BY A LAYMAN.
Mintaro is only a little country village but it has given this State some foremost men in ministerial and professional life. Think of the names—the Frys, the Jollys, the Lathleans, the Mortimers, the Browns. They counted for something in the last century and their succeeding generation is a force in the community to-day. The first Rhodes Scholar—Norman Jolly, Professor Jethro Brown, Dr. E. Brown, R. H. Lathlean, Rev. A. S. J. Fry, Rev. W. J. Mortimer, and many others—all making good.
Buckle in his “History of Civilization” credits geographical boundaries and climatic conditions with the production of different types of brain power. Mintaro’s seclusion—being a little way off the map of railways—may have had something to do with, the types it produced, but it is our belief that the character of the men of Mintaro of 1850 or thereabout, had more to do with the materializing of the intellectual qualities of the men named.
It was a pretty story that Mr. Mortimer told the Conference of his being influenced early in life by the Rev. A. Stubbs and if ever a man engraved on his escutcheon the words, “Pass it on,” Mr. Mortimer has done so and made it the motto of his life.
The writer came to know him when he used to wield the willow effectively and the early friendship has been deepened with the advancing years.
In Millicent he had a Bible class of about 100 members, meeting regularly each week. It stands as a record for a country town.
In the Aldgate circuit he gave Methodism a fillip which should have made it a constant joy to visitors to the hills.
His work at Malvern was unique. Organisation was one of his keynotes of the lift he gave to Sunday school and church, marking an important stage in progress. If it were whispered in his ear that Mr.———— ought to be in the church, but for some reason was out of it, then Mr. Mortimer adroitly approached the individual, diagnosed his case, prescribed the essentials for restoration and in a few weeks there was added to the church another brother, another worker. Young fellows of the adolescent stage and over went to him with their problems and in his study many a lad was helped over stiles and placed on the right track. Decision Day with Mr. Mortimer was all-important; it was not a mere effervescence, it was planned and prepared for; the seal was set upon it and it was the beginning of a new life for many young people. What applies to Malvern applies to any and every circuit in which Mr. Mortimer has laboured.
Broken Hill needed a man, but the representatives were in a long
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