Of all the meetings of the Congress week the Golden Age meeting was felt to be the most encouraging. On September 14th, at six o’clock the Provost,—Mr. Sidney Beard, his kindly and devoted wife, and the Registrar—Mr. Pengelly. with other members of the Council, were ready to receive visitors. St. Martin’s Town Hall, in which the meeting took place was well suited for the occasion, being bright and cosy looking.
The time passed in conversion, and in the enjoyment of the very tasteful repast provided by Mr. and Mrs. Beard, until at half-past seven the meeting commenced. A hymn by Mr. Brice of Exeter was first sung, after which the Rev. James Clark invoked the Devine blessing on the work of the Order.
Then Mr. Beard spoke, and told or the success achieved, of many who had been turned to righteous living and of his own determination to give his life to the cause. It had been to him a great joy to work in this cause; he had found in it his life-work. Mr. Beard quite drew the hearts of the friends to him. Then Mrs. Boult addressed the meeting, and paid a warm tribute to the pioneers of vegetarianism. She felt the present liberty enjoyed by us was the fruit of their ungrudging toil. Her speech throughout was greatly enjoyed.
The Rev. James Clark then gave an address, and in his quiet, forceful yet beautiful manner told of the gladness the work of the Order of the Golden Age had given him. He had felt that there was behind it a great force, a power that would achieve much for the cause of vegetarianism which was the cause of humanity. They honoured Mr. Beard for his high gifts, and for the splendid work he was doing.
The Rev. A. M. Mitchel, of Newton-le-Willows, then gave a splendid and eloquent speech, he did not wish to be even so powerful a thing as a sledge hammer, in this good cause, he wanted to be a battering ram. We were all glad to have listened to his inspiring speech. Next came the speech of Mr. Harold Whiston, full of burning fire and consecrated determination to do and dare for the bloodless diet.
Mr. Whiston is a young man. and promises well to become a tower of strength in the vegetarian cause, he posses oratorical powers of no mean order. He had, he said , been called upon to make sacrifices for the principles he now held, but he bad made them cheerfully, and would again, if conscience led. Mr. A. F. Hills who had come in late, said how glad he was to be there, and how grateful he was for the good that was being done for vegetarianism by the Herald of the Golden Age, there being everything helpful, and nothing harmful to the cause in its pages.
A short speech from Mr. Pengelly, full of devotion and energy, with the benediction from Rev. A. M. Mitchell brought to a close one of the most inspiring meetings I have ever attended. Such harmony prevailed, everything was to our liking and so our hearts were well in tune. The Order of the Golden Age has come to stay. May it meet with continued success !—A. BROADBEST.
The Vegetarian Messenger, October 1897