Vyger Irish Genealogy

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MEMORIES OF THE RECENT PAST as well as of earlier years were recalled at Save the Children Fund headquarters on July 15, when members of the Council and staff gathered for a presentation to Captain George F. Gracey, DSO, on his retirement from the post of general secretary.

Captain L. H. Green, the Fund's chairman, who presided described the occasion as being compounded of regret and rejoicing. They knew the good work which Captain Gracey had done ; they believed that he had enjoyed doing it. There were two high spots in that work Captain Gracey's success, through his almost evangelical enthusiasm, in reviving the fortunes of the Fund after the period of depression in which he took office, and the almost unmatched level of income reached two years ago. Captain Green said he was sure that Captain Gracey would keep in touch with the work, and they all wished him every success in his retirement.

Captain Green read a number of written messages-" very sincere tributes for work well done "-from absent friends, many of them in other countries, and also quoted from a letter from the president, Lord Noel-Buxton, who regretting his absence owing to illness, said " All my gratitude to Captain Gracey ".

Mrs. de Bunsen followed with a few words as the senior member of the Council-thus the chairman had introduced her-and, as she said, especially as representing her brother, the president. She recalled that she had first met Captain Gracey some 40 years ago, on the shores of the Euphrates, where he was doing a great work for an American mission, and she referred to his subsequent work among Armenian refugees, of which she had often heard from her brother Bishop Buxton. Later, Captain Gracey's advocacy of the Armenian cause at Geneva had led him into contact with the Save the Children Fund, for which he had worked not only during eleven years as general secretary but for eight years previously. Mrs. de Bunsen praised his cleverness in raising money and spoke of the confidence which the former chairman, the late Mr. H. D. Watson, felt in him. She also had a word of commendation for Miss K. M. Minty, secretary to the general secretary, who had helped him so much in these difficult years.

The gift, a silver tea-service on an electro-plated tray suitably engraved, was then handed to Captain Gracey by the chairman, together with a list of the subscribers and a cheque for £80, the balance of the testimonial fund. Captain Gracey, in acknowledgment, said the time came to everybody to give up his beloved work, and he was no exception, but he believed that he was handing over the work in a more efficient and sounder state than when he became general secretary. He recalled the names of Eglantyne Jebb, W. A. MacKenzie, and H. D. Watson, and of his own predecessor as general secretary, Mr. L. B. Golden, and said that each of them had put his stamp on the Fund. The spirit of Eglantyne Jebb still moved in the SCF and he believed that she was still its inspiration. He also acknowledged the loyalty and devotion of the staff, recalling especially the way in which they had manfully carried on when the bombs were falling ; and to his successor Brigadier Boyce he said : " You have never fought in a more righteous cause or served a more noble purpose than that in which you have enlisted to-day ". As his final word to " the dear SCF " Captain Gracey quoted the words of Jeremiah, " There is hope in thine end ", and lines written by " our late beloved chairman ", Mr. H. D. Watson, on his 73rd birthday :