Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Successful Berriedale Boys - Article XIII - Rambling Recollections of Berriedale, Badbea & Neighbourhood – Part D

Article XIII written by Alexander Gunn aka A Native of Badbea was printed in the Northern Ensign on 4 March 1880 – Part D

Successful Berrriedale Boys

"Berriedale has among her sons those who, by dint of steady perseverance, rose to positions of honour and respect; and having referred to natives of Badbea and Auchencraig who attained to an honourable position in society, it would be ungenerous and unfair to pass by the Berriedale boys."

  • John Grant

"The first that I have any recollection of was John Grant, son of William Grant, Rinsary. By dint of perseverance and hard work he qualified himself for the office of schoolmaster. He taught for a short time in the district school at Auchencraig where I received my first lesson. But John struggled on, attended college, and was licensed as a minister of the gospel - one of the highest and most honourable positions that any man can covet. It took no small amount of courage and perseverance for a young lad, without friends or means to work himself up to such a position, especially in those days."

  • James Sutherland

"James Sutherland, a Berriedale lad, occupies a high and responsible and honourable position in a banking house in the metropolis of the nation." 

  • James Anderson

"James Anderson, a widow's son, also a Berriedale lad, left his native country to push his fortune in a distant colony. He emigrated to New Zealand, and by steady, patient perseverance became the owner and master of a fine barque, with which he traded in the Southern Seas for many years." 

  • George Polson

"Another Berriedale man, we may say, was George Polson. He was born in Auchencraig, which he left when a child, and was reared in Berriedale. He also emigrated to New Zealand, and was successful in his adopted country. He became the possessor of 100 acres of land in the neighbourhood of Dunedin, where he lived comfortably and happily for many years."

  • James Rutherford

"Another Berriedale man James Rutherford, is carrying on a flourishing business of his own in Dundee."

  • And others...

"There may be others equally successful as those I have referred to whose positions I am not conversant with, owing to my long absence from the locality, and if any such are omitted the reason will be understood from the explanation I have given."

"I believe that natives of Berriedale and neighbourhood have gained to themselves positions in society, according to their circumstances, as honourable as are to be found anywhere; and if we trace their descendants, we find them following the example of their fathers."

 My Comments:

  •  John Grant "Trollie"

In a later article, Alexander Gunn recalls John Grant’s days as a school teacher at Auchencraig. He is pleasingly frank:

‘”…and after him came John Grant from Rinsary, Berriedale, who possessed some measure of qualification for his office.  He was but young and inexperienced, and was considered to have a “sclate loose” on the upper story, and was known by the sobriquet of “Trollie” meaning silly; but he had a fair smattering of education, and was not so cruel and unmerciful as his predecessor. He also had some ambition, and prosecuted his education, and came out for the ministry.

  • Everywhere

Despite such challenges as the ‘Disruption’ in the church and the Clearances undermining the parish schools, families worked very hard to ensure their children were educated. The result was a generation of people who were well educated, hard working, determined and 'everywhere'.

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