Thursday, 18 September 2014

52 Ancestors: Week 37: Mr. H. Tracey James and the Scottish Nation 1905

I had been searching Find My Past newspapers for ancestors when I came across one mentioning Mr. H. Tracey James but even though it doesn't give much information about him I thought I would include it given the timely interest in Scottish independence.  I believe Mr. H. Tracey James is Horace Tracey Barnes James born September quarter 1882, the son of Alfred Ernest James and Charlotte Marian Barnes.

Tamworth Herald - 21 October 1905

A large number of the members of the Birmingham and Midland Scottish Society gathered at the Grand Hotel, Colmore Row last Friday night, on the occasion of the inaugural meeting of the session. A feature of the gathering was that on this occasion for the first time in the history of the society, a number of ladies were admitted to the membership.  An excellent programme of vocal and instrumental music was enjoyed, the artistes being Miss Elsie Cornish, Miss Eva Dickinson, Mr. Ripley Evans, Mr. H Bannister, Mr. H. Tracey James, Mr. J. A. Beard, and Mr. Alfred Gregory's band.

In delivering his presidential address Professor Muirhead remarked that such a society did not stand merely for the promotion of social enjoyment, important as they all held that to be. They stood also for an ideal – the ideal of nationality. It was an ideal which in these days was somewhat under a cloud. They were told that the days of nationalities had passed, and there was something else taking their place – a thing called Imperialism. He confessed he was as good an Imperialist, or as he should prefer to call it, as good a Greater Briton, as anyone; but his idea of an Empire was one that should aim at preserving and not at destroying nations and national traditions and languages – (hear, hear). Therefore, they should keep to their national ideals, and keep alive the national feeling, if they could, in order to supplement the deficiencies of the ideal of any one people or nation; and because that society stood for a definite national ideal he thought they all owed it allegiance. The very vitality of the Scottish nation was a conspicuous refutation of the modern theories of what the world was moving to. He valued the Scottish ideal, the chief factors of which were a certain simplicity of life, individual frugality, a directness of speech, and mental outlook on things, and a certain loyalty to kindred, friends, institutions, and traditions. These were national assets, and so long as civilisation was civilisation, such an ideal of life as they cherished would have its value – (applause).

At another period of the evening the company bade “goodbye” to the hon. Treasurer, Mr. Harkness, who is leaving this country to take up position in Egypt.

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