Project Canterbury

The Anglican Church in South America

By the Right Rev. Edward Francis Every, D.D.

London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1915.

Chapter II. Diocese of the Falkland Islands


PORT Stanley is the capital of the colony and only considerable centre of population, claiming 1000 out of the 2000 inhabitants, who are all British. It was founded in church 1833, and is built along the sloping Cathedral, shore of the almost land-locked harbour Portstanley whose convenience and excellence is the reason of the town's existence. It presents a pleasing appearance from the sea on account of its neatness and order.

The cathedral, which corresponds to a seemly little parish church at home, was built from designs by Sir Arthur Blomfield and cost more than £10,080, all the material except the stone facing being brought from England. An additional reason for this high cost was the rate of local wages, especially skilled labour. Large sums had also to be spent on the foundations, the boggy character of the soil being most unsuitable for so solid and heavy a building. The tower was only completed in 1903, and owing to some change in the design is not altogether a success. The church consists of nave without aisles, chancel, organ chamber, vestry and tower, which forms the main entrance at the north-west corner. There is accommodation for 266 worshippers. The style is an adaptation of early English. The outside is of native stone, with facings of brick to all buttresses, doorways, windows and string courses. The tower with broach-spire of corrugated iron, which is also the material of the roof, rises to a height of ninety-eight feet from the ground. Inside the church there is an open timber king-post roof, and a wood-ceiled barrel roof in the chancel three feet lower than the nave roof. The walls are faced with brick, and with a wooden dado ten feet up from the floor, which is of wood blocks on concrete, and there is a good heating apparatus. There is a spacious organ chamber, and an organ by Telford of Dublin, choir stalls, two reading desks, and sedilia for three clergy on the south side, and a credence table, and piscina built into the wall. Some of the nave lights and the large west window are filled with stained glass. There is a Bishop's c air made of oak taken from Canterbury Cathedral. The cathedral was consecrated by the Right Rev. Bishop Stirling, first Bishop of the Falkland Islands, on February 21, 1892" (from Quarterly Record, May, 1904).

Church work in the Islands is inseparably and most honourably connected with the name of Dean Brandon, who worked there whole-heartedly for thirty years from 1877. During the whole of this time he ranked as a "colonial chaplain," his stipend being paid by the Colonial Office, but in 1907, upon his resignation, this grant ceased in accordance with a resolution which had been made public some years previously, "that the grants to the churches will cease as each vacancy occurs." However, this resolution was petitioned against by men of all creeds connected with the Falklands, whether through business or some other way, on account of the clearly proved benefits to the whole community resulting from the ministrations of the clergy, and with such success was the petition urged that the Colonial Office consented to a grant of £200 being continued to the clergy (but without any pledge as to its perpetuity), not on account of their spiritual ministrations, but in regard to the educational and social work done by them throughout the Islands. This threw upon the community, who were already raising considerable sums for the support of an assistant chaplain and other Church purposes, the burden of an additional £200 per annum, but this has been met with the utmost goodwill. It must be explained that the colony consists of sixteen inhabited islands, fourteen of them being grouped round the two largest, the East and West Falklands, which are about one hundred miles by thirty broad. The industry is sheep-farming. Except in Stanley itself, there are no roads. The only means of communication are by horseback or sea, both methods slow and somewhat precarious. The climate is cold and windy, and in winter very wet. There are mountains which rise to a height of 2000 feet, but the "camps" are often boggy and treacherous. Passages to the smaller islands are only made by open boat, and so stormy are the seas that it is a frequent mishap to be weather-bound. About a third of the whole is in the hands of the Falkland Islands Company, who act also as ship repairers and general merchants, and have shown themselves consistently friendly to the Church's work. Their camp centre is Darwin Harbour, named after the great naturalist, who pronounced the place to be fit for neither man nor beast. It has nevertheless developed into the next largest settlement to Port Stanley, and the sheep-farming is a flourishing industry. Shepherds' cottages are dotted about in all kinds of remote places, and also grouped round the farms or stations. Many of the shepherds are highlanders from the West of Scotland, and speak Gaelic. There is a high standard of cleanliness and comfort in most of these cottages. Outside Stanley, where there is a well-equipped Government school, and also a Roman Catholic school, education is carried on by means of travelling schoolmasters, who remain for six weeks, more or less, in each cottage. These are provided by the Company for their employees and others by the Government.

The general plan of Church work is for one of the clergy to remain at Port Stanley, where he serves the cathedral and works the parish much as would be done at home, while the other works the "camps." From the conditions described above, it will be evident that the work of this other must be as remote as conceivable from any home work. Here is an old itinerary which illustrates this. The district is Lafonia, the southern peninsula of East Falkland, named after Mr. Lafone of Montevideo, who at one time rented the whole of it.

"July 23, Hillside; 24, Mount Pleasant, Billhead, Black Rock, High Hill and Darwin; 28, Adventure Sound and North Arm; 30, Horn Hill (wedding) and Mappa; 31, Adventure Sound. August i, North Arm; 3, Cattle Point and Hawke Hill; 4, Peat Banks; 5, North-west Arm and Lion Creek; 6, Dawson Harbour and Moffatt Harbour; 7, The Wreck Rowanna and Egg Harbour; 8, Hope Cottage, Orqueta and Darwin; 10, Lively Island in cutter 'Flora'; 11, Walker Creek; 12, Upper Walker Creek; 13, Island Creek; 14, Seal Cove; 17, Miles Creek; 18, Low Bay, The Trap, Arrow Harbour; 19, Bodie Creek, Orqueta, Paragon, Tranquilidad; 20, Orqueta and Darwin; 21, High Hill; 25, Teal Creek, Bluff Creek, Laguna Isle; 26, Hill Head and Mount Pleasant; 27, Hillside; 28, Fitzroy North and Stanley.

"Summary of five weeks' work and travel: Services, 15; Baptisms, 6; Celebrations of the Holy Communion, 1; Bible readings, 49; children examined and catechized, 40; houses visited, 59; Marriages, 1."

It will be seen that some of the names above are Spanish. This is one of the relics of the Spanish occupation, as also are the wild cattle which still survive in the mountains. Harness and horse gear generally are also called by Spanish names. The people themselves, with the exception of a few English-speaking foreigners, are entirely British. There were never any Indian or other aboriginal inhabitants.

Keppell is an island of some historic interest to students of missions. After the disasters in Tierra del Fuego, which had seemed like the end of the whole effort to win those savages, the island was leased by the Government to the South American Missionary Society at a peppercorn rent, being uninhabited at the time, and was utilized by them for some years as a training place for native Fuegian boys. It was to this lonely spot that Mr. Stirling (as he then was) set sail from Bristol in 1862, landing with his wife and children on January 30, 1863. Mr. W. B. Grubb had his first experiences of Indians here. For many years, and until the lease was disposed of, the station was in charge of Mr. R. Whaites, a faithful and much esteemed missionary.


THE Chilians are the most homogeneous and virile nation in South America, the original immigrants from the Peninsula being of a good stock, and the Indian tribes with whom they blended some of the stubbornest and bravest. The climate also is more temperate than similar latitudes elsewhere, on account of the proximity of the giant chain of the Andes and the cool current which sets up the coast from the south. Since the war with Peru, Chile has had some 3000 miles of coastline. In the north it is rainless and desert; in the centre there is a moderate rainfall and the country is exquisitely fertile; in the south there is excessive rain, and there are masses of dark gloomy forest--until the Straits of Magellan are reached, where other conditions prevail. The towns where the British commercial communities have settled are mostly on the seaboard. The capital, Santiago, being an inland city, Valparaiso, on the coast, the second largest city, has from the first been our most important centre. A feature of British life on the coast is the group of four or five great commercial houses, doing both import and export business; these have their centres at Valparaiso and establish branches throughout the country, employing large numbers of Englishmen. Another special feature is the Pacific Steam Navigation Company localized upon the coast, having its offices in Valparaiso and running its steamers under the British flag. The English-managed railways are few and small compared with the State Railways--a great contrast to Argentina. Also here few Englishmen are engaged in farming; almost all are in business. Except in the nitrate fields in the north, they are mostly to be found in the towns.

This is undoubtedly the largest and most important church upon the west coast. Externally it is not prepossessing, being low and Valparaiso without any marked features, but the interior is spacious and pleasing. It is said that the roof was specially constructed to withstand earthquakes, and was admired by engineers for its strength and solidarity. Unfortunately it was tested only too thoroughly by the great earthquake disaster of 1906. But this is to anticipate its history. From the best sources available, it appears that Anglican Church services were held in Valparaiso for many years previous to the building of St. Paul's Church in 1858. The first chaplain came in 1837, but for twelve years before that date godly laymen are recorded to have held services in private houses. At that time, Valparaiso was the headquarters of the British Squadron in the Pacific, and as there was usually a man-of-war in the bay with a chaplain on board, it is likely that the want of a resident chaplain was not felt, especially as it was the custom to send boats to bring from the shore those who wished to attend service and send them back afterwards. Besides, these naval chaplains would no doubt administer the sacraments from time to time. Another reason why a local chaplain was not obtained earlier may have been the rigorous law prohibiting any but the Roman Catholic religion, and the natural reluctance of the merchants to imperil their friendly relations with their Chilian customers, by introducing a clergyman of their own. The first chaplain only remained two years, and then an interval of several years followed, during which it is recorded that the chaplain of H.M.S. President baptized nineteen children, and another was baptized by the consul. Whether prayers were read by a layman during this time is not known. After 1841, however, the succession of chaplains was maintained without a break. The second chaplain, who remained for ten years, used to conduct services in a room at the back of a house in Santa Victorina. At this time, as in other towns similarly situated, the chaplaincy was a consular one, and the arrangement lasted until 1875. It was during the chaplaincy of the Rev. Richard Dennett, D.D., that the present church was built. The minute books of the church were unfortunately lost in a fire which occurred at the Consulate in 1869. The consular chaplaincy does not appear to have worked altogether smoothly, as on one occasion at least the chaplain appealed to the Crown against the proposed action of the local representatives, and his appeal was sustained. So it was probably an advantage when this arrangement came to an end. As a necessary consequence the legal body of St. Paul's Anglican Church Corporation was then formed which now administers the affairs of the Church. According to this constitution there are five trustees, two of whom are nominated by the chaplain and three elected by the members of the Corporation at an annual meeting. The organ and choir were removed from the west to the east end of the church in 1894. To commemorate the reign of Queen Victoria a magnificent three-manual organ was placed in the church in 1903, being subscribed for by the whole British community. During the chaplaincy of Archdeacon Hunt a beautiful little brick church was built at Vina del Mar to meet the needs of the English in that fast-growing seaside suburb, but this was destroyed, before it was dedicated, by the great earthquake which occurred in the same year, and a new church, dedicated to St. Peter, which is supposed to be earthquake-proof, was built on the same site two years later in the chaplaincy of Archdeacon Hobson. To return to the church, it must be admitted that it stood the test splendidly. Though the east wall of the sanctuary fell out leaving the stained glass window standing skelton-like in air, the building was otherwise uninjured, and the poor native population round being mostly homeless, wet, and terrified, the Trustees considered it their duty to throw it open as a refuge, and many families camped there for some time, and it was said that some children were even brought into the world there. The chaplain had only arrived a fortnight before, and this was his introduction to his charge. He described the beginning of the earthquake thus: "First a terrible up and down shaking of the floor, a gradually increasing noise like the rolling of thunder, mingled with the shrieking of the servants. For a moment I sat where I was, wondering if this was a typical Valparaiso earthquake or something more. Then as the pictures fell about me and the ornaments and the plaster, I went out into the garden. The first two shocks lasted altogether some ten minutes. The sensation was extraordinary. The earth jumped and rocked like a ship on a choppy heavy sea." Several hours' hard work followed, bringing children into shelter from the rain, finding them clothes and food (for many were in their night dresses), putting out the fires which sprang up among the ruins, and when this was not possible, cutting down trees and taking other measures to prevent them spreading. The earthquake shocks lasted for several days, the loss of life was estimated at 5000 (but no British were killed), the town was placed under martial law, and thieves and looters were shot. Food was brought from the ships, water from springs in the hills, and shelter was found for women and children in safe one-storied wooden houses, verandahs and gardens. It is a story of brave effort and cheerful endurance, in which the chaplain took his part manfully, and no wonder such ties of affection and confidence were formed between him and his flock as to make his whole subsequent ministry a unique power for good. A historic Thanksgiving Service was held in his host's garden on the following Sunday, consisting of very short Mattins and Litany with hymns, "Jesu, lover of my soul," "Lord, in this Thy mercy's day," "O God, our help in ages past," with a five minutes' address. Sixty to seventy people attended. At the celebration of the Holy Communion which followed there were twenty-five communicants. It goes without saying that under the circumstances the service was most impressive, and every one was cheered and strengthened. It was seven weeks before the congregation returned to worship in church.

Valparaiso is mostly built on a cluster of steep hills sloping down the bay, and one of these hills had been so much resorted to by the English as to be called the English Hill. However, in the course of time the usual tendency asserted itself for men to live further from their work, in more pleasant surroundings. Hence the migration to Vina del Mar (vineyard by the sea) and neighbouring watering places. It was to meet the needs of these numerous families that St. Peter's church was built. About the same time an assistant chaplain was secured, and it has been recognized ever since that a staff of two was necessary to work this large and important chaplaincy. Earlier in the same year the first Missions to Seamen chaplain arrived at Valparaiso, and established that Society's work upon the coast with conspicuous success, but this will be dealt with elsewhere.

For some time the South American Missionary Society maintained a chaplain in the capital, but for various reasons, chiefly the difficulty caused by the civil war, the arrangement was allowed to lapse. No building or site had been secured, hence a practically new work had to be undertaken when the chaplaincy was reopened, again with the Society's help, in 1904. At this time the British population was, perhaps, under 500, at any rate, not half that of Valparaiso, the commercial centre where the firms had their head offices, and, as usually happens, only a part of these were Anglican.

The chaplain had formerly served in the Araucanian Mission in the south, and was well acquainted with the country and language. For some years, services were held in the German Lutheran Church, which was convenient enough except for the hours at which it was available for worship, and the rent was not excessive. But as soon as possible funds were raised for the purpose of securing an independent centre. No unoccupied sites were available and the cost of property in the capital was necessarily very great, but ultimately a house was bought and partly paid for, which after being altered and adapted provides a suitable temporary church, and ample rooms for social purposes also. Funds are not yet in hand to build the permanent church, but steady progress is being made towards this end. The dedication of St. Andrew has been fixed upon out of compliment to the nationality of a survivor from the former chaplaincy, since passed to his rest, who was a staunch friend and had often lent his house for services. It is certainly to be desired that the Anglican Church should be worthily represented in the capital of Chile. The local conditions are not greatly different to those which prevail in other cities--the number of British tends to increase, but they become poorer as the cost of living rises, and there are the usual difficulties of distance and lack of cohesion. However, there are more visitors, especially since the tunnel through the Andes was opened in 1910. And their number will probably increase, as Santiago is a beautifully situated city. The sunset from the "Cerro Santa Lucia" (a hill in the centre of the city converted into a terraced garden) must be one of the sights of the world; it is impossible to conceive of anything lovelier. This hill, by the way, was formerly a Protestant Cemetery, and upon this being expropriated, a tablet was erected by the side of the road to commemorate its former use. The inscription upon this is significant, "A la memoria de los expatriados del cielo y de la tierra que en este sitio yacieron, sepultados durante el medio siglo 18 . . ." (In memory of those who were exiled from heaven and earth and who were buried in this place during the half-century . . .)

The great earthquake which wrecked Valparaiso in 1906 was severely felt at Santiago also, but damage done was considerably less. The chaplain, who was licensed in 1904, still maintains his post with unflagging zeal and devotion.

This represents the South American Missionary Society's oldest chaplaincy in Chile. Originally founded at Lota, owing to the destruction of the church by a flood, and the Concepcion-removal of many of the English, it was transferred in 1895 to Concepcion, and became self-supporting in 1913. The following was written in the Anglican Church Quarterly Record of March, 1905: "The oldest established chaplaincy of Concepcion, like the latest of Santiago, is also without a permanent church, but it has an excellent substitute for it in a new building erected by Rev. W. H. Elkin on the chaplaincy premises. Until such time as a church can be built--which should be one of the first projects taken in hand after the diocese is divided--the present building satisfies all requirements for reverent worship, and will be capable afterwards of being transformed into a schoolroom or institute. This is one of the many instances, unrecognized by the world, in which the clergy give to their work infinitely more than they receive from it. Concepcion is an important centre, and here, too, the chaplaincy seems likely to increase rather than diminish in importance. The chaplaincy has increased as foreseen, the numbe of married people and children (perhaps on account of the excellent climate) being considerable, and the next chaplain, Mr. Elkin having been unfortunately killed in an accident, consistently worked to this end. An excellent site has been bought and a fair sum of money raised, so the building of the church is not likely to be long delayed. The port of Talcuhuano is attached to Concepcion, Chiguayante and other places. Chiguayante deserves a special word of notice. A large cotton mill has been established there on the banks of the Bio Bio river, where the management and leading officials are English, mostly Lancashire men. The numbers are very few, but all attend Morning Prayer on Sundays. This shows what can be done by a manager of the right sort with a like-minded wife. It is a reverent and hearty little service.

As has been already noted, Lota was the first chaplaincy opened by the South American Missionary Society. This was in 1860, and the first chaplain was Rev. A. W. Gardiner, son of Captain Allen Gardiner, the founder of the Society. It has therefore for the friends of the Society a special historic interest. Of late years the British population has again increased so much that, together with Coronel, it has been formed into a separate chaplaincy, i.e. separate from Concepcion. The Church was finished in 1911, and Rev. M. O. Davies took charge in 1914.

Punta Arenas, on the Straits of Magellan, to give it its Spanish name, was originally a convict settlement and scarcely regarded as a definite part of Chile, so remote was it and separated from cultivated and populous regions by a great unhabitable belt of wet dreary forest. Now, however, it is the chief town of the south, and, indeed, the only town of any size for many hundreds of miles. It is the centre of a great sheep-farming district and an important port of call for all the shipping which passes through the Straits from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. The volume of this may be somewhat diminished by the opening of the Panama Canal, but otherwise the town is not likely to be affected. The climate is cold and windy in the extreme, and in the winter there is heavy snow. However, the perpetual wind which rages through the summer fortunately ceases in the winter, so that the cold then is by no means unbearable. But travelling on horseback (usually the only practicable way) is not possible at that season, and this greatly adds to the difficulty of the chaplaincy. For the chaplain is obliged to make his rounds in the busy season of the year, when sheep farmers and their men are most occupied and have least time to spare to attend to his message.

The population of Sandy Point in 1904 was 6000 approximately, the number of the British 200, including a certain number of Falkland Islanders, but many farmers and shepherds would come in from time to time from the camp--an opportunity for the chaplain to get into touch with them. The chaplaincy includes Tierra del Fuego, all Chilian Patagonia, and the Argentine territory of Santa Cruz. Some parts of the coast were originally colonized from the Falklands and to this day remain curiously British, the Spanish language being scarcely spoken there. Of the British the Scotch are decidedly more numerous than the English. Many have made their way from comparatively small beginnings. However, the day of small enterprises is now over, and the future seems to lie with great companies, possessed of large capital.

The chaplaincy was opened in 1895 with the help of the South American Missionary Society, but after a few years' honest work the first chaplain left to take charge of the Yahgan Indian Mission then at Tekenika. The present little iron church of St. James was put up in his time. A vacancy of several years followed, and the work was then taken up in 1904 by Canon Aspinall, who brought considerable experience to bear upon its difficulties, for he had formerly been a missionary in Tierra del Fuego and later assistant chaplain in the Falklands. Through his knowledge of country and people, therefore, he was well qualified for the charge. Seeing the need of education, he soon established near the church a good English school, which was popular alike with British and Chilians. Next a vicarage house was built between church and school in which it was possible to receive boarders. Meanwhile, the camps were not neglected. Long itinerating trips were made each year to visit "estancias" and shepherds' houses, and that this was slow and arduous work is shown by the fact that sometimes the British "estancia" houses are as much as seventy miles apart. The work was clearly too great for one man, and it was soon recognized that an assistant was necessary. Canon Aspinall left in 1910 and the school, as so often happens, falling into financial difficulty, did not long survive him. His successor, though single-handed, developed the work admirably, and the chaplaincy is now self-supporting.

This post has been loyally held for many years by a lay reader in connection with the South American Missionary Society, who formerly worked at Chanaral when the mining industry there was flourishing. Coquimbo is a night's journey by sea to the north of Valparaiso, and is on the border of the rainless region, having a very dry, fine climate. It is the port of La Serena, an old town once sacked by Drake, in the days when the whole Pacific Ocean was the close preserve of the King of Spain; and within the memory of persons now living there existed a wall built as a protection against the buccaneers. The English families are not numerous, and the young men mostly go north or south to seek a living. Services are held in a rented wooden building, once a theatre, now tastefully furnished as a church. They are well attended on the whole. Across an isthmus, situated on another small and almost land-locked bay, are the copper-smelting works of Guayacan. The officials of these are British, and there is a small chapel attached to the works, and Evening Service is often held here. A railway runs up from Coquimbo through Serena into the interior, connecting some mining and agricultural valleys with the coast. There is a good service of coast steamers. The lay reader, who is much respected, supports himself in part by teaching.

This chaplaincy, the first in the northern desert but populous nitrate fields, was opened in 1901, thanks largely to the energy of a layman, who at that time was H.B.M. Consul. There had been a large colony of English and Scotch in the province, i.e. of Tarapaca, for many years previously, but not until then were any steps taken locally to meet spiritual needs. The first chaplain held services in the English High School in Calle Ramirez, the headmaster, who also acted as lay reader and organist, being a keen supporter. He also spent a Sunday each quarter in the "pampa" or desert uplands, among the nitrate factories, where there were many English, and so laid foundations upon which successors built afterwards--for on account of reasons of health he did not remain for much more than a year. Meanwhile, an excellent site for a church was given in Calle Orella, the necessary funds were collected, and the foundation stone laid on August 15, 1902. A little less than a year later, and soon after the arrival of the second chaplain, on July 5, 1903, the church was dedicated to St. Michael and All Angels on the occasion of the Bishop's first visit to the coast. Indeed this was the first church dedicated by Bishop Every, who succeeded Bishop Stirling in 1902. It is, or was, the most church-like building on the coast, the sentiment of Iquique being cosmopolitan and tolerant--largely the tolerance of indifference, it must be confessed--so that there were no restrictions enforced as to appearance or design. It is a fine building, consisting of porch, nave, and chancel, with tower and spire, and will seat 150 persons. A surpliced choir was soon formed and a standard of reverent worship maintained. Many came to love the services, and the Church's influence for good was widespread, for hitherto there had been no Christian centre from which to mould a wholesome public opinion. The second chaplain remained for two and a half years and largely developed the work both in the town and pampa. At that time Iquique Bay used to be visited by many sailing ships, and much good work was done among the apprentices, services being held on Sunday afternoons on a hulk lent for the purpose. In recent years the British population of Iquique has greatly diminished on account of the depression of the nitrate trade. The work of the Church was well maintained by succeeding chaplains.

The good influence of the Iquique chaplaincy inspired in due time the desire for a similar institution at Antofagasta, another port in the desert nitrate region to the Antofagasta. south, and the main entrance of Bolivia, by means of the Antofagasta and Bolivia Railway Company. It was undoubtedly needed. The development of new nitrate fields in 1905 greatly increased the number of the resident British, among them (as a young layman noted) "both loyal Churchmen and the riff-raff of the world," the majority as usual being neither one nor the other, and presenting a great opportunity for the right man. Then the Bishop or Missions to Seamen chaplain would stay from time to time and hold services, and so the desire would be further stimulated. It is to be noted that on "the coast" (as this part of Chile is familiarly called), unlike other places, there was from the first comparatively little difficulty about the money. "Don't you trouble about that, Bishop; we'll see to that," was the attitude of the merchants and responsible heads of houses, once they were convinced as to the need. Outwardly, it was not an attractive sphere of work. Antofagasta was then a crowded wooden town mostly characterized by dust and dirt and heat. Wharves, and streets too, almost up to the plaza, were lumbered up with bales of merchandise and machinery, for which there was no room in the warehouses, the development of traffic being something quite abnormal. The creation of the new port of Megillones, however, in the one surfless bay of the coast, afterwards relieved this pressure. As has been said, there was ample work for a chaplain. As at Iquique, here also, there was a "hinterland" of desert populous pampa, amongst whom there were many British in positions of trust on the railway and on the nitrate "oficinas." Taltal also, a night's journey by sea (to be referred to later), was at first included in the chaplaincy. The first chaplain was appointed in 1907, and started regular work, holding services in the Fire Brigade Hall at the railway station, and visiting Taltal from time to time (the fire-brigades in Chile are voluntary organizations and deservedly popular). He resigned in 1908. After some interval the next chaplain sailed in 1910. His previous experience of work in India was a great help to him, and he steadily won his way and built up the work on solid foundations. His early death (due in no way to the climate) was greatly regretted. A church was soon afterwards built on a site granted by the Railway, who have shown themselves consistently friendly.

Yet another chaplaincy sprang up on "the coast," owing to Iquique's initiative. Historically, the work at Taltal may be said to have begun with an English Sunday School of twenty children, organized and maintained by the devoted wife of the railway manager, which, as at Antofagasta, is an English concern. Services would be arranged on the occasion of the Bishop's visit, and when the Antofagasta chaplaincy was formed, Taltal willingly took its part. However, the port developed, the British population grew, and the local committee soon felt themselves strong enough to maintain a chaplain of their own. Taltal, it may be explained, is like a smaller Iquique or Antofagasta, a desert town on the calm Pacific, and terminus of a short railway into the interior, and as all food supplies for man and beast have to be brought from the south by sea, this means considerable activity. The railway company showed a commendable care for its English employees (who naturally could make little use of the institutions of the country, such as they were), and provided a school and institute. In connection with the latter, it was not difficult to arrange for reverent worship. Even before the arrival of the chaplain a choir was formed and a hearty morning service conducted by a layman. The first chaplain was appointed in 1909, shortly before the division of the diocese, and did admirable work. A successor was found when he left, and the chaplaincy appears to be well established. This Mission may be described as the shepherding of a remnant of primitive humanity, viz. the Yaghans of Tierra del Fuego. It is all that remains of the original Southern Mission, on which so many lives were expended, and which in its day achieved such wonderful results. It was of this work that Charles Darwin gave his oft-quoted testimony: "The success of the Tierra del Fuego Mission charms me, as I always prophesied utter failure," and again, "I certainly should have predicted that not all the missionaries in the world could have done what has been done."

It is usually stated that it was the contact with corrupt South American civilization which destroyed the aboriginal tribes, but this is not strictly true, because the process had already begun before the arrival of Argentine or Chilian settlers, through the visits of occasional whalers or sealers from North America. The first seeds of disease were contracted in this way. Afterwards, no doubt, the process was sadly accelerated by the incoming settlers. However, in the early days the chief barrier to evangelization was the savage and suspicious character of the Indians themselves, and the wild storm-swept country they lived in. Thus the first plan adopted in 1855 was to detach some of them from their associations and surroundings, and train them in Keppell Island, one of the many outlying islands of the Falklands. The plan seemed to work well. These boys adapted themselves to a civilized life, learned to be industrious, and were attentive to the religious teaching given. But the result was almost invariably disappointing. Either this Christian civilization proved to be a mere veneer, and the boy at once lapsed to barbarism upon his return to his own people, or he had been lifted to a different social plane and was lost when he returned to the old life. For when they were taken back, there was only the old barbarous environment; their friends and relations had received no corresponding uplift. The truth is, that missionary work in those days was still in the experimental stage. No doubt many mistakes were made, but there was no other way of learning except by experience. So after a fair trial the plan of training lads at Keppell was given up as unsatisfactory. The Woollya massacre (when the missionary party landed unsuspiciously from the Allen Gardiner to conduct service as usual), took place on November 6, 1859, and it was the present Bishop Stirling who ten years later made the courageous venture of living among the people in their own land, in order to "exercise a direct and constant influence over the natives (as he himself put it), and show my confidence in them . . . and to get the children daily within the zone of Christian example and teaching." And it was from his lonely little hut there, of twenty feet by ten, that he was summoned home to be consecrated in Westminster Abbey as first Bishop of the Falkland Islands. The policy he initiated bore abundant fruit. Other excellent workers followed his example, prominent among whom was Rev. T. Bridges, of whom the Bishop of London said when he ordained him that, "it was scarcely possible to imagine a man more fitted for the singularly difficult and peculiar work allotted to him." It was about this time that the wonderfully beautiful bay of Ushuaia (now the Argentine Convict Station) was selected for the Mission base. On the left of the harbour, under the shelter of a great forest-covered snowcapped mountain, is a tract of level grassland, where there is a burial-ground and ruins of old cottages to this day. But in those days a flourishing village sprang up, Yahgans were baptized in increasing numbers, mission hymns (in English) might be heard from their canoes at night to the astonishment of the ships which occasionally visited those regions, and the savagery of the tribe was finally broken. Instead of being a terror to shipwrecked sailors, they became their best friends. Of this there is abundant testimony, notably the record on the Admiralty Charts: "A great change has been effected in the character of the natives generally, and the Yahgan natives from Cape San Diego to Cape Horn, and thence to Brecknock Peninsula, can be trusted." Some 400 are said to have been baptized in all.

When Ushuaia was decided upon by the Argentine Government as the site of their convict station (hitherto it had been a no man's land, with neither people nor government), it seemed the wisest course to remove the Indians as far as possible from this only too probable source of contamination. Hence the settlement was broken up, and quite remote islands and other places were then occupied. But even so it was impossible to prevent the natives from obtaining the white man's drink, and the downward drift from this point became sadly rapid. Then again the industrial problem had never been fairly faced. The only way of keeping the natives near them for regular Christian instruction and influence was by feeding them (otherwise they would be obliged to scatter on hunting and fishing expeditions), but this plan, besides being expensive, did not make for that independence and honesty of character which the Christian Faith demands. The necessary industrial side to some forms of missionary enterprise had yet to be recognized.

For some years the Mission station was at Wollaston Island, a singularly bleak and inhospitable spot, where the natives too were of a particularly degraded type. From thence it was moved to Tekenika Bay, Hoste Island, where the conditions were much better. But the ground was boggy and the fishing poor, and as it became evident that remoteness was no guarantee of spiritual security for the natives, a final move was made to River Douglas, Navarin Island, which was in itself a still better home for the Mission and whence communication with Ushuaia for stores, etc., was possible by means of a strong rowing boat. It is here, then, that the last scene in this heroic venture for Christ is being enacted.

Church and parsonage and native huts stand on a strip of grassland between the forest and the tidal stream, sheltered as far as may be under the mountains. There is good land for gardens, pasture for cattle, of which there is now a small herd (sheep are impossible on account of the natives' dogs), and favourable waters for fishing. Though only opened in 1906, the churchyard fills up rapidly, thereby telling the tale of the dying race. Their faith appears to be real, but they are very weak, and give way easily to the common temptations. However, the shepherding of them to the last (they are now about 100) seems to be a sacred duty.

The Mission has only dealt with one of the three tribes which inhabit the far south, viz. the Yahgan. The other two are the Alacdlufs and the Ona. Few of the former are left, but the latter, a hunting tribe, still number about 600, and have at least a reserve where they are sure of justice and kind treatment, on the estates of Messrs. Bridges, the sons of the former missionary mentioned.


This is the South American Missionary Society's Jubilee Mission, begun in 1894 (though the first missionaries did not land until the following year), and is now much their largest work. Both people and country are an immense contrast to those on the other side of the Andes. The country is the wheat-growing district of Southern Chile, still beautiful with the remnants of forest which have not been burnt off, and abundant rivers, with the snow-covered peaks of the Cordillera towering into the blue sky for a background; while the climate is excellent and there are no insect pests. The people are the finest Indians on the continent and will compare with those of North America; they are a sturdy race with a historic past. In old days they withstood the power of the Incas, and later that of the Spaniards; again and again did they appear crushed, but they renewed the struggle with indomitable courage, thereby winning the unstinted admiration of their enemies; and finally they were only subdued by Republican Chile through the superiority of modern firearms, against which Indian valour availed nothing. Now they are a settled and law-abiding element in the republic, but they tend to disappear before the incoming Chilians of Latin race. Indeed, the vices of civilization have made sad havoc with them already. Whole districts which they used to inhabit are denuded of them, and the "frontier," as it is called, is pushed steadily southward. They were always a pastoral and agricultural people (of course in a primitive way), and settled in villages, and their lands were coveted. There were no missions; nothing was being done for them. It was under these circumstances that a party of missionaries under the Rev. C. A. Sadleir's leadership began work at Cholchol, a small and somewhat remote town near the seaboard in the Indian district. However, these conditions did not last long. Both Government and the Roman Catholic Church soon made efforts to win the young, especially by means of schools, and our missionaries found themselves in the unpleasant position of competing for the Indians' favour with these much stronger and better equipped forces. In addition to which they had the task of learning two languages instead of one, viz. Spanish and Mapuche. The tendency of the Indians naturally is to respond to the appeal of those who offer them most, while they have the good sense to recognize that in education lies their only hope of competing upon equal terms with the Chilians. Yet in spite of these serious difficulties the work has been wonderfully extended, and very considerable results have been achieved. There are three centres, Cholchol, Maquehue (or Quepe, as it is often called from the river of that name), and Temuco. The latter from a primitive wooden town has developed into quite a city. Cholchol has been already mentioned; it does not grow appreciably. Maquehue is pure country; it consists of a grant of 650 acres made by the Government for an Indian Agricultural School. These three stations are no great distance from each other. Maquehue is only ten miles from Temuco and about twenty from Cholchol, while Temuco and Cholchol are also about twenty miles apart. There are four kinds of work--evangelistic, educational, medical and industrial. Speaking generally, the first three kinds are carried on at Cholchol, the second and fourth at Maquehue, the second and third at Temuco. The latter, though last occupied, owing to its position and the growth of the work there, has become the administrative centre. It is well suited for this purpose, as the Indians come in from all the country round, and there are many opportunities of getting into touch with them. Hence the Roberts' Memorial Hospital, with its doctors and nurses, was placed here, and it has done much good, both among Mapuches and Chilians. An English High School, under qualified teachers from home with local helpers, is also a popular and flourishing institution, largely attended by Chilians. This is a strong influence for good. There is also a temporary church where both English and Spanish services are held, for there are some English residents in Temuco. The work at Cholchol has grown steadily from the first, and all departments have been marked by quiet progress. There are two large boarding-schools for boys and girls, built in the Canadian style, of lumber, two-storied, with upper and lower verandahs, a serviceable style which is adopted throughout the Mission. These are always well filled, chiefly by Mapuches, for whom they are intended, for the plan of the Mission is to influence the race by evangelizing its young people through the schools on which they set so high a value. There is also a large day-school where religious teaching is consistently given. No other school in the town will compare with it in importance. The Medical Mission, though small, is greatly valued, and many come to the dispensary. Mr. Wilson, the missionary in charge, also visits the sick far and near in his twofold capacity of evangelist and doctor. The least worthy institution is the church, which, until lately at any rate, was the plainest and commonest wooden building imaginable. But funds are being raised to build something better, and meanwhile it fulfils its spiritual function admirably. A proof of its life is the fact that some Mapuche lads, a few years back, built and maintained at their own charges, a mission room on one of their reserves. Moreover, they gather the people together and hold service for them themselves. Maquehue, though the better place for schools, being country, is less popular, as the Indians gravitate to the towns. However, there too the boys' and girls' colleges, on opposite sides of the river, are fairly well attended and give good results. The religious and general education provided is most valuable, but the special feature, and one of great importance, is the industrial training. To quote a handbook on the Mission: "The boys are taught carpentry, agriculture, fruit-culture and gardening--all of them suitable and serviceable to their simple and everyday life. The girls learn to weave, cook, sew, and mend, keep house, and exercise a controlling influence over younger pupils in the school. The proof of the usefulness of such instruction is found in the fact that the Mission girls are eagerly sought in marriage." This is the more important when it is remembered that, as among other primitive peoples, there was a strong prejudice against the education of girls. That this is breaking down is an evidence of the Mission's success. It is unfortunate that the church, in which all these scholars might have been gathered together for inspiring services, was never completed. However, the life of this Mission Station is a wholesome and vigorous one in spite of the many difficulties which have to be faced. Of the evangelistic work it is not necessary to speak particularly, as it is done everywhere, so far as is possible.

It will be seen that the general conditions of the Araucanian Mission are civilized as compared with those of other Indian missions, but there is the great drawback that our missionaries have not the field to themselves. The Chilians tend to absorb the Mapuches, whose national civilization seems doomed, and the atmosphere if not the faith of the dominant race is thoroughly Roman Catholic. Though first in the field and excellent so far as they go, our Missions can hardly be more than a leaven of truth and righteousness in the whole process of absorption and development. The teaching of the schools is in Spanish, both by Government regulation and the parents' wish, and this adds to the missionaries' difficulty in acquiring the Mapuche tongue.


THE origin of this chaplaincy is of special interest as the Inquisition continued in Peru until about seventy years ago, and the country is still a stronghold of the most intransigent type of Roman Catholicism. Article 4 of the Peruvian Constitution runs: "The nation professes the Catholic Apostolic Roman religion: the State protects it, and does not permit the public exercise of any other." The concluding words were repealed by Congress in 1913, but at the time of writing this legislation (being an alteration of the Constitution) still requires confirmation.

As early as 1844 the British residents in Lima met and decided to support a chaplain under the Consular Chaplaincy Act, and H.M. Charge d'Affaires gave the movement every support, to the extent of offering rooms in his own residence for a chapel, thus removing the first great difficulty in such a city of finding a site. The President, who was officially consulted, declared that under the conditions named, the chaplain would have the protection of the law, nor were any objections to the scheme raised by the Foreign Office; yet such were the delays occasioned by distance and red tape, that it was 1848 before the first chaplain, Rev. John G. Pearson of Newcastle-on-Tyne, was appointed, and 1849 before he actually arrived at Lima. The services were held at first in the Legation Chapel as arranged, but in a few years the building passed into other hands and its use could no longer be obtained. In the midst of so bigoted a population it was by no means easy to find a suitable place, but it appears that at length "a large room down a long passage, and well removed from the street" was secured. This illustrates the conditions which were then deemed necessary. Later, services were held in 87 Calle de Negreiros. In 1871, however, it was recognized that these premises were unworthy of their purpose, and action was taken towards securing a permanent site for a church. The subcommittee appointed seems to have done admirable work and in two years had raised, principally in England, £3500, half of which amount was spent in 140 years' lease of the site of the present church, the freehold (since secured) belonging to the Convent of the Incarnation. The other half, so it appears, was ultimately lost by carelessness, having been left in Peruvian currency (instead of being changed to English gold) and depreciating to practically nothing. From 1872 to 1885 the question of the new building remained in abeyance. But there were two reasons for this, the war with Chile which took place within this period, when the victorious Chilians swept over Peru and captured Lima, and, a shameful local reason, the public apostacy of the chaplain, who in 1879 seceded to Rome, giving very trivial reasons for his action, to the just indignation of his congregation. The local community were naturally discouraged. However, the question of building was once more brought up by Bishop Stirling in 1885, and this time, though there was considerable opposition through doubt as to the feasibility of the scheme, the matter was carried through to a successful conclusion. At a cost of £3500 or thereabouts a church and school were erected under the name of "The Anglo-American Society for Primary Instruction and Debate," in order to conform to the law which prohibited any other public worship but Roman Catholic. For the same reason the Anglo-American Church outside appears to be only an ordinary house in the street with a two-storied front like any other, but inside, when the porch is passed, the building is found to be dignified and church-like. It was opened on Trinity Sunday, 1886.

The work in Lima does not differ materially from that in other chaplaincies, except that the chaplain is somewhat more isolated and remote (even in his journeys to and fro from home not coming across his southern neighbours), and that there is a larger proportion of Americans than elsewhere, though it is doubtful if they bring much numerical strength to the Church.

In 1906 there were, perhaps, 1000 British and Americans scattered throughout the country, 300 of these living in or near Lima and about 200 at Callao, the port. There were then 200 people who attended the church more or less, and 60 communicants. Children numbered 45, and there was both Day school and Sunday school, conducted by the chaplain himself. The English-speaking families live in Lima itself and also in the seaside suburbs of Miraflores, Barranco and Chorillos, which are connected with the city by electric traction, as also is the port of Callao. Small isolated communities are to be found at Pacasmayo, 300 miles to the north of Callao, Talara, 1000 miles to the north, Casapalca, 14,000 feet up the Andes, the Perene, 200 miles inland amidst the tropical verdure, and numerous other places. These all appreciate the visit of a chaplain when practicable. Hospitals, gaols and workhouses often contained some poor British or American subject, but being managed by Roman Catholic religious orders were not always easy to visit.

The church at Callao is a big, bare structure, originally built, it is said, for a Presbyterian place of worship, when the Pacific Steam Navigation Company had their repairing shops there (these were afterwards moved to Valparaiso) and the British population was much greater than at present. It is in the hands of independent trustees, and though Anglican Church services are held there, it is not the property of the Anglican Church or necessarily connected with it.

The establishment of the Missions to Seamen in Callao (which is dealt with elsewhere) gave a new impulse to the work, but this is exceptionally difficult, the British being few and scattered, and having been neglected at times when communication with Lima was less easy. There is now a good service of electric trams. The climate is hot and enervating. It never rains or blows.


PARTLY because the ground was thought to be occupied by the South American Missionary Society, and partly because the Missions to Seamen Society had scarcely realized its worldwide mission (to this day the Society spends twice as much on home ports as it does abroad), work was not begun in South America until 1905. To mark the Society's Jubilee year a large thank-offering had been raised with a view to consolidation and expansion, and it was resolved to start ten new chaplaincies or stations. Among these were Buenos Aires, Iquique, and Callao. Once a beginning was made (it is worth while to note) it was made with vigour and wisdom. It was realized that the best men were needed, not simply to do the work among the sailors, but to present the claim of that work to British merchants and other residents abroad in such a way as to carry conviction and win practical support. Hence two chaplains were sent out (both of them originally hailing from the diocese of Durham and port of Sunderland), who had done a notable work on the Pacific seaboard of the United States of America--Rev. the Hon. C. E. Cumming-Bruce to the West Coast, viz. Chile and Peru, and Rev. A. Karney to Buenos Aires. These have both returned to England at the time of writing, having effectively fulfilled their mission and securely established this much needed work among the seamen in either diocese.

The conditions on the two sides of the continent vary considerably, and as the work on the West Coast was the first to be begun, that is dealt with first. The West Coast has a unity of its own, which is hardly to be found on the other side. Largely on account of the natural configuration of Chile, which may be described as a long narrow strip of some thousands of miles of country lying between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, broken up by valleys running down from the mountains to the sea, the sea provides the main line of communication, the railways rather corresponding to branches (though the railway system has been greatly extended of late, mostly for strategic purposes). Hence sea communication is of the first importance, and the resident English along the coast are to a great extent acquainted with one another, and what is done in one port soon becomes known in all. Valparaiso, as the commercial capital of Chile, is the centre of the West Coast. The principal ports from south to north are Talcuhuano, Lota and Coronel (all ports of Concepcion), Valparaiso, Antofagasta (from which an English railway penetrates into Bolivia), Iquique (the capital of the nitrate region), and Callao, the port of Lima. While others are chiefly ports of call, Valparaiso and Callao may be described as terminal ports.

It was at these two places, then, that the need was greatest. A good work on undenominational lines had been done for many years at Valparaiso, and upon the missionary's retiring through old age, he gladly commended Mr. Cumming-Bruce to the goodwill of his supporters. Hence, the Missions to Seamen was established at Valparaiso after a short tune without difficulty, all sections of the community being represented upon the local committee. But the inheritance was mainly one of goodwill, and much remained to be done. The Chaplaincy of St. Paul's fell vacant about this time, and Mr. Cumming-Bruce, by the request of the Church Committee, stepped into the breach as locum tenens, thereby doing two men's work, but he was able by this means to still further win the confidence of the resident Church-people and secure their support. And the bond was still further strengthened by his sharing with them the dangers and privations of the great earthquake. Though Valparaiso is an open roadstead, and vessels do not come alongside the landing stage, still numbers of men and boys would come ashore in boats from time to time, and there was no place of resort for them except the drinking shops and worse. Hence the evident need was to secure an Institute where they would be welcomed and enjoy wholesome recreation. For a Seamen's Institute a prominent site is all important, for men will not take the trouble to search for a place that is far off or not easy of access. Yet suitable houses in prominent sea fronts naturally are expensive, and the needed rent is not always easy to guarantee. However, all difficulties were overcome in due course. The English in Chile are nothing if not generous, and the needed subscription list was obtained, a suitable house in Calle Errazuriz rented, right on the sea front, and best of all, an excellent reader and his wife brought out from home and installed there. Nor was this all. A hulk in the bay was placed at the Mission's disposal for Sunday services, and the chaplain or reader would collect intending church-goers from the various ships in a "launch," as a steamtug is called locally, and thus secure a congregation. The reason of this was that many captains would object to giving shore leave, but made no difficulty about their men and lads going to the hulk. Another valuable bit of organization was a committee of residents, mostly ladies, to organize concerts and other means for brightening the sailors' lot when in port, and many of these received from their work quite as much pleasure as they gave. On special occasions, such as Christmas, picnics and excursions would be organized in addition to the festival service.

Such in brief outline was the organization at Valparaiso. At Iquique (for Mr. Cumming-Bruce had a roving commission up the coast) not so much could be done. But here, too, he took charge of the chaplaincy during an interregnum, and again won the people's confidence and sympathy. An Institute was scarcely needed, for men could not come ashore after dark, but the loan of a hulk was secured, and a library and Sunday services started. Also much individual work was done by ship visiting, and often apprentices would come to morning service at church, enjoy the chaplain's hospitality afterwards, and leave with a kindly word of advice. A voluntary Lay Reader was found to keep up this good work, who generously threw open his home to the boys when on shore. Moreover, the chaplains of Iquique were always glad to act as honorary chaplains of the Society.

At Callao the position was again different. As has been said, it was a terminal port and there were extensive docks, so that it was easy for sailors to go on shore after working hours. Here, from time to time, various efforts had been made to meet the needs of the sailor ashore, houses rented, reading-rooms started, but all had been a failure, and people were discouraged. They were persuaded, however, that the fault probably lay in the lack of a trained worker, and that this was just the person whom the Missions to Seamen could supply. Fortunately, this prophecy by their adviser was fulfilled. After the way had been prepared by Mr. Bruce, the right man and his wife were sent out from home who started an Institute once more and made it a thorough success, the captain of the port bearing witness to the great improvement in the conduct of British sailors which followed. The Mission was a home-like resort for the apprentices of the sailing ships, which were then still numerous on the coast though they are rapidly being displaced by steam, and also for the officers of the "coast service" of the Pacific Steam Navigation. Company, which has its headquarters at Valparaiso. The life of these men is one of special temptation and difficulty on account of the numerous ports and long hours of work and general monotony and low moral standards. Such a counteracting influence as that of the Mission is greatly needed; and it is a matter for great thankfulness that it is now a valued institution on "the coast," secure in the goodwill of seafaring men and the confidence and respect of the local English communities.

Turning to the East Coast, to Buenos Aires, we find entirely different conditions prevailing. As Buenos Aires is practically the metropolis of a continent, so it is naturally one of the big ports of the world. There are miles of docks and shipping, a large proportion of it British. Vessels usually remain in the port for some time, as the process of unloading and loading may occupy several weeks, and after working hours there is nothing to prevent men going ashore, where there are even worse than the ordinary pitfalls and temptations for sailors. The fact that they do not understand the language of the country in itself often leads to trouble. It must not be thought that nothing was done before the coming of the Missions to Seamen Society. For some years there had been a Mission in a district called the "Boca," and later the "Victoria Sailors' Home "was built as a memorial of Queen Victoria's first Jubilee, the site being given by the National Government, and the necessary funds contributed by the resident British community, who have always shown themselves public-spirited in such matters. It is a strictly undenominational institution according to its legal statutes, and is worked as a combined seamen's boarding-house and mission by a manager under a committee elected by the subscribers, and as such has undoubtedly done good work. But it was quits evident that it could not cover all the ground and that there was ample room for the Church society without any intrusion upon the other's sphere. However, to secure harmonious working in the future, the bishop interviewed the committee and explained his plans, with the result that a cordial resolution was passed welcoming the appointment of a Missions to Seamen chaplain and wishing the new effort hearty Godspeed. It was understood that whatever were the new developments, the existing work of the Sailors' Home would always be respected, and this understanding has been honourably observed. It was under these circumstances, then, that Rev. A. Karney arrived towards the end of 1906. After studying the conditions on the spot, and guided, no doubt, by his previous experience of such work in other places, he decided to start from the base of St. John's Church Hall which was generously offered him by the rector. It was much larger than any room at the Sailors' Home, not much less central, and at that time (i.e. before the surrounding streets were made, the land being newly reclaimed) much more accessible; moreover, there he would feel himself perfectly free to develop the work on such lines as he thought best.

Hence, there the Mission started and there it has remained ever since, and has grown to such proportions that any lesser base would clearly have been impossible. It was thought in the first instance that the Missions to Seamen work would be only supplementary to the other, but in a very short time it so surpassed it that his action was clearly justified by results. Later on there was much misunderstanding by the public as to the relative position of the two institutions, and unfortunately some friction arose. Partly on account of this, and partly for economy's sake (for a new hall was part of the programme of both and this could easily be shared between them), much thought and labour and, it may be added, prayer, was on two separate occasions expended upon a scheme of partial amalgamation, the British Minister, Sir Reginald Tower, taking a leading part in the negotiations on the second occasion, but without result. Indeed in the judgment of many the legal statutes referred to above (which are practically unalterable) constituted an insurmountable barrier. Hence, the position must be acquiesced in of two separate institutions working on more or less parallel lines in friendly agreement.

There need be no overlapping or rivalry. An excellent site for an Institute has been acquired in Calle San Juan with a frontage upon Paseo Colon, and it was hoped that part of the required building at any rate might be erected in 1914. The commercial crisis, however, with the war supervening, has been the cause of this scheme being postponed. Meanwhile the Mission does not suffer. As has been said, St. John's Church Hall, at the back of the church, and approached by a passage at the side of it, is most convenient for concerts and social gatherings, and the rectory above has been rented for an officers' club. The plan of the Mission is to visit the ships systematically and as far as possible provide wholesome recreation, which will act as a counter attraction to worse places. This provides a basis for personal friendship and the higher spiritual appeal, the result of which is seen in church attendance and occasional confirmations. This work is on a considerable scale. On several evenings a week the hall is crowded, the entertainment being sometimes provided by a committee of ladies from one of the local churches (it is one of the benefits of the Mission that it brings out such workers) and sometimes from among the men themselves. Afterwards, perhaps, as many as a hundred will pass into the church for short evening prayer. There are also special evenings for apprentices, and that they appreciate what is done for them is evident by the letters they write. To many of them coming back to Buenos Aires is almost like coming home, so devoted are they to the Mission, or at any rate to the Mission's chaplain. The following is quoted from Mr. Karney's report for 1913: "This social work is important. We have noticed, especially in the case of the officers, that those who come to the socials, either at the Mission or the chaplain's house, are nearly always found at church on Sunday, while the apprentices' Bible Class has been excellently attended. The Assistant-Chaplain, Rev. H. W. Brady, has devoted himself heart and soul to the apprentices' work, and it is well nigh impossible to over-estimate the importance of it. It is not easy for people at home to realize the temptations to which these boys are exposed. The worst haunts of vice have been banished from the city limits, but that only means that they have had to cross the river and are there under the jurisdiction of the corrupt Provincial Government. The British Minister has lent all his aid to an endeavour to get one unspeakable place, 'The Red Lamp,' shut up, but so far without success." Prison-visiting is another important part of the work. In most cases drink is the cause of sailors being imprisoned, and sometimes the sentences are very heavy. In one case a man who was condemned to a long sentence was confirmed in a prison hospital. He was near his end then and did not live many weeks after.

From Buenos Aires the port of La Plata is worked and also Campana up the river. An Institute under a reader was started at La Plata after great difficulty, but it had to be closed for lack of support. The work is kept up, however, in smaller premises most successfully by a young layman, who gives the whole of his spare time ungrudgingly. He also gathers together the English children for Sunday school.

Bahia Blanca has a resident chaplain, who is supported in part by the Missions to Seamen Society. The actual ports are a few miles distant, at Ingeniero White and Galvan. Of late years the harvests have been more or less failures and the shipping consequently scanty. Nevertheless, much good work has been done and, as at Buenos Aires, it has had an inspiring effect upon the British residents. The ships are regularly visited, concerts are held, picnics and excursions arranged on special occasions such as Christmas, and a fair number attend services. Both meetings and services at Ingeniero White are held in a hall belonging to the Southern Railway, but about half the money required has been collected for building an Institute, and the company have leased a site on most generous terms, so that it would seem that the work has a future before it. The place is dreary and unattractive, consisting mainly of irregular wooden buildings on a salt plain at the side of a muddy estuary, and the attraction of a good Institute is greatly needed. There are many other ports in Argentina where the Missions to Seamen is needed, and as yet the flag is not to be seen at all in Brazil.

Project Canterbury