The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 38
The annual meeting of the Dumfries and Kirkcud bright District, No. 44, was held in the vestry of the Congregational Church, Irving-street, Dumfries, on Friday, February 14th, Bro J. Herron, D C R, in the chair. From the secretary's report, it appears that the number of Tents is six, and the total membership 305, being an increase of 53 during the year. The accounts showed a balance in favour of the funeral fund at the end of 1877 of £119 4s l ½d; an income during the year of £56 1s 10 ¼ d; and four deaths had occurred, entailing an expenditure of £40; leaving a balance in hand of £135 5s 11 ¾d. There are also four Juvenile Tents in connection with the District, with a membership of 138, being an increase of 12 during the year. There is at the credit of the juvenile funeral fund the sum of £27 19s 9 ¼d. After the revision of the District Bye-laws, the following office bearers were elected:—D C R, Bro Eraser, Dalbeattie; DDR, Bro Gourlay, Kirkcudbright; Secretary, Bro T. C. Farries, Dumfries; Treasurer, Bro F. Armstrong, Dalbeattie; PDCR, Bro. Herron, Dumfries; Auditors, Bros Brown and M'Kill. Bro Armstrong was appointed to represent the District at the Moveable Conference to be held in Manchester.
Excelsior Tent.—The anniversary of the Excelsior Tent was celebrated the same evening by a soiree in the Irving-street Temperance Hall, at which Mr. C. Moore, C R, presided. The Tent, it was stated by Mr T. C. Farries, numbers scarcely 30 members; but it is financially in a most satisfactory position. It is the wealthiest in proportion to its membership of any in the District, having, in the course of three years, accumulated a capital of £58. There had only during these three years been some £5 or £6 paid on account of sickness among members—a proof at once that total abstinence promoted health, and that abstainers who wished to connect themselves with a provident society were more likely to get the full value of their money by joining one founded on abstinence principles, and which was consequently not burdened with the increased sickness which had been proved to exist among non-abstainers. There had not been a single member on the sick-list during the whole of this severe winter. Excellent addresses were delivered by Mr Southcot, Rev F. Binns, and Mr Rodger. The last named gentleman spoke specially of the Rechabite Order, of which he highly approved, as not simply a temperance society, but one which supplied what had long been a want in connection with the temperance movement. It did not only seek to make them sober men, but it educated its members in provident habits, and helped to preserve that independent spirit which we were in danger of losing in these days. Songs were contributed during the evening by Messrs John Muir, J. Gibson, J. M. M'Millan, R. Kerr, and T. Stobo.
Abstainers' Right Tent,—The sixth anniversary of the above Tent was celebrated by a soiree on the evening of Friday, 31st January, 1879, when 170 persons sat down to tea. Provost Shortridge presided. He was accompanied on the platform by Bros. Dr. page 62 M'Culloch (honorary consulting physician of the Tent), Dr. John Cunningham (Tent Surgeon), Rev. J. Strachan, Bros. J. Glover, James Houston and J. H. Brown. The Chairman expressed his cordial sympathy with the objects of the Society. Bro J. H. Brown, secretary of the Tent, read the sixth annual report, which stated that notwithstanding that our Tent has been little over five years in existence, and though the claims on our sick fund have been many, there is still a considerable balance to the credit of this fund, viz., £58. Our membership at the beginning of 1878 was 100; at 31st Dec. it was 113, being an increase of thirteen during the year. He also read a short report regarding the Cunningham Juvenile Tent. Dr M'Culloch, Dr John Cunningham, and Rev Mr Strachan also addressed the meeting, urging the members to take greater interest in the Juvenile Tent and try to keep up its meetings regularly. Songs were given in the course of the evening by Mr Beattie, Miss Smith, and Mr S Smith, a reading by Mr Robertson, and a recitation by Mr Wilson.