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Newsletter for 15th March 2024

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  • Newsletter for 15th March 2024

    Electric Scotland News

    This week saw me spending a lot of money to upgrade my heating and cooling of my home by installing a heat pump system. So my Furnace and AC unit have all been replaced and I have also arranged for duct cleaning and insulation to be done in my attic space. Got a 10 year 0% interest loan and a 10 year parts and labour warranty on it. The chap that installed it said he had the exact same system and he says his furnace rarely turns on.


    Started my new diabetic regime on Sunday and so far things are looking good. I've not had any lows or highs which is remarkable.


    Also completed my tax returns so good for another year.


    Found a 4 volume set on British Admirals so will look to add this next week.


    My Canadian Experience
    December 2023 to January 2024.

    I forgot to add this to the site so better late than never and you can view this at:

    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers

    I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland and world news stories that can affect Scotland and as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on search engines it becomes a good resource. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time.

    Here is what caught my eye this week...

    Forgotten Scot who inspired Tolkien and CS Lewis
    This year marks 200 years since the birth of George MacDonald, whose fantasy writing and ideas on faith inspired literary greats including JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. MacDonald, who was born in Huntly and grew up on a farm, wrote more than 50 books.

    Read more at:

    See our own page about him and read some of his books at:

    Conrad Black: Brian Mulroney was the greatest friend anyone could have
    Even if he never entered politics, he would be no less mourned

    Read more at:

    Shaping the Debate: The Centre for Policy Studies in 50 Papers
    This booklet, marking the 50th anniversary of the CPS, takes inspiration from d’Ancona’s example though on a more limited scale. Rather than summarising every single one of 688 printed papers (not to mention a scores of briefings published solely in digital format), Research Director Karl Williams has select 50 papers which reflect 50 years.

    Read this at:

    Trade Secretary speech on UK's role in the global trade landscape
    Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch makes a speech at Chatham House on the role of the UK in the global trade landscape.

    Read this at:

    Message from His Majesty The King for the Commonwealth Day Service of Celebration
    The seventy-fifth anniversary of The Commonwealth is a moment to reflect on the remarkable journey that our unique family of free and independent nations has made since 1949.

    Watch this at:

    Arctic Winter Games - Opening Ceremony
    First, I would like to say how honoured I am to be here surrounded by the beauty and resilience of this remarkable region.

    Read more at:

    Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre addresses Greater Vancouver Board of Trade March 8, 2024
    Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre delivers a keynote address at an event hosted by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. He provides an overview of his plan to address the higher cost of living, increase Canada's housing supply, balance the federal budget, and reduce crime.

    Watch this at:

    Giant redwoods: World’s largest trees thriving in UK
    Giant redwoods - the world's largest trees - are flourishing in the UK and now even outnumber those found in their native range in California.

    Read more at:

    Biden and Trump clinch their party nominations in Tuesday's primary elections
    US President Joe Biden and predecessor Donald Trump have both passed the delegate thresholds to clinch their respective parties' nominations for president, CBS projects.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    A Scotch Catholic Settlement in Canada
    By Miss A. M. Pope (1881) (pdf)

    You can read this account at:

    Canadian Immigrants
    From the National Observer, May 1895 (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 10th day of March 2024 - What is Remembered?
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this at:

    Chatham Directory & County Gazetteer for 1885-6
    Compiled and Published by James Soutar (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Electric Scotland

    Scotch Grove Pioneers
    The story of those hardy Scotchmen, who made an overland journey from the Red River of the North to Jones County, Iowa, in 1837 and formed the settlement now known as Scotch Grove by Josephine Sutherland (1937) (pdf)

    You can read this account at:

    George MacDonald
    Added a couple of his books to our collection, The Princess and the Goblin and At the Back of the North Wind.

    You can read them from his page at:

    History of Scotch College Melbourne
    1851 - 1925 (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The development of women’s football in Scotland, 1880-1939
    Scotland has in the last 100 years at least, had a problematic relationship with women’s football. It was the last European Football Association to formally recognise the women’s game in 1974. It has often been assumed and perpetuated by the press, that the women’s game only began to develop in Scotland from the 1960s onwards, culminating with the founding of Scottish Women’s Football Association (SFWA) in 1971. At a time when the profile of the women’s game has taken on a new significance within Scottish culture it seems right to explore and celebrate its long yet under discussed history and heritage. This lecture will focus on the initial findings of Professor Skillen’s current research project for FIFA which maps the development of women’s football in Scotland from the 1880s to the outbreak of World War Two.

    You can watch this at:

    Royal National Directory of Scotland
    1899 edition (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Beautiful Thoughts
    By George MacDonald arranged by Elizabeth W. Dougall (1894) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Notes on the Ecclesiastical Antiquities of the Parish by the Rev. George Campbell, Minister of the Parish (1902) (pdf)

    You can read this at:


    Pastoral Address to Emigrants
    Edinburgh, 6th March 1839

    The Committee of the General Assembly for promoting the Religions interests of Scottish Presbyterians in the British Colonies, having taken into consideration the Report of their Acting Committee upon the subject of Emigration, resolved to issue the following Pastoral Address, for circulation among individuals and families preparing to leave Scotland for Colonial settlements.

    Dearly Beloved Brethren.

    In the interesting circumstances in which you are placed,— preparing to leave for a lengthened period, and many of you perhaps for ever, your native shores, — we, the Committee of The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, appointed to watch over the religious interests of Scottish Settlers in the British Colonies, present ourselves before your notice, to address to you some words of parting counsel, to give you our blessing, and to bid you a long farewell. Your well-being has occupied much of our attention. We have exerted ourselves to the uttermost to make provision that, upon your reaching your destination, you should have an opportunity of attending upon Gospel ordinances, in the same form as in your native country, and that during your voyage you should have the benefit of a religious instructor; — in cases where we have failed in the attainment of these objects, subsidiary arrangements have been made, of which due notice will be given; — as individuals we have you continually upon our hearts before a Throne of Grace; — at our stated meetings we unite in our supplications in your behalf; — we would desire, were it in our power, to see you face to face ere you leave us; but as this may not be, we embrace the present form of giving you a final greeting, and pour forth the fulness; of our hearts in this Address.

    Coming before you with a friendly purpose, there are particulars in your situation that lead us to hope for a favourable hearing. In the circumstances in which you are placed, there is much to solemnise the mind, The change that is before you all is too great not to make a deep impression. Where so many ties are to be broken — when friends and acquaintances are to be parted from, never to be met again till you stand together before the Judgment Seat, — with the hazards of a long voyage in immediate prospect, the hearts of all must for a time be softened; reflection must force itself even upon the most thoughtless, disposing them to pay at least some regard to religion, and to those who speak of religion. The whole of your earthly existence must at this time be brought under your view. Every tender recollection of the post is forced before yon in strange contrast with the dim uncertainties of the future. Your relation to earth itself as pilgrims and strangers can scarcely be overlooked; and the leave you take of your native land must shadow forth you - launching into the ocean of eternity. Let us beseech you not to allow so awakening a period to pass unimproved. When your souls are stirred to their depths, — when they are allowed no longer to settle upon their lees, — when they are forced out of the ordinary habitudes in which there is such proneness to sink into forgetfulness, you can no longer plead the excuse of want of warning. God worketh with the souls of men in trying times, and in momentous eras of their existence. He seals by extraordinary providences upon their souls the instructions of his word. There is a special responsibility in being placed in circumstances untried and exciting. And while your feelings are all called forth, and your hearts are moved and melted, you are to seek that they may take an impress of the characters of eternity.

    The emotions which may be thus excited you will have an opportunity of cherishing during the long voyage that is before you. In the many weeks or months that are to be spent by you upon the watery deep, you will be freed from your ordinary labours; you will find the mind itself delivered for a time from its former cares; and a period will be given, such as many of you never enjoyed before, and may never enjoy again, for communing with your own hearts, and attending to the things that pertain to your eternal peace. Here again we would earnestly exhort you to avail yourselves of the opportunity that will thus be afforded. We would urge you to improve the resting time from your ordinary avocations in spiritual exercises; — to occupy the solemn pause that Providence ordains ere you can plunge into your projected occupations, in the work of self-examination, of faith, of repentance, of purposes of new obedience, — to devote the many hours that will be wholly at your own disposal to acquainting yourselves with God. You have his word in your hands, and time to peruse it; you have the azuro heavens for a temple; and tho voice that the mighty deep sends forth from all its multitude of waves calls upon you to worship God.

    But while there an, many advantages in your situation which, by the Divine blessing, may bo improved to your everlasting benefit, we are well aware that there are snares and perils too. The bustle and stir in which you are involved in preparing for embarkation, are in danger of absorbing all your thoughts. The very greatness of the changes that pass before your eyes, calculated though those changes be to teach that all in this world is vanity, is not, by the deceitfulness of the human heart, the means of binding many the more firmly to the Herting scene. And, amidst a multiplicity of avocations, — your footsteps hurried from place to place, — your ears stunned by new and discordant sounds, your eyes bewildered by constantly changing sights, many of you may be in danger of requesting us to leave you till a more convenient season. But now is the accepted time — now is the day of salvation.

    Before you commit yourselves to the dangers of the deep, you are called upon to commit yourselves to His care who has the winds and the waves in his control. If you neglect the present, what security have we that the future will be better improved? In the period of purpose of which we speak, Satan can find his advantage. Idleness brings its thousand snares.

    Intemperance and licentiousness present a ready resource to the abandoned; and, according to the different characters of men, there may be jesting and foolish talking, which are not convenient, or bitterness and wrath, anger, and malice and evil speaking. We would put you all upon your guard against the temptations which the great adversary of souls will present to you in these respects; for we are not ignorant of his devices. To prevent the evils arising from the distraction of mind occasioned by the presence of a crowd on the one hand, and the vacancy arising from want of settled employment on the other, we would recommend you to form a plan for the distribution of your time, and to adhere to it with undeviating regularity. Let stated portions be set apart every day for rending the Word of God, for meditation, and for prayer. In observing these duties, you will secure for yourselves the benefits of solitude in the midst of a crowd; and their right improvement will spread a sanctifying influence over all the other portions of the day. Forced as you may be into proximity with men of various characters, shun all fmniliar intercourse with the thoughtless and ungodly. Steadily resist from the first every solicitation they address to you to engage in any relaxation or pastime that may lead to excess. Set a watch before your mouths; keep the door of your lips. Be swift to hear; slow to speak; slow to wrath. Hold communion with those whoso fellowship is with God. Be ready for every good word; but be not obtrusive in your services. Walk in wisdom towards them that are without. Give no offence to any, and be at peace one with another.

    Upon reaching your destination, the cares of life will again return. A new world, and a new course of duties and anxieties, will be in danger of engrossing all your regards. And this makes it the more necessary that the opportunities of your long voyage should be well improved, so that you should enter upon the new scene in a right spirit; that while ready, diligently to engage in whatever sphere of active duty Providence may open up to you, the kingdom of God and his righteousness may still be your first object; and that, in the event of your schemes being frustrated, and your hopes deferred, you may cast all your care upon Him who careth for you.

    Let your inquiries be immediately directed to your opportunities of attending upon the public ordinances of religion. Where there is a Minister of the Gospel within your reach, be regular in your attendance upon his ministrations. If of your own communion, place yourselves in connection with him, and esteem him very highly in love for his work’s sake. If otherwise, still if he holds the pillar and ground of the truth, do not let a difference of outward forms be made a pretext for neglecting the instituted means of grace, — but observe them, though in an unwanted form, knowing that the same Spirit worketh in sill,-—in the hope that the Lord, in his own time, will send you a teacher after your own heart.

    If removed from all possibility of joining in the public services of the sanctuary, still remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy. There will be many temptations to encroach upon its sanctity, and to make it undistinguished from other days of the week. But bear in mind the Holy Law of God; bear in mind the example of the land you have left behind you; and though no Sabbath bell reach vou in your solitude, and no village spire be seen pointing to Heaven, let the remembrance of the time when you went to the house of God in company with them that kept holy day, awaken the longings of your heart after the courts of God's house, and lead you to put your trust in that God who is not confined to temples made with hands, and who is present with them who remember the Sabbath, though far from His sanctuary. When you cannot assemble under the care of a duly appointed minister of the Lord, you may, to a certain extent, derive the benefits of social worship by meeting with those of your neighbourhood, for the purposes of reading the Word and of prayer. Two are better than one. The warmth of social affection may give fervency and life to devotions that otherwise might become languid, — and where two or three meet together, the Saviour has promised that he will be in the midst.

    It will be of unspeakable importance that the duties of family religion be duly observed by you. Let your household be duly assembled for the morning and the evening sacrifice. Let no earthly pursuit interfere with the duty you owe to your heavenly Father. However unfavourable may be your circumstances, and however urgent your worldly avocations, take care to reserve a portion of your time for God. When you can meet around the social board, let all you partake of be sanctified by the Word of God and by prayer; and in the dark forest, or on the lonely heath, when the members of the family, widely scattered throughout the day in the discharge of their necessary duties, meet together for the night, for safety and repose, let the rude cabin be made glad by the voice of prayer and praise.

    The circumstances in which you go forth from among us are widely different. Your community forms indeed a world, combining in itself every diversity. The infant of days and the man of grey hairs are among you, and the rich and the poor meet together. There are some of you in all the buoyancy of youth, — your breasts animated with hope, panting with desire, full of confidence in the success of schemes that may redound to your worldly advantage and renown. And it is impossible not to feel an interest in the energy that awakens to manly enterprise. But while we sympathize in the generous purposes that fill your bosoms, — while we heartily wish for abundant success to the efforts of honest industry, and while our earnest prayer is that you may return in pride and in honour to the district from which you now go forth, or become the founders of an honoured race in the land whither you go, we still would have you to remember that the time is short, and that nil that is earthly is uncertain. Let your moderation then be known unto all men, and let your main ambition be for the treasures in heaven.

    There are others who go forth in the bitterness of disappointment, — cast out by your native land, in which you would gladly have continued, and able to look forward in the land to which you are going, for nothing better than a quiet grave. But, brethren, we would not have you to mourn as those that havo no hope. You know not what good things the Lord may have for you yet in store; and if you put your trust in God, He will be with you, and will keep you in the way that you go, and will give you bread to eat and raiment to put on, and will bless you in your latter end.

    Let us earnestly urge it upon you all, that whatever may be the diversities of your condition, you all carry along with you, whithersoever you go, the responsibility of having breathed the air of Scotland, and carrying with you the name of Scotchmen. You will be looked upon as coming from a land where, amidst many sins, the Gospel is preached, the Sabbath sanctified, the Word of God held in reverence, the ordinances of religion observed; and the guilt you contract will be more than can be computed, if you neglect to exhibit the influence of those advantages in your lives and conversation, and if you do not strive to perpetuate, so far as your example and influence extend, those inestimable privileges in your adopted country.

    Your destination in the world may be widely different. But wherever you are, and wherever you may go, — whether you are tossed upon tho stormy deep, or rest in tho quiet haven, —whether your lot is cast in the west or in the east, — whether on the bleak coasts of Cape Breton, amidst the forests of Canada, or in the far distant regions of Australia, — whether in the wild upland, or in the rich savannah, — whether in the lonely wilderness, among the scattered villages, or in the crowded city, — you cannot go where God is not. The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof and he made the sea also. Is the Lord a God at hand, and not a God afar off? The blood that was shed on Calvary is of efficacy, from the rising of the sun to where he goeth down, and stretches from pole to pole. Though you go forth to a distant, it is not to a strange country. The God of your fathers will go before you; and wherever you may be, “if you seek him you will find him, when you search for him with all your heart.” Though far removed from your earthly friends, you will find in him a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. If you place your hope in him, you will never be put to shame. The country to which he conducts you will be gladdened by his presence, and the Lord's song may now be sung in every land.

    And now, brethren, it' only remains to bid you heartily farewell. May tbe God of our fathers be your God and guide, — may he accompany you, and support you, and direct you, and cheer you, in every step of your pilgrimage, — may he preserve you unharmed amid the perils by waters, and the perils in a strange country, — may goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your life, — and may everlasting blessings crown your heads. The prayers of the faithful, in the beloved country you leave behind you, will ascend continually, a memorial before God in your behalf; and in the land to which you go, let us beseech you to pray for the peace of your father-land. May the God of that land be the God of the land that becomes yours, — may His blessing come down, and may it rest upon you and upon your children, and upon your children’s children.

    In name and by authority of the Committee,

    DAVID WELSH, Vice-Convener


    Weekend is almost here and hope it's a good one for you.