History Bite - Baptismal Font and Memorial Table

This morning I want to tell you about a piece of Knox that has been in continual use for 82 years,has personally touched the lives of many of the congregation, and still continues to do so, and that is our baptismal font.


The regular morning worship service on Sunday, November 11, 1928 was a few minutes late in starting, because there had been an earlier memorial service up at the corner of Main and Guelph Streets, where our Cenotaph originally stood, having been dedicated only two years prior. Following that served, Knox filled up for a special memorial service of its own.


Dedicated, and used for the first time that morning, was the beautiful oak baptismal font that we still use today. It was donated by Mr. Ross Cameron, in memory of his father, The Reverend Robert Fleming Cameron, and his wife Margaret. Rev. Cameron had come to Knox in 1904, and ministered here until his death in 1924, a much loved and honoured minister. After the presentation by his son, it was dedicated by the then minister of the day, Reverend Kenneth MacLean.


Following the dedication, the sacrament of holy baptism was observed, and four little boys were baptised: George Taylor Fellowes; Walter Robert Lawson; Alexander Thomas Edward Bruntonand Douglas Robinson Marshall.


In the 1928 newspaper, the font was described as “an object of ecclesiastical furniture necessary for the work of the church, handsome in design, beautiful in workmanship and representing the latest thought in font construction” - still a beautiful piece of our heritage to be exceptionally proud of.


In those days, Reverend Cameron would lead an adult Bible class on a Sunday morning, conduct the morning worship service here, and then walk to and from Limehouse to conduct their afternoon service. He was much in demand as an anniversary preacher; he was Chairman of the Georgetown High School, a member of the Senate of Knox College and Moderator of the Toronto Presbytery. He was the only minister to die while he was serving our church, and it was quite a shock to the congregation. When he first took ill, it was expected he would fully recover, but as the local newspaper reported in his obituary “The pitcher, however had gone too often to the well.” Rev. Cameron was only 58 years of age. After a private service at the manse, then a rented home on Market Street, a service was held here in the church, and it was filled to overflowing, with the elders acted as pallbearers.


In 1937, the large bronze tablet on the wall of the sanctuary was also unveiled and dedicated to this minister and his wife, donated to the church by the Buds of Promise Sunday School class of our church. It bears the inscription “To the Glory of God and in grateful and affectionate memory of the Rev. Robert Fleming Cameron, who departed this left 20th August 1924, minister of this congregation for twenty years, and of his beloved wife Margaret Anderson Ketchen, who passed away 21 August 1926. Together they conducted the work of the Master with wisdom, courage, sympathy and devotion, which endeared them to all. These words show the esteem in which this congregation held Rev. and Mrs. Cameron.



…Dawn Livingstone