Glass Remembered …. Glass Hall

Aberdeen Journal 15 December 1926


By the donation of £250 to the Public Hall fund, Mr E. Allan Cameron, Blairmore, has given fresh proof of his generosity and kindly interest in the parish of Glass and the committee have decided to proceed with the erection of a hall for the parish as soon as possible.  It will be built of rock-faced concrete blocks and the work has been entrusted to Mr G.J. Lobban, architect, Keith.  It is understood that the Blairmore trustees have kindly offered an excellent site for the hall, which will be a great boon to the parishioners.




Friday was a “red letter day” for our neighbours in the parish of Glass.  That the surroundings were thickly robed in the white of winter in no way takes any colour out of the statement.  It saw the fulfilment of a dream which had long been cherished.  On its successful accomplishment all concerned are to be most heartily congratulated.  It was no easy task to set about building a hall in these days.   Stout hearts, however, were found for the “stey brae”, and a beautiful and commodious hall is now the proud possession of the district.




There was a large attendance at the opening ceremony, which, most fittingly, was gracefully performed by Mrs Geddes of Blairmore.  The platform party included, besides Mrs Geddes, Rev W.G. Guthrie, Mr Bonnyman, Belnaboth: Mr Shand, schoolmaster: and Mr Lobban, architect, Keith.  After praise and prayer Mr Guthrie gave an explanatory address.

In the course of it he said it was his privilege to offer a few words by way of introduction.  Noting how in the minds of very many the word Glass was associated with the name of Geddes, Mr Guthrie recalled that in the days of his youth the only thing he remembered that he ever heard about Glass was that it was the birthplace of his revered teacher, the late Sir William Geddes, who became afterwards Principal of the University.  (Applause)  A year or two afterwards he began to read in the newspapers some of the wonderful things that were being done by his younger brother, the late Mr Alex. Geddes, whose life was an example and an incentive to all enterprising youth.  Leaving his native country with little worldly advantages, by sheer ability and integrity of character, he amassed a considerable fortune, and with rare patriotic devotion he devoted his life to purchasing, improving and beautifying his native parish.  He (the speaker) had noticed that Scots people, whenever they wanted to be more emphatic in speaking feelingly resorted to monosyllables.  Over and over again he had heard the remark made, “Mr Geddes made Glass”.  (Applause)  He converted what was to all accounts a rather bleak district into one of the most beautiful in Aberdeenshire.  (Applause)  Mr Geddes’s spirit and policy had been nobly carried on by Mrs Geddes – (applause) – who, notwithstanding the hard times through which proprietors as well as farmers had had to pass, and in spite of crushing sorrows kept a brave heart and had done her duty nobly.  (Applause)  It was on account of these things that, when the committee came to decide about asking someone to open that hall, no other name was mentioned, nor, as far as he was aware, ever thought of. (Applause)   The committee were unanimous and enthusiastic in their desire to confer this honour, such as it was, upon Mrs Geddes   – (applause) – as a mark of esteem and affection in which she was held by them all.  (Applause)   He had great pleasure in asking her to open the hall.




Mrs Geddes, received with an outburst of applause, said: – I feel very flattered at being asked to come tonight and say a few words to you on such a memorable occasion.  At first when I received your invitation my inclination was to refuse as I am so unused to public speaking, although my family always tell me I have plenty to say at home.  (Laughter)  Still my scruples were overcome when I realised how much the object of our meeting here tonight meant to me.  (Applause)  Hitherto we have been deeply indebted to the Education Authority for the use of the school, but it has long been our ambition to possess a hall of our own worthy of the parish and capable of being used for the various meetings and entertainments to which the Glass folk are so greatly addicted.  (Applause)  Today we may look with pride on this building and feel that something indeed has been achieved and a long felt want supplied.  (Applause)  When you look round I feel sure you will agree with me that the hall is an appropriate one, commodious and even handsome in its design and workmanship.  (Applause)  An American friend of ours speaking admiringly of the city of Aberdeen said “It has a well built and paid-for look about it”   I doubt if we can claim the last clause of that remark about our new possession, but we are getting on that way.  (Applause)   The hall has not been raised as if by the magic touch of a wizard’s wand.  Indeed, it represents a very strenuous effort on the part of the whole community and many generous gifts of money and furnishings from kind friends.  (Applause)  I leave it to others, notably Mr Guthrie, who kindly acted as secretary to the building committee, to tell of our financial status and other details.  It only rests with me now to offer you my warmest congratulations and my very best wishes for the prosperity of the hall.  I hope it may form a boon and blessing not only to this generation but to the many who will follow us.  (Applause)  I thank you all again for the privilege you have given me in asking me to declare the Glass Parish Hall open.

Mrs Geddes then resumed her seat amidst renewed applause.

A pleasing incident took place when the pretty little daughter of Mr and Mrs Duncan, Edinglassie, presented Mrs Geddes with a charming bouquet of beautiful winter flowers.




Before proceeding to give a narrative of the events which led up to the erection of the hall, Mr Guthrie read the following telegrams;-

“Am very sorry I cannot be with you tomorrow night, and I would like you to give the committee my very good wishes on the auspicious occasion of the opening of the new hall in Glass – Alan Cameron”

“Best wishes for the hall – Kessler”

A letter was also read from Miss J. A. Ross, St Anne’s Huntly, sister of the previous minister of Glass., intimating that she was to give £50 towards the hall.  It was a great disappointment, she wrote, not to be in Glass with them tomorrow evening among the old friends in Glass.




Mr Guthrie went on to say how the hall had been spoken of ever since he came there 14 years ago.   The first practical steps towards its erection were taken by Mrs Cameron and her Girl Guides and through their efforts a sum of £23 was raised.   Then the matter was taken up by the W.R.I. under the energetic presidency of Mrs Kessler, and in course of time they raised the £23 to £116.  (Applause)  Of this, £80 he understood, was invested in War Savings Certificates, and he was looking anxiously for these, but the women were slow to part with money.  (Laughter)  The next move was taken by the Nursing Association and Mrs Kessler organised a sale for the dual purpose of helping to provide the nurse with a car and raise money for the hall movement.  The sale, which was held the summer before last, realised the handsome sun of £207, of which £69 went to the Nursing Association and £138 to the hall fund.  (Applause)  That was really a very considerable nest egg, but he thought it would take a while’s sitting upon before it was hatched out into a hall – (laughter) – and he was quite prepared for that, because they had a great deal of work in connection with the sale and he would have gladly enjoyed a rest for a while.  But he did not know what was before him.   Shortly after the sale he was up one evening at Edinglassie when Mr and Mrs Pinsent were home and they had asked what the hall would cost.  They were not ambitious at that time and were speaking about erecting an army hut or something of that sort, and he said they might get that for £500.   A few days afterwards he received a letter from Mrs Pinsent saying that she and her husband had been thinking over the matter and would be pleased to give £250 towards the hall in memory of her father.  (Applause)  A meeting of the committee was called and he must say they wakened up when they heard of this considerable donation.  (Applause)  The result was a small committee was appointed to visit some of the halls in the neighbourhood, and through the kindness of Mrs Cameron and Mrs Kessler they were driven to Premnay and Tough, and the farther they went the more ambitious they became.   (Laughter and applause)   They thought it was a pity to disfigure that beautiful parish with a galvanised iron hall, and they began to aim at higher things, something like the Tough Hall.   After their visits to these halls they got another pleasant surprise, Mr Cameron of Blairmore offering another £250.  That brought the fund up to roughly £750.  Then Mr Bridge, who was up for his Christmas holidays, said he would give a piano in memory of his father, Sir Frederick Bridge, one of their great men who had made the parish of Glass famous.  (Applause)   Mr Bridge, however, thought it would be advisable to defer sending the piano until the walls were perfectly dry and Mrs Pinsent had sent up a piano belonging to her, requesting them to take the use of it and, when done with it, to sell it on behalf of the fund.  (Applause)   Their latest donation was a most generous one from Miss Ross, who was an old friend of very many there – (applause)-and greatly respected and loved in the parish while she was in it.  She had intimated she was to give £50, so that roughly they had now £830.  Roughly, the hall would cost £1030, so there was still a deficit of £200.  He would like to see this deficit wiped off as soon as possible, and he did not think it would be long before it was.  (Applause)  He wished to thank the farmers who had helped to reduce the cost by driving material for the foundation and also for the walks round about.  (Applause)   If they had had to pay for that the hall would have been considerably more costly.

Votes of thanks were then proposed by Mr Shand, to Mrs Geddes; and by Mr Bonnyman, to the architect and tradesmen.

Mr Lobban, in reply, said it had been a great pleasure to work for them there, and it was all the more so when they found their efforts appreciated.  He wished to take that opportunity of thanking the committee for the confidence they had placed in him, and the contractors for the co-operation they had given himself and each other.  As Mr Bonnyman had said it always made for smooth sailing when they worked harmoniously together.  (Applause)  He congratulated the committee, their Chairman, Mr Kessler, who unfortunately was not there that evening, Mr Shand and Mr Guthrie.  (Applause)   They had put themselves to the trouble and expense of visiting other halls in the vicinity so that he and the contractors would know exactly what was wanted.




Following the opening a delightful concert was held.  Those who took part were the Girl Guides, who contributed a chorus; Miss Stuart and Mr Stuart, Dufftown, songs; Misses McGregor and Stuart, and Mr Stuart, trio; Mr A. Grant, Dufftown, violin selections; Mrs Thomson and Mrs Anderson, Glass, sketch; Misses Connon, McDonald, Gordon and Nicol, all of Dufftown, dances; Mrs McGill, Keith and Mr Murison, Keith, songs and pianoforte selections; Miss McGregor, organist, was in charge of the programme.

Excellent music for the dance was provided by Whitecross’s band from Huntly.   The ladies who attended to the refreshments were Mrs Duff, Boghead; Mrs Morrison, Mill House; Mrs Duncan, Edinglassie, and Miss Thomson, Lowrie.

The whole proceedings passed off most pleasantly and successfully.

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