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LADY BRASSEY OPENING OUR SAILORS' BAZAAR.
the best of lawyers expect their fees. Several small ports which had long subscribed to the Society's funds thought the time had come when they ought to have something in return toward missionary work in their own ports. Under these circumstances, and considering the Society dare not go into debt, and that no port can be conveniently given up, or outlay reduced, this bazaar, as the Treasurer says, is most opportune. The Directors would remind all present that this is the oldest Sailors' Society in the world, that its sphere of labour is the mercantile navies floating on all seas; it does not flaunt the badge of any sect, nor raise the war cry of a particular creed. Its name, "British and foreign," points to the great conception of its founders, and while it is a living name will be its distinguishing glory.
(2.) The Recent Voyage of the "Sunbeam" adds additioual interest and makes the time of the bazaar all the more opportune. When the question came up, "who should open our Sailors' Bazaar?" I thought of several ladies who might possibly do so, but the Camberwell ladies were unanimous, as we all were, that the distinguished voyager and writer now on the platform should be first invited.
Her ladyship's presence with us to-day, with her family, is the cordial response to our invite. We are all proud of this adopted daughter of old Father Neptune. It is appropriate that one so long associated with the sea, by voyages and by her popular writings, should open this nautical bazaar to day. I have no
*Lady Brassey is here represented as welcoming a shipwrecked crew. Her ladyship has still the same genial and cordial spirit.-ED.
hesitation in saying that the Voyage of the Sunbeam has proved one of the most popular books published during the last few years, English Family Life on the Ocean Wave, with pictures of many lands, and all well told. A lady friend at Carlisle, in sending a parcel for this bazaar, writes:-"Lady Brassey's Voyage of the Sunbeam is one of two or three books of which my pupils never tire. The extracts and comments this month in Chart and Compass will be much appreciated by them." If any additional proofs were needed of this lady's capacity for judging of a good thing, its to be found in the fact that she speaks most favourably of Chart and Compass as a sailors' magazine! The "Sunbeam" boat in the centre, so kindly lent to us by Messrs. Forrestt and Sons, with her gallant crew, and this nautical appearance and atmosphere, all point to the sea. Above us is a picture of the vessel which safely took the voyagers round the world. Lady Brassey has also given us a painting of the "Sunbeam" and forty copies of her works, bearing her ladyship's autograph; while in the adjoining hall is a beautiful exhibition of articles just collected on the Shetland and Orkney Islands. This crowded hall and this hearty reception prove we have made no mistake to-day in welcoming to our midst Lady Brassey, the sailors' friend. It will be readily acknowledged with the Treasurer that this visit is most opportune.
(3.) The recent storms also make this bazaar most opportune. Storms which, for suddenness and violence, have come upon us, sweeping our dangerous coasts with terrific fury. Telegrams from all points of the compass have come in upon us with lightning speed, telling of disasters and death following in the wake of the great gales. Remember our brave and heroic fishermen when caught by these tempests in their frail barques are in the greatest danger. A long list has been added to those noble men who sleep beneath the waves. The Lord Mayor, in taking his seat in the Justice Room, and I might say the Mercy Room, last week, said to his fellow-citizens:—
'It will be enough, I think, to state that in four villages in Berwickshire thirty-one boats, representing an aggregate value of at least £10,000, have been lost; and that 167 men have perished, leaving ninety-one widows and 302 orphan children, besides in many cases aged fathers and mothers or other relatives dependent upon them for support. These poor fellows who have so miserably perished were, I am told, not only among the bravest, but amongst the best in their respective communities. The storm in which they were lost was beyond all previous experience in respect of suddenness, duration, and violence." But the small coasters and larger sailing ships also suffered. Here are specimens of the telegrams :
"At Yarmouth the gale was felt with full severity, and many shipping casualties are reported. A vessel, name unknown, has been lost with all hands on Hasborough Sands."
LADY BRASSEY OPENING OUR SAILORS' BAZAAR.
"The Favourite,' of Swansea, was lost in the Bristol Channel. Two men were drowned, and three saved."
66 The 'South Shields' (pilot cobble), containing Thomas Young, Thomas Kindle, and John Ramsay, was capsized in a gale, and all three were drowned." “A small schooner exhibited signals of distress off Puffin Island, in Menai Straits, but sank with all hands before the lifeboat from Pennon could reach her."
The barque "Lebu" dragged her anchors to within a mile-and-a-half off Douglas Head.
"Douglas Head. A lifeboat, in trying to reach the vessel, was dismasted. Then a second lifeboat was sent out. This boat succeeded in reaching the ship, and took off the master, his wife, and fifteen of the crew; but just as the last man swung off a heavy sea capsized the lifeboat, and four of her crew, with the master of the "Lebu," were drowned. The others were saved. The "Lebu" last night was still riding at her anchors; but it was feared that if the gale continued she must part, and be dashed on the coast. The collier "Cornubia was wrecked off Roche's Point, Queen's County, on Wednesday night. The crew, seven in number, were drowned. During the heavy gale which prevailed yesterday morning, a schooner was dashed to pieces at Town Beach, about two miles eastward of the entrance to Falmouth Harbour. The Coast-guard were on the look-out, with their apparatus, which they did not use, because immediately the vessel stranded the crew were swept off the deck and drowned. The vessel was found to be the "Fortitude," of West Hartlepool, 87 tons register. A large Australian barque, called the "Idenio," went ashore at Rocky Bay, seven miles west of Kinsale Harbour, yesterday morning. Only two of the crew were saved."
But our modern steamers did not escape the fury of the waves and winds. The "Calliope," of Cardiff, was lost with all hands save the poor solitary fellow who was rescued by fishermen. (I see Sir Thomas Brassey has just come in; we are glad to give the navigator of the "Sunbeam" a hearty welcome. He has just come from the Admiralty, where we hope they will not steal his heart from the merchant service. I hope, Sir Thomas, on the floor of the British House of Commons, will yet lift up his voice for the British Merchant Sailors.) I was speaking of recent steamboat disasters. I cannot speak of all, or enter into any details. There is the ill-fated "Clan Macduff." Some were saved after long exposure in open boats, but some forty souls are missing. Then you have the "Cyprian," which only left Liverpool on Thursday week, bound for Genoa, which, if she had reached, our missionary would certainly have visited, and probably have conducted services on board for the crew of twenty-seven hands. But she was caught in the great gale, immediately on leaving Liverpool, and just laboured round Holyhead. Soon she was utterly disabled and drifted on the fatal rocks. Between where she struck and the shore was the gulf of surging surf and broken waves. The gallant young captain, John Alexander Strachan, gave that last hopeless, and to the sailor, ominous command:-"Every man for himself, and God for us all."
Yet the heroic, but tender-hearted Strachan took from himself his life-buoy and gave it to a boy. Not his own boy; not a friends" boy, but nobody's boy, a stowaway. Stowaways are generally punished, but the captain though he had a young wife at home, and aged father too, yet took almost his only chance of salvation, and handed it to the stowaway. This large and noble-hearted man was drowned, while the stowaway was saved. If those saved, each had a life-buoy. We hear of sailors' vices, but let us speak of their virtues, Well nigh in every wreck, and their number, O! how great, there are deeds of heroism, of generous conduct, of devotion to duty, of utter and absolute self-sacrifice, of unexampled bravery, of persistent battle against the mightiest elements, of the grandest qualities, which ever beautifies, yea glorifies this sin-battered humanity of ours, that if these same deeds were witnessed on the field of battle, they would be lauded by nations, and decorated by kings. In view of the trial and triumph, peril and privilege of a sailor's life, of the responsibilities of this nation and of all Christians to our seamen; in view of this Society's work, which is educational, moral, and religious, the Directors invite all present and' those who shall come or hear of this bazaar effort, to help us with no common feelings, imitating the Saviour of men, who chose fishermen to be His companions, and afterwards His ambassadors to all nations.
The Right Rev. Bishop Claughton briefly welcomed Lady Brassey. The work of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society could not, he said, be carried out without great exertions and great expense, and they were very much dependent upon such a bazaar as that which they were then attending. It was sometimes thought that all sailors were very depraved, but it was not so, for they saw the works of the Lord in the deep," and had a great deal of real religious feeling. In a very appreciative address he warmly commended the Society to the general support of all who owe responsibilities to our seamen, and who have kindly feelings towards them.
The Rev. Dr. Clemance said, my Lord Bishop, ladies and gentlemen, it is not always easy to do three things and to sustain three characters at once. Yet, such is my task now, even to represent the congregation with which this lecture hall is connected, the British and Foreign Sailors' Society, and its Camberwell and South London Auxiliaries. In the name of the congregation which I have the honour to represent, I welcome the Society to this lecture hall; in the name of the Auxiliaries, I welcome it to South London; while we, the Auxiliaries, and the Society, all join in giving Lady Brassey a very hearty welcome to Camberwell. Her ladyship's name and fame have long been spread abroad, not only by the visits she has
LADY BRASSEY OPENING OUR SAILORS' BAZAAR.
paid to shores far and near, but by her charming record of the time when, with so many members of her family circle, her home was on the deep. And it does seem to us all peculiarly appropriate that one who, by reason of much special experience, knows the perils of a sea-faring life, should thus publicly express her abiding interest in those that are afar off upon the sea. We think ourselves, moreover, peculiarly happy that just when we are so perilously near the November fogs, we should have such bright "Sunbeams" without, and so many sunbeams within this room, of which, not the least cheery and kindly, is Lady Brassey herself. Nor do we think ourselves too daring in expressing the hope that the words and deeds of this day may be read of by many sons of the ocean, and prove like a cheering 'sunbeam' to them in dark and cloudy days. We hope also that the efforts of this Society to benefit the sailor, may prove far more effective and more widely helpful than How much need there is for such effort needs no proof now, or here. If any one thought otherwise, the Times of this very day would surely convince him to the contrary. In twenty-six years, 51,840 vessels have been lost at sea, and 18,550 lives, being nearly as many in number as those that man the British fleet! Who would not do all that can be done to ensure that the sailor may carry the gospel with him on any vessel, and find it awaiting him in every port? We are thankful to God for giving us this opportunity of helping the British and Foreign Sailors' Society, and we all rejoice that we are permitted now to welcome Lady Brassey on so glad an occasion; and, in the name of the Society, I now ask her Ladyship to be so kind as to fulfil her engagement, and to open this Bazaar. Lady Brassey then said: I have to thank you all very much for the kind words I have heard since I came into the room. husband had not arrived, I had felt great anxiety lest you might expect a speech, or, at any rate, a few words from me; but Sir Thomas is now here, and will speak for me. All I can say is, how heartily I wish this Society success, and that God will pour out his choicest blessings, not only on those who "go down to the sea in ships, and do business in the great waters," but on those who are dependent on them, who have to sit at home and wait for those at sea amidst the howling of the wind, as on last Thursday, and fear lest those who are near and dear to them should be at that moment in the depths of the ocean. I have now great pleasure in declaring the bazaar open, and in asking you all-and I am sure you will all do so to render it a great success. (Loud cheering.).
The Rev. George Wilkins (association secretary), in a few words expressed the thanks of the Society to Lady Brassey for her sympathy and help on the present occasion, and then introduced