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Scots in Argentina

St. Andrew’s Scots Church, Peru 352, Buenos Aires.

November 1933.

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".

Your friend,

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 the same.

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.

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