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Scots in Argentina
My Country


(Address to Boy Scouts and Girl Guides given in Hurlingham Church on Sunday, May 28th, 1933 following the observance of Empire Day (May 24th) and the Argentine National Day (May 25th).

Probably between 80% and 90% of the boys and girls here were born in the Argentine, although you have nearly all British names, and will grow up to speak of England or Scotland or Ireland as "home". Still you are, by Argentine law, Argentines, and later on the boys will have to serve their year in the Argentine Army. You are growing up as "hombres de dos paises" — citizens of two countries. How are you going to be the best citizens of both countries? I should not like you to grow up saying that A,—Argentina,—is better than B,—Britain,—or that B is better than A. It is you and I who are our country. So a better country means better men and better women. But you have two countries!

Well, perhaps this will help you. You can all see that I wear spectacles. I have to look at life through two glasses. Now if the right glass made my right eye look straight forward, and the left glass made my left eye look straight forward, I would see nothing clearly — everything would be mixed up. The glasses help to focus my eyes, and to throw the picture back on the right spot on the retina of each eye.

So I want your Argentine eye and your British eye to meet at a point where the whole world’s first Gentleman stands —Jesus Christ. Focus your two eyes on Him if you want to be the best citizens of here and home.

What picture do you see when you read and hear of Him — what things do you clearly notice?

You see KINDNESS. That word has the same derivation as the word Kin — Kindred. So to be kind is to remember that all are your kindred. The young are kindred to the old, the poor to the rich, the healthy to the sick, the white to the black. That is why Scouts and Guides do their kind turn every day.

You see HUMILITY. Although Christ was the Son of God, although He was so powerful that He could do anything, you remember how most of His companions were not Captains and Kings and well-known people. He seemed to be mostly amongst fishermen, and working women drawing water at the wells, and farming folks who lived in little ranchos. You never heard of Christ boasting about Himself, did you?

You see something too which seems to cover everything else and which hasn’t got an exact word. We call it simply "GOOD FORM". When you leave this country for a holiday, you need to get a certificate from the police — a certificate of buena conducta — good conduct. Unless you get this, you cannot return. But good form is something much deeper and finer than good conduct — it is something right in your heart— it is just your real self. The late King Edward was once sailing in the Mediterranean Sea and he sent a wireless message suddenly that he was to call at one of the port towns of Italy. The Italian people laid down a long carpet on the pier where he was to land. The carpet was just a little short, so they covered the last bit of the pier with an Italian flag. When King Edward landed, he walked along the carpet, but when he came to the flag, he stopped. He then stepped on one side and raised his hat. How the Italian crowd cheered. They never forgot it.

So, today, when we began our Service by singing Oid Mortales, and when, at the close, we sing God save the King, we’ll all try to remember whom to follow first if we are to be the best Argentines and the best Britons. Jesus Christ our Lord.

Remember, too, He is willing to help you. Ask Him, for you need His help.


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