Booth's Religious Beliefs

"God Helps Us"

"God Helps Us." The Latin inscription over his desk in the main foyer of 252 Metcalfe Street reflected Booth's confidence in the Lord.

A lifelong Presbyterian, Booth regularly attended church, sitting in the Booth pew three seats back from the pulpit. He donated generously to several church causes, but declined any public acknowledgement of his generosity.  One of his most visible contributions was a large stained glass window, donated in memoriam of his wife, Rosalinda, after her death in 1886. (Unfortunately, the window-maker misspelled her name, for it appears as "Rosalind" rather than "Rosalinda.")

St. Andrew's Church, Ottawa circa 1930's

Despite his desire to avoid public notice, Booth remained an influential member of St. Andrew's. In the early 1920s, Canada's Methodist, Congregationalist, and Presbyterian Churches were in the midst of negotiations to form what would eventually become the United Church of Canada. When a vote was taken on church union at St. Andrew's Presbyterian, Booth was driven to the church to cast his vote of opposition. Upon entering the church, Booth commented as he looked around, "If the Methodists want to take this over, I'll build you a better one." The congregation voted down church union.

A result of his strong faith, Booth freely gave of his energy and talent to other worthwhile endeavours. His granddaughter-in-law, Mrs. Marjorie Booth-Blyberg, states that Booths faith caused him to care for his workers when there were fires and to look after widows and children when workers were killed on the job.  Booth maintained a great interest in hospitals and particularly in St. Luke's Hospital at the corner of Frank and Cartier Streets, which he helped establish in 1897. He contributed substantially to it for many years, built a whole wing on the hospital in 1903, and was the chairman of its Board of Trustees for many years.