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The Rev. George Miller, Mrs Miller, and the. members of their family, were entertained and formally welcomed to the district at a social held in St. Andrew's Church-' last; evening. The attendance, which was a large one, was chiefly, comprised of members and adherents of the church, but' there were also present a number of persons from other churches in the town. The Moderator (the Rev. W. T. Todd) presided, and amongst those present were'the Rev. Messrs G. Lindsay and R. H. Blair (representing Christchurch Presbytery), J. 0. Mill (Fleniington), G. K. Aitken (Methven), J. R. Burgin (St. Stephen's), and W. J. Elliott (Baring Square •- Methodist), Mr J. M. Innes (Church of Christ), and Ensign ,Hoslrihg (Salvation Army).'

Apologies for absence and telegrams and' letters of congratulation were received from the Rev. John Mackenzie (Moderator of the Christchurch Presbytery), the Rev. G. B. Inglis,-; the Rev. S; Currie, the Rev. W. "W. Brown (Mataura), the Rev. Mr Paul (Mangaweka), the Rev. T. R..8. WoolloxalL and from three delegates at the Conference of the; ' V.M.C.A. at present sitting in Auckland.

..-. The proceedings opened with devotional exercises.

The Chairman, in the course of a few introductory remarks, said that he'was very iileased to see such a large attendance, which augured well, he thought, foi- the success of the new ministry. Four months ago he had stood in the pulpit and declared the charge vacant. His duties as 1 Moderator in the interval had been of the most happy character. He then introduced the Rev .George Miller to those present, and vacated the chair in his favour.

Mr Miller was greeted with very v/a'-m applause on taking over the chairmanship. He expressed his pleasure at seeing so many present, and said that he hoped to know them all personally before long. He asked for the congregation's prayers and sympathy during his coming ministry. The Rev."George Lindsay, representing the Christchurch Presbytery, said that he was pleased -to lie present to be able to congratulate the congregation of St. Andrew's on the settlement of

the Rev. George Miller in their midst. He (the speaker) had known Mr Miller for a considerable time, and had watched with considerable interest his very active ministry. He had known of his very valuable work on the Mataura and Olutha Presbyteries, and in. selecting him the Ashburton congregation had done a very wise thing—(Applause). The speaker was sure that Mi* Miller would do his best for their welfare. He was a thoughtful preacher, and on behalf of the Presbytery. v Mr Lindsay expressed the hope that tlie result of his labours would be. an abundant and rich blessing to the members' of his flock. The speaker wished both congregation and minister all manner of success.- — (Applause). The Rev J. R. Burgin said he joined with them in heartily welcoming the Rev. George Miller to the town of Ashburton. He assured the guest of the evening that there was a most splendid feeling of brotherhood existing between the ministers of the Gospel in Ashburton. He wanted the congregation to do four things for their new minister —to give him their trust, their co-oper-ation, their love and their prayers. If they did that the resultant, blessing would not only be for St. Andrews congregation, but for the whole of the 'other congregations pf the town.—(Ap-, plause). .. , , ■■(.-.'. - The Rev. R. Hi Blair gave a short character, sketch ol the Rev. Mr Miller, from personal- acquaintance, spread over a very long period of years. Mr Blair alsb spoke of the very sterling qualities of Mrs Miller, and said she was a worthy partner of Mr Miller. The Rev. W- J. Elliott congratu-f. lated the office-bearers and members-of the churchTupon their choice of 1 a minr ister. ■•", The speaker had met Mr Miller some'years, ago, and he! could therefore endorse all the gratifying criticisms that had been made by the speakers before him. ,He hoped the new minister would'ha^e a happy and prosperous career. in his new charge. On behalf of the church be represented he had great pleasure in extending to Mr and Mrs Miller a cordial welcome j to the town.—(Applause). j On behalf of the Flemington congregation, the Rev: J. Chalmers Mills also welcomed Mr and Mrs Miller to the district. He prayed that God's richest blessing would be upon them both in the days to,come. The Church of Christ's representative (Mr J. M. Innes) assured the guests of the evening of the prayers and sympathy of his .(the speaker's) people. Mr Innes said he had followed Mr Miller's career as a Chrisitan minister for many years, and felt sure that his work in Ashburton would be for a power of good. ' . ,- Mr J. B. Borthwick,.in the course ot a' short speech, paid a high tribute to the work of the Rev. W. T. Todd as Moderator of the Ashburton Charge during the past five months. Mr Todd had come among them as a comparative stranger; now he was regarded as a friend and adviser. Mr Todd's work had been most faithful, and the congregation could at that moment be handed over to the Rev. Mr Miller in'as loyal a state as when the, Rev. G. B. Inglis had left it. On behalf of the .Finance and Selection Committees Mr Borthwick then handed to Mr Todd a cheque, with which he hoped he . would purchase 3ome memento of the time he had acted as Moderator of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church.—(Applause). Mr Todd briefly returned thanks for the gift, and said that .his term as Moderator had been a most happy one. He had formed some exceedingly cordial friendships. Speeches of welcome were also delivered by Mr J. Lane (on behalf of the Session), Mr R. M. Dunlop (on behalf of the Managers of the Church),. Ensign Hosking (Salvation Army), and the Rev. B. P. Frazer (the Church's General Assembly's Home Missionary Superintendent). ' , The guest of the evening said that as the hour was late he would not, attempt to make a speech, but he could not allow the meeting to close without thanking one and all for the very flattering things which they had,been led to utter. He hoped that too much would not be expected from him.—(Applause.) After a comprehensive vote of thanks had been passed to all who helped to make the gathering a success, the pronouncing of the Benediction by the Chairman, brought the proceedings to a conclusion.

Supper was afterwards partaken of in the schoolroom, during which the Rev. G. and Mrs Miller were given an opportunity of making the acquaintance of the members of the congregation.

The following musical programme was rendered in tho course of the evening:—Pianoforte duet. Master and Miss White; solo, Miss Poss; anthem,' the choir; solo. Mr P. McG. Murray; pianoforte solo, Mrs J. "Forrester, Mus. Bac.; duet, Mr and Mrs E. Craighead; quartet, Messrs TT. S. Gardner, A. Sutherland, P. McG. Murray, and P. Walker.

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Bibliographic details

MR AND MRS MILLER WELCOMED, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8787, 6 February 1914

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MR AND MRS MILLER WELCOMED Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8787, 6 February 1914

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