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Home  >  Features  >  Looking Back: September 1946

Looking Back

Looking Back: 'When on my Day of Life the Night is Falling.' – What Then?

Writing in September 1946, the Rev Lewis L L Cameron asks the Church for support with work with the elderly.

IN an age when so much thought is being devoted to the needs of youth the aged are too often forgotten. Queues and coupons and other difficulties of shopping bear hard upon those whose physical capacity is diminished and whose mental faculties are not as sharp as they were once. It is not unusual that such look to the Church for the care and comfort they deserve and expect in the eventide of their days.

It is good news to the old folk to know that within twelve months the Committee on Social Service will have doubled the number of Homes for the aged. Even then the need will be far from met, for it is universally agreed that it is unwise, indeed unfair, to uproot an aged man or woman and take them away from the community where they are known and the countryside in which they have spent their working days. The ideal is to have a Church Eventide Home in every Presbytery or group of Presbyteries, so that the aged will still be able to keep in touch with their relatives and friends. That ideal is far from being reached, but the programme now set forth will bring Homes into four new areas.

Early this year ‘Whinnieknowe,’, Nairn, was acquired through the energy and vision of a well-informed and enthusiastic Local Committee. It is now to be reconstructed, and, if sufficient capital can be obtained, the scheme will provide accommodation for fifty aged men and women. A feature of this Home will be the provision of single and double rooms, where privacy, so much desired, may be obtained. The community of Nairn has already almost reached its target figure of £7,000 and it is hoped to provide a hospital wing as a memorial to the men and women who gave their lives in the second world war.

Later the Committee on Social Service purchased ‘Invereck’, Sandbank, Dunoon, to serve as The Provost Angus MacFarlane Memorial Home. The Cowal community has raised over £2,700 towards this new Home as a memorial to a former Provost of Dunoon who had very much at heart the welfare of the aged. As this house was formerly a convalescent home it is already well equipped and will require very little alteration and it it hoped to open it to meet the needs of about 30 aged men and women at the end of October.

The generosity of the executors of the late Mrs Campbell-Johnston, London, made possible the purchase of ‘Knowehead;, Crieff, formerly the home of the late General and Mrs Nepean-Smith. It is situated in lovely groups and there is ample room for extension at a later date. It will meet the needs of aged indigent gentlewomen, and every minister is aware of the urgent need for a Home of this kind.

There are still in the Glasgow area many old people who have suffered directly or indirectly as a result of enemy action. They are having a very difficult time. The committee on Social Service has for long desired to open a Home for the aged in Glasgow, but the lack of capital funds made this impossible. Now the Lord Mayor’s National Air Raid Distress Fund, London, has offered considerable financial assistance to help the Committee to meet the needs of the aged, suffering from the effects of war, but a sum of over £5,000 will be required to meet the total cost. The Committee is searching for a suitable property and a start will be made as soon as a house has been acquired and the necessary funds have been raised.

Surely the Church dare not deny those who have served it so long and so faithfully the care and the comfort they need at the close of the day.

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