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Principal Rainy on the Colonies.

The Rev. Principal Rainy was present afc the annual festival of the Sutherland Association in "Edinburgh .on the 16th i January, and after remarking- that his grandfather was a Sutherland minister, referred to his recent visit to the Australian colonies. He said that although there were plenty of Highlanders in these colonies they did not associate . in groups to the same extent as they did in Canada, and as one illustration he did not know a single instanceof a Gaelic congregation there. The Highlanders were mixed all through the population. Both in Australia and New Zealand many had prospered remarkably and had proved themselves to be extremely solid and able men. As an instance he might mention Mr Duncan Gillies, Premier of Victoria, who was a man of pure Highland blood. The Australian colonies were not so well fitted for settling on the land as Canada. If any people "were goitsg; to Australia or New Zealand with a view, to settle on. the land,, his advice would be-.first of all to take employment and work as servants for a while until they were able to look around them. With. regard to the general features of the country, New Zealand was to Scotchmen the most attractive place. If they wanted mountain scenery and a country with some poetry about it, undoubtedly New Zealand was that country. One thing that characterised these countries was that they had a very lively conception of the liberality with which they should borrow money, and perhaps they went a little too far and fast. One thing that struck one was the diffused comfort that characterised the whole population. The oppressive want and hard struggle of life were of course experienced to some extent, but what one saw as a rule was a generally diffused comfort and a high level of living. They had no 7 mercy on the climate of this country; they regarded us as living in a miserable region, and considered; themselYo3 as living in warmth and sunshine. To a large extent that was true, and the consequence was that they lived an open-air life, as in' the southern parts of Europe- It would be a mistake to suppose that they were behind us. They were really •wvll up in everything belm^ng to the culmiv :niil d\:li-'i'i'-ii of liiV. and in some things were even ahead of us. They did not hesitate "about things." They always plenty of money to do what was necessary, and, whether right-or wr6ng, the Government did more freely there the kind of work done here either by voluntary liberality or otherwise. There was certainly.a distinction between the young colonists and the old. The old colonists, were the people who cleaved most to the connection with the mother country; but among a certain section of the younger ones there was an idea tliatthey could do things better themselves, and so they went in for independence, and Australia for the Australians. At all events, he thought the wonderful v work done in those colonies,had > not been done by the young colonists but by the old colonists. The people who did the work were not those born in Australia but those J i^Rr <iriJso©fclarul 3 _llnglaml, and?; Ireland, which"went to show what they could ;do on the other side of the world.—(Applause). His friend Dr M'Gregor, when in Australia, had on one occasion said to a young colonist, What have you done ? Was it you that did all these things ? The doctor put the case very plainly by telling a story about a man who was to give an opinion about a minister but was very unwilling to say anything ; but when much pressed he said, "Well, I'll say one thing for him, she was a grand, body his mother !"—(Laughter and applause.)

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Bibliographic details

Principal Rainy on the Colonies., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2396, 9 April 1890

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Principal Rainy on the Colonies. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2396, 9 April 1890