St. Andrew’s Scots Church,
Peru 352, Buenos Aires.
Brother and Sister Scots,
Some months ago I
celebrated a birthday. Which it was, you will not hear. But the years off
fifty are still in the plural though soon I should need to hasten to state
this and have it true. And on that recent birthday a friend suggested a
small volume of sermons and lectures — as my late good father had done —
for a birthday or Christmas present. Let him be responsible. I save myself
by stating that any profits from the sale will be divided between the
Endowment Fund of St. Andrew’s Scots Church, and the Educational Endowment
Fund of the St. Andrew’s Society of the River Plate.
As Minister of the Church and as
President of the Society I trust I may have your permission to address
this volume to Scots in Argentina. We are not an insignificant company.
Our number none can tell, but it
must be several thousands. I can testify that it has been a liberal
education for my colleagues on the staff of the Church, as for myself, to
meet with you, and to be allowed to join in your joys and share your
sorrows. The exiled Scot is seldom demonstrative. But he is sensitive. And
if the little Book reaches beyond this throbbing city and suburbs to some
of the homes far north near the warm borders of Bolivia, or farther south
on the cold Magellan Straits, or out west in the sandy Pampas towards the
Andes and Chile, may it recall hours grave and gay that we have spent
together, and touch the cords that bind us in a common love.
Here I record my warm
thanks to our Church Secretary, Miss Mabel Mitchel, for many extra hours
of work in deciphering and typing these sermons and lectures, and to the
Rev. José Felices, the Assistant for our Spanish work, to whom alone
belongs any credit there be, both for the cultured Spanish of four of the
sermons, and for the fact that I
dare to preach in the tongue he knows so well.
Whether or not you ever see Scotland
again, you will hardly forget the days o’ Auld Lang Syne. So
"Where my caravan has rested
Flowers I leave you on the grass".
Douglas W. Bruce.
P. S. — The four sermons in
Spanish, preached in different centres of our Spanish work, have been
included for the sake of some third and fourth-generation Scots in
Argentina. In a few cases their language today is Spanish almost entirely,
although Scotland is still "home". For those interested in comparing the
languages, the first sermon in English and the first one in Spanish are
Just as this volume is going to
print, Mr. E. Millington-Drake, Counsellor of H.B.M. Embassy here, has
made the generous sug.gestion that a synopsis of one of his
lectures—"Explaining Argentina to Britain"—could be included as an
informative appendix for readers at home. The lecture is full of
meat, and it will be of particular
interest to Scots who recall his late father-in-law, that notable and
fervid Scot, Lord Inchcape.
P.P.S. Mr. Millington-Drake has just been
appointed British Minister to Uruguay.