My Tour of Europe

My Tour of Europe

WHAT should be the attitude of mind towards a trip abroad of a person who has lived to know that a movement into which he breathed life has spread over the face of the earth, and who has been reading for a decade and the half of another decade of the exploits of his youngster in foreign parts.

Yes, what should be the attitude of this man who has for eighteen years been the husband of a Wee Scotch lassie whose soul has yearned for the sight (If the old "hame’’ land, what should be this mind attitude towards a journey in her company to the country of purple heather, a country amazing in its physical beauty, and even more amazing in tradition and unfathomable depth of sentiment

Even with all these lures and attractions the long dreamed-of visit might have been further deferred but for the peremptory demands of a nervous disorder of my lassie. From the turmoil of everyday affairs it is not easy to extricate One’s self, but the welfare of a loved one rises above all other considerations, and ones native air is often found the most efficacious of all restoratives. The great day came and we were off.

Yes, what attitude of mind? Should a parent of such a movement ride in on a high wave of publicity. Should lie yearn for the blare of trumpets and the flaunting of flags flow could lie? The sound of trumpets dies out, the memory of flaunting flags fast fades. Better to slip into the consciousness of men !!

A fine Rotary meeting in Montreal, a splendid send-off, an idea! crossing on the Laurentic, and then a few fleeting but imperishable days in the company of my lassie in her native land, before leaving her in the hands and hearts of brother, sister, cousins, and friends. Once again after many years I was a stranger in a strange land.

Down into the Burns Country I went, to worship at the shrine of an immortal. As I sat at the table where Bobby, Jonnie, Tam, and their companions were wont to sit, the thought came to me, ‘‘What a wonderful nucleus for a Rotary Club.‘‘ There may be Rotarians today fired by the same deep love of their fellow—man, but there was one who by inimitable genius was capable of making his heart beats felt through the centuries. What a Rotarian he would have been, this man who so loved the companionship of his fellow-men that he combed the country side for yokels with whom to commune, this man who, though living in a dark age, definitely and clearly divines the plan of a world-fellowship. The Rotary platform is Rotary’s first constructive piece of literature, hut centuries before it was ever dreamed of the peasant bard of Ayr struck the keynote of unbounded fellowship. All honour to him whose genius and whose love for his fellow-men was so transcendent that we gratefully accept his leadership even to-day.

While the Burns fellowship clubs are little heard of outside their own circles, their total membership

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approximates the total membership of Rotary International. What a testimonial to the life of a man and the ideals he so gloriously represented.

Following my visit to Ayr came a long-anticipated visit to the Lake District, famous for its beauty and famous also in the Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, and Ruskin associations. What - a school of masters of English literature, and how remarkable that these men of letters should have been drawn from one place and another to a location which some would call the most beautiful in England, there to live, to work, and eventually to die. They must have found peace, contentment, happiness, and rest midst the beauties of Nature and far from the madding crowd. While in Keswick I had my first experience since landing with the English fair sex. I had always thought of them as cold and formal, but my experience undeceived me. I happened to be one of a party to view the beauties of the district by lorry and chanced to be placed beside three young ladies. I remembered what had been said of English ladies and concluded to draw upon my limited cold-storage supply of Yankee reserve. All might have gone well had it not been for the fact that I fell into a fit of coughing. Alas! the lady next to me dug up a cough lozenge, which she begged me to accept and the whole reserve plot was thereby blown into smithereens. One can’t do a successful reserve stunt when a pretty girl hands him a lozenge for his cough. We became a happy party forth with—yes, I have made a clean breast of it and my lassie has stamped the entire procedure with her approval.

Following Keswick came the Shakespeare country, Oxford, Warwick Castle, and Kenilworth in quick succession, hut I am not writing a guide-book for American tourists and must therefore hasten on. This is an impressionistic account merely of a very happy and eventful eight weeks of travel in Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Holland, and Germany, most of the time being spent in the companionship of Rotarian friends of the before- mentioned countries.

All roads lead to London, and there I soon found myself. At the station, under the leadership of Tom Stephenson and Vivian Carter, were many of the most distinguished men in British Rotary. Some I had met in my own country, others were familiar in name only; all bid me enthusiastic welcome. It was an honour beyond my deserts, but it bore testimony of the high esteem in which Rotary is held in the gigantic British Metropolis.

Two feverish days in the enjoyment of British hospitality followed. I wish that space permitted a more detailed account. I will mention only pilgrimages to the home of Charles Dickens and another to the Old Curiosity Shop, on the Saturday. On Sunday morning it was my privilege to see a delegation of 275 British and Continental Rotary enthusiasts off for the Inter national Convention. They were a happy and highly representative party. Monday morning found me speeding on my way to Birmingham, where, under the arrangement made by R.I.B.I. Headquarters and as guest of R.I.B.I., I was to make my maiden British speech. When the time came I did my turn, and at its conclusion resolved that I had better tune up or quit. The next day in Belfast, after a poor night’s rest while crossing the Channel, I spoke again, with the result that I regained some of my ebbing self-respect, and during the afternoon drove with Belfast Rotarians to the Giant’s Causeway.

The Dublin Club gave me a Wednesday meeting, and in the afternoon it was my privilege to be introduced to President Cosgrave by a Rotarian who, in the presence of the President, said: “A brief period has passed since the time when I was a British officer on service in Ireland, and this man” (referring to the President) “was under penalty of death.” “That’s right,” said the President, “and it may be interesting to you to know that I have just appointed to a judgeship the lawyer who prosecuted the case against me so efficiently that he obtained a death penalty.” I remember a time-honoured, but not frequently observed, adjuration about turning the other cheek when smitten on the one. There it was in real life, and, holy smoke, they were Irish!

On the return trip across the Channel it was my fortune to meet a Rotarian from Hull who had a good story to tell. He had been to America in the interests of his firm (manufacturers of dredges) to learn of American methods. The result had been satisfactory; he had been received everywhere with courtesy. Processes and methods were revealed to him without reservation. He was so deeply impressed that when he happened to learn that one of the American houses was contemplating the establishment of a London branch which would come in direct competition with his own firm, he wrote the president of his company. In his letter he first expressed the hope that it would not be thought that he had gone stark-mad, and then went on to tell of the plans of the American house, and to propose that until the American house became established the facilities of the Hull house be placed at their disposal. A wonderful example of international co-operation, was it not? In such incidents there is promise of the dawn of a better day.

Then came Liverpool and a host of hospitable friends. They had been both writing and wiring me to make certain that I paid their city a visit. When it became possible to include their city in my itinerary, it was found that they had booked another speaker for the particular day. He graciously consented to a change of date and I was on.

My day at Liverpool was made especially memorable by a visit to Port Sunlight, where I was shown through the soap-works. Lord Leverhulme’s institution of world-wide fame had till this time always seemed to me to be just a world-wide system of soap factories, colossal to be sure: they give employment to nearly one hundred thousand men and women. But after my visit the institution assumed an entirely different aspect—to be a place where souls were being molded into a semblance of the Divine. There are sermons of words and sermons of deeds. Port Sunlight is of the latter and constitutes the most eloquent of all sermons.
Did I see the Liverpool Cathedral? I did, but that’s a story in itself. I am not writing of the architectural wonders—ancient or modern—of Great Britain; I am writing a Rotary story, and am including only incidents of special interest to Rotarians. In this connection, however, the Liverpool Cathedral is worthy of special mention; it was the place where one much loved by Rotarians on both sides of the Atlantic at one time served.

After the close of the meeting I asked the President Elect of R.I.B.I., who had been patient enough to listen to me at Birmingham also, which of my two speeches he liked best, and his explosive declaration in favour of the Liverpool address on “Rotary and its Critics” caused me to relegate the Birmingham address on “The Genesis of Rotary” to the repair shop for alterations. I was grateful for his frank comment because I still had many important meetings before me.

After Liverpool came Leeds, which city I approached with fear and trembling. There are a lot of Rotary brains in Leeds, but I hobbled through. I am not going to attempt to describe the fairyland home I slept in that night. I know my limitations. I haven’t the words, nor am I going to try, to describe the events of the following two days, except to state that we dedicated a boys’ camp at Harrogate, visited cathedrals, castles, and abbeys— no, we did not miss York—and then away to Nottingham.

I suppose that to many “The Dukeries” are the features of transcendent interest of Nottinghamshire. They are of interest, but I must remind myself again of the fact that this is a Rotary story and not a chronicle of incidents of general interest. Rotarians will be glad to know the great University which is being created in Nottingham through the benefactions of one man whose great soul is the tenant of an invalid body, because Rotarians are always interested in the work of heroic men.

American Rotarians would also have liked to have met the good folks it was my good fortune to meet in Nottingham, among whom were two remarkable Modern Crusaders in the fight for a better and higher order. If anyone thinks that Britain is not making social progress I recommend a visit to Nottingham.

Tuesday evening I again arrived in London, and again I was met by a delegation of London Rotarians, with whom I dined.
On Wednesday came the great meeting of the London Club at the Hotel Cecil. Many cities and countries were represented. It has never been my privilege to address a more inspiring gathering, and the setting was in full keeping.

On the evening of that same memorable Wednesday I attended and addressed another meeting of Rotarians and ladies representing the Clubs of the London District.

On the following day I visited the Houses of Parliament, addressed the Kensington Club, and by the time darkness came I was safely tucked in bed in the beautiful city of Plymouth in South-Western England, far from the scene of my morning and midday adventures.

I had three wonderful days in glorious Devon and Cornwall. My cup verily was made to run over. Some of the delightful incidents were visits to the Clubs at Plymouth, Torquay, Bideford, and Kingsbridge; afternoon tea with Lord and Lady Seaton at their country seat, drives along the Devon coast and across the far-famed Moorlands, an hour at Clovelly. I had read Harper’s story of rambles in Devon and felt quite at home.

Monday noon found me studying Rotary in Bristol. I went there to deliver a message. Whether or not I succeeded is beside the question. Bristol Rotary delivered a message to me. Of him who thinks he knows his Rotary I ask: “Have you ever visited the Bristol Rotary Club; if not, go there and get material for another chapter.” I will not attempt to enumerate the activities of Rotary in Bristol; I will simply say that they are legion, and that they are skillfully and enthusiastically carried out in and from Rotary House, concerning which a full chapter might be written. The so- called objective activities are the order of the day in Bristol.

But we must not linger longer. We must cover Wales this day, and we have miles yet to go. Let those who contend that American hustle is mythological revise their reckonings.

We could define some objects as we sped along, but for the most part the landscape was a blur until we came to a full stop at the house of a Rotarian on a hill-top in Newport; and such a home and such a hill-top! When we had satiated our appetites feasting on the vision spread before and below us we were asked into the house for tea. As we entered the front door we noted that the back door was open, and we gasped with astonishment as another exquisite view of an entirely different valley was revealed to us. I said that we had already satiated our appetites. I will take it back; we had whetted our appetites as an anchovy relish whets one’s appetite for a real dinner.

The amazingly long twilight made it possible to cover the remaining distance to Cardiff, and to whiz about the city a bit before the chairman called the meeting to order. Several Welsh and English Clubs were represented. We had a stirring meeting and abundant good fellowship before I took to the “hay,” as they put it in my own home land.

• It is some distance from Cardiff, Wales, to London, England, but it simply had to be done that following forenoon because I had considerable business to transact in London, a noon-day meeting to address in Canterbury, the enchanting Cathedral to visit, a drive to Dover, a crossing to Calais; a railroad trip to Paris. All went as per schedule; that is to say I got out of bed in the morning in Cardiff, Wales, crossed England and the Channel, and went to bed that night in Paris with every engagement filled. How rapidly we traveled can be imagined when ‘I state that the luncheon in Canter bury had been begun before we left London. Seventy miles between soup and nuts— think of it! And some folks say that Englishmen are slow! I am prepared to say that they are not. I had never experienced any thing more sporty than aeroplaning, but aeroplaning is short sport as compared with tearing over winding English roads at — miles per hour. The number of miles per hour is purposely omitted as is also the name of the chauffeur. If further particulars are desired, please apply to the London office—I am through.


I ARRIVED at Calais in a drenching rain, my discomfort none the less because in my rush I had failed to get my pass port viséd. Imagine a worn traveller standing in a downpour, trying to explain in poor French to an excited group of officers why his passport was not viséd! Somehow I got to Paris without.

So this is Paris! Thirty years have come and gone since last I beheld you! No, I am not going to compare you with London, New York, or Chicago. All three cities have their charms; so also have you.

There was nothing lacking in the spirit of the meeting of the Paris Club. The good attendance included fifteen or twenty foreigners, most of whom were Americans. I abbreviated my address because of the necessity of its being translated. The translation was done by the President- elect, a handsome grey-haired gentle man of forty-nine, who confided to me that he was a grandfather. During the meeting he was jovial—indeed, it may be said that he was the life of the party. At the close he pressed my hand, stating he must rush to the hospital as his son had suffered an infraction of the skull. Tears filled his eyes, chasing his smiles away as mists dispel the sun. There’s no great distance between smiles and tears with our French friends.

Versailles, and the sacred spot where thousands of American boys have been laid to rest, were objects of interest during the next two days. The poppies, and the French peasants who were so happily harvesting their crops, had reclaimed their own, and there were infrequent reminders only of the heartlessness of war.

On a sultry evening in June I found myself shut up in a close compartment of a sleeping-car with an elderly gentleman. He proved to be a person of character and determination, and he stoutly refused to permit the window to be opened. I had read that the peasants of Brittany habitually sleep in air tight compartments and concluded that he was of their ilk. Fortunately I was too tired to remonstrate, and on my regaining consciousness we had arrived in Zurich, Switzerland, where are located the European head quarters of Rotary International.

It seemed good to be in the hands of Russell Williams, the assistant manager, who with his good wife had recently come from Chicago. T. C. Thomsen, the manager, was expected to meet me somewhere along the line.

The Zurich meeting was splendid, as was also the hospitality extended me in that beautiful city. The next afternoon, Russell, Mrs. Russell, and I were being driven by Berne Rotarians in a Chrysler car over indescribably beautiful mountains and along gem-like lakes, through Lucerne and Interlaken to Berne, where we were greeted by a goodly gathering of the local Rotarians and their ladies. We arrived two hours late, but there never had been another such two hours. There could not be on this earth.

The next day the sights of Berne, and then off to Bale. Late in starting, of course, but that made up for the lost time the night before. The Bale Rotarians were notified by telephone, and I was rushed off on a circuitous route in the custody of a train-man who was charged with the responsibility of seeing that I changed cars at the right places, and did not fool away any of my time on my already belated journey to Bale. It was one thing to lose time seeing the sights of Berne and quite a different thing losing time getting lost.

Bale came in for sight-seeing, fellowship, and a very spirited meeting. It came in for another thing also—a fleeting meeting with T. C. Thomsen, Rotary Commissioner for Europe. He saw me on my train for Strasbourg.

On arrival at my hotel in Strasbourg a note written in French was placed in my band, announcing my invitation to dine with Strasbourg Rotarians at another hotel. There being insufficient time to get my dinner-coat pressed, it became necessary for me to go as I was. Through miscalculation I arrived twenty minutes early instead of the conventional little bit late. Twenty minutes is twenty minutes, and there are few such to spare when one is traveling under forced draft, so I employed them in answering some urgent letters. My hosts came in and, noticing my preoccupation, politely refrained from interfering until I at length discovered them. I am sure they must have thought it very funny to have seen their guest so engaged. I presume that to them it was just another manifestation of American hustle. The Strasbourg Rotarians were obviously of high standard. After dinner we took a drive to the Cathedral, and from there I went to my hotel, retiring early because of the prospective early start on the morrow.

Next came Mayence and a day of rest, and still another day of delightful relaxation, this day being spent on the Rhine en route to Cologne, where we arrived at six-thirty. Enquiry at the desk revealed the fact that the Rotary dinner would be on at eight o’clock. The meeting was all that might have been expected. The University of Cologne was represented by its President and by its Professor of Sociology. There were also present the head of one of Germany's greatest system of stores, manufacturers, and business men in general of the highest standing. After the meeting we crossed the Rhine on a bridge, and from the top of an observation-tower viewed the city, illumined for the Exhibition then in progress, the beautifully proportioned Cathedral constituting the background of the picture. It was, indeed, an impressive sight. On our return to the hotel farewells were said, and I retired with happy memories of a pleasant day with my German friends.

On crossing the Dutch frontier the following day I noted a familiar name on an advertisement. The name was Verkade. It made me feel quite at home, as it would any American Rotarian who knows Anton Verkade, the father of Dutch Rotary.

I spent my first night in Holland as the guest of the District Governor, a gentleman who had spent sixteen years in Java, and then returned to his native land to spend his remaining years in literary pursuits and in doing just what he pleases.

The meeting at The Hague and the meeting on the following day in Amsterdam would have gladdened the heart of anyone interested in Rotary. For three days I was the guest of Anton, who exhibited to me a practical demonstration of the spirit of Rotary in the thousand workers which he has literally gathered about him; his own home is in the midst of his factories and among the homes of his workers.

Sunday evening found me on a sleeper en route to Germany again— Hamburg being my destination on this occasion. I had scarcely located my room at the splendid Rotary hotel when I received a telephone- call from “T. C.,” who had arrived in Hamburg an hour earlier. We spent the day together, and I learned much of Rotary progress in Europe. That evening it was my privilege to attend another splendid Rotary meeting. Dr. Cuno, the President; formerly Chancellor of Germany and now President of the Hamburg— Amerika Line, had not as yet returned from the Minneapolis Convention, but it was obvious that the members had been selected from the highest ranks of cultural and business life in Germany. Men of inter national importance were in attendance at the meeting.

In one particular respect my experience may be of benefit to future visitors to German Clubs. Neither in Cologne nor in Hamburg was I called upon by the chairman to speak as had been the practice else where. The natural result was that I did not speak until it had become in other ways manifest that I was expected to do so. In Hamburg “T. C.” astounded me somewhat by seizing the gavel, calling the meeting to order, and making a brief address on matters of current interest to German Rotarians, after which, by various signs and exclamations, he indicated to me that it would be quite in order for me to do likewise. I could not, however, readily over come my reluctance in becoming my own announcer until convinced. It must be then or never, whereupon I arose and, I am quite certain, said just the wrong thing.

Was it that the German Rotarians were averse to hearing speeches? I am satisfied that it was not. Their omission was due to a difference in custom, and to an innate delicacy which prevented them from calling upon me to do something which I possibly might not be in a humour to do.

On the following afternoon I boarded a tiny steamer, bound down the Elbe and across the Channel for Grimsby, in Northern England. The journey gave me a day of much- needed rest in preparation for the stirring events which awaited me.

A short railway journey from Grimsby, plus a trip by ferry, landed me in a little ahead of time, which circumstance was the occasion of considerable perplexity and distress on the part of the Reception Committee; however, I hove in under my own steam and on schedule. A visit to the City Hall and the home of the Great Emancipator, Wilberforce, in company of the Hull manufacturer before mentioned, followed; then luncheon and the usual meeting with the local Rotarians and guests from other cities.

Please do not think of the fore going as a day’s work—it was the beginning only of a day’s work. While the day of the two big London meetings had constituted the record in aggregate attendance, and the day of the whirl from Cardiff to Paris had constituted the record in the chain of stirring events, the day begun in Grimsby was destined to outdo the London day in attendance and to rival the Cardiff—Paris day in stirring events.

After the Hull inter-city meeting I was driven nearly one hundred miles by Doncaster Rotarians to Clumber Park, the seat of the late Duke of Newcastle, where thirteen hundred Rotarians from the Northern and Midland counties were assembled.

It was a great privilege to meet many whom I could not have met otherwise, as it was a delight to renew my acquaintance with many whom I had previously met in Leeds, Nottingham, Harrogate, York, and other cities. With the aid of an amplifier I succeeded in being heard by some, if not all, of the great assembly.

But the activities of the day were not yet over. Late in the afternoon we again took to our trusty auto mobile and drove to Doncaster, where a meeting of Rotarians and ladies was already assembled. This was scheduled to begin at nine-thirty, but was a little late, and the hour-hand of my watch was pointing at eleven when I began speaking. After the meeting and its greetings we repaired to the home of my host, where, after a little chat by the fireside, I turned in, feeling that I had done my bit.


ON the following morning I bid adieu to a gathering which had assembled to see me off, and, after a run by rail through interesting country, arrived in Newcastle, my last stop in England. I was first given a fellowship reception at the hotel; then came the big inter-city meeting, personal greetings, hand shaking, and autographs following the usual custom. Among my telegrams was one from my lassie, stating that she would meet me in Glasgow. Glad tidings—we had been long separated! While the purpose of her trip was to see the places which she had held sacred in memory and to enjoy the benefits of her native air, she had, nevertheless, been doing quite a round of religious assemblies and conferences in company with the two ministers, her brother, and her brother-in-law. In other words, while I had been on the herein described Rotarian debauch she had been on a mild-mannered Presbyterian orgy her own sweet self.

Following the Newcastle meeting we were off for a drive along the Roman Wall, afternoon tea at the home of a retired Army officer, and back to the hotel just in time to change clothes for an evening meeting; then another night was spent in a beautiful English home.

The following day 1 was given another treat—a ride over the hills and through the beautiful vales of Northern England and Southern Scotland to Edinburgh. We took in the Sir Walter Scott country en route, arriving in Edinburgh just too late to connect with the fast train to Glasgow, with the result that I did not see my lassie that night, she having returned to Greenock. How ever, pleasures long deferred are frequently best, and in course of time we were together again. I had hoped that she would remain in Scotland for two or three months longer, but the best compromise obtainable was a two weeks’ prolongation of her visit, which would enable her to attend the Keswick Convention in company with her sister, the two ministers, and a group of friends, while I rushed back by the first boat to America, where important matters were awaiting my attention.

There was one more day of sight seeing before beginning my short itinerary among Scottish Clubs—that day was spent in the Trossachs in company with American Rotarian friends whom I chanced to meet.

The Glasgow meeting was a real fellowship feast, and will be memorable because of the intrusion of Sir Harry Lauder during the course of my address. Of course, the word “intrusion” is not correct, as Harry’s presence could never be an intrusion, but it is the only word which my limited vocabulary affords at the minute. I stopped to shake hands with Harry and then resumed. What do you suppose my subject was? In response to the insistent request of the President I dug up out of memory the speech which had been consigned to the repair-shop in Birmingham— “The Genesis of Rotary.” I polished it up a bit, to be sure, but in the main it was as recognisable as Henry Ford’s antediluvian model “T.”

They are a forgiving people, those Glasgow folks; they closed the meeting with two of Scotland’s sweetest songs, Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot and Will You No Come Back Again. After the meeting we had a happy gathering in a fine old Rotarian home, and, best of all, my lassie was there. Hopes were thereby raised that she might feel able to be with me in Dundee and Edinburgh. A day or two later we went to Dundee, where we were guests of Sister Joe and brother-in-law, Rev. John. The pièce de résistance, of course, was Joe’s baby, a six months’ old Presbyterian; he is more than that—in fact, he is an uncompromising Covenanter.

The Dundee meeting was Al, and several cities were represented. On the morrow we made our way to Edinburgh. I have heard my Jean state that her love of her native city is so deep that she could crawl there on her hands and knees. Knowing her as I do I think she could. The noonday meeting was for men only, but she attended the evening meeting. Interest naturally centred in her. I could scarcely realise that the day had at last come—that my lassie had been returned to her beloved Edinburgh.

The meeting was impressive, and those in attendance were thoroughly representative. At its close friends suggested a drive, and, though it was midnight, we started for the Forth Bridge. It seemed, I will admit, a mad thing to do, and not at all consistent with one’s thoughts of Edinburgh. One might do some thing like that in New York or Chicago and think nothing of it, but a midnight ride in Edinburgh— well, it does not seem to fit.

Who were the friends who led us into this weird piece of business? Oh, please get this: they were not• Americans. British, conservative, respectable British—Rotarian George and Mrs. George Mitchell, Somerset artists, who came 400 miles on the chance of getting me to sit for a bust. Needless to say, I sat. After that demonstration of zeal I would have seated myself on top of a flag pole had it been necessary.

On our return from the bridge we drove about the city, taking a kaleidoscopic view of the sights of historic interest. Then another thing happened which may, in the opinion of some, be worthy of place in this table of incongruities. My lassie said: “You wanted to see Greyfriars and the statue erected to Bobby”— and so I did. At 1.30 a.m. we were being directed to the run down part of the classic city, the part which owes a portion of its fame to the fact that for more than fourteen years it was the home of the greatest little dog that ever drew the breath of life, As we stood before the monument a policeman flashed his light on the little figure in the likeness of Bobby, while my lassie stepped on the base and, reaching high, caressed the bronze back of the statue and said: “Poor little Bobby!” If there are any who read these lines who have not read the story of canine love and devotion called Greyfriars Bobby, I hope that they will do so. To me it is not a tribute to a dog only: it is a tribute to a great people who have carried sentiment to immortal heights.

Good-night, Bobby! A few brief hours remain for rest, then it will be, Good-bye, Edinburgh!

I have derived much inspiration from my visits to .Rotary Clubs. There are many heights and occasional mountain-peaks. During the course of the pilgrimage which has just been terminated many heights have been disclosed to my admiring vision. I have seen many things which I would love to transplant in my own country, and am more than ever convinced of the interdependence of Great Britain and America. I wish that all American Rotarians could have had the experiences which I have had. I am certain that they would have cemented the friendly relations which already exist. All nations should be friendly, Great Britain and America must be friendly. If Great Britain and America cannot live in peace and harmony, then there is small chance of the coming of the Brotherhood of Man.

My visit has teemed with interesting events, bounteous hospitality, This story is little more than an outline of the major events. I attended many receptions, board meetings, etc., which I am not giving specific mention. To give special mention to some might seem to be ungrateful for others, and yet, the amazing circumstances surrounding one in particular are so striking that I cannot refrain from pointing out what seems to me to be the mountain-peak of ten wonderful weeks.

While at the house in Glasgow already referred to I learned of a member of the Club who had been confined to his bed for six years. For six weary years he has been entirely unable to move any part of his body except his head, and that he can move - but slightly. The Rotarian who informed me stated that it was his custom to call weekly for the purpose of greeting his stricken fellow-member and of reading to him, as the invalid had also suffered the loss of most of his eyesight.

In answer to my enquiry as to his state of mind my informant said: “His mind is simply wonderful. When I come into his bed-chamber he greets me with a ringing laugh. I tell him that he is my strength, that I am a better, stronger man because of his influence; that his courage under his afflictions makes me ashamed to give way to my own petty troubles and annoyances.”
I asked for the name and address, which was given me—George s. Walker, No. 16 Letham Drive, Glasgow—and then my friend enquired, “Is it your intention to write him?” and I answered, “It is.” He said, “It will do him a lot of good.”

I attended to the matter immediately upon my arrival at Greenock. I wrote him that it had been shown me that he was continuing, his affliction notwithstanding, to do his bit in the world’s work—that I had already experienced benefit from his influence.

As I was embarking on the boat for America a letter was placed in my hand; it was from the man of invalid body and mighty soul. He thanked me for my letter, and went on to say that his supposed affliction was not an affliction at all, that it was a blessing—that without it he probably never would have come into his own. That he had thereby been enabled to find himself; that his lot was a joyous and happy one.

Was that not a glorious mountain peak, more glorious than the snow capped Jungfrau glistening in the summer sun, more glorious than the blare of trumpets or roll of drums? “He who conquereth himself is greater than he who taketh a city.”

At the hour of 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 14th, I was at the docks in Greenock in company with lassie and two friends, one a maiden lady and the other a widow, to both of whom we feel greatly indebted. The trio were seeing me off. When the apparent time of parting came, I saluted lassie as usual, then looked at her enquiringly. It was the sign-language of our family. Her answer was audible, “Go ahead.” Whereupon the maiden lady received hers quite unexpectedly. The widow, more versed in such matters, prepared herself for the obvious eventuality, and came head on into the sweet collision. Good-byes are sad, but they have their compensations.

A surprise was in store for us. The representative of the White Star Line discovered me, with the result that I reassembled my party for a trip by lighter to the big boat lying at anchor. Another surprise: the President of the Glasgow Club, his sister and another member had come to see me off. They also were invited to inspect the luxurious quarters which the company had kindly provided me, and the entire party was asked to dinner.

While sitting at the table I said to Mr. President that I had taken it for granted that the British Rotarians had given due consideration to the question of Club singing, and that I had never before been tempted even to mention the subject; but that the splendid results achieved in my presence by the Glasgow Club had given rise to the thought, “It was the progenitors of these men who gave to the world the fellowship song. Whatever the policy may be else where, why may not visiting Rotarians from America, Canada, Australia, etc., have the pleasure of hearing Auld Lang Syne, Annie Laurie, and Will Ye No Come Back Again sung in the land of their origin!”

The answer closed the case: “We don’t sing those songs for everyone.” I felt that I had again fallen short: I had failed to fathom the depths.  [more on "music in Rotary" here]

They were off, and I stood on the top-deck waving farewell to the little group on the lighter with their fluttering handkerchiefs. Is there anything more eloquent than the wave of a Scottish handkerchief? No; I know whereof I speak, for one waves to me from my porch in Chicago each morning as I pass down the quiet and shaded drive reroute to the great city, bristling with nervous energy.
Written on my way across the dividing waters to my own dear country.

Au revoir! PAUL.

Also see Paul Harris' visit to Birmingham in 1928

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