5.3 Halifax

The expansive railway lines pushed Halifax back from the sea, made islands of tiny cottages and the odd factory. Shattering chat, steel wheels heaving, chugging by the spires of the port and many shaped roofs, domes and parapets. The honeycomb of smaller windows locked in ten-storey brick Shaw Lodge Mills, smoke stacks blowing over the patches of mud-stone, a canal dehydrated. Burt and Trebitsch disembarked to carts in the pavilion of the Intercolonial Railway Station (booked through Weland), and made a steep walk up to North Street.

The journey to North End was lamps and canopies, The National Boot Store, Haig’s with its tiny windows of tiny things. Then commerce fell away to flickering trees on lawns in the North End, tall two-floor houses more and more stand-offish.  On Grand Parade the broad greens like a golf course and the town clock citadel on Grand Parade peeking above, as if buried in hill. Just beyond was St. Paul’s: oldest building in town; first church in Canada .

Trebitsch took the pulpit, on high.

The away crowd was a stranger’s respite, Burt noted, and the next day they went back to the canopies and shops; then came the familiar interruptions. The type of Jew known to clergy there, married to argument ‘til death do we. Trebitsch laughed it off and kept up with their changing tongues.

“At least they don’t have cudgels this time,” said Burt.

“They should be paying me more,” said Trebitsch.


He prepared a big report for London. London wanted to know everything, double stamp minor matters. Troop guided him to the press: Jewish Missionary Intelligence and The Canadian Churchman each learned he was averaging a hundred and fifty meetings a month. The harder he worked, the harder it got. More mission, more rail-fare. Margarethe was pregnant again, due in five months. The month’s stipend had to be subtracted. Captain Kahlor’s bursary had ended, yet here he was feeding the Captain’s wife.

Jozsef has no job, constant interruptions!


On December 6th, he took a day off, almost. The drop of mail in the hall brought him to open Bond’s invitation. He’d been invited him to speak to the Synod of the Diocese. He was at once honoured, and angered.

“The opportunity…” he said to himself, “but more work!”

He went back and forward in his emotions. A large audience respect my every word of struggle on the streets. Institutionally shielded in formalities, salaries, desk missionaries! The highest of the holiest and me, centre-stage! Explaining to them their mission, those conceited men! The thoughts made him uncomfortable. He thought of Burt and himself against Hebrews: stood leaning into his door, in love with the sound of their own voices. No ears. The Anglicans, all McCarter’s age, except Frank Burt: younger, yes, more energy for the city.  That’s when the idea came.


Featured Image Attribution: Halifax Town Hall from Corn Market, 1900, FrancisFirth.com

Ignacz The Watch Thief is serialised five days a week. To donate go to patreon.com/andyluke and access four advance chapters, commentaries or bonus art.


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