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,..._.r."V-..:....._--, 'CHARGE…




-''''.---.THE LATE NATHAN…


THE LATE NATHAN PREECE, GLAN MULE. Nathan Preece was one of the most familiar and respected names in the neighbourhood of Kerry during the last thirty or f >rty years. He settled there in 1819 as a b.»cksmith, ard by dint of hard work and steady application to business he g dned a standing in the lvc-ility, and was abl-^ some time ago to retire from bus:ness and spend the remainder of his life in peace, and in serving the chuich he loved so well. For many years he was practically black- mith f.)r the disttict, und his trade riHoes-?firily b ought him into close contict with the majority of his neighbours, who were fa-mers ar d farm labourers. Being of a conversational turn of mind, and of a genial disposition, he won their confidence, and drew around him a wide circ: of frinrids, and had few, if any, enemies. Throughout his career he was a sturdy Nonconformist and a ooiw-ttnt Libeial. l'houh honoured by influences that t-nded to chill and di-courage the growth of such principles he clung to them and f,.und (what o-h-is would find if they only believ^o) that by bei.' cr t ue to his convic- tions, he sacrifi.-e-I n-itu-r :.is business nor the re- lipect of those opposed to him in i elision and poli- tics. But, however, well-known lie was as a neigh- bour, a Liberal, and a !\ODc'lllor<i,;t. it was in his capacity of dr'acrm in Bethany Congregational Church that he became conspicuous. He magnified his office, and felt justly proud of it. When he joined the little flock in 1801 it, numbered but three members. He commenced at one* t" make himself useful by ooliectinsr the pew r-n,s, then he became secretary, and when Mr John Hamer, he Maip, d ed in 1871, Mr P,-(e,3,, was elected treasurer, a post he held with honour until his death. He was th* pioneer too of the Sunday School at "Bet!,any. When he commenced be hai but five s,!ho ar. a-,id several times he thought of giving it u, so slight was the encouragement he received. It I h uer^evered un- til he was rewarded by seeir g it a. t,i!t a fl mri.hmg condition. He always looked fcT^rd with keell delight to the Sucday Scnooi ann versaries, and listened with pride to the cr iLuen reciting pieces which he had been at trouble t:> teach tuem. l'hus the church which he tound in a wea's and dis- organised eindition, and the fcund v School which he originated, by caretul lostering and c iniious financing gained strength, and he has left behind him sotue who are inspired with tke same spirit, ami who will see to it that the work shall not be undone. N atban Preece was proverbial for his hospitality. His house was open at all times to anyone who rendered any assist- ance to Bethany Cnurch, and there are many preachers to-day who feel thankful for the cup of coffee at Glanmule on the way home from Bethany to Newtown. In this his example has been contagious, for the members of Bethany Church and congregation vie with each other to share the honour of entertain- ing the preachers. He was not a great reader or a deep thinker or even a fiuent speaker, although a most intelligent man, but he was faithful in the highest sense of the word. For many years he was iL a9 soul °f every movement in connection with the church. Not only was he present at all the set-vice?, but he was loyal at heart to the little church, and anyone who attempted to injure it touched the apple of his eye, and he resented it much more keenly than if it had been a personal affront. He was not without his faults, but it would be ungenerous to dwell upon them now. In the main he served his generation well. and has left a gap which it will take eome time to fill. Ere this I have no doubt he has heard the Master's commendation, Well done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." He died on April 16th 1892, at the age of 66. and was buried, amid signs of deepest sorrow, in the graveyard of Bethany Chapel, which has become to him a conse- crated spot hallowed by the most sacred association. Sleep on, dear friend, "till the Heavens be no more," and we shall meet where sorrow and sickness shall be unknown. R. j