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Presbyterian Church.

: ♦ ANNUAL SOIREE. It seems but yesterday, to an old Ash-! burton resident, that the Presbyterians,' not by any means then a numerous body, clubbed their pounds, and contributed in labor and in kind, to build the concrete church in which worship is to-day held. Yet it. is fifteen years since that was done, and things are now very much different. In those days the cause was in ■the hands of a pioneer whose district comprised the whole Ashburtou county. One. Sunday his voice would be heard preaching, the go 3 spel.tp,th,e :i $etblers,away^ up.on the .fringe of the mountains, the same evening he would conduct service in the Ashburto'n church, arriving there just in time, cold, hungry,'and mud-bespattered from a hard ride over country in which the roads were of the most primitive character ; next Sabbath we find him on the sea coast in the morning, at Rakaia in the afternoon, and again at Ashburton in the evening: The third Sabbath he would begin his labor, in the township, and preach the same day at-Wakanui and Longbeach, fording the river to reach the latter place. Population has increased somewhat since then and became more concentrated. The county is now' in the hands of four clergymen instead of one, and there are now three Churches instead of one and three manses. The district l«ft to be ministered to by the clergyman resident at Ashburton comprises the town and suburbs north of the river, and the district of Wakanui. By the division of labor consequent on the increased number of clergymen there are but few families indeed in the * county who have not the opportunity of attending a Presbyterian service of some sort at least once a week. t '"''" „ , : The annual tea soiree of; the Church at Ashburfcon has always been, as sporting men say, an important' "fixture," arid Presbyterians from all parts of the district have usually made it a point to be present. Thus a full ■ building was always to be counted upon. 'Not always has the weather been kindly—in fact the ' 'fixture" has a.somewhat " watery " reputation in 'this respect—but this year the clerk of the weather was in the best of tempers and a mild "'fore nicht" with a clear moon made everybody comfortable, although the country people would have a rather dusty drive home in the nor-wester that blew, afterwards. The Oddfellows' Hall, when the public were - admitted,,. presented a gayappearanck Mrs (Andrew Orr, Mrs John Cochrane! and, several other ladies, had sent handsome donations of flowers to decorate ihe stage, and^ the t bouquets were most tastefully displayed along the circle of the foot lights. Deserving of special mention were the handsome chrysantheums sent in by Mrs George Lamb, Elgin, several of which were actually mistaken for i dahlias of the first order. - A departure from the usual cast-iron rule of : tea meetings in Ashburton was made, and instead of the usual tea tables, tea "was" served faldng the;' Benches to the company. ■.-, This was jolly ejiough and had £he* y advantage ~of doing away with the necessity for clearing the hall ;and replacing the seats ; but the innovation, seemed to deprive the gathering of much ;of its ..usual heartiness, and could not be said to be as popular as was the old arrangement. We are not able in this issue to .give the nameb of all the ladies who supplied the good things in such lavish abundance, and who with the other ■(■■\ .'.V>v-.v".1 T{""ar~rds dispensed the ■:.: ■ ■ ■ -i- . ■ d must be content : ■ ;. i' ■ ■":,■ ■■ .■■■■„ was done in the .■ s: ' " • ;: ■■ . ! -Vl-handed style that characterises the annual tea meeting of the Presbyterian Church. The good things disposed of, the Rev A. M. Beattie,M.A. took the chair, with him on the platform bring the.Revs J. H. Boothroyd, J. N. 1$ii!!l»>. P. R. Riddle, J. H: .".ml A. Blake. '■' The 1 after-meeting began with prayer, followed by a well played piano solo by Miss Emma Orr.' Then the choir sang in excellent tune>and with 4ue-regard to the f T'pi\y-«ioTi Tr.-.rk' .WV- Vogler's sweetly <i,,\ i: 11.I 1. >i :■•■" "i-, ■'! " II tly.is the Lord our ';: :."■ \Tv 1...-.1 <.'■■■ iiiacting admirably, filili Mi&o KkLii applying the organ accompaniment with her usual taste. The other anthems given equally well were Gounod's " Jesus Word of God Incarnate " and^ the well known "The Righteous shall be Glad." Charles Godban's "Eventide" was also very well sung by the choir. A musical programme was gone through in the intervals of which addresses were delivered by the clergymen present. The programme comprised ton Water" by Mr Kersal; " Jessie the Flower o' Dumblane" by Mrs Crisp, sweetly sung indeed, and for an English woman showing a fair mastery of the Scotch accent; "The Old Bridge" by Mr Millar; 'Comin' thro' the Rye" by Mrs Denshire," in which the archness of the young lady who declined to, be looked upon as ; neglected by the swains was given ppint to by thig well-known sweet singer; Sullivan's '• Sailor's Grave" by Mr H. G. Flower ; " The Highlaridmens' Toast" by Miss Kidd, with Mrs Denshire .playing ■the accompaniment; "Pull Away" by Mr Millar; "Jessie's Dream" by Mrs Denshire in which the pathos of the pathetic but generally considered apocryphal story of Jessie Brown'at Lucknow was not neglected. This song had to be repeated, of course, to an audience of this kind,, and the applause was of the heartiest. Mr Kersall was the next singer with • 'Rocked in'the Cradle of ttie:Deep," in which his fine voice was heard to good advantage. Mr Flower's "Annie Laurie", was a pleasing effort, and altogether the musical part of the programme was of a superior caste. The Chairman in opening the meeting spoke shortly of the church's history. It was now eleven years since he had been first welcomed as their pastor by his people in the old Town Hall: It had^ver been his aim to cultivate a kindly feeling in the congregation and in the town, and to make use of such influences as would be agencies for good to his people, and to his neighbors, and to make his work and his people's work such as would be productive of good, both among themselves'ahd those around them who were of the household of faith. He had tried to keep alive a kindly feeling with those who differed from them, and he thought he n had succeeded At anyrate he * did not think he had made any enemies, and he knew he had made many friends, during the 11 years he had been in the district. The Rev P. R. Riddle, after apologising for not being a good tea meeting speaker, told an illustrative story of a clergyman who,' at a moment's notice,' was asked to preach a sermon, and found himself sadly unprepared.,, In his journal he annotated the effort with .three Scotch expressions—"Haverin' awa," " Warstled thro'" and " Sair forfouchen." Mr Riddle did not "haver," but gave some good practical advice, and if he "warstled" at all when he finished, he gave no sign of being ei^T '•:■■' /My 011o 11 physically " forfoucher-"" ■ f.-ii i .-mil. ')' The Rev .1. 11. M.Kc- /!;> made proverbs his'theriie, >,and lin.th'e course of a most 1 rafcy -" address, bristling with happy anecdote and apt illustration urged the young , colonists to ' slack not in their effp,rts;to emulate their ancestors who had.made the history of the Old' Country. There had been many evil and disagreeable '1;-.- Ir.ri.-H over \>y ilio colonists to ■"'■<■ ''-ii" i.'ilfhi- ■■. -pari-.i-.- -, the institution of the publichouse, and' the racecourse, and so forth—but he urged the young people to stand loyally to their ( l.nisf;. and make oftho colony which M'«'is ' theirs ?i nation ilmf- should bo OkhVs. ! Rev. J. X Buttle K;iid tho history of : £ho Old Country was a long and a chequered history. But the 'martyr

i spirit w.;.s in the breast of young Ne .'■ | Zealand as it had been in the breasts o -, I the Old Britons. There had been heroes | developed even in New Zealand s short | history, and he mentioned in this :. ; connection the names of Sir (xeorge ■ >. , Grey, Bishop Selwyn and o™">rs, ■ : I both lay and clerical, and if Bishop .-. Julius, when he died, lori, a record behind him equal to tli:ii. of Bishop Selwyn it would ho a brilliant record indeed. If the young people wi>ro I<> oniul.uo the works ■? t of sue!' hioii n>, lliose, and to follow on in ';.;; the pail-s thoir Saviour li.-i<l followed, tho ; dark wriHiif; loft by drink,' hone' racing, s gambling aiid oilier evils, would be ex- ,- punged, and in its placd, the luminous motto .would be written^'^igfe^usness esalteth a nation." , ... The usual votes'of thanks were proposed by Messrs: il. orr^^ v l^alc9lm and ,D. Williamson, arid*, a yery wie*n3oyable : : evening closed mtli.the Benediction. , ;■':;'•

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900430.2.19

Bibliographic details

Presbyterian Church., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2414, 30 April 1890

Word Count
1,454

Presbyterian Church. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2414, 30 April 1890

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