Letter from R Macdonald, Australia, to Mrs Jessie Maclean on the death of his friend and her brother Captain John Mackay (1872-1919) of 31 Valtos, who has worked in Australia but returned home when his health failed.
5th May 1919
Dear Mrs Maclean
I received your letter of the 19th March which was the first intimation I had of my much esteemed friend and your late beloved brother Captain Mackay’s death. Although for some time I half expected such news, still I admit that I keenly felt the shock of loosing a very dear friend. And as regards my wife, she wrung her hands and sobbed even more bitterly than I did, but after a while remembering what you said regarding him having made peace with his Saviour, she became consoled and said to me thank God for his salvation, we shall see John again in the land where there is no weeping, and with that thought we are comforting ourselves. The same thought is also no doubt your comforter.
Our 2 girls now grown up young women often recall to mind their happy schooltime days when John and Alick McLeod, now Captain McLeod, another friend from Point and myself use to join them in their games of playing Rounders, Handball or even marbles, and enjoy it just the same as the little ones, and how they used to watch for John & Alick’s boats coming to Sydney, feeling sure of a fresh supply of toys when they came home. John was very keen on learning and always had his books with him continually in search of more and more knowledge. He used to encourage Rita to keep in School and get to the top of the tree before stopping and I feel sure he would have been pleased had he lived to hear that she has been successful.
I thank you very kindly for all the particulars you gave me about John’s condition during his long illness which was a most severe test of any man’s patience, more especially a young man like him being struck down in the prime of his life, after being successful in getting to the top of the tree of his occupation. His case was without a doubt from the human point of view a very hard one, but what a blessing that it ended in such a grand victory for his soul’s salvation. Let us thank God for his gracious mercies which endureth for ever, and we should not mourn as though we had no hope of meeting again. But rest entirely upon our Saviour’s promise, who said I go and prepare a place for you, that where I am you may be also. Let us think of that promise and feel comforted thereby.
I have not so far received any word from any of your family but by the same mail as your letter I received a word from WA Ross, Solicitor, Stornoway, which is purely a business letter re forwarding the Insurance Policy left in my care by your late brother to the London Office of the AMJ Insurance Society and I shall attend to that matter without any delay. And as soon as it arrives there will be no difficulty for him to get the money because everything is in order, and they are a very good office to deal with. There is no quibbling about them at any time, very straightforward. I now wish to tender you the sincere consolation of Mrs Macdonald my daughters Flora and Rita and myself in this time of your sad bereavement. Let us strive to make our calling and election sure, in order to meet again where there is no parting evermore.
With every good wish for your welfare I remain yours sincerely,
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