TESTIMONIAL TO MR. JOHN SLINGER, OF WARCOP.
On Friday evening, the 2nd inst., a large and influential meeting was held in the Temperance Hall, at Warcop, for the purpose of presenting to MR. JOHN SLINGER, a valuable testimonial as a token of the general esteem in which he is undoubtedly held in the neighbourhood both by farmers and others, and as a mark of their appreciation of his services as a veterinary practitioner.
The room was nearly full, and, but for the inclemency of the night, we have no doubt but that the room would have been packed. Such has been the general desire of the people of the neighbourhood to do honour to one whom they not only honour for his skill amongst stock, but also for his spotless integrity, his kindly and cheerful courtesy, and for other qualities which go to constitute the characteristics of a man, in the highest sense of that word.
The platform was filled by gentlemen and influential farmers, amongst whom we noticed CAP. CHAMLEY (chairman), F. WYBERGH, Esq., (vice-chairman), MESSRS. THORNBORROW, EWINS, PEARSON, FAWCETT, LAMBERT, WILKINSON, FRANKLAND, and others whose names we could not ascertain; and in the body of the hall we noticed the following: ... MRS. PRESTON, Warcop Hall; MISSES BREEKS (2), Eden Gate; MRS. WYBERGH, Warcop Tower; MISS FAWCETT, MESSRS. RICHARDSON, LAMBERT, HORN, STEEL, COCKBURN, FAWCETT, WILKINSON, GRAHAM, ROBINSON, DOBINSON, &c., &c.
THE CHAIRMAN, on rising, said -
Some time ago a meeting was held to take into consideration the best manner in which we could give to MR. SLINGER a tribute of our esteem, however small and inadequate, as the expression of our feelings. MR. SLINGER is a man whom we all value, whom we all honour, and in whom we have the most implicit faith. He is devoted to his profession, and is a skilful practitioner, besides being a kind and valued neighbour. In any weather, at any time of the day or night, he is ever ready to attend to the call of rich and poor without distinction of person or creed. It does not matter whether his talents are used in curing man or beast, he is generally successful.
I may mention that a lady, some time ago, was restored to convalescence by MR. SLINGER after the doctors in London had tried all their skill upon her in vain. This testimonial which you now see before you is to be presented to MR. SLINGER to show our gratitude to him for giving us his time and services for a long series of years without even making a charge. [ Loud cheers ].
Who has not reason to be thankful that there is such a man as JOHN SLINGER in the neighbourhood upon whom he can depend in case of necessity ? That this has been the general feeling, I am convinced by the large and influential meeting I see before me this evening. - THE CHAIRMAN then called upon F. WYBERGH, Esq., (vice-chairman), who said:
I am heartily glad to see before me this evening such an important meeting as I now have the pleasure of seeing in the hall. We have met to do honour to MR. SLINGER - to present him with a tribute of respect and admiration of his well-known character. In the first place, let me congratulate the committee of management upon the unusual, if not unprecedented, success with which they have carried out the object they had in view. But this object would not have been achieved if the farmers and others had not come forward most cordially, most willingly, and in the most generous manner possible with their subscriptions. This shows the esteem in which, so far as regards this district, MR. SLINGER is universally held. That he possesses extraordinary talents "nobody can deny", that he is generally esteemed, nobody will deny, and that he possesses honesty in all his transactions, nobody who knows him should deny. He not only possesses talents, but he uses them, and does not hide his lights under a bushel. I heartily and cheerfully bear testimony to the skill and attention given to me by MR. SLINGER whenever I have required his services. He is not a man who would neglect the poor man's cow to attend the hunter of the rich man. It gives me great pleasure to see so many ladies here present, and were it not that I am aware of MRS. SLINGER's presence in an adjoining room, I would tell you all the kind words they have uttered to me concerning him. [ Laughter ]. Personally, I thank you for your general courtesy to me, and for your kindness as a neighbour; generally I thank you on behalf of those who cannot have an opportunity of doing so this evening in person. You will observe that there are six articles to be presented to you, so that when the eventide of your life draws to a close - a time which I hope is far distant - you will be able to divide them amongst the members of your family. In conclusion, let me say that I wish to you and yours every blessing which a long life, peace, plenty and prosperity bring in their train. [ Cheers ].
THE CHAIRMAN then called upon MR. FAWCETT, jun., who bore willing testimony to MR. SLINGER's kindness to the poor, and his never failing willingness to attend whenever required.
MR. R. W. LAMBERT was next called upon by the CHAIRMAN, and in a neat and well-arranged speech, he showed how useful MR. SLINGER had been in keeping Westmorland open during the rinderpest, how he had devoted his whole attention to diseases prevalent amongst cattle, and how successful he had been in his profession; and, in conclusion, he paid a graceful tribute of admiration to MR. SLINGER, and expressed a hope that when his descendants looked upon that testimonial, they would be incited to emulate his character, and thus carry on the good work of their ancestor.
CAPTAIN CHAMLEY then formally presented the testimonial, which consisted of a massive gold watch and chain, value 25 guineas; tea and coffee service, value 17 guineas, timepiece, value 15 guineas. Each article bearing the following inscription: - "Presented to MR. JOHN SLINGER, by his friends and neighbours, in acknowledgment for his obliging and efficient services as a veterinary practitioner in the district over a period of 17 years. Warcop, 1873".
MR. SLINGER, who was received with enthusiasm, then made the following response:
MR. CHAIRMAN, Ladies and Gentlemen, I can assure you my heart is too full and my language too feeble to express to you all that I feel on this occasion. I fear that these chaste and valuable articles will make me feel prouder than I ought to be. It's quite a change to me to be spoken of in such highly flattering terms as I have been spoken of this evening; and in the whole course of my life, I never thought that I should ever receive any such acknowledgment of the poor services I have tried to render you. To me such a proud distinction is the pinnacle of fame. If this audience believe all that has been said of me, they cannot avoid coming to the conclusion that I am a wise man - [ laughter ] - and, if I grow wiser as I grow older, as I ought to do, why, bless my life, I don't "kna what I shall get teea." [ Much laughter ]. However, with all your fine speeches and handsome articles, I don't think you'll make me a gentleman [ Laughter ]. I'm nobbut JOHN SLINGER [ Great Laughter ]. Were one of the ancient philosophers to appear here this evening, it would be one of the most difficult problems he would ever solve, to find out how I should ever have the good fortune to become the happy, grateful, and fortunate possessor of such valuable articles. I'm sure he could not make out how I happened to catch the attention of such influential gentlemen. Testimonials are usually given to those who are leaving the country, or to those who are about to close a useful career, and I hope that by giving me this present, you don't mean to give a delicate hint that my services are no longer required. [ Laughter, and cries of "No, no." ] Well then, if that is not the case, I can only say that I shall endeavour to serve you more faithfully than I have ever hitherto done, and I shall always retain a grateful and pleasing remembrance of this evening.
MR. SLINGER's speech throughout was highly characteristic of himself, and was replete with genuine wit and good feeling. At its conclusion he was much cheered.
After the various speeches, MR. and MRS. SLINGER entertained all present most handsomely, providing for them a most substantial supper.
TESTIMONIAL TO MR. JOHN SLINGER, OF WARCOP.