Posted by: preshist | February 14, 2014

Men and Women

[2014 marks the beginning of the centennial of World War I, the Great War.  This is the second in a series of articles taken from Presbyterian publications for relating to the Great War.  This is an extract from the Men and Women column originally published 10 February 1914.  Perhaps the editor found this report in a news release and thought it suitable to adapt for his readers?]

Alfred Noyes, 1913.  Image from Wikimedia Commons

Mr Alfred Noyes has evidently been making a great impression in America, not only by his lectures on literary subjects, but as a peace propagandist.  The reading of his poem, “The Wine Press,” at a meeting of a New York club is reported to have aroused a great wave of feeling against the horrors of war.  On Christmas Eve a new play of his, “Rada,” a tragedy of the Balkan War, was given at a festival of the MacDowell Club, one the most prominent literary and artistic organisations in the United States.  When it was read to the committee, it proved to be so grim that some of the members strongly opposed presenting it at Christmas.  Others thought nothing could be more appropriate, and after no small discussion its production at the festival was finally decided on.

The Wine Press

A MURDERED man, ten miles away,
Will hardly shake your peace,
Like one red stain upon your hand;
And a tortured child in a distant land
Will never check one smile to-day.
Or bid one fiddle cease.
 
 It comes along a little wire,
Sunk in a deep sea;
It thins in the clubs to a little smoke
Between one joke and another joke,
For a city in flames is less than the fire
That comforts you and me.
 
Each was honest after his way,
Lukewarm in faith, and old;
And blood, to them, was only a word,
And the point of a phrase their only sword,
And the cost of war, they reckoned it
 In little disks of gold.
 
They were cleanly groomed. They were not to be bought.
And their cigars were good.
But they had pulled so many strings
In the tinselled puppet-show of kings
That, when they talked of war, they thought
Of sawdust, not of blood;
Not of the crimson tempest
 
Where the shattered city falls:
They thought, behind their varnished doors,
Of diplomats, ambassadors,
Budgets, and loans and boundary-lines,
Coercions and re-calls.
 
Slaughter! Slaughter! Slaughter!
The cold machines whirred on.
And strange things crawled amongst the wheat
With entrails dragging round their feet,
And over the foul red shambles
A fearful sunlight shone.…
 
The maxims cracked like cattle-whips
Above the struggling hordes.
They rolled and plunged and writhed like snakes
In the trampled wheat and the blackthorn brakes,
And the lightnings leapt among them
Like clashing crimson swords.
 
The rifles flogged their wallowing herds,
Flogged them down to die.
Down on their slain the slayers lay,
And the shrapnel thrashed them into the clay,
And tossed their limbs like tattered birds
Thro’ a red volcanic sky.

The poem was not printed to accompany the article in The Outlook.  We can only guess what readers would have made of it.  Alfred Noyes’ play “Rada” is available on Project Gutenburg.

By Andrew

Posted by: preshist | January 7, 2014

The Church and the World: A Chronicle and a Comment

[Happy New Year to our Readers.  2014 marks the beginning of the centennial of World War I, the Great War.  Presbyterian Research is beginning a series of articles extracted from The Outlook: The Official Organ of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand related to the Great War.  This is the first article in the series.  It is taken from the Editor's weekly editorial in The Outlook.  These were published under the heading The Church and the World: A Chronicle and a Comment.  The author is only named as the Editor.  In 1914 this article was most likely written by Mr Alfred Grinling.  This article was originally published January 20 1914.]

The main menace of the times in which we live is the decay of authority, and the added fact that in the endeavour to prop up a decaying authority by force, the force-authority has bred a force-resistance which in its turn is breeding a spirit of anarchy.  The thing was inevitable, and has been forseen by the thoughtful from afar off.  It is the outcome of a vain attempt to rule the world and to organise society without the vital influence of religion at its back; and the hope of the Church consists in the dawning realisation on the part of social reformers everywhere that a real religion is, and must be, the main spring in all permanent reform.  The great need of the moment is an all-round revival of faith, faith in God, and faith in man.  The root reason of our existing social problems and religious difficulties is unbelief, leading to suspicion and distrust. Rev. J. Brierley, who has been contributing to the “Christian World” some inspiring articles on “The Revival of Faith” and on the relation of Faith to Life, has a fine passage, which is exceeding pertinent to the existing condition of affairs:-

Faith, in all the spheres, has shown itself the governing principle, the motor force of human progress, and if there is to be any further progress it will be on its lines.  The next step, if progress there is to be, will lie in a great national and international act of faith. How is the present madness of armaments to be stayed? How is this vampire to be strangled which is sucking the life blood of the people, choking all social reform, all attempts for human betterment? We look to statesmen, to cabinets, in vain. There only talk is of more armaments at home against the more armaments abroad. And, of course, while this class of sentiment is the only one appealed to, the sentiment of fear and the sense of brute force as the one arbiter, there can be only one result — the reaching out to further extremes of frenzy, with ruin at the end. Is there no way out? Suppose we were as individuals, as a nation, to appeal to another grade of sentiment; suppose some one nation — a foremost nation — threw its whole force into a great act of trust! Suppose it appealed to its neighbours on their better side instead of their worst. Suppose it as saying to its neighbours: “We rejoice in your prosperity, believing the prosperity of one people helps that of all people. We have no desire to injure you, and we believe you have no desire to injure us. Possibly we are mistaken, but we will take that risk. And as a proof of our sincerity we will stop this race of military expenditure. We shall devote henceforth our surplus income to the improvement of our social conditions.

“Ah!” it will be said, “you have miscalculated the risk.” But have we? Why is it that all the peoples talk and act on the war level! Is it not that nobody— no State or Government, that is — talks on any other? We are, and, of course, others arm. But to disarm! We have not tried that. Would the disarmed nation be attacked? Supposing it were, it would live henceforth in history as the martyr nation, which had performed the noblest, highest act of courage since the Cross of Christ. But we feel sure it would not be attacked. Instead it would be followed; it would lead the van into a saner, a higher future. If the United States of America would do this — it can best afford it — it would deal a stroke for human liberty far more effective than its own revolution, and would cover itself with a  glory such as its vastness of territory and its accumulated wealth can never secure it.

Mr Brierley’s opinion as to the part the Church is called upon to play in this matter has strong significance.  “We venture to say,” he writes, “that the Church, so far as its relation to the nation is concerned, has no more solemn duty upon it than to express in this direction its faith in faith. It won its triumphs of old by believing that the weapons of its warfare were not carnal, but spiritual. It proved, not for itself only, but for the world, that the spiritual was stronger than the carnal; that the appeal to the higher in man is an irresistible appeal. Jesus believed, that with publican and sinner it was safe to use this spiritual and His faith was justified. If he believed in the spiritual for publicans and sinners, may we not believe it for Germans and Austrians? We have tried the other appeal to them, but not this. We shall have no way out of the present imbroglio till the Christian Church begins once again to indoctrinate the nation with Christian principle; till, by the passion of its own enthusiasm, it fills with this faith the man in the street and the man in the Cabinet; the faith in the highest in man; this faith, with all its glorious risks, with all its glorious and sure results.”  This same thought is borne out by the editor’s comments in the English Review for December, based upon Jim Larkin’s appearance in the Albert Hall, London. We may say in passing that the English Review is one of the publications of the present, which, like the Nation, no man who desires to accurately gauge the modern trend can afford to overlook. There may be much in its pages which one will incline to question, and much with which one will profoundly disagree, but the force, and sincerity, and earnestness of the appeal no one will dare to question. The editor of the English Review, hailing Mr Larkin’s presence on the platform of the Albert Hall as “an event in the public life,” goes on to say:-

He stood thereon as the harbinger of a new Labour policy which now that it has been inaugurated, is not likely to go back. It is the policy of action, the spirit of the time is with it. As the women have succeeded in setting up a kind of reserve of sex anarchy and outlawry — Miss Pankhurst now goes about with a bludgeoned escort — so the conditions themselves have become anarchic. As man too follows woman, so woman have invariably stood in the van of revolutionary movements.  The Carson policy in Ulster is obviously derivative from the women’s example and prompted by the same principles.  Force breed force, as the wind stirs the waves.

The whole of Ulster is arming, preparing to resist the law of England sanctioned by Parliament and the Crown by force of arms.  But in Dublin the transport workers are Home Rulers, are imprisoned by the Government and treated with gross violence because they came out on strike for a wage of bare subsistence . . . Why should Ulster have carte-blanche to stir up rebellion and the poor of Dublin be hounded to gaol, because they are seeking to improve their economic position? . . . in reality this Dublin strike trouble is far more urgent and potentially serious in the world of Labour than is the question of Home Rule, and that the Government should be so preoccupied as not to see it is matter both of regret and wonder.

By Andrew

Posted by: preshist | May 29, 2013

Research Network Meeting – 13 June

 

   NZ PRESBYTERIAN

RESEARCH NETWORK

Winter Lecture

‘Bringing up children in India is no joke’:

Presbyterian children, young people and the missionary

movement before World War 2

by

Dr. Hugh Morrison

Hugh is Senior Lecturer at the College of Education, Otago University.  His main research interest is New Zealand Missionary activity and Global interaction and is particularly interested in the missionary education of children and youth

Thursday 13 June, 2013

5.30pm -7.00pm

Join us at the

Knox Centre Seminar Room, Hewitson Wing,

Knox College, Arden Street,

off Opoho Road.

 Refreshments 5pm         Gold coin donation

Posted by: preshist | April 23, 2013

Zealous Patriot to Ardent Pacifist

Roslyn Presbyterian Church Memorial Window

Roslyn Presbyterian Church Memorial Window

‘The life in the trenches is decidely on the rough side but could be a good deal worse…we are now used to leaving the shave and wash.  While actually in the trenches we do not sleep ’, wrote William Hopkirk from ANZAC, Gallipoli to his minister James Gibb, of St. John’s Wellington in November 1915. ‘At times snipers make us bob our heads & when the high explosives come over it is time to ‘duck’.  A few of our fellows have already been hit.  I am sorry to say some of them either killed immediately or fatally wounded.  When things like that happen one begins to see the real meaning of war, though I understand that it is when an advance is in progress that the worst of the whole business appears.’  It was such an advance that William Spottiswood Hopkirk’s short life of 24 years ended 1 June 1916 in Armentieres, France.  His last letter of April 1916 spoke of looking for signs of the end of war and would if he could ‘about double’ and make for New Zealand.  He felt however that he must do his ‘little bit’ but God willing, ‘we will be back some day’.

Wireless Station and Dugouts, ANZAC.  copy from Alexander Turnbull Library

Wireless Station and Dugouts, ANZAC. copy from Alexander Turnbull Library

Will, as he called himself, was one of the many committed St. John’s Bible Class men who exited the congregation to participate in a ‘war that would end all wars’.  The Bible Class Roll of Honour has some 120 names and in August 1918, 61 members were on active service.   The death of men who showed such promise as Will Hopkirk disturbed Gibb considerably and was a contribution to his ‘conversion’ from a ‘zealous patriot’ to an ardent pacifist.

Rev. D.C. Herron conducting military funeral at Dommcourt, France, 1918

Rev. D.C. Herron conducting military funeral at Dommcourt, France, 1918

Gibb’s ability to influence the war effort through his sermons, patriotic  addresses to numerous organisations, magazines and newspapers led him to comment in the 1930’s that he ‘was as good as a recruiting agent during the war’.   His militarist fervour was supported by many  but there were those who did not let his comments and statements go unchallenged even from the service men he wrote to.

The correspondence that has survived from the soldiers reflects their individual doubts as to the outcome of the war as much as it does their sense of responsibility to fulfil the reason they were participants in the first place.   Ian Gow questions the mysterious movements of God when to those at the centre of action the question was how could  the ‘things they see everywhere possibily make for good’?  Gow believed that war itself was a scourge which human beings brought upon themselves.  ‘The mystery is too great for me’ he writes, ‘far from it being a purifier, the war merely burns the dross deeper into the national soul and so one asks, why should an all-loving God allow such a state of affairs?’

Chaplain Major Rev. William Grant who died at Gallipoli, August 1915.  Gibb and Grant worked closely on the Chaplains Committee.

‘Presbytery of Cairo’. Chaplain Major Rev. William Grant, 3rd from left, who died at Gallipoli, August 1915 worked closely with Gibb on the Chaplains Committee.

Gibb did not appear to directly respond to this reflection by one of his ‘boys’. But in a letter to W. Howard Johnson in July 1917, one year on from the death of Will Hopkirk,  he gave some consideration to God’s intent.  An outright victory  did not appear a possibility for either side he surmised, and that maybe the intention of the Divine Providence:  ‘to open the eyes of the nations to the fact that war was not only a crime but an insanity.’ This is in sharp contrast to his jingoism of  mid-1916  when Gibb could say ‘we are pledged to this conflict, to see that Germany’s insensate pride, … merciless cruelty … be brought reeling and crushing to the dust.’

By the end of the war he was appalled at the lose of so many good men and the list of wounded published made ‘doleful reading’.  The long list of wounded and those who lost their lives from St. John’s grieved him greatly.   He noted to a critic that his hope and prayer would be for the human conscience to be aroused to recognise that modern warfare led ‘to waste and woe and horror multiplied upon horror.’

V. Rev. Dr. James Gibb, 1930

V. Rev. Dr. James Gibb, 1930

Gibb slowly came out so to speak and publicly declared his abhorrence for war and from the 1920s on established a League of Nations group within the Church and was President of the New Zealand branch.  He spoke out against compulsory territorial training and conscription, supported the peace movement and was an advocate for disarmament.  He challenged the Church in 1935 to take a stand against war.  If the church refuses he wrote, ‘men will leave the Church in order to be Christians.’

The Rev. Dr. James Gibb died on 24 October 1935.  Five years on the Church he so loved would once again be praying for victory in war.

red & white poppies

by Yvonne

"Young men on their way to Easter Camp stop by a wayside cross erected by their camp mates".   Later the cross was given a symbolic touch, showing Christ crucified and Christ Risen and Reigning.

“Young men on their way to Easter Camp
stop by a wayside cross erected by their camp mates”.

A packed-out gathering  was given a  rare treat  recently  in  Dunedin,  a  showing of  dramatic  images  of  the life of  the church  going  back  a  hundred  years or more.

Myke & Mission photos

Photographs presentation – Mission photograph of Vanuatu (New Hebrides)

Missionary  pictures  once  shown  on the  famous old magic  lanterns  showed  why Presbyterians  were hailed  as  the most  informed folk  in the country  about  the wider world; about  for example,  the  New Hebrides,  China,  India.   A  film-strip ‘The Heart of the Matter’ about the New  Life Movement  in  the  1960’s  showing  the  rapid expansion of  the church and its ministry   into  new  housing  areas,  the   suburbs,  the  work camps of  the huge  hydro-electricity projects.

A new Sunday School in a new Suburb early 1950s

A new Sunday School in a new suburb early 1950s

Fascinating  to  see the  Church  at  the cutting edge of  technology at that  time, and inspiring  to  see the  optimism  and  determination  to galvanize   congregational  energies  throughout  the country  to finance and support  so many new  initiatives.

Women Elders serving Communion at People's Night, General Assembly c.1960

Women Elders serving Communion at People’s Night, General Assembly c.1960

It was a special treat to have  one of the pioneer photographers, Keith Lyon  present,  who had  specially  come down  from Christchurch for the  event, and was delighted to be walking, as  he said  through ‘memory lane.’  Great also, to have Stuart Vogel from Auckland  in the  audience.  For this is  a national  resource, which we can tap into to  explore  our rich and encouraging heritage.

Publicity Committee Audio Visual Library in the Presbyterian Centre, Christchurch, c 1960

Publicity Committee Audio Visual Library in the Presbyterian Centre, Christchurch, c 1960

It  was  certainly   a different   world, a  different  time,  one of our early films even  being shown to  Members of Parliament  and  commended by  Prime Minister, Walter Nash.  Roars of laughter from the audience, greeted,  too,  many  of the  captions  which reminded us  how  far we have progressed  from the  male dominated  church of  just  two generations  ago.  But it was also a wake-up call,  reminding us  of the imaginative and compassionate outreach of  our Church  in our distant and not  so distant past.

'Fathers and Brethren' listening attentively at the General Assembly, 1952

‘Fathers and Brethren’ listening attentively at the General Assembly, 1952

Believe it  or not  we have in our  Archives no less than 180,00  visual images: photographs, slides,  film-strips,  videos, which are being carefully preserved, thanks to the  support  of  the General Assembly and the Synod  of Otago and Southland.

This occasion  was a  first ever  presentation of  a  tiny fraction of  them  by Yvonne  Wilkie,  our Archivist,  and  Mike Tymons, who curates  the  collection. Let’s  hope  there  are more  such occasions, and  that  they can be made available to the whole church.

We also welcomed Anne Jackman  the new  Director  Presbyterian  Research Centre, incorporating the Archives Research Centre and Hewitson Library of which we will hear more about down the track.

by Peter Matheson

Posted by: preshist | April 10, 2013

MANAPOURI AND CHURCHES’ LEGACY OF CARE

The Rev. and Mrs Owen Kitchingman Chaplain, Manapouri Power Project, 1965

The Rev. and Mrs Owen Kitchingman Chaplain, Manapouri Power Project, 1965

The pioneer effort by  Southland National Council of Churches (NCC) to establish an industrial chaplaincy at the Manapouri Power construction sites at West Arm and Deep Cove, Fiordland, began in late 1965 with the Methodist appointment of the Rev. Owen Kitchingham.

Concern for Christian outreach among the men building the dam building at ManapouriDeep was evident before this date, however.  Local Methodist Minister, the Rev. Frank Glen held the first Methodist Church service in April 1961 in a rather makeshift Comalco Hut that served as a cook house and office.  Twenty-one men attended the service representing seven denominations and seven nationalities.  The ‘service’ lasted 30 minutes and consisted of a discussion around a text and a closing prayer.  On the request of those who attended, the local Methodist Church at Ohai placed the Comalco Camp on a six weekly preaching circuit.

Huts at West Arm. Fiordland

Huts at West Arm. Fiordland

The NCC began discussions in July 1961 to include Manapouri in their Industrial chaplaincy programme by introducing a yearly roster of services firstly, at Deep Cove and later extending into West Arm in which all denominations participated.  Reference is made regularly in the Southland Presbytery Minute Books that the bad weather disrupted the ability of ministers getting into Deep Cove for worship and a Chaplain on site would be better able to provide ministry.

Church photography Lindsay Crozier took this picture of the Manapouri township from the air 1966

Church photography Lindsay Crozier took this picture of the Manapouri township from the air 1966

By the time the Manapouri Township was established three years later, the denominations were expressing frustration  among denominations about the delay in appointing a Chaplain.  The delay hinged on the settlement of the lease of the Power House, as ‘the successful tenderer’ would have the complete ‘say’ as to whether a position be established.

Dam settlement at West Arm, Lindsay Crozier, 1966

Dam settlement at West Arm, Lindsay Crozier, 1966

After some pressure on the local NCC Committee and communication with the Company it was finally agreed that the work warranted a full-time Chaplain. The Company was prepared to make a home available at a nominal rent. The £1800 for the position became a nation-wide responsibility shared among six denominations.

The first four generators were commissioned in September 1969,  and the Wanganella Hostel at Doubtful Sound closed down. Owen Kitchingman remained Chaplain until the completion of the Project. The experience he gained while at Manapouri is reflected in the Inter-church Trade and Industrial mission programmes today.

The end of the Chaplain’s work however did not see the end of debate within the NCC and the Southland Presbytery.  Concerns over the effects of the Comalco Project had been rumbling away within the Southland community since the project’s beginnings.  As it neared completion the ecological impact of the initial plan to raise Lake Manapouri by 30 feet to form one large lake with Lake Te Anau became more apparent within the community and beyond. The ‘Save Manapouri’ protest became a passionate and widespread protest movement from 1969 which resulted in a Petition signed by 265 000 New Zealanders.

The Southland Presbytery could not but be drawn into the debate, as the community began to come to terms with a large smelter being built on its doorstep.  This combined with deep concern over the ecological damage of raising the Lake quite naturally brought a division of opinion within the Presbytery and wider membership.

Homes under construction for Tiwai Smelter Workers

Homes under construction for Tiwai Smelter Workers

The NCC urged Christians and ‘all men of good will’ in New Zealand to seek the ‘progress which does not destroy life, but which shows reference to the creation of all nature.’  The Presbytery report stressed that there was spiritual and moral responsibility  in caring for the environment and when measuring progress a balance between material outcomes and the quality of life required to be at the forefront of decision making.

The ensuring year as the protest grew in momentum, the Presbytery cautiously discussed their approach and concluded that individuals were at liberty to raise the issues around the Lake level at the forthcoming General Assembly in 1970.  Mr. V.G. Chewings of Mossburn by way of a notice of motion did just that. To raise the lake when there was clearly established reasons against the wisdom of such action, he argued, was similar to ‘Abraham sacrificing his son after the angle of the Lord appeared’.

Letter from the Public Questions Committee, General Assembly 1970

Letter from the Public Questions Committee, General Assembly 1970

The 1970 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church joined the thousands of New Zealanders in their protest  A letter pressing the Minister of the Crown to renegotiate the agreement with Comalco ‘so that the level of Manapouri may not be raised’ was forwarded by the Church’s Public Questions Committee.

Response from the Prime Minister, Keith Holyoake

Response from the Prime Minister, Keith Holyoake

The controversy became an election issue and a new Labour Government, under the the leadership of Norman Kirk in 1972, reversed the decision and the Lake was not raised.

Leader of the Opposition, Norman Kirk, on flight to Te Anau with Lindsay Crozier, 1966

Leader of the Opposition, Norman Kirk, on flight to Te Anau with Lindsay Crozier, 1966

The Presbyterian Church from 1996 has amongst its ‘five faces of mission’ to make Jesus Christ known, ‘caring for creation’.  In 1970 the General Assembly spoke, 43 years on, is the voice of the Church evident today in matters of the environment and our care of creation?

by Yvonne

This first appear in the Methodist Paper, Touchstone  April 2013.

Posted by: preshist | April 3, 2013

NZ Presbyterian Research Network Presentation

NZ PRESBYTERIAN

RESEARCH NETWORK

Autumn Lecture

Witness and Response: Presbyterianism through

the Lens of a Camera

 

Presented by: 

Yvonne Wilkie and Myke Tymons

Images can open a visual history of the past but what do these images actually tell us

about whom we are and what we represent?

Join us on a journey of discovery as we explore NZ Presbyterian

witness and response through its photographic collections.

Thursday 11 April, 2013

5.30pm -7.00pm

Venue:

Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership,

         Hewitson Wing,  Knox College

Arden Street, off Opoho Road.

Refreshments at 5pm

Gold coin Donation

Posted by: preshist | January 29, 2013

Artefact of the Month: Knox College, Dining Room Chair, 1909

 

Elegant Dining Hall c.1925

Elegant Dining Hall c.1925

 

A folder of invoices can offer quite fascinating information.  Among the personal papers of Sir John Ross is a collection that gives us an insight into the high standards the founders of Knox College wished to attain when it came to furnishing the new College.  The invoices and correspondence are all addressed to  John Ross, later knighted, who was the main benefactor and took the responsibility though his Company Ross and Glendining for ordering the required furnishings and crockery.

Dining Room Chair, 1909

Dining Room Chair, 1909

One of the few artefacts which have survived from the establishment of the College in 1909 is a chair, possibly a dining room chair.  An order was placed through James Park & Co. Importers, General Agents & Indentors in the NZ Express Building Crawford Street, Dunedin on 9 September 1908.

Patterned seat

Patterned seat

Described as Canadian Chairs two models were ordered; 80 chairs with arms made of solid wood with shaped seats for the students’ studies, common room and library and 224 for the dining room, bedrooms, classrooms and servants quarters.

Cross rods to bind the feet diagonally together

Cross rods to bind the feet diagonally together

The cost of the dining room chairs works out at 5 shillings and ten pence each.  An additional 4 pence was added for a reinforcing of cross-rods to be added to these chairs ‘binding the feet diagonally together’ bringing the cost of the chairs to £69.

 

According to the Reserve Bank inflation calculator that today is roughly $26,000. It is interesting to note that the recent refurbishing of the Knox dining room, 100 years on, an appeal was launched to donate a chair at the cost of $250.  The actual cost of the chair was $285.  It is apparent that the cost is more than double what was paid back in 1908.

A note at the bottom of the quote for the chairs states: “our prices are based on a profit of 5%.”  No doubt there is a considerably greater mark-up these days!

Library with 'Canadian' Chairs

Library with ‘Canadian’ Chairs

Posted by: preshist | November 2, 2012

A Fund Raising Experiment: Recipe for Success

The happiness of the human race depending to a large extent on the inspirations of the cook, it follows that, all the world over, cooks need cookery books so began the small review of the St. Andrew’s Dunedin Cookery Book in the 1927 Outlook.  The Reviewer was expounding the wonders of its 12th Edition which included cooking for invalids, first aid to the sick and injured, household hints and advice to mothers from Sir Truby King as well as approximately 580 recipes.

This edition had brought the total sales of the Cookbook over 22 years to 61,000 and raised £700 (roughly $64,157.48 today) for local and overseas mission activity undertaken by St. Andrew’s.

The idea for a cookbook initially came from Mrs Robertson of the St. Andrew’s Friendly Aid Society, an organisation of women who assisted the large number of poor who lived within the St. Andrew’s parish bounds.  Considerable demands for funds to support the local mission activity had seen the Society seek out creative ways of achieving their goal.  The cookbook idea was novel and quickly taken up by the Society. Four women formed a Committee in August 1904 and set about gathering recipes from parishioners and friends.  By December 1904, 2000 copies had been published and ready to sell.

Recipes given by Lady Plunket, found in the 1911 publication

The Cookery Book, the first community fund-raising recipe book published in New Zealand, was a great success with all 2000 copies sold by May 1905.   It was such a success that the Committee had two offers to take over its publication and sale.  The women chose the D.I.C. (Drapery and General Importing Co) who initially agreed to publish 5 000 to 10 000 further copies with the Society receiving threepence for every copy sold.  As the popularity of the publication continued the DIC also continued their support.   The Society remained responsible for editing and having oversight of each new volume encouraging women of standing to contribute their recipes such as the wives of serving Governor Generals, Lady Liverpool and Lady Plunket.  A copy was given to the Queen in 1918 by Countess Liverpool and the response published in the 10th edition and those thereafter where she had been “graciously pleased to accept the Cookery Book”  The last edition appears to be that published in 1932.

Rutherford Waddell in a forward to the 5th Edition, in 1911, notes the contribution of new recipes from Professor Boyes-Smith the recently appointed Professor of the new Domestic Science Chair at Otago University and makes comment about the popular new method of Paper Bag Cookery using parchment type bags.  He notes that the Cookbook is the only book of its genre containing instructions by Truby King on the feeding and caring of children.  Waddell suggests that to be  “thoroughly up to date in the principles and practices in domestic science [one] should buy, buy, buy, the St. Andrew’s Cookery Book!

The recipes do vary between the different editions as new ones are added and old ones removed.  Of the 550 recipes which made up the 1905 cookbook, more than half were for baking, puddings and desserts, suggesting the Scots delight in things sweet, with just 50 recipes for meat, 27 for fish and 19 for soup.   One notable omission from the early editions however, is vegetable recipes.  In contrast the 1927 edition has 46 vegetable and salad recipes which on the whole were supplied by Professor Strong of the University Domestic Science Department. 

Much has been made of where the ANZAC biscuit originated in recent years but it would appear that St. Andrew’s Dunedin women can claim the honour for the first published Anzac Biscuit recipe.  Professor emeritus Helen Leach of Otago found that the first reference to ANZAC with a recipe was in the 1915 St. Andrew’s Cookery Book although the recipe appeared more cake like than a biscuit.   But the 1921 edition published a recipe for ANZAC Crispies which today we claim as the ANZAC biscuit, although research may yet reveal an earlier published recipe.

Community fund raising cookbooks proved to be a popular fund raising activity in the years that followed for many churches and associated groups. As Jane Teal notes in the Kinder Library Bibliography of Church cookbooks ‘Many of these cookbooks are now butter-splattered, do-eared and coverless, but they tell us much about our culinary traditions and developing national cuisines.’ They have come in a variety of formats and appear in many kitchens, but none had the life of the St. Andrew’s Cookery Book.    These publications are worth retaining and hopefully will find their way to our libraries and archives.

 

by Yvonne

This article was written for the Methodist paper Touchstone

Posted by: preshist | September 12, 2012

PWMU Mission Ladies Tea Party

Christopher Templeton donated this wonderful picture postcard of a ‘tea party’ held by the Tokomairiro Presbyterian Women’s Missionary Union (PWMU) to the Presbyterian Church Archives.  He discovered it recently in a second-hand bookshop.

The Minute Book for the group informs us that on 26 August 1908, ‘Mr. Moffat, Photographer, took a group of us on the lawn’.  There were thirteen present at the meeting that day and all are included in the photograph along with the Minister, the Rev. George Miller.

Unfortunately the minute recorder does not list those present but names noted of women who may appear in the photograph are: Miss Salmond, Mmes George Miller, Reid, Bruce, Aitcheson, Haigh, Moore, Gill, A.S. Stewart, Brick, and Gray.  It is possible that Mrs Margaret McNeur is also present.  She was staying at her family home during a furlough from her missionary work in Canton and attended meetings throughout the year.

The photographer, W. Moffat opened  Optimus Studio at Milton in 1903.  His photographs can be located in various New Zealand Archives and Historical Societies.   He had a large business in reproducing photographs as postcards.  A series of picture cards of the grounding of the French barque the “Marguerite Mirabaud” at Chrystals (Akatore) Beach in February 1907 are said to be found in collections ‘far and wide’.

Judging by reports in the Bruce Herald Moffat was a great fisherman and as a consequence sold fishing licenses through his shop.  He also expanded into selling pianos and music.

The picture postcard is post marked 31 August 1908, just a few days after the photograph was taken and sent to Nurse Martha Ledingham at InvercargillHospital.  The sender notes that the photograph was taken in the Manse grounds but on close scrutiny we are confident it was in fact taken on a grassed area at the side of the Church.

The Milton PWMU was not a particularly large group.  They met fortnightly from March to September each year.  Their task to collect and raise funds for Presbyterian missionary activity as well as undertaking any local projects took most of their attention.  The major focus in the fund raising programme was an annual produce fair which was held in September at the close of their year.

During 1908 they raised £66.0.0 for a number of  mission programmes; the largest amount of £20 was collected for the Canton Villages Mission.  They also undertook the task of sewing linen pew covers to cover the back of the pew for Communion  Sunday which represented the ‘table of our Lord’.

Thank you Christopher it is a great photo to add to our collections.

by Yvonne

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