for you?
Ruth: Fortunately, we knew the Mercer family who had moved to Ontario from the Maritimes five years before, and Max was currently pastor of the Richmond Hill Church. Earlier we had taken our 17-foot vacation trailer to Ontario and parked it behind the church as our temporary family home (four people and a cat) while looking for a house. With no place for our furniture when it arrived, we were able to store it in the Mercer’s basement while house hunting. From the time we were able to spend looking at houses, we wondered why we were being shown old-fashioned houses, and our lack of interest met with the comment: “You need to be realistic.” We concluded that since houses where we were looking cost about twice the price of a similar house in Moncton, they saw us as unable to get approval for a mortgage on something better. However, our house in Moncton was only two years old when we bought it from the former B&B House manager, and we felt the Lord would do, at least, equally as well for us here.
Bev: Were your expectations met?
Ruth: Not only met, but exceeded, and no mortgage problems. Through persistence, we met an agent who also showed us unsuitable houses, but then mentioned having a new house and took us to see it in an area of recently built houses, a little north of Highway 7 between Yonge and Bathurst Streets. We liked it and made an offer, which was accepted. The builder had completed the house and, thinking he had it sold, went on an extended vacation to Italy. Returning to find the sale had fallen through, he put a mortgage on the property and carried it himself several months without it being sold. It worked out like the Lord was having the house held for us. After title to the property and the mortgage were transferred to our name, we moved in (and still live there). Things having settled down for us, we adjusted quickly and were able to follow a regular work routine, with a couple promotions along the way, until 17 years later we retired -- Ron as Credit Manager, and myself as In-Patient Accounts Supervisor.
Bev: Tell us about your retirement years; activities, reminiscences, etc.
Ruth: Together we became seniors. Together we retired. And now 15 years later we have become octogenarians together. In between we have occupied the time in a number of ways. Among our priorities are daily devotions and regular attendance at Sabbath services. From experience we know the promise in Luke 6:38 never fails. Long recognizing the benefits of regular physical activity, we have for years followed a moderate exercise routine. Also for years we have followed a vegetarian diet. And, it is no small joy that we reached 80 years with neither of us on any type of medication. Another big joy is family. Besides our two children, the Lord has blessed us with four grandchildren. One long-time practice we view with particular fondness began in the mid 40’s when Ron came home with a haircut that didn’t suit him. I touched it up, and have been cutting his hair since haircuts were 25 cents. Also for years, as unlikely as it may seem, we bought home permanent kits and he curled my hair until his fingers were no longer flexible enough to use the small curlers. Ours has always been a fulfilling life together. The 1999 Evening Devotional Book entitled In Heavenly Places by Ellen G. White begins the text on page 60 with this statement: “There can be no such thing as a narrow life for any soul connected with Christ.” To that we can say, Amen!
Bev: In closing, do you have any treasured thoughts?
Ruth: Thinking back to when Ron became an Adventist and quit a good paying job due to Sabbath problems, there is a precious promise in Matthew 19:29 NKJV where in effect, Jesus said: Everyone who has left "material possessions” for my name’s sake shall receive a hundredfold. We have never tried to calculate that in dollars and cents, but know for sure we have been bountifully blessed. The text ends with the ultimate in promises. Just four words: “and inherit everlasting life.” With His help, that’s our goal.

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CREDITS FOR BACKGROUND AND IMAGES:

Victorian Elegance
The Angel Cloud Heaven