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A Few Minutes in Glasgow, Scotland, 1892

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 27, 2013

I love these minutes of the Teachers’ Council – the report meeting of the ward teachers, generally equivalent to today’s home teachers – because they are so nearly verbatim that we can get a sense of the individual personalities involved. And while I don’t quite understand the controversy on 9 October over the minutes of 11 September, the controversy is charming. Who knew that being a clerk could be so hazardous?!

11 September 1892

Minutes of Council Meeting, Held in Hall, 89 Ingram St Sept 11th 1892. L.E.7. P1. T1. D1. were present. [i.e., 7 local elders, and one each priest, teacher, and deacon]

Meeting opened with prayer by Bro. Jas. Clark.

Minutes of previous meeting read.

After which Bro. Barnes, Said that Jos. Thomson should read Thos. Thomson.

Bro. A. Stewart, Said he had not visited all his district as reported because he had not visited Bro. Clark and he said so at the last meeting.

Bro. G. McAllister, Said that it was Bro. Richards that confirmed Bro. Greer instead of Bro. Moore as reported. The Sec. was requested to make these alterations. After which Bro. Clark, Moved & Bro McAllister Seconded that the Minutes be adopted. Which was unanimously agreed to. The motion was unanimously agreed to.

Bro. Clark, Said he would suggest that Bro. R. Stewart as Star Agent. This was put before the council when all voted with the exception of Bro. R. Stewart.

Bro. Nelson, Said we might have released Bro. Barnes.

Pres. Leggat Moved that Bro. Barnes be released as teacher from the1st & 3rd dist. This was unanimously agreed to. He (Bro. Leggat) Said he did not think it would be wise to appoint another in his place as there were a few difficulties that required to be settled first.

Pres. Leggat, Said the teachers might present him with the number of houses in their respective districts.

The Secretary asked if it was necessary to follow the Teachers when so doing. Pres. Jos. Leggat, Said No.

After such was done, there were some remarks made by some of the brethern; and the Sec. asked if they were to be reported.

Pres. Leggat, Said yes.

Pres. Leggat, Said he would take charge of the 4th district if it was the minds of the brethern. It used to be urged that a man living in a district was not capable of teaching in that district, and that because he was too well known; but he held that if a man was not capable of teaching in the district of which he was a resident, he was less capable of teaching in any other.

It was unanimously agreed that Pres. Leggat take charge of the 4th district. Bro. R. Stewart was chosen to assist him. Bro Wm Leggat, was asked to assist Bro. A. Stewart. Pres. Leggat, Said there was no use of appointing men, who did not seem to take any interest in the affairs of the Branch. There was Bro. Wm Hunter, a faithful young man; but he was very seldom at these meetings, it may be that he has been hurt by so doing, for I believe he is of the right material; but I think it would unwise to appoint him a Teacher in the meantime, and he does not stand alone.

Pres. Leggat, asked Bro. Clark if he would take charge of the 1st & 3rd dist.

Bro. Clark, Said he would endeavour to his best.

Prest. Leggat, asked Bro. Clark, if he would have any objections in taking Bro. Wm Dunkerly to assist him. Bro. Clark, Said he had not. He also asked if it would not be wise to change the numbers of the districts. Pres. Leggat, Said yes, and we would number them from the rising of the sun.

1st & 3rd Dist, was changed to 1st Dist, which begins at Park head. 2nd Dist, same as formerly. 4th & 5th District’s changed to 3rd Dist.

Bro. A. Stewart, asked what about Granger, of Maryhill. Bro. Clark, asked if these people had not been cut off, when in the Partick Branch. Bro. A. Stewart, Said yes; but they had asked him & Bro. McAllister to visit them; but they had been unable to do so. Bro. Clark, Said that was all right. Pres. Leggat, Said we would try to arrange to get them visited.

Those previously named who were selected as teachers, were unanimously sustained.

On the Sec. (W.L.) asking if the vote was unanimous in all cases, Pres. Leggat, answered yes. Bro. Clark, With the exception of yourself. Bro. Wm Leggat, Said he could not write and hold up his hand at the same time. Bro. Clark, Said he heard an Elder once say, that it was necessary, that the individual chosen, should vote, as well as the choosers.

Pres. Leggat, asked if there was not any more business to be done.

After this question was asked an unseemly scene ocurred.

Pres. Leggat, All those who are in favour of adjourning please raise the right hand. All hands were raised with the exception of Bro. Nelson’s.

Benidiction by Bro. G. McAllister.

9 October 1892

Minutes of Council Meeting, Held in Hall, 89 Ingram St. October 9th 1892. T.E.4. L.E. 5. P.2. T.2. were present. [i.e., 4 traveling elders/missionaries, 5 local elders, and two each priests and teachers]

Meeting opened with Prayer by Bro. Jno. Nelson.

Minutes of previous meeting read. After which Pres. Jos. Leggat, asked if any one seen anything wrong with the Minutes. Bro. Jas. Clark, Said he thought they were correct. Pres. Leggat, asked if any one, would move their adoption. Bro. A. Stewart, Said he would. Bro. Jas. Clark, Said he would second it. Which motion, was unanimously sustained.

Teachers Reports.

1st Dist. Bro. Clark, Said he was pleased at being able, to meet in a council capacity, this morning. In company with Bro. Wm. Dunkerly, he had visited all his district. He round the reports of his predecesors to be true. He had visited Bro. & Sis. Hay, and they had promised, to renew their covenants. He would not have mentioned their name, only, they had been reported before. Visited Sis. Thomson, found her unwell, she desired to have the ordinance administered; but he found there was no oil in the house. He hoped to be able to administer to her as soon as possible. He had found in Bro. Dunkerly a humble, but willing worker. This was all the report he had to make concerning his district, and if he had omitted anything, he hoped Bro. Dunkerly would be able to report the omission.

Bro. Wm. Dunkerly, Said he could corroborate the report of Bro. Clark; for it contained nothing but the truth. He was pleased at the privilige he had, and hoped that they would be the means of bringing back to the church some who had fallen from the same. He hoped that God would bless them to this end, for Jesus sake. Amen.

2nd Dist. Bro. A. Stewart, Said he had visited nearly all his district. Could not report it as very good. Some of the houses that he visited, he did not obtain admission; but to those he was admitted, he found a good spirit prevailing, with one exception. There is no use of me naming the party, as you all know who I mean, and I will leave it to you to deal with them. He was accompanied to this party’s house by Bro. Richards; and to nearly all the others, by his son. (R. Stewart.)

Bro. R. Stewart, Said he could corroborate the statement of his father, so far as he had went with him.

Bro. Richards, asked if he would be allowed to say a word.

Pres. Jos. Leggat, Said yes, we are just waiting on you.

Bro. Richards, Said he had a suggestion to make concerning this party. They reside a good bit from Bro. A. Stewart, and I was thinking, that I & Bro. McQueen could visit them, that is, if Bro. Stewart has no objections, and try to get a talk with them.

Bro. A. Stewart, None in the least.

3rd Dist. Pres. Jos. Leggat, Said he was sorry he had no report, he hoped the brethern would bear with him. He was so placed that when he was working, he had not much time to spare for visiting, and when he was not working, he had to look for work. One night last week, he was looking for work till 5 O’clock at night and it was1/2 past seven before he was able to get home. But he hoped to be able to get his district, thoroughly visited this month; for it kept knawing at his heart. He was pleased at the reports given by the teachers, more especially, of the healthy report given by Bro’s Clark & Dunkerly, he only wished he had had as healthy report to give, and also all the brethren. He sympathized with those who went to teach, and found the doors barred. And he thought it was very hard on a man, who, after working hard all day to exert himself to get them visited. It seemed that when some hear the teachers are coming, they say, let us bar the door, for here the teachers coming. He knew what it was. He believed the teachers required a little more help, asked Bro. Wm Hunter if he could help us

Bro. Wm Hunter, said he was thinking of attending night classes, therefore he would not be prepared to come at a minutes notice. Pres. Leggat, asked if he would try to assist him. Bro. Hunter, Said he would do his best. His appointment was afterwards unanimously sustained. Pres. Leggat, asked Bro. Nelson, if he would help them. Bro. Nelson, Said he felt he was better as he was, he did not feel like going to teach, in the meantime.

Bro. A. Stewart, Said do you not think, that it is too far, for your son to come to me, and for my son to come to you.

Pres. Leggat, They are both young men, and I dont see anything to hinder them.

Bro. A. Stewart, Bro. McAllister is now relieved, perhaps he can help us.

Bro. Geo. McAllister, Said true he was relieved; but he did not think, he would have time to go, to the far end of Govan, once or twice a week.

Bro. Stewart, There’s nobody asking you to go to the far end of Govan.

Bro. McAllister, That’s right enough, but I see what’s coming.

Pres. Leggat to Bro. McAllister, Do you think you will have time to assist Bro. A. Stewart.

Bro. McAllister, Yes.

His appointment was afterwards unanimously sustained. Pres. Leggat, Said he was very pleased at the suggestion of Bro. Richards. They as Traveling Elders have not so much to trouble them, as we Local Elders have, and consequently, could drop in unawares on the people.

We would notice, by the Minutes, that an unseemly scene had transpired, and Bro. Nelson’s name, had been mentioned as not voting for the adjournment of the meeting; which would seem to indicate, that the whole blame lay with him (Bro. Nelson). He might say for the satisfaction of all, that a reconciliation had been made since then, so far as Bro. Nelson was concerned. The disagreeing parties had met, with mutual faith & confidence in each other, and thus the breach was healed.

Bro. Nelson, Said he would like to say a word or two, on this matter. He was surprised that no one had checked the Minutes when they were read. Now, I have no recollection of the vote being asked, nor of any of the rest voting. Because, his eyes were closed at the time. He however, took great interest in the closing prayer, and it was because of this, that he had refused to go and teach. And I may say, that the mentioning of this could have been avoided. There was no use of referring to what transpired.

Bro. Wm Leggat, Said Bro. Nelson’s remarks had been directed to him, more than any one in the Council, because he was the taker of the Minutes. Addressing Bro. Nelson. How could I have avoided the mentioning of this matter? I must, in some manner or other, have referred to it.

Bro. Nelson, by putting the question, which I asked, and which I was right in asking.

Bro. Wm. Your question is here, and I told you, that the matter could be had, nearly verbatim reported, if desired. Wont you admit there was a scene?

Bro. Nelson, Yes, but it was after I asked the ques[tion].

Bro. Wm. Leggat, Leaving this matter aside, I hold the position of Secretary, and I give in my resignation. You can accept it, or reject it, so far as I am concerned, the place is vacant.

Pres. Leggat, Said that it was because of his advice, and pleading with privately, that the Sec. only referred to the scene, so that no ones feelings might be hurt, by a verbatim report. It is the Secretary’s duty, as well as his privilige, to give as full, and as truthful a report as possible, and he has also the privilige of showing mercy. There has been considerable difficulty with the Secretaryship of this Branch. We should remember, that the Sec. is no way to blame for what we say, and if we are not prepared to meet what we say, we should not say such. I told the Sec. that if the report of the scene was urged for, all he had to do was to produce it. That report, I believe, he has beside him.

Bro. Nelson, Said if he would have thought that it would have offendend [sic] Wm., he would not have spoken.

Bro. Wm Leggat, It does not offend me in the least ioata.

Bro. A. Stewart, Read the Financial Report for Sept., which in brief, was as follows: Income £1-9-8. Expenditure 10/9. Which was unanimously accepted.

Bro. Nelson, Said that it might have been stated, what the money was paid to Bro. Richards for.

Bro. A. Stewart, Said he could easily have done that. When Bro. Thos. Hoggan Died, Bro. Richards gave £1, to help to bury him, and I think Bro. Richards was quite right in claiming it. We had to pay 15/, Bro. Richards giving 5/ as a gift, which I think was very good.

Bro. Clark, And I think so too.

Pres. Leggat, Said the New Year was drawing near. We had a social gathering every year, and he had no doubt, that the Saints desired to enjoy themselves this year as well as any. As time draws near, however, Hall rents increase, and the sooner we look for one the better. I think we should try to get the same Hall as we had last year, because we were very well suited in every way. Asked Bro. Nelson, if he knew the price that was paid for the Hall last year.

Bro. Nelson, Said he thought it was £2-10/.

Pres. Leggat, Said we had better appoint the Committee.

Bro. Clark, I propose Bro. Nelson for one.

Bro. Nelson, I would rather not, because I have been in the Committee nearly every year.

Pres. Leggat, The very reason why you should be in this one.

Bro. Wm. Dunkerly was also proposed.

Pres. Leggat, Asked Bro. Dunkerly if he could find time?

Bro. Dunkerly, Said we could rely on him doing the best he could.

Bro. Wm. Hunter, proposed Bro. Jas. Clark.

Bro. Jas. Clark, proposed Bro. Wm Hunter, and said that one good turn deserved another.

Bro. A. Stewart was also proposed.

Bro. A. Stewart, Said he had got enough last year.

Bro. Jno. Nelson, proposed Bro. Wm Leggat.

Bro. Wm Leggat, Said No.

Bro. Wm Hunter, Said we had better appoint the whole of the Priesthood.

Pres. Jos. Leggat, Said that remark off Bro. Hunter’s should be looked to.

Bro. Wm Leggat, Said that was proposed last year but had not been carried out.

Bro. Jno. Nelson, Said he would give the benefit of his experience. He did not think it would work.

Bro. Wm. Hunter, Said seeing that such considerable time, had to elapse before the ocurrence, he thought the whole of the Priesthood should have the matter in their own hands.

The Committee appointed, were asked to look after a Hall.

Bro. Wm Dunkerly, Asked how we liked the Hall we had in Ingram St. about two years ago.

Bro. Robt. Stewart, We had not enough of room.

Bro. Dunkerly, I noticed there was a party below, who seemed to be indulging in drink pretty much, and used vulgar & abusive language. I know that Bro. Nelson had a little difficulty with a man on stair, and I thought that Bro Nelson had great forbearance with him, for had it been me I would have thrown him down the stair.

Pres. Leggat, Said we were very well fitted last year.

Bro. A. Stewart, And we had a splendid floor for the dancing.

Bro. R. Stewart, And a fine platform for the singing.

Pres. Leggat, Said the next thing was the appointment of a Pres. of our committee.

Bro. Jas. Clark, Was unanimously selected as such.

Pres. Leggat, Said the next thing was the formation of a singing class & a Mutual Improvement class. We thought we could have them both on one night, but such had been objected to. All who are in favour of having the singing class on one night, and the Improvement class on another, please raise the right hand.

All hands were not raised.

Pres. Leggat, Asked all who were willing, to sustain them in the formation of a singing class, to raise the right hand.

All hands were not raised.

Bro. Richards, How sustain you.

Bro. Clark, By your pocket, Bro. Richards.

Bro. Richards, I thought that’s what was meant, and that’s why I asked.

Pres. Leggat, Said we can be sustained by your presence, if not by your pocket.

Bro. Dunkerly, Said he had a suggestion to make, viz: That seeing it was sacred music we wished to learn, he thought Sunday would be a very good day to learn.

Pres. Leggat, said that would depend on the teacher.

Bro. A. Stewart, Said he was afraid, that we would not get a teacher for Sunday.

Bro. Clark, Said he thought Saturday night would be a very good time, if we could all find time. He thought we would be too hurried for time on Sundays. Some had to make their breakfasts before coming out, and we were out from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Not but I would tackle.

Bro. Dunkerly, Said if we filled our stomachs too full, we would not be able to sing very well.

Pres. Leggat, Said we would have to see a teacher first.

Bro. A. Stewart & Bro. Clark, simultaneously, have you not seen one yet.

Pres. Leggat, No, I require the authority from the Priesthood before I can do so, and as we are pretty unanimous, I will endeavour to see one at once. If this is all the business, we will adjourn.

Bro. Wm Leggat, Appoint a Secretary first.

Pres. Leggat, The meeting has been detained long enough already.

Bro. Wm. Leggat, It wont be detained much longer by so doing.

Pres. Leggat, The matter has not been moved.

Bro. Wm Leggat, Well, move & carry it.

Bro. A. Stewart, I wont move it for one.

Bro. Wm Leggat, It does not matter whether it has been moved & carried or not. I hold the position, not the Priesthood, and it is empty so far as I am concerned.

Pres. Leggat, We wont appoint another in the meantime.

Bro. Wm Leggat, You will put yourself in a difficulty, for I wont take the Minutes of next meeting.

Pres. Leggat, All in favour of adjourning, please raise the right hand.

All hands were raised.

Benidiction by Bro. Jas. Clark.

W.L. Sec.



9 Comments »

  1. Ha. The fiery-tempered Glaswegians.

    (That’s a stereotype right up there with the tight-fisted Scot, so it’s amusing that it showed up in these notes.)

    Comment by Amy T — March 27, 2013 @ 7:43 am

  2. I wish all church meetings were this entertaining.

    Comment by Grant — March 27, 2013 @ 8:46 am

  3. I’m going to forward this to our clerk, and encourage him to make sure to record all the good stuff! I remember some relatively “unseemly scenes” from the early days here in Brooklyn, and some reader a century from now really deserves to find them in the minutes.

    Comment by Mark B. — March 27, 2013 @ 10:06 am

  4. “no oil in the house.”

    It was in a similar meeting that I ran across a mention of the drawbacks of using fish oil for administering. It was a bit earlier than this, though.

    Comment by J. Stapley — March 27, 2013 @ 10:14 am

  5. Down right interesting minutes. I wonder what their descendants would say if they read the comments of these men. Fun stuff.

    Comment by Maurine — March 27, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

  6. Priceless. One can only hope they got a secretary for the next meeting, as it would be a shame to not have the minutes if these two entries are typical.

    Comment by kevinf — March 27, 2013 @ 1:46 pm

  7. Ha ha! Fantastic, Ardis. Never having been in attendance at any priesthood committee meetings, I cannot speak to the present-day similarity to those of olden times, but I’ll bet I can rustle up a few brethren who can…
    I think I spy the ancestor of a friend whom I shall ask for confirmation. Even if it’s not his grandfather he’ll be highly entertained by the proceedings.

    Comment by Alison — March 27, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

  8. Alison pointed me in the direction of this earlier today and as I lie in a hospital bed gazing at “the far end of Govan” I am crying with laughter. It reminds me of so many ward councils I’ve attended! Thanks for posting, this is priceless stuff.

    Comment by anne (uK) — March 30, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

  9. I wish these wonderful brethren of the 1890s could have some idea of the pleasure they have given all these years later!

    And I’m so happy to see you able to check in, Anne.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 30, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

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