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In June of 1940, two McGill University coeds leave for the Peace River district, to be helpers to Monica Storrs and her “mishes” at the Anglican mission, The Abbey, at Fort St. John in northern B.C. The girls do housework and farm work and, travelling many miles by horseback, come to know many settlers in the three-million-acre Peace River Block.

Fay and Phoebe’s letters home tell of their adventures and misadventures, the mission and pioneers, and wonder at such a beautiful, unforgettable place.

“Phoebe and I are lucky, partly because of the country but mostly because of the people. There is no slither to this life; everything is hard and real and in the present, and nothing is impossible for the future. There are no bounds, no ruts, no morals, and, except for the basic ones which survive uprooting, no traditions. I don’t think Phoebe and I shall ever again put so much effort into being so good and useful.” –Fay Thomson

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