Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

No.104                       Price 1/4d - with LIFE AND WORK - 8d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        JANUARY 1970.

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

Session Clerk: Mr. Archibald Findlay, Langholm Lodge. Tel. 453.

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

Treasurer: Mr. Donald Lamont, Royal Bank of Scotland, Langholm. Tel. 430.

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. John Scott, 54 William Street.

Text for January: “How happy are the humble-minded". St. Matthew 5. 3. J. B. Phillips Translation.

The Greek word, makarios, which in the A.V. of the New Testament is translated "blessed" is equally correctly rendered "happy" by both J. B. Phillips and Westcott and Hort. The real meaning of the word makarios can best be seen from its usage by the ancient Greeks, they used it to denote the state Of happiness of the gods and the prosperous people of the world.

In this 5th Chapter of St. Matthew Jesus uses this word nine times to describe the good fortune of the people of gentle feeling. How blessed or how happy are the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart, and so on. The word makarios is used at least 30 times in the New Testament, which suggests to me that Jesus intended his followers to be happy people. Indeed, might I go further and suggest that Jesus came into the world to help people to be happy, and tell them how to be happy. For in the days of our Lord's earthly ministry men and women were very much like as they are today, anxious to enjoy life. And this is why we have lately been wishing each other a happy Christmas, and have now begun to wish each other a happy New Year. But Jesus saw clearly that people were in the main seeking happiness in wrong things and wrong ways, seeking happiness in things outside of themselves as though it was something that depended upon worldly success or possessions or place. But here in this 5th Chapter of St. Matthews, Jesus makes it plain that our happiness depends upon certain inner qualities such as gentleness, feeling for others, and readiness to make sacrifices for others.

This was decidedly contrary to what men believed in those days, and decidedly contrary to what the majority of men believe today. But on the other hand most people who have sought after happiness in things outside of themselves and have found it forever illuding them, in the end come to agree that Jesus was right.

Sir Alfred Fripp, an eminent surgeon, has laid it down that happiness is an art which any student may acquire. Success, says Sir Alfred, cannot come to everybody, nor health; but happiness can even though health and wealth elude them. He says it is an art, and requires fostering by practice until it becomes a habit. And then he goes on to lay down twelve rules to be observed in mastering this art and in this sermon I will mention five of them which I would suggest essential in attaining to any degree of happy living.

First — Keep the faith and simplicity of youth

The reason why Christmas is for most people the happiest time of all the long year is because for that brief period we become as little children again, if even for a day. Little children are trustful, heaven lies so near and is so real to them. "Heaven lies about us in our infancy", says Wordsworth. But as we grow older we lose this sense of faith and trustfulness. And it is the lack of this sense of trustfulness that destroys our happiness because our distrust of people and things wears down our nervous system. I have read of a famous Jewish professor, Sir Jake Hardcastle, that he once set his little boy on the table and holding out his arms, asked him to jump, promising that he would catch him. The little fellow jumped - the father withdrew his arms and the child fell smack on the floor. "Whatever did you do that for?" asked the distressed mother. "To teach him never to trust anybody, not even his father", replied the horrid man. Shame on anyone who breaks the faith of a little child. Jesus said of such, that it were better that a millstone were hanged about his neck and he were cast into 'the depths of the sea. The faith of a little child is the kind of faith in which God intends us all to live, the kind of faith which is the secret of all happy living wherever it is found.

Second — Don't cross your bridges until you come to them

You see half of our worries that spoil our chance of happiness are about things which never happen. Like the women mentioned in St. Mark's Gospel in chapter 16. They set out early in the morning to go to the sepulchre to annoint the dead body of Jesus. And all the way they kept worrying, who will roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre; but when they came to the sepulchre and looked, they saw that the great stone had been rolled away and all their worry had been for nothing, as so much of ours is. Lord Baden Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement, once said, "I have had many troubles in my life, most of them never happened".

Third - Keep your friendship in repair

Dr. Johnson once said to Sir Joshua Reynolds, "If a man does not make new friendships as he goes through life, he will soon find himself alone. A man, Sir, should keep his friendships in constant repair". The reason why so many people complain of being friendless is that they have done nothing to keep their friendships in repair. For as that wise man who wrote the Proverbs says, "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly". Yes, and without friends we cannot hope to be happy. Robert Louis Stevenson regarded friendships as more important than worldly wealth or position. He once declared, "A true friend is better than the wealth of the world, for your wealth you leave behind you, but your friend goes with you beyond the sunset".

Fourth — Guard your sense of humour and your sense of proportion

I will not say much on this point except this, that to be able to laugh now and again not only at others but at ourselves, at our own queer ways, keeps our mind happy and healthy. Earl Baldwin placed humour as the finest quality of the British people. He wrote, "The British people have a peculiar sense of humour, we can laugh at ourselves". Again he writes, "Laughter is one of the best things that God has given us and with hearty laughter neither malice nor indecency can exist".

I am sure Jesus had a wonderful sense of humour. We read in the Gospels of Jesus in his preaching, describing the narrow bigotry of the Pharisees being like a man trying to remove a tiny speck of dust from his brother's eye, while a huge beam was sticking in his own. His listeners must have rocked with laughter as he described a big fat Pharisee drinking his soup, straining out a tiny gnat but swallowing a huge camel.

Dr. Leslie Weatherhead tells about one of England's finest preachers, Rev. Denholm Brash, always having at his bedside his Bible and a copy of Punch. So let us cultivate our sense of humour, for it will help us through many a difficult day and from feeling hurt when people meet us with strange looks or silences. R. M. Benson in his book, Through a College Window, says, "God gave us humour to save us from going mad".

And finally — Never brood over the past, memory consists in the art of forgetting

I have read somewhere that David Livingstone clouded his last days by brooding over an unhappy memory. It was when he moved into the African interior of Nyasa, and had left his wife Mary Moffat near the coast out of fear of her contracting jungle fever. And then some people including a Doctor of Divinity began to gossip that Livingstone and his wife couldn't get on together. This so hurt the great missionary that against his better judgement he brought his wife into the jungle interior and within weeks she died of swamp fever. And ever after he kept dwelling on his foolishness in paying heed to idle gossip.

But my friends, it is of no use crying over spilt milk or past mistakes. Whatever there may be in our past lives that is a pain for us to recall, one thing is certain, we cannot go back and live the past better. Don't let past mistakes cloud the present and future, don't brood over the past — for memory consists in the art of forgetting,

There is a lovely story in the book of Genesis about Joseph who suffered many indignities at the hands of his jealous brothers. Later in his life in Egypt, after rising to the highest position in the land, he married and called his first son by the name Manasseh, meaning "God has made me to forget". And that is a grand way to live.

St. Paul had this problem of an unhappy past life. He began his Christian life with bitter regrets, remembering how he had taken part in the stoning of Stephen the first Christian martyr, and how he had sought with zeal to destroy the early Christians. But he soon realised that if he allowed the memory of past mistakes to depress him daily, he would become unfitted for his high calling as a missionary to the Gentiles. Writing to the Corinthians he says, "I am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God". But the time came when he realised that mourning over the past was unfitting him for his calling as well as ruining his happiness and health. And so writing to the Philippians he says, "Forgetting the things which are behind, I press on towards the things that are before," that is to make the future atone for the past.

God in Jesus Christ offers us forgiveness for the past, and we should in humble penitence accept that offer, and then be a priest unto ourselves, forgive ourselves, which means forget the past.

Here then is a prescription for a happy and successful New Year (1) Keep the faith and simplicity of youth; (2) Don't cross your bridges before you come to them; (3) Keep your friendships in repair; (4) Guard your sense of humour and sense of proportion; (5) Never brood over the past — memory consists in the art of forgetting.


Dear Fellow-Member,

Christmas has flashed past. If only seems a few days ago when we were planning Services and parties for the happy occasion. Christmas at the Old Manse has been a specially happy time of family gathering. My son, Dr. Thomas Calvert, with his wife Laura and little son Jason, came over from Pittsburgh; while my daughter Rosemary, her husband David Anderson, and their little son Alastair James, also joined the family party. Robert and William have been home from Bishop's Stortford College. This is what I call a real happy Christmas, members of a family gathered together, especially when some of the members of the family live in distant parts of the world.

Congratulations to Dr. George Watt

We are all highly delighted to find the name of Dr. George Watt in the New Year Honours List. The award of O.B.E. is richly deserved and gives the greatest pleasure to the people of Langholm and district who admire and love Dr. George Watt. The minister, Kirk Session and congregation of the Old Parish Church offers warmest congratulations.

Christmas: Services and Parties

The Evening Service on Sunday, 14th December was led by the Langholm Town Band, with Mr. Mallinson at the organ. This was the first time it has been possible since the Band has been converted to Low or Continental pitch. The Service was a United Service with the Langholm Congregational Church, and with the Rev. Dr. Harry Escott presiding over the Service. Lessons were read by Bandsmen Michael Cubbon, R. J. B. Hill, Walter Brown, and Bandboy Richard Hill. While the Lessons were all well read, special praise was given to the youngest reader, Richard Hill of eight years of age. The in-going voluntary was "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring", by J. S. Bach — and the outgoing voluntary was "Hail Smiling Morn". Many well known carols were included in the congregational singing, and led by the Band and Organ. A special selection rendered by the Band, was "We wish your a merry Christmas", and by Band and Organ, Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus". The Service was well attended and we express best thanks and appreciation to Bandmaster Alfred Chapman, and Mr. A. C. Mallinson, our organist.

On Sunday, 21st December the Morning Service was a Christmas Gift Service with the children of the Sunday School bringing gifts which were received during the singing of the first hymn, and later were distributed to elderly and sick hospitals as far away as Dumfries, and Dr. Barnardo's Children's Home, Hawick. Lessons were read by Helen Graham, Helen Stroud and Ross Elliot. The Primary children sang "Kum Ba Yah", and "He's got the whole world in His Hands". Ian Houston and Ian Miller accompanied the children in these songs with instrumental music, and also rendered a song, "I go to my Church". At the close of this Service parents with babies having their names on our Church Cradle Roll entered the church, and after expressing the thanks of our congregation to Miss Jean McVittie, Cradle Roll Keeper, for her good service in the exacting task of sending our birthday greetings throughout the year, some eighty-seven names of children under three years of age having their names upon the Cradle Roll, were read.

The Evening Service on Sunday, 21st was attended by members of the Woman's Guild, Young Wives Fellowship, and Over 60 Club, when lessons were read by Mrs. Douglas Anderson, Mrs. J. Martin, and Mrs. T. Calvert. The Junior Brigade boys attended and sang "Will your anchor hold?" and "O come all ye faithful".

The Christmas Eve Candlelight Service was well attended, and with Mr. Mallinson at the organ many well known carols were heartily sung, including 'Good King Wenceslas'. Lessons were read by Miss Anne Cartner, William Calvert, Mr. John Packer, Mr. Niall Weatherstone and Mr. Tom Lockie. Mrs. Violet Bell sang 'Silent Night'. Rev. Dr. Dinwoodie led the prayers and Mr. Walter Brown tolled the midnight bell. In a short talk I commended the National Campaign of Britain's Homeless, known as Shelter, as the object of the collection which on being taken up amounted to £25.

Carol Singing in Langholm

On Sunday, 21st December, members of the Youth Club led by Mr. John Scott and Miss Janet Irving went on a carol singing tour during the afternoon. The first visit was to the Thomas Hope Hospital, where after singing a number of carols each patient was presented with a parcel gift suitably addressed. Later the company visited the Greenbank Eventide Home.

After the Evening Service members of the 1st Langholm Company of the Boys' Brigade, Senior and Junior sections, assembled in the Church Hall and after being given carol sheets went to the Thomas Hope Hospital. After a welcome by the Matron a number of carols were sung, first in the ladies ward and later in the gentlemen's ward. Gifts of fruit were presented. Before leaving the Hospital the Matron and staff entertained the Brigade to refreshments and thanked them for remembering the elderly in hospital. Later the lads visited Greenbank Eventide Home, Mrs. Jackson's, Meikleholm, where neighbours were gathered and the home of Mrs. Johnstone, 5 Caroline Street, where again neighbours were gathered. After singing the carols gifts were presented. The lads invited people in the company to make requests of favourite carols and one of the requests was "He's got the whole world in His Hands", which was sung to the delight of all present. The evening outing concluded with refreshments in the Old Parish Hall.

Sunday School Christmas Parties

The Primary School enjoyed a very happy party on Saturday, 20th. Miss Dalgliesh was well supported by the teachers and the programme pf games, refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus was much enjoyed by a large attendance of the younger children.

The Senior and Junior party on Monday, 22nd was again a most successful and happy evening. Mr. John Scott, Sunday School Superintendent, had the help of a large number of teachers.

Over 60 Club Christmas Dinner

The Over 60 Club enjoyed an excellent Christmas dinner in the Old Parish Hall on Tuesday, 23rd, when after dinner Mrs. Flint, hostess, presented all present with a gift. Solos were sung by Miss Jean Ferguson and Mrs. Violet Bell with Mrs. Barker at the piano. One of the highlights of the evening was a dress parade by Mrs. Flint, Mrs. Milroy, Mrs. Hotson and Mrs. Woolnough. The Langholm Town Band played Christmas music and led in carols. The youngest member of the Band was introduced by Bandmaster Chapman, namely Richard Hill, on that very day enjoying his ninth birthday.

Eskdale Old People's Welfare Committee Christmas Party

A company of over 150 pensioners were entertained in the Buccluech Hall on Wednesday, 17th December. After a short Service a Christmas dinner was served. Among soloists for the evening were Miss Jean Ferguson, Mrs. Edgar and Rev. Dr. Oliver Martin. An outstanding feature of this party was the opening of the Border Television Cracker, gifted this year to Langholm. The cracker contained over 80 gifts which were distributed to pensioners on leaving the Hall.

Woman's Guild

The next meeting of the Guild will be on Tuesday, 13th January, taking the form of "A Matter of Public Opinion", with Miss Agnes Steele, Mrs. Jane Pool, Mr. H. W. G. Mackenzie and Mr. James Pattie on the panel.

The Guild Burns Supper will be on Tuesday, 27th January, when Miss Evelyn Smart, M.A. will be our guest speaker.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

Miss Phyllis Bell Laidlaw, 25 Drove Road, passed away suddenly on 9th December. Miss Laidlaw was one who spent much of her life and strength helping others in need. She will be very much missed. Our deepest sympathy with her brothers and sisters in their sad bereavement.

William Irving, 15 Eskdaill Street, passed away on 13th December at the age of 69. He was well known in Langholm and district for his business and greatly liked by all who knew him. Our sincere sympathy with his widow Mary Laidlaw, also Archie and Billy.

Mrs. Josephine Thomson Veitch, 65 Henry Street, passed away in the Thomas Hope Hospital on 30th December at the age of 75. Our sympathy with relatives.

Mrs. Margaret M. Davidson McGowan, 2 Charles Street Old, passed away at East Kilbride on 20th December. She had been in failing health for some time.

Mrs. Elizabeth Allison, 2 Charles Street New, passed away at Notwen House, Kirkpatrick Fleming, on 2nd January at the wonderful age of 89. She was in former days of health and strength one of our most devoted members of the Old Parish Church, never absent from her pew twice a Sunday. Our sympathy with her relatives.

With New Year greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.



£68 1 11


£26 14 9

Special Collections

Special Appeal £410 0 7

Christmas Eve - "Shelter" £25 1 9

"One Day's Pay" £58 11 0


January 11 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Campbell Glendinning, 70 High Street.

January 18 — 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Miss Mary Hounam, 54 Caroline Street.

January 25 — 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Tyman, Barbank.

February 1 — 1l a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. William Hosie, 60 Holmwood Drive.


January 11 — Stuart Alexander, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Johnstone, 15 Charles Street Old.


December 6 — Stephen Donald Albury, 61 Eskdaill Street, to Maureen Ross Borthwick, 17 Henry Street.

December 26 — Kevin Christopher Olsen, 13 Myerslawgreen, Hawick, to Joan Fleming Hislop, 4 Arkinholm Terrace.


December 9 — Phyllis Bell Laidlaw, 25 Drove Road.

December 13 — William Irving, 15 Eskdaill Street. Age 69.

December 20 — Margaret M. Davidson McGowan, 2 Charles Street Old.

December 30 — Josephine Thomson Vietch, 65 Henry Street. Age 75.

January 2 — Elizabeth Allison. formerly 2 Charles Street New. Age 89.

Jesus said, "Because I live, you too will live". St. John, 14 19. N.E.B.