9 Parish Mag No 69 Dec 1966 December1966

Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.69                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       DECEMBER, 1966.

Minister: Revd. Tom Calvert, The Old Manse, Langholm. Tel. 256.

Session Clerk: Mr. John Tyman,M.A. LL.B., Barbank, Langholm. Tel. 223

Clerk to Board: Mr. E. C. Armstrong, Town Hall, Langholm , Tel. 255

Treasurer: Mr. Robert Black, 35 Eskdaill Street.

Organist: Mr. A. C. Mallinson, A.R.C.O., L.R.A.M., 72 Henry Street.

Church Officer: Mr. W Elliot, 3 Buccleuch Terrace.

Hall Caretaker: Mr Donaldson, 7 West Street.


Dear Fellow-Member.

In my letter for December I would like to comment upon services and activities in the past month, and give information about the services and Christmas parties in December.

Special Services and Activities in November.

On the first Sunday of the month I exchanged pulpits with the Rev. Brydon Maben of Newcastleton. Mr. Maben, who is gifted with musical talent and a very attractice personality is fulfilling a fruitful ministry in the linked parishes of Castleton and Saughtree. There were good congregations at Castleton Church morning and evening, and very warm hearted atmosphere and good singing.

On the second Sunday of November we observed Remembrance Day with a United Langholm Churches Service in our church when the response was exceptionally good. I felt proud to share in the Service with Rev. Dr. Dinwoodie, Rev. G. V. Kendall and Mr. Tom Lockie taking part. Seven wreaths were laid on the War Memorial, aad an eighth on the Communion Table, in remembrance of the fallen in the two world wars. I was glad to see an addition to the parade this year. The parade, led by the Langholm Pipe Band included the Langholm Branch of the British Legion, representation of the Royal Navy, Air Training Corps, Observer Corps, Boys' Brigade and Junior Brigade, Red Cross, and Girl Guides and Brownies. We were proud to have Provost Grieve and members of Langholm Town Council present, and the Langholm Town Band along with our organist, Mr. Mallinson, leading the singing. The retiring collection for the Earl Haig Fund amounted to just over €£39, an increase of £910 on last year. I express thanks to all who helped to organise and carry through this memorable Service.

On the third Sunday of November we held the Boys' Brigade Enrolment Service, which was a smart parade led by Langholm Pipe Band, and the standard was carried in by Mr. Gavin Graham. At the commencement of the enrolment I took advantage of the opportunity of paying tribute to Mr. R. Robertson, one of our Elders who has recently retired as Captain of the lst Langholm Company of the Boys' Brigade. Owing to his work requiring him to be frequently away Mr. Robertson felt compelled to take this step which we ail very much regretted. Mr. Robertson was the founder Captain of the Company over eight years ago and has since given devoted and splendid leadership. At the annual display we hope to have opportunity to show our gratitude to Mr. Robertson for his grand service to the boys of Langholm. We have been very fortunate in securing Mr. Jim Kyle, also one of our Elders, and a man with life long experience of the Brigade to take over as Captain, and we welcome him to this office. The Service of Enrolment first included a declaration from the Officers and Warrant Officers,including those of the Junior Brigade, formerly known as the Life Boys. Here I called upon Captain James Kyle, Lieutenants Ramsay Johnstone, Isabel Wylie and Adrian Maxwell and Warrant Officers Roderick Beattie, John Wallace, Gavin Graham. and Linda Murphy to make or renew their promises to serve God in furthering the objects of fhe Boys Brigade. This was followed by a similar declaration by the Non Commissioned officers, Staff Sergeants Ian Innes, James Cairns; Sergeant Brian Porteous; Corporal Cameron Douglas; Lance Corporals Philip Harkness and Niall Weatherstone. Then the serving boys of the Company renewed their promise to obey the rules of the Company and set an example qf good conduct to other boys. This was followed by the recruits being presented by the Captain, and the boys of the Junior Brigade presented by their officer to take the promise that they would obey the rules of the company and set an example of good conduct to other boys. The recruits and junior boys were given cards of membership by the chaplain, and the service concluded by singing the hymn "Stand up, stand up for Jesus". -It was impressive to see a large number' of recruits and the Brigade obviously flourishing in its ninth Year.

The last Sunday of November was in many ways a memorable one for many of us, when a Violincello Recital was given by Mr Horace S. Hogarth, accompanied by Mr. A. C. Mallinson on the piano. This was indeed a real feast of music when two groups of items were rendered. The first included "Ave Maria", Bach Gounod; "serenade"; Squire; "Priere", Squire; "Star of Eve", Wagner. Second group "Berceuse de focelyn", Godard; "Air on the G. string", Bach; and Tarintel1a", Squire. The choice of hymns was appropriate to the First Sunday in Advent, including "O come, O come, Immanuel," and "Thy Kingdom come O God". At the close of the Service I expressed our best thanks to Mr. Hogarth for coming from Carlisle, Mr. Mallinson for"his part so well done, and all others who had helped in the arrangements for the Service.

At the Evening Service we celebrated St. Andrew's Day with hymns and sermon.

During November the Guild held two meetings. On Tuesday, l5th the Erskine Guild members attended as our guests, and a really splendid concert was provided by Mr. McGhee of Lochmaben. On 22nd the Guild programme consisted of films of local interest taken and shown by Dr. Clark.

Services and Parties in December

We commence December with the evening service of the first Sunday being taken by the members of the Over 60 C1ub. The Service will be in the nature of Carols and Lessons, members of the Club reading the Lessons. Mrs. Violet Borthwick will sing "The Holy City".

On Sunday, 11th December the Morning Service will be led by the Boys' Brigade and will take the form of Carols and Lessons. Mrs. Violet Borthwick will sing "Silent Night". The Evening Service will be led by members of the Young Wives Fellowship, and will also be a Service of Christmas Carols and Lessons.

On Sunday 18th the Morning Service will be the Sunday School Children's Gift Service. The children are asked to bring a Christmas gift and the gifts received will be divided among the children of Dr. Barnardo's Home, Hawick, children in the Cumberland Infirmary, City General Hospital, and Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh. The Service will'be conducted entirely by the Sunday School, when the children dressed to represent all nations will enact the scene of the Shepherds and Wise Men at the Manger.

The Evening Service will be a United Langholm Churches Service in the Erskine Church at 6 p'm. The Junior Choir under Mrs. Margaret Smith, L.R.A.M., will lead a Pre Christmas Service of Carols and Lessons.

A 7.I5 p.m. I invite all interested to meet me in the Old Parish Hall to proceed to the Thomas Hope Hospital for a short session of Carol singing.

On Saturday, 24th Christmas Eve, we will hold the Midnight Service of Carols and Lessons, concluding soon after midnight. The Lessons will be read by members of the Youth Club and Youth organisations. The Offering this year will be given, to the Fund for the New Dr. Barnardo's Home in Edinburgh.

On Christmas Day we will hold Morning and Evening Services appropriate to Christmas. Miss Jean Ferguson will be the Soloist at the morning Service. The Evening Service will be led by the Church choir under Mr. A. C. Mallinson, when Christmas carols will be sung and Christmas music rendered.

Christmas Parties

The Young wives Fellowship meet on Wednesday, 7th December when there will be a Christmas Party for the children of the members.

The Women's Guild Christmas Social is on Tuesday, 13th December, when members are invited to bring their friends.

The Over 60 Club Christmas Party is on Tuesday, 20th December, commencing with Christmas dinner at 5.30 p.m. in the O1d Parish Hall.

The Eskdale O1d People's Welfare Committee Christmas Service and party in Buccleuch Hall takes place on Wednesday, 2lst at 2.30 p.m. This is a party for the retired people of Langholm and Eskdale, and will commence wifh a short Christmas Service, followed by refreshments and entertainment.

The Junior Brigade party wiil be intimated later. The Junior and Senior Sunday School Christmas parties will also be intimated later.

The Primary Sunday School Christmas party on Saturday, 24th December, at 2.30 p.m


The Boys' Brigade Christmas party and dance on Saturday, 24th, at 8.30 p.m.

Comment Upon Improvements in Church and Hall

The work of re-wiring the church premises and fitting more powerful lamps has now been completed, and may I add to our great satisfaction. I congratulate Messrs Telfords and their staff, including Mr. Webster, upon excellent work, done without giving us the slightest inconvenience in the conduct of regular Services. The whole character of our worship is enriched by the improved lighting. The electriC organ blower is also a source of the greatest satisfaction, as our capable organist Mr. Mallinson agrees. To get this work carried through we are indebted to one member, or shal1 I say one home whom I am not allowed to name, who donated £100 to the re-wiring. Also of course to the generous bequest of the late Mr. George Mcvittie. Perhaps someone will come forward now and provide us with a power{ul exterior light to bring out the rich colours of the stained-glass window. This would make the evening Services a bigger attraction.

The decoration of the Old Parish Hall is now well under way and to me it is very pleasing. It is making our hall one of the most attractive centres, and gives all who attend meetings or youth parades a higher sense of value in what we are doing. We are indebted to the Women's Guild for financing this work, which is just another example of how much the Church of Scotland owes to the Women's Guild.

Greenbank Eventide Home

I am now able to say that Greenbank, the home of the late Miss Lilian McGeorge, has been accepted as a bequest to the Church of Scotland for use as an Eventide Home. I expect it.will be several months before certain reconstruction work will be carried through, but we can now definitely look forward, I think sometime in 1967, to Greenbank being opened as an Eventide Home under the Church of Scotland Committee on Social Services.

The Church of Scotland Committee on Social Services will require to spend several thousand pounds on reconstruction work in adapting Greenbank as an Eventide Home, and I am glad to learn that the generous bequest of somewhere in the region of £3,000 by the late Mr. George McVittie to Church of Scotland Eventide Homes, will be allocated to Greenbank. It will still be necessary to raise a considerable sum locally, and I am sure the people of Langholm will play a generous part in this.

I hope that elderly people in Langhom, especially those living alone, will noi hesitate to apply for admission while still in good health. It is not the policy of Eventide Homes to admit invalids who are nursing patients, while on the other hand those admitted are in the care of the Home for life. The pity is that many hang on until they are no longer able to care ior themselves and are really hospital cases. This is understandable enough as no one will lightly give up their own home. However, a lovely and comfortable Home being provided in the position of Greenbank, easy of access, and near to old friends, should make a strong appeal to many as a security for the coming years.

It was a very lovely thought of Miss Lilian McGeorge to bequest her home in this way, and just typical of her whole life. She had happy memories of a life of service to others; during the first world war as a V.A.D. nurse and in the years that followed spending many years in laborious effort to help the blind by translating literature into Braille. I would like to think that this Home will in some way be a memorial of her, and her brother Major James McGeorge. I have been told by Alec Erskine, who served in the first world war as batman to Major McGeorge of his exciting life and splendid service to his King and country. Serving in the 5th Battalion K.o.S.B. in General Allenby's Army in Palestine, in the Gallipoli campaign, and later on the battle fields of France. I would like to think that the grand lives of Miss Lilian and Major James McGeorge wili often be recalled for what they were by the people who in the coming days will enjoy security and comfort and happy eventide in Greenbank.

End of the year thanks to many who help me in the work and ministry of our OId Parish Church.

I would like to thank the Elders and members of the Board for their faithful support of their Church. I am very proud of ,the Church Officer, Billy Elliot. He makes my work so much easier and he does everything with such a sense of pleasure. I am proud of the Session Clerk, Mr. Alec Hutton, the clerk to the Board, Mr. Eddie Armstrong, Mr. Tom Coulson who oversees the fabric, men of ability who get things done and know what they are doing. Best thanks to the Church Treasurer, Mr. Robert Black, whose ability and faithfuiness can never be matched. Our organist Mr. A. C. Mallinson seems to become younger and more competent as the years pass. A lot of unseen and valuable work is done by men like Mr. Wood, who has charge of the system of contributing to the church by deed of covenant, a means whereby people on the higher rates of income tax can give what they are already giving to the church tn such a way that our Treasurer can recover the tax paid on that amount. I wish to thank Mary Armstrong for her wonderful work in charge of the Communion Table flower list, who informs flower donors weekly, and sees the flowers delivered to the sick or aged after the Evening Seryice. I also thank all who give flowers, arranged them in the vases, and would add that this means much to the enrichment o{ the atmosphere for worship in the Old parish Church.

There are many others doing a grand job which demands weekly effort and faithlulness. Among these I mention the President of the Guild, Mrs Mina Carter, the Vice President, Mrs. Anderson. The Secretary, Mrs. Wood. The Treasurer, Mrs. Goodfellow and the working Committee. The Sunday School teachers under Mr. Wm. Stuart, superintendent, Primary teachers under Miss Mary Daigliesh. The leaders of Boys' Brigade. Junior Brigide, Guides and Brownies, Youth Club, Over 60 Club and young Wives Fellowship. The work you are doing is a work dear to the heart of our Lord Jesus, whose birthday we will soon be celebrating.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

We were all very saddened by the sudden call that came to Mrs. Helen Campbell of Buccleuch Square, on Saturday, 4th November. Mrs. Campbell was one of the best of women and a member of our Church we can ill afford to lose. She was weekly in her pew, and I cannot tell you how much such people mean to the minister of a large church like ours where the sight of a mass of empty pews can be such a depressing sight. Mrs. Campbell served the Church in Canonbie for many years before coming to Langholm, and for many years represented the Canonbie Guiid on the Hawick presbyterial Council. Our deepest sympathy with Mr. Campbell who feels her loss deeply after 46 vears of happy married life. Also with his son Fraser and Frasers wife who have been such a help and comfort to Mr. Campbell in the past weeks.

On Sunday, 20th John McCall passed suddenlv away. He will be missed very much by the members of the Langholm British Legion Club where he was an active and wise member of Committee. Mrs. McCall is a regular member of our Guild and we extend to her our sincere sympathy. On Monday, 28th November I conducted the funeral Service of Miss Agnes Graham Dalgliesh, who passed away at the wonderful age of 96. Over 60 years ago she left Langholm to become nursemaid to the family of Colonel Buchanan in Wistownshire. How well she had served the family and was loved in return was evident by the fact that members of the family she had nursed fifty years or more ago, travelled from Stranraer, Argyllshire and London to stand by her grave and pay their last respects.

Our deepest sympathy with Mr. Macintosh, Orchard Hill, in the recent loss of his beloved father. Mr. Macintosh is one of our active Elders though we have not seen much of him in recent months because like a good son he has been visiting his father in Haddington.

I take this opportunity of wishing all our people a very happy Christmas and health and prosperity in 1967.



Treasurer's Report

Collections for November 1966

F.W.O £72 6 6


£23 19 8

Annual Envelopes £3 0 0

Deed of Covenant

Boxes £3 17 8

Donations £33 10 0

Life and work Distributers are asked to hand in all monies collected to the treasurer, as soon as possible.

December 11-11 a.m, and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. Wood, Potholm. Morning Service led by Boys' Brigade.. Evening Service led by Young Wives' Fellowship.

December 18-11 a.m. Children's Christmas Gift Service. This Service will be led by the Sunday School when the children Will enact the scene off all nations coming like the Shepherds and the Wise Men to gather round the Manger. Flowers: Mrs Beattie, Park House, in memory of Mrs. Campbell. 6 p.m. United Service with Erskine and Congregational Churches in the Erskine Church. This Service will be led by the Junior Choir under Mrs. Margaret Smith, L.R.A,M., and will take the form of Carols and Lessons.

7.15. p.m. Anyone willing to take part in carol singing is invited to meet me in the Old parish Hall and proceed to the Thomas Hope Hospital for a short session of carol singing to the patients.

December 24-Christmas Eve Midnight Service at 11.30 p.m. Carols and Lessons led by members of Youth Club and Youth Organisations.

December 25-Christmas Dav Services at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. Haylett, Ewesbank, in memory of Mrs. Campbell. Miss Jean Ferguson will be the soloist at the Morning Service. The Church Choir under Mr. Mallinson will lead the Evening Service in Carols and Christmas Music.

January 1-11 a.m. and 6 p.m. New Year Services. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. J. Macintosh, Orchard Hill.


November 13-David William, son of Corporal and Mrs. Alan Scott, Royal Marines, Plymouth.

December 4-Andrew Kennedy, son of Dr. and Mrs. James Srnith, Clifton, Langholm.


November 4-Mrs. Helen Campbell, Buccleuch Square. Aged 79.

November 20-Mr. John Robert Kerr McCall, 30 West Street. Aged 68.

November 26-Miss Agnes Graham Dalgliesh. Aged 96.

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."-2 Timothy 4. 7.

On Thursday. 8th December, the Rev. Donald MacKay, from the Parish of Dalrymple, will be inducted to Burnfoot, Hawick. Burnfoot was until recently a Church Extension charge in the new housing district of Hawick and has now a membership of over 700.


Among the first women to be elected elders under the new law passed by the General Assembly in May is Mrs. M. Vrugtman, of the Church of Scotland congregation in Amsterdam. Mrs. Vrugtman's late husband served for many years as an elder in the church and was also Session Clerk.


Boys' Brigade Parents Committee Coffee Morning in the Old Parish Hall on Saturday, 10th December at 10 a.m. Proceeds in aid of Boys' Brigade and Junior Brigade activities and camp.


Everybody knows what and when Christmas Day is, but how did Christmas all come about and what is its true meaning? If it is objected that we have no real means of knowing when Jesus was born, we can admit that at once. For it was not until the middle of the fourth century that 25th December was chosen to commemorate the birth of Jesus.

From time immemorial a great feast known as the Festival of the Coming of the Light was held on or about 25th December by the pagans. They had noticed that the world gradually came under the grip of increasing darkness, and this aroused in their minds the dread that the world would soon be plunged into, eternal darkness. But they noticed that round about 25th December this tendency was arrested and that days began to lengthen and light return to the world. So in honour of the great sungod Mithras they held a great festival to celebrate the Coming of the Light.

Now the early Christians very wisely didn't condemn this pagan festival but gave it a new significance. The festival of the Coming of the Light was taken to celebrate the coming of Jesus as the Light of the World, and called the festival Christ mass when the birth of the Babe of Bethlehem was remembered. Not a bad choice for the early Christians, for the coming of Jesus into the world meant the coming of the light in very many ways. It meant as the ancient Prophet had foretold it would, that "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light, they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined."

So the festival of the pagans which spoke of the conquest of light over darkness now came to have a new meaning.

The birth of the Babe in the Manger at Bethlehem reminds us of the conquest of light over darkness in other ways than in the physical world, it reminds us of the power of love over hate, of the victory of life over death. Jesus was born into a world of darkness in which men believed in vengeance, that if anybody did you an injury your plan was to get your own back. But Jesus showed men a better way, the way of love and forgiveness. On the Cross He prayed for his enemies: "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."' Jesus was born into a world where death seemed the last word. Aristotle the Greek philosopher said: "Death is of all things the most terrible, for it is the end." But Jesus by His death and resurrection has taken away the sting of death and declared that it is not the end but a new beginning.

Jesus brought the light of freedom to a world in the grip of the darkness of bondage and slavery.

Mr. Bertrand Russell once said that if he had his choice he would have chosen to live in ancient Athens. Well, in ancient Athens three of every five men you might have met in the streets would have been slaves. Rome had a population of 1,600,000, and 900,000 of them were slaves. But the coming of Jesus marked the beginning of the end of slavery.

Jesus brought the light of laughter and song into a world of sadness and fear.

Men were afraid of evil spirits. They thought of God as they thought of man, as someone who would wreak his vengeance upon any who earned his displeasure. But Jesus declared God is Father: "When ye pray, say, Our Father." And no father worthy of the name would will harm for his own child. The world into which Jesus came was a world of sourfaced religion, a religion of rules and threats. But Jesus showed men that religion is friendship, trust in the heavenly Father, praise and song, happy living and loving service.

So the early Church didn't make a bad choioe when it chose the pagan festival of the Coming of the Light as the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. And I suggest that we will be using Christmas Day to its best purpose if we spend some little part of it getting to know the Man Christ Jesus a bit better. And we will do that if we join with our children in church and adore "the child born to be King" by singing the lovely carols that speak of the wonder of His lowly birth at Bethlehem.