From the Millennial Star, 9 April 1936 –
They came nearly five hundred strong. Every portion of food was served in a piece of yesterday’s newspaper – and paid for with a British copper.
It was the first annual winter social of the British Mission Association, held in Salt Lake City February 28. Into a hall almost too small they poured in a seemingly endless stream. At the door they paid 15 American cents and received in exchange an English penny. Even the feel of the large copper coin was a delight. But the real thrill, bringing to many a sore touch of homesickness, came when the penny was set on a counter between vinegar bottles and salt shakers in exchange for some honest-to-goodness fish and chips.
Then some of the old dances. Even a try at the veleta. And a grand climax of familiar songs with God Save the King a final ringing chorus.
On the stage in the background was a large Union Jack, flanked on one side by a smaller model and on the other side by the Stars and Stripes.
That peculiar smell of hot fat, of crisped potatoes, and of fish – filleted, dipped in batter and then browned – filled the hall. Greasy fingers, squares of news print and broad smiles best told the story.
In order to get fresh, suitable fish it was necessary to telegraph to Seattle and import it by special delivery a distance of nearly 800 miles. Two boys from England, at home behind the tiled counters, with a returned missionary, handled the kettles.
The British Mission Association is active in keeping alive the happy memories of saints and missionaries who have lived in Britain. More than that, it is endeavouring in every way possible to cultivate the spiritual interests of its members.
Temple excursions are held at which work is done for British dead. Sunday night meetings are sponsored to keep British missionaries active, and at the same time acquaint the people of Utah with the spirit of a British branch and the atmosphere of the mission field.
At the time of the annual Spring General Conference of the church a reunion is held at which an excellent programme is given, followed by dancing. In the summer an outdoor event is held, a holiday which brings to mind Whit Monday or August Bank holiday when the branch rambles over the hills with lunches and balls.
Then at the time of the fall General conference another reunion is held similar to the one in the spring. And now we have had a winter party – and we hope to have one every year.
Midnight came quickly. The heat under the kettles was shut off. The crowd filled out to go to their homes all over the city. One lad from Lancashire opened the kitchen door a little, took a deep breath of the scented air, and remarked, “Eh, ba gum, ’twas a good party.”
– By Elder Gordon B. Hinckley