Blasts from the past

on 16 April 2013.

From the Parish Magazine dated November 1875.

“An event, which may be thought to illustrate the salubrity of this district, occurred in the decease of a centurion at Chilton, on October 7. It seems to be ascertained, without doubt, that John Stocker who died at his son’s house on that day was upwards of 101 years old.”

From the Parish Magazine dated November 1878.

“Our readers will be glad to learn that the Rev. J.P. Farler, Chaplain to Bishop Steere of Zanzibar, has promised to give an address on mission work in Africa, in the Hungerford Corn Exchange, on the evening of Thursday, November 7. Mr Farler is well known in this neighbourhood as a former Curate of Lambourne; and lately his name has been more widely known as one of the most energetic small band of Missionaries who have devoted themselves to the evangelization of Central Africa under Bishop Steer.

Mr Farler returned only a short time ago from the African Mission field, and hopes to go back forthwith to Zanzibar with recovered health and increased resources to prosecute his important enterprise. Those who have read Mr Stanley’s “Through the Dark Continent”, will perhaps remember the terms in which that adventurous traveller speaks of Bishop Steer and his companions. Mr Stanley while preparing for his search after Dr Livingstone stayed some time at Zanzibar in order to collect men and materials for his march across Africa, and in describing the state of things in that barbarous region he says “Almost single-handed remains Dr Steere faithful to his post as Bishop and chief Pastor. He has visited Lake Nyasa, and established a Mission halfway. He keeps a watchful eye upon the operations of the Mission House established among the Shambulas; and at the head-quarters or home at Mbweeni, a few miles east of Shangani Point, he superintends and instructs lads and young men as printers, carpenters, blacksmiths, and in the practical knowledge of other useful trades.

His quarters represent almost every industrial trade useful in life as occupations for members of the lower classes; and are in the truest sense, an industrial and religious establishment for the moral and material welfare of those he has collected around him. This extraordinary man, endowed with piety as fervid as ever animated a martyr, looms grander and greater in the imagination as we think of him as the one man who appears to have possessed faculties and gifts necessary to lift this mission, with its gloomy history, into the new life upon which it has now entered. With all my heart I wish it and him success.” The chair will be taken at 7.30. A collection will be made in aid of the Central African Mission..

Footnote; The meeting was well attended and the collection amounted to £4 14s 6d.

Written by Hugh Pihlens and reproduced by kind permission of the Hungerford Virtual Museum

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