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From the Cambridge Independent Press, 7th June 1873


On Thursday last the Glynde Firendly Benefit Society celebrated their 43rd anniversary. The mambers assembled at their club house, the Trevor Arms, at about ten o'clock, where they formed themselves into a procession and, headed by the Brighton English Town Band, marched through the village to the church. Each member wore a blue favour, and carried the usual wand which, with the gaily-decorated banners, gave the whole affair a very pretty appearance, The sermon, which was of a suitable and impressive nature, was founded on the 6th, 7th and 8th verses of the 6th chapter of Proverbs, and pointed out, by the example of the ant, the necessity of making provision for the future. The prayers were read by the Rev A J Richardson and the sermon preached by the Rev F J Mount (curate), Vicar of Firle and Beddingham. In consequence of indisposition, the Rev W de St Croix, vicar of Glynde, who usually officiates on these occasions, was unable to be present at any portion of th eproceedings, a circumstance which caused many expressions of regret.

At the conclusion of the service, the procession was reformed, and visited the residences of the Right Hon the Speaker, and Mr T Colgate, and the Vicarage, after which they proceeded to the Trevor Arms, where the business of the sharing-out was transacted, each member receiving 16s as his share after paying all expenses. Last year the um divided ony; averaged 6s 10d, so that the past twelve months have been more than usually favourable to the members in this respect. The procession then marched to a field on the Right Hon the Speaker's Farm, where a large marquee had been erected. Here the members sat down to a bountiful dinner, provided by host Gregory. The Right hon the Speaker presided, and was supported by the Rev A J Richardson (Beddingham),Mr G Hother (surgeon to the club), Messrs Henry Hart (Beddingham), Charles Ellis (Beddingham), J Maxfield Smith, T Colgate(Glynde), George Newington (Lews), J Edwards, W Medhurst, C Briscoe, W Underwood, A Weller, ec, etc.

On the removal of the cloth, the Right Hon CHAIRMAN said that before proceeding to business he should like to say a few words with respect to the absence of their good friend and vicar. Through indisposition he was unfortunately prevented meeting with them on that festive occasion, and he(the Right Hon Chairman) was certain that himself and his brothr members deeply regretted the cause which kept their worth vicar away that day (hear, hear). As they were aware, it was customary for Mr de St Croix to preside at their annual dinners, but inasmuch as he was this year (for the first time in the history of the society) unable to be present, he had asked him (the Right Hon Chairman) to take his place (applause). Now, although he could not say he wa saltogether unaccostomed to taking the chair (laughter) yet, this being the firt occasion on which he had presided over them, he must ask them please to excus any little shortcomings on his part (hear, hear). The Right Hon Chairman then proposed the toast of 'The Queen and the rest of the Royal Family'. In doing so he warmly eulogised the character of Her Majesty who, he said, had not only made herself a name which would live and shine in history, but she had also been a good wife and mother (applause).

The toast was drunk standing, the band playing the 'National Anthem.

Mr HART, in complimenary terms, proposed 'The Army, Navy and Volunteers,' which was enthusiastically received and duly honoured.

The Right Hon the SPEAER then said he was about to propose the toas tof the evening, namely 'Prosperity to the Glynde Friendly Society'. He was reminded, as he looked upon their banner, that their society had been in existence 43 years, which he considered a pretty good age. In most socieities of that kind there was room for improvement, and he was not at all sure there was not room for improvement even in their society. He did not wish the members of that club to think he was finding fault with them for having joined it; on the contrary, he commended them very much for having done so. But there was one little matter he should like to say a few words upon – it was not a new idea, they had heard of it before. He alluded to the suggestion which had been thrown out to them on previous occasions, whether it would not be right to have a provision in that society by which men, when they attaine dold age – ay from 60 to 65 or thereabouts – should have sme retiring pension or allowance. Of course that could not be done unless the members would consent to lay something mre out of their savings. He knew it was very difficult, considering the wages they received, to lay by much, and he did not wish it to be understood from his remarks that he did not commend them very much for laying by what they did, but he would be glad if they could see their way to going alittle further, and doing something for th eolder men. To his mind there was nothing wrong so painful as to see an old and industrious workman end his days dependent on relief from the poor-house; and those who were young and strong ought to recollect that that day might come to all of them, unless some alteration was made in their rules by which provision should be made for ld age. He did not like to speak to them in a manner which seemed very much like a sermon, but when he looked round that table and saw the glow of health and strength that animated them all he did not wonder at many of them supposing they would not become aged and broken down; but he wished them to bear in mind that it was a common lot to all of them, and if they could do anything in youth to assist the aged and infirm they would be doing that which was the delight of all good men. He wa spleased to find that their balance sheet this year made a good show. In the first place there was a reserve fund, which had continued to to increase yearly until it had now reached a total of £135 18s 9d. That reserve fund, as they knew, was created by the honorary members' yearly subscriptions, and was a goodly sum, which must give great security to all the members. He hoped they would never depart from the rule laid down that the fund was not to be touched except for the funerals of members. The present number of members was about 131, and the fact that they had been yearly increasing was a very helthy sign. To those in health and strength, who had been contributors to the funds during the past year, and who had not charged the society a shilling, it must be a great consolation to know that by their own exertions they had relieved no less than 28 sick brethren during the year. The right hon gentleman then asked them to rise and drink, with all honours, 'Prosperity to the Glynde Friendly Society' (applause).

The toast having been drunk con amore, Mr COLGATE proposed 'The healthof the Officers of the Club', and warmly commended the suggestion of their right hon chairman as to a retiring fund to the notice of the members.

Mr AMOS WELLER, the secretary, replied to the toast, in the absence of the Rev W de St Croix, the trasurer. He said the members of the club had already given some consideration to the suggestion suggestion of their right hon chairman, but the majority of them, he was sorry to say, did not seem to care to put by the money now, although they would very much like to receive a pension they become old. Personally, he wa sin favour of the proposal, and would bring it before the members again at one of their meetings, when he trusted they would fall in with it.

Mr ELLIS proposed 'The health of the Chairman', upon whom he passed a warm eulogism, both as a landlord and a neighbour. This toast was drunk standing, with musical honours.

The Right Hon Gentleman, in reply, saidhe was rather struck with the appropriateness of the tune now struck up, which as 'We won't go home till morning', for it was pretty much the habit of his present life, in the chair of the House of Commons, not to go home till morning (laughter). He further remarked that he should only be too happy to do anything that lay in his power to further the interests of their society. He concluded by hoping the members would again consider his proposal and, if possible, put it into effect.

Mr H P HART having proposed the health of the Rev F J Mount, with thanks for his excellent sermon that morning, the company adjourned to the open field, where dancing and various other amusements were engaged in for several hours.

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