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Our Children in Old Scotland and Nova Scotia
Appendix to Part I

Extracts from "Occasional Paper," dated November, 1889, of the Scottish National Society for Prevention of Crueity to Children. Established 1884.

JAMES GRAHAME, Esq., chairman of the Glasgow Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, giving an account of its origin in 1884, and after noticing the formation in Liverpool of the first Society called by that name in Great Britain, says :— In another part of this publication there is given an account of the origin of the Children’s Aid and Refuge Society, which is now merged in the Scottish National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, but which was then a private enterprise of Miss Emma M. Stirling, who deserves the utmost credit as the disinterested and self-devoted pioneer of the great movement for the protection and rescue of children in the East of Scotland.

Here is the account of the Children’s Aid and Refuge referred to, signed by Mr. Colston, chairman:—

This Institution was established for the protection of young people. It existed several years before there was any project put forth to form societies in our large cities and towns for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. It was practically in its own way subserving the very purpose for which these larger organizations have been called into existence. The opening by Miss Emma M. Stirling of a small Creche or Day Nursery was the first inception of the scheme.

Then follows a description of the Day Nursery, which it is needless to repeat. Mr. Colston continues:—

The Home was partly supported by public benevolence, but chiefly by the liberality of Miss Stirling, who generously made up the deficiency of each year out of her own private means. Having requested the aid and co-operation of a few leading citizens to act as a committee of advice in the benevolent work to which she had dedicated herself, it soon became obvious that there were many sad cases of cruelty towards children that the general public knew little about, and for which the state of the law did not afford any sufficient remedy.

Miss Stirling’s active exertions in the work of rescuing and befriending neglected children are now well known to the community. It is not requisite to dilate upon these further than to say that her efforts, under the committee of advice who were associated with her, had, as their effect, in a large measure, the work of prevention of cruelty to children as now understood.

Then follows an account of the German children already described in Chapter V.

"Since that time, as Mr. Henderson, the Chief of Police, and other official gentlemen in the city can testify, a number of cases of gross cruelty have been brought to light through means of the Aid and Refuge, and have been reported to the Police, with the result that the offenders were punished.

The Shelter from Cruelty was opened in 1884 by Miss Stirling and those gentlemen who had by this time become associated with her in the management. It is situated at a convenient distance from the chief police office. During the same year a Society was formed in the city, called "The Edinburgh Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children." It was, however, soon found by its promoters that the work was being so well done by the Children’s Aid and Refuge that there was no need for the new organization. It therefore became amalgamated with this institution.

In 1886 Miss Stirling thought it to be her duty to transfer her field of usefulness to across the sea to Aylesford, Nova Scotia, where she is still proving herself the friend of little children by devoting her time, attention, and private fortune to their benefit.


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