James, later known as Jaime (Jamie) Clifford was a 19th century protestant missionary who went from Kilbirnie Gospel Hall to Argentina. Ironically he was born in a house which sat on the present site of the Gospel Hall at Schoolwynd.
It was noticed that he had great oratory skills when he gave speeches for the Independent Labour Party. He initially attended the red kirk across from St Columbas before his religious conversion.
He became very well known in Argentina and is buried out there. Visiting Kilbirnie a few times after he left. His son Alejandro Clifford continued his work in Argentina.
Willie Mackie left Kilbirnie Scotland to emigrate to the USA as many people did before him, in search of a better life. As the title suggests, this was his homecoming celebration in Kilbirnie Gospel Hall Brethren Assembly.
This photo would be from the 1930s. Im not sure if he returned to the USA at a later date or settled in Kilbirnie again.
Why search upon the mines of time
Both future and the past
Why cry with bitter tearful eyes
For paradises lost?
What find ye in the darkest caves
In shafts of darkened thoughts
Where fears of death and earthly work
Become your only lot?
And as the loom of human mind
Does weave its saddened thoughts
There comes a Stranger to our sphere
A message he has brought
And with his lamplight on the walls
The shadows are displaced
No more the fears of darkened years
Our minds do penetrate
A light of Everlasting Laws
Eternal, sweet and strong
Daily shines into our thoughts
Transforming right from wrong
And as we learn to trust his Light
In daily paths we tread
We leave the world of shadowed dreams
For "God with us" instead
When we leave the world of dreams
Like Angel's rising thoughts
Glimpses of Divinity and
Holiness are caught
Caverns full of blackened coal
No more dark and cruel
Are stars upon infinite skies
As sparkling shining jewels
Today, I’m so grateful to be walking around London. Last night I went to a favourite place just behind the post office in Paddington. Its like a canal with modern apartment blocks towering into the distance.
I remember the nights sitting there, waiting, contemplating and thinking something HAD to happen in my very mundane life. The lights in the very high apartment blocks switched on and off like a 70s disco checked floor.
These lights reminded me that someone was still living. Also it reminded me just what a lonely place cities can be.
While walking around, the hymn “All is well” came to me and has stayed with me, reminding me there is nothing to fear.
There is a great peace, yet a slight sadness in that place.