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Looking Back – Association for Temperance

Association for Temperance

July 1932

The misfortune of a rainy afternoon could not damp the ardour of the women supporters of temperance. Their ‘Garden Meeting’ was held perforce in Queen Street Church Hall, but we entered the hall through a bower of greenery, and were entertained after the meeting to a tree that could have tasted no better if served under the trees.

After an interesting address by Mrs Duncan M’Lennan, who particularly stressed the dangers of drink to young people, the Moderator appeared and gave a short address. A cause like temperance, he remarked, required the steady support of those who were not only fair, but were also foul, weather friends, and he was glad to see so many ardent well-wishers present.

The whole of our Scottish life was bound up with drinking , and even as he was speaking lives were being ruined by drink. Nevertheless we must never think the cause was hopeless. The drink traffic in Edinburgh and Leith alone was a mere shadow of what it used to be. The Christian conscience was awake and uneasy, and in the end our efforts our efforts must prevail, for we had a great cause and a great Saviour behind us.

Ex-Provost Fletcher then made a vigorous speech in which he criticised the complaint attitude of the Royal Commission towards the drink trade. Public drinking might be less apparent, he insisted, but the insidious evil was still there, and was still paralysing the life of our people.


This meeting concluded the week’s business; and we were left with many memories  to share and cherish; memories to share and cherish; memories of great audiences stirred with deep enthusiasm, of delegates greeting old friends from whom they had been separated for years, of the Castle flood-lighted in honour of the Assembly, like a fabulous palace in a fairy story,

                            Upthrusting, tottering maze on maze,
                           Its moulded blaze:

And of joyous, satisfying fellowship in the things of the Spirit.

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