Project Canterbury

From Cape Horn to Panama
A Narrative of Missionary Enterprise among the Neglected Races
of South America, by the South American Missionary Society

By Robert Young

[London] South American Missionary Society, 1905.

Chapter IX. Evangelistic Work--Chaplaincies--Seamen's Missions

AS the martyr Missionary, Allen Gardiner, lay dying on the bleak shores of Tierra del Fuégo, he penned these memorable and touching words:--

I am passing through the furnace, but, blessed be my Heavenly Shepherd, He is with me, and I. shall not want. He has kept me in perfect peace, and my soul rests and waits only upon Him. . . . All that I pray for is that I may patiently await His good pleasure, whether it be for life or for death, and that whether I live or die, it may be for His glory. I trust poor Fuegia and South America will not be abandoned. Missionary seed has been sown there, and the Gospel message ought to follow. If I have a wish for the good of my fellow-men, it is that the Tierra del Fuégo Mission might be prosecuted with vigour, and the work in South America commenced. . . .

These devout aspirations were never lost sight of by the Society, and accordingly, in one of their reports, expression is given to their wishes in the matter, in the following terms:--

To carry to the poor wandering Indians the Gospel of peace and the hope of heaven: to supply the sacred ministrations of their old English Church to the thousands of Englishmen scattered throughout that mighty Continent, and indirectly to hold up to the admiration and instruction of the native peoples an example of holy living and the type of a purer and holier faith; these have been the objects of this Society--objects which are naturally suggested by the spiritual privileges and the grand and unprecedented dominion which has marked the history of our British Empire.

For many years various difficulties blocked the way. These have been classified as follows:--1. The indifference of the English Church and nation; 2. The intolerance of the laws of both the Spaniards and Portuguese; and 3. The savage and dark ignorance of the aboriginal natives. Perhaps the second of these has been the most formidable. Thus--to quote from one of the; reports--it is said that:--

For centuries the descendants of the Spanish and Portuguese conquerors have held the Continent of South America; but so far as Christian civilization is concerned--the only civilization permanent or worth having--they have held this great trust only to leave behind debasing superstition, a low morality, and the bloody tracks of constant wars both with the Indians and among themselves.

To the difficulties named may be added the insufficiency of the funds at the Society's disposal. All of them were gradually in good measure overcome, sufficiently so at all events to admit of the work in the neglected Continent being entered upon and prosecuted hopefully.

Mr. Allen W. Gardiner, having returned to England towards the latter end of 1858, was ordained and married in the course of the following year; and, with a view to future usefulness, had devoted several months to the study of medicine. The Committee being anxious to extend without further delay the sphere of their operations, in accordance with Captain Gardiner's oft-expressed wishes, Mr. Gardiner was again sent forth with a commission to establish, if possible, a Mission among the Indians of Chili. That there was great need for something being done to enlighten and regenerate the people, may be gathered from a work by the Hon. Fred Walpole, R.N., entitled, Four Years in the Pacific in H.M.S. Collingwood, from 1844 to 1848. The condition of


previous to the introduction of Protestant Missions, as there narrated, is thus summarized in Chambers' Edinburgh Journal for April 20, 1850:--

The ideas of the people are on a level with their condition. No conception have they of the science of politics, of the art of ruling men so as to promote their happiness, of the engendering and diffusion of wholesome opinions, of the elevation of the masses, or indeed of the enlightening of those by whose efforts and examples the masses can alone be elevated. Whatever influence is possessed by the (R.C) Church, is exerted to preserve the slight and doubtful foundations of her dominion. All fervour and enthusiasm are fled. A few pageants, a few gorgeous ceremonies, keep alive the melancholy reminiscences of former days. Trivial superstitions, sometimes amalgamated with those of the Indians, sometimes fabricated with the materials supplied by Catholicism, filled the minds of the rural inhabitants, while the populations of the city verge towards a rude materialism. In the country, among rich and poor, all the truths current are inculcated by legends and traditions. . . .

Throughout South America, as well as in every other country where a heterogeneous population has been promiscuously huddled together from the four winds the love of gambling is among the most prominent vices. Wandering creates an appetite for excitement. He who has been long accustomed to see new things every day soon becomes satiated with novelty itself, and requires something still more exciting than the prospect of new lands and seas to gratify his craving appetite. He therefore resorts to gambling, the last resource of minds naturally unintellectual, or exhausted by the indulgence of the passions. Extreme excitement, long continued, dulls the moral sense, and obliterates all the fine distinctions between good and evil.

This is a dark picture. But what of those who should be the guides of the people and the reformers of abuses? The following extracts from a most withering


published in 1897, will sufficiently answer the question .--

The Holy Father, desiring with firm purpose to raise to the dignity of the Cardinalate the most holy, most learned, and most worthy among the ecclesiastics of South America, we ordered the formation of a full report for our guidance. In the report furnished is accumulated all the antecedents and information requisite for the designation of the right man, who, thanks to his relevant virtues, should be exalted to the title of membership of the Sacred College. . . . According to the report mentioned, the clergy of Chili--a country renowned for the patriotism and valour of our people, together with its moral and material advancement--languish under a sharp crisis of decadence and loss of prestige, which calls for immediate remedy. . . . It appears there is only one man worthy of wearing upon his shoulders the holy insignia, of .the Cardinalate, and this noble individual notwithstanding his many virtues, has endured almost inhuman attacks from his own brethren, from the most notable members of the Chilian clergy, without any respect being shown for, and without any account being taken of the fact that we had conferred upon him the august titles of Bishop and Archbishop in partibus infidelium. The means adopted by the higher clergy of Chili in order to obtain the Cardinal purple have not been those of virtue and learning, but rather those of incrimination and implacable slander against every competitor. This certain and proved fact is sad indeed, and reveals extraordinary relaxation and degeneration in the religious life of the nation....

In every diocese ecclesiastics break all bounds and deliver themselves up to manifold forms of sensuality, and no voice is lifted up to imperiously summon pastors to their duties. The clerical press casts aside all sense of decency and loyalty in its attacks on those who differ, and lacks controlling authority to bring it to its proper use. There is assassination and calumny, the civil laws are defied, bread is denied to the enemies of the Church, and there is no one to interpose.

... It is sad to reflect that prelates, priests, and other clergy are never to be found doing service among the poor, they are never in the hospital or lazar house, never in the orphan asylum or hospice, in the dwellings of the afflicted or distressed, or engaged in works of beneficence, aiding primary instruction, or found in refuges or prisons. ... As a rule they are ever absent where human misery exists, unless paid as chaplains or a fee is given. On the other hand you (the clergy) are always to be found in the houses of the rich, or wherever gluttony may be indulged in, wherever the choicest wines may be freely obtained. . . .

Such is the charge brought against some eighty-nine priests of the Romish Church in Chili, not by Protestant detractors, but by the august head of their own Church! Yet the Chilians are spoken of as the British of the Pacific. In energy, morality, patriotism, and commercial prosperity they stand comparatively high. The lamentable fact remains that "for centuries the descendants of the Spanish and Portuguese conquerors have held the Continent of South America; but so far as Christian civilization is concerned--the only civilization permanent or worth having--they have held this great trust only to leave behind debasing superstition, a low morality, and the bloody tracks of constant wars both with the Indians and among themselves." The hindrances to progress must be laid at the door of the priests of the Romish Church.

In further confirmation of the foregoing charges, it may not be out of place, to introduce here a few sentences from a speech delivered by the Rev. R. B. Ransford at the annual meeting of the Society held in April, 1899. He proceeded to say:--

It was Spain, in the first instance, which took a bastard Christianity to South America. It was Spain whose voracity of conquest was heartily sanctioned by Rome, and I take it there was nothing more awful in the history of that Continent than the establishment of the infamous Inquisition in the north and north-west of South America. Everybody who has read the History of Pizarro and the Conquest of Peru will regard the statement as not a bit too strong, that South America was used as a quarry out of which to hew stones for the temple of Spanish pride, a mine out of which to dig jewels for the adornment of Spanish pageantry. And what has been the result? After a series of revolutions, the last remnant of colonial possessions in that land has been rent from Spain. . . . But depend upon it, when we send settlers, and merchants, and traders, and manufacturers to the continent of South America, and bring back from there money by which so many live in luxury in England, upon us there rests a vast burden of responsibility, and we can only justify our getting money from South America, our sending ships to its harbours, and our young men to develop their energies and manhood in developing the resources of the country--we can only justify that by supporting such missionary work as the work carried on by the South American Missionary Society.

On Mr. Gardiner's arrival at Valparaiso, in July, 1860, he earnestly desired to settle in the Araucanian territory. To that territory, it will be remembered, his father had been strongly drawn in the early years of his eventful missionary career. Impressed by the stand the Araucanians had made to maintain their independence against the Spaniards, and knowing that they refused to accept the tenets of the Romish faith, he had the idea that they were more open to the reception of Gospel truth. The door, however, was then closed, partly owing to the exclusive watchfulness exercised over the natives by the Chilian Government, and partly in consequence of the hostility prevailing among the neighbouring tribes.


The door unfortunately remained closed. Competent and friendly parties assured Mr. Gardiner that entrance into Araucanian territory was then quite impracticable. He decided, therefore, to settle down at Lota as Chaplain to our countrymen engaged in mining operations. This he did the more willingly, not only because there was no one else to look after their spiritual interests, but chiefly in the hope that his presence there might lead to the formation of a station among the neighbouring Araucanian tribes. To secure this, much tact and prudence were necessary, as the constitution of Chili at that time tolerated no religion but that of Rome.

An encouraging beginning was made by Mr. Gardiner with ordinary Sunday services and a Sunday school, both of which were held in his sitting-room. In the following year a schoolroom was built, by the aid of English friends in Valparaiso, and specially by the generous assistance of Mr. Alex. Balfour, of Liverpool, then resident in the former city. The very first day of its being used for Divine service a mob collected and attempted to set fire to the building. Such was the opposition which had to be encountered, which the priests did their utmost to encourage, knowing that the laws of Chili were in their favour.

The work continued to grow to such an extent, in spite of priestly opposition, that in the autumn of 1861 Mr. Gardiner's hands were strengthened by the arrival of Mr. Coombe, who took charge of the boy's school, while Mrs. Gardiner, aided by pupil teachers, established and conducted an infant school. Evangelistic and school work were also commenced at Puchoco, a mining village in Arauco Bay, five miles distant.

Such was the impression made that the Romish Bishop of Concepcion commenced proceedings to stop the work, especially the circulation of the Scriptures and Protestant books, as being contrary to the Constitution. This led in 1865 to the proclamation of religious toleration, a very different result from that intended. Referring to this, Mr. Gardiner wrote:--

Eleven years ago, I had stood by the banks of an English river to sec an English schooner launched to carry the Gospel flag to South America, and such a victory coming with the dawn of the same morning, seemed to speak of a light in the dark valley, a hope on the stormy sea, and a future race yet to be run and won by the South American Society, We are now the ministers of a district and no longer only the masters of a village school.

To the mission services and school at Lota was added about the same time a dispensary which proved of signal service during a season of much sickness. The ministerial side of the mission was the germ which gradually developed into a grand scheme for supplying English chaplains to the numerous British settlers on both the east and west coasts; while, as regards the work on its missionary side, there was every reason to believe that the way was now open for a mission from Valdivia to the interior, as it was also from Patagones on the east coast. Mr. Gardiner had, indeed, again and again undertaken missionary journeys, and had also exchanged friendly visits with a chief beyond the river Lebu. The formation of a station there was even begun; but the enterprise involved an outlay too great at that time for the Society to face, and it had in consequence to be abandoned, for the time, at least.

Consequent on the departure of Mr. Gardiner for England in 1868, Lota was re-occupied in 1870 by the appointment of the Rev. J. W. Sloan, who was succeeded by the Rev. E. Thring and the Rev. W. H. Elkin, father of the present chaplain.

Mr. Elkin, junr., laid himself out to develop the evangelistic work among the Spanish-speaking population, and to visit the shipping. His efforts in both directions were necessarily limited, owing to members of the congregation living thirty kilometres to the north, and others sixty kilometres to the south of Lota, all of whom it was needful to visit. Acting on the Bishop's instructions, he had been much occupied for two months in the early part of 1894 in efforts among the English residents and foreign firms at Concepcion, to the north of Lota, with a view to the extension of the chaplaincy work there. They met with such success that temporary premises were secured, and Mr. Elkin was still further cheered by a communication from Mr. Stephen Williamson, of Liverpool, authorizing the erection of a proper edifice at his own private expense. The community greatly appreciated the generous consideration thus shown in the supply of a much-felt want.


Reference has been made in a general way to the impetus given to the establishment of missionary chaplaincies by the success attending the work at Lota. Stations were opened in 1864 at the Isthmus of Panama and at Callao in Peru, followed by those at the Chincha and Guanapa Islands on the Peruvian coast. Coquimbo, in Chili, was occupied in 1867, and Santiago, also in Chilian territory, in 1871. In the Argentine Republic, on the east coast, the mission previously established at Patagones, chiefly for the benefit of the Patagonian Indians, became virtually in 1864 a missionary chaplaincy; and, by 1873, work was commenced at Rosario, in the same republic; at Santos and Sao Paulo in Brazil; and at Fray Bentos and Salto in Uruguay. Since then it has been extended to quite a number of other more or less important places. In all, leaving out of view the Falklands and Tierra del Fuégo, no fewer than some thirty places have enjoyed the benefit of the Society's ministrations. At all of them valued service was rendered for longer or shorter periods to the spiritual interests of the British settlers, of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking inhabitants, and even, to some extent, of the natives. Some details may be given of a few of the stations; as regards most of the others, brief notes must suffice.


The news of the good work at Lota spread to the Chilian capital, which is beautifully situated, and attractive in appearance, and twice over Mr. Gardiner was urged to remove thither, but declined, so deep a hold had the little flock secured in his affections.

The efforts made to obtain spiritual oversight of the British residents and Spanish-speaking population received a great impetus from a terrible catastrophe which occurred at Santiago on December 8, 1863. The accidental kindling of the festival decorations for the Feast of the Conception in one of the churches resulted in the death of 2,000 persons. This great calamity awakened much sympathy for the relatives and friends of the sufferers. It concentrated attention also on the deep-rooted ignorance and superstition of the people. But some time elapsed before the Society was able to respond to the appeals made to them as regards the appointment of a chaplain. The way was prepared for the settlement of one by the erasing from the Constitution, on the part of Congress in 1865, of the clause which disallowed other forms of Christianity than that of the Roman Catholic, and by the labours of a colporteur. Both steps, as might be expected, exasperated the priests, who made unceasing attempts to retain or recover their former power. Thus--

In 1870, a colporteur availing himself of his now legal rights, was engaged in distributing tracts in the streets of Santiago. He was arrested and imprisoned for the night. But on the next day, not only was he set at liberty, but the man who had arrested him was reprimanded.

An English chaplain, the Rev. T. W. Wilkinson, was settled in the following year. He experienced at the outset the same virulent opposition as was shown to Mr. Gardiner at Lota. All the windows of the room in which the congregation was assembled were broken; but the civil power interfered to prevent the repetition of such fanatical outbreaks. The Spanish and Portuguese territories in South America have been, for the most part, a preserve--a kind of hot-bed--in which the bitter fruits of Roman Catholicism have been matured. Captain Gardiner, when travelling in Bolivia in 1846, received the following letter from the British Consul at Chuquisaca; it might have been written in Chili:--

Allow me to observe that fanaticism in Bolivia is at its height, and as active as it was in the dark ages. From my long knowledge of the country and its inhabitants, I plainly tell you that if you persist in your design you will run the risk of being assassinated or put out of the way in some disastrous manner, not by the Government, which is tolerably enlightened, but by the clergy, whose ignorance and intolerance are incredible.

The work was prosecuted in spite of all opposition. An important feature of it was the depot for the sale of Bibles and religious and other useful books. On the occasion of the Exhibition in 1875, permission was given for a Bible stall; and although it was closed on Sundays, when the attendance was always much greater, there is no doubt, as was observed by the Rev. G. W. Marsh, that "the closed Bible stall on Sundays had some good result."

The war which raged for some time between Chili and Peru intensified the previously existing financial depression; and, considering that the English residents were unable to guarantee the necessary amount for the maintenance of the station, and that the (North) American Presbyterians were also supplying their spiritual necessities, it was arranged, with the consent of Bishop Stirling, to transfer the Chaplain, the Rev. G. P. Quick, from Santiago to Sao Paulo, in Brazil, and to leave the work in the hands of the Presbyterians, which accordingly was done in 1878. The Bible depot, however, was kept open, the Committee being of opinion that the sale of 948 copies of the Scriptures during the year, notwithstanding the disastrous effects of the war, fully justified the continuance of the experiment.

The English Chaplaincy at this, the capital city of Chili, remained in abeyance for twenty-five years. In April, 1904, the Bishop of the Falkland Islands took steps for its re-establishment, under the charge of the Rev. P. J. R. Walker, the S.A.M.S. promising a grant towards the Chaplain's stipend; and in August of that year the services were resumed, in the German Church, kindly lent at a small rental. In December, on the occasion of the Bishops' visit, the constitution of the Chaplaincy was signed and sealed, and Mr. Walker was licensed and inducted as Chaplain. The English residents are now7 making an effort to possess a Church building of their own.

ROSARIO AND CORDOBA (Province of Santa Fé).

The Messrs. Mulhall, editors of The Buenos Ayres Standard, in their Handbook of the River Plate, thus refer to the first-named important town:--"Rosario has grown more rapidly than cither Liverpool or Buenos Ayres, its commerce and population multiplying tenfold in thirty years. It has no parallel for rapid development, unless in California or Australia. The commerce, compared to population, is much above Buenos Ayres, or any European or American port, except Liverpool. Rosario is now. by the opening of the Buenos Ayres and Rosario Railway, the terminus of that line, as well as of the Central Argentine Railway."

The Rev. W. T. Coombe, the first Chaplain at Rosario, went there in 1868, and died at his post in 1878, when he was succeeded by the Rev. F. N. Lett. By the close of 1880 there was reported a membership of 162; also, that there had been a development of missionary work in the direction of the native population. It began by the holding once and again of children's services in Spanish, and some months thereafter the foundations of a Spanish Protestant Church were formally laid on a Scriptural basis. Rosario was spoken of as the most important station for ministerial work. The Society had to lament the death of Mr. Lett, and in 1884 appointed as his successor the Rev. G. A. S. Adams, whose early years had been spent in South America, and who had a good command of the Spanish language.

At the out-station of Cordoba, to which Mr. J. R. Tyerman was appointed in 1882, much excitement prevailed in consequence of an attempt on the part of the Acting-Bishop of the Romish Church to coerce the people into keeping their children away from schools taught by Protestants. Two of the Protestant teachers were mistresses from North America, and had been appointed by the Government. The Bishop's pastoral having found its way into the newspapers, the Government severely censured it, its author, and its supporters; and, owing to the action of the Church authorities, and the violence of their sermons, all the professors in the university at Cordoba who sanctioned and defended the pastoral were expelled. The Romish ecclesiastics had evidently overshot the mark.

At Rosario, as elsewhere, for the efficient conduct of the services, the gift of tongues is a great advantage. Thus, in 1885, in connection with the ninety-one baptisms, for forty-eight of them the office was read in English, for twenty-one in Spanish, and for twenty-two in German. French and Italian also come in for a share of attention.

In addition to the ordinary English services, the Church has been used by the Scandinavian Mission to Seamen, and also for the holding in it of regular German services, which it was hoped, would result in the formation of a German congregation. The Rev. G. A. S. Adams, who had long been overburdened with multifarious duties both in Rosario and at several out-stations, was compelled from the state of his health to resign in 1893.

The Central Argentine Railway Company in 1894 supplied a felt want by the erection of a schoolroom at their workshops. Although intended specially as a day school for the children of their employés, it was available also for Sunday School, Bible and Confirmation Classes, as well as for Mission Services, conducted by Archdeacon Shimield, Rev. E. G. Cocks, and the lay readers.

It is impossible to over-estimate the greatness of the service rendered by the mission to the officers and crews of outward and homeward bound vessels. Archdeacon Shimield wrote:--

We had an unusual addition to our congregation, on Sunday, June 17, (1894). H.M. ships Beagle and Racer came up to Rosario, and the officers and crews attended the morning service. We managed to crowd in about eighty of them by placing chairs in every vacant space in church and vestry, and the rest had to return to their ships. We had a most, hearty service, and the volume of praise that went up to the Throne of Grace was thrilling in its effect.

The Archdeacon added:--

Our work in outlying districts has embraced services at Cordoba, and in the Camp districts of Las Rosas, and Santa Celestina, in the province of Santa Fe. I also paid a visit to a small community of English people employed at the National Powder Manufactory at Santa Catalina, near Rio Cuarto, and most thankful were our countrymen there for an opportunity of attending public worship. I shall visit them as often as possible.

The mission suffered a severe loss in the death from cholerine at the close of 1894 of Mr. George Spooner, the valued Superintendent of the Sailors' Home. The, trial to his widow was intensified by the removal of a son nine years of age, a few hours after her husband's funeral. As the disease from which both died was prevalent in town, it was found necessary to close the Home for a time. Captain F. Ericsson succeeded to the charge of the Home, and his labours were much appreciated. .. The work at Rosario and the surrounding camps was for a time (till March, 1896) under the charge of the Rev. W. H.T. Blair, who succeeded Archdeacon Shimield, he having been transferred to Fray Bentos in the Uruguay Republic. The Chaplaincy at Rosario is now self-supporting, and independent of the Society.


Alberdi is a suburb of Rosario, on the bank of the River Parana, about six miles higher up than Rosario City, with which it is in communication by tram and by rail. Houses of the better class are being built here, and the Boating Club and Golf Links are, in the neighbourhood. An improved service of electric trams has long been talked of; whenever it is established, Alberdi will rapidly grow in favour and importance as a residential suburb, and property there will greatly increase in value.

The "Barranca," or river bank, hereabouts is steep and high, and is covered with creepers and flowering shrubs that make it a blaze of colour. Here and there on the slope of the bank are to be seen small huts or "ranches," made of branches or bamboo stems, plastered with mud and roofed with rushes. These are inhabited by Indians and half-castes, who hunt and fish about the many islands in the river. According to the height of the river, there is mud flat or flowing water below the bank; and in the distance are to be seen the buildings of the city of Rosario.

It is estimated that not less than £500,000,000 of British capital are invested in South America. This huge investment has drawn after it multitudes of our own countrymen, of every class of life and degree of education; not principals only, but subordinates of all grades, and operatives of every craft. The children of some of the latter are frequently left destitute orphans, friendless waifs and strays; and it was primarily for these, the offspring of English-speaking parents, that the Homes and Schools at Alberdi were established.

In the year 1896. the Rev. W. H. T. Blair and his sister, the late Mrs. E. Dobbs (at that time unmarried), moved with pity for some distressing cases that were forced upon their notice, resolved to make an effort to improve the state and prospects of English-speaking children, and their first step was to open a Free Day School in Alberdi. Then certain children, otherwise quite unprovided for, were taken into their private houses, and this was the beginning of the "Homes" now established at Alberdi, the aim of which is to give the children a happy, pure, Christian home life and training, at the same time that they are receiving their education.

Mr. Blair and his late sister were joined by Miss M. R. Searle, the Lady Superintendent of the Homes; and these three, who are the Founders of the Alberdi work, devoted themselves and their private means to the cause which lay near their hearts. They were acting, however, as the Society's agents, and all that they did was in the Society's name. The work thus started on a small scale speedily began to grow, and it was soon found impossible to limit it strictly to English-speaking children; cases were met with among the Spanish-speaking population whom the Managers could not find it in their hearts to refuse, and the original scheme was accordingly enlarged.

Application was made to the Committee of the Society for a grant towards the purchase of a plot of land at Alberdi, with a building upon it, which was then in the market. The Committee made the grant, and became possessed of the land and the building. From time to time the adjoining plots have been purchased, and now the Society owns the whole of a considerable square of land, amply sufficient for possible future needs, and so situated as to increase in value as the suburb of Alberdi is developed. On this land stands a pretty little building, embowered among the trees, which has been named the Allen Gardiner Memorial Hall, and bears on its front the device of an open Bible and an anchor. A few alterations in the interior have rendered the building quite suitable for church services; and on week-days the High School is carried on in the same premises. The space behind the building forms a good playground, and most of the remainder of the plot is at present occupied by an orchard of peach trees. This piece of land, with the Allen Gardiner Memorial Hall upon it, is situated a few hundred yards back from the main road, near the Alberdi Market Building.

The branches of the Society's work at Alberdi are the following:--

A Free Day School;

Homes for Boys and for Girls;

A High School for Day Scholars;

Services in the Allen Gardiner Memorial Hall, and Evangelistic Work in connection therewith.

In speaking of "The Allen Gardiner Institution, Alberdi," it must be understood that all these operations together are included under the one title, and are all carried on by the Society.

Fronting the main road are the three houses containing the Children's Homes. Further back, and rather more in the Rosario direction, is the plot of land on which stands the Allen Gardiner Memorial Hall. The Homes, which are only rented houses, not well adapted for their purpose, are quite full, and better accommodation is urgently needed. A Building Fund has been begun for this purpose.

Around these Homes and Schools has grown up an evangelistic work amid the Spanish-speaking population of the neighbourhood. Spanish Services, Day and Sunday Schools, Mothers' Meetings, Bible Classes, etc., are some of the evangelistic agencies at work, in and around Alberdi.

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