Bishop Isaac Stringer used this donation box to collect and carry money for the Anglican Missionary. He took the box on his many voyages to remote areas of his diocese asking the parishioners for donations. The collection box was unique to the Yukon. It was made to resemble a packed dogsled. This was an official Yukon Diocese collection box used by missionaries from 1900-1935. Parishioners, well wishers and members of the Anglican Community could donate money by placing bills and coins in the box through a slot on the sled.
Isaac Stringer was born on April 19, 1866, in Kingarf, Ontario. In 1888, he began courses at the University of Toronto and Wycliffe College, the Anglican Divinity School, studying the arts and theology. In early 1892, the Bishop of the Mackenzie Diocese, William Day Reeve, addressed the Wycliffe students about the need for missionaries to go to the Arctic to work with the First Nations. He accepted the posting on February 17, 1892. On May 15, 1892, Stringer was ordained and the next day departed for the North. He arrived at Fort McPherson on the Peel River in the Northwest Territories after a journey that lasted 60 days and included travel by train, ox cart, foot, scows, and steamers. Meeting the boat was Archdeacon McDonald, a veteran of 30 years service in the Arctic. McDonald greeted Stringer warmly and introduced him to missionary life. The Stringers spent three weeks on Herschel Island and then returned to Fort McPherson for the winter.
In December 1896, Stringer's wife Sadie gave birth to Rowena Victoria, the first of five children. In the spring of 1897, they returned to Herschel Island and set up a mission and remained here until 1901. In 1905, Isaac Stringer was consecrated as the second Bishop of Selkirk (Yukon) and the Stringers relocated to Dawson City. In his new position, Stringer travelled his vast Diocese visiting the scattered parishes. On many occasions he would return to his beloved Herschel Island where his missionary career began.
On September 1, 1931, Isaac was elected Archbishop of Rupert's Land and the Stringers moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba. The last few years of Stringer's life were difficult ones. Plagued by re-occurring illness and worried about the church's financial losses due to embezzlement by a trusted law firm, Isaac Stringer's health was compromised. Sadly, he died of heart failure on October 30, 1934.
Archbishop Owen spoke simply and sincerely of the death of Isaac Stringer: “A great soul has been taken from us - great in simple goodness…strong in quality and without guile. He was utterly genuine. Over the vast area of Canada there are tears of sorrow shed today. There is lamentation on the banks of the great rivers of the north, in the scattered communities of the Arctic Sea,…in the solitary tent and in the miner's hut, in the trapper's camp, for the one they called the Bishop is dead. Their companion, their father, their friend of 10, 20, 30 years has gone from them.”
- Old Log Church Museum
Old Log Church Museum, Whitehorse