TWO MARYPORT CHURCHMEN
The Vicar of St, Mary's, Maryport writing in the Parish magazine states:
"March was a sad month for many in Maryport. The passing of Robert COULTHARD has left a great blank which is being increasingly felt, so much have his support and loyalty for every good thing come to be taken for granted. We are glad to print an appreciation of his devotion elsewhere.
The deepest sympathy of us all has been felt for Mr. and Mrs. WALTER in the loss of their son at sea. Maurice WALTER had the bright promise of a successful career in front of him, was well known and popular. During periods of leave he was a regular communicant here and the tragic shock of the news has drawn to his parents the greatest sympathy of us all.
LOSS TO THE CHOIR.
There also appears the following from the pen of Mr. A. HIRST, organist, and choirmaster: -
"It is close on twenty years since I became acquainted with Mr. COULTHARD on my appointment as organist and choir-master in 1912. We soon became friends and remained so ever since. His office as choir secretary drew us together a great deal and apart from church work we have had many walks and talks together, besides meeting each other in social institutions. I shall never forget the kindly manner in which he received me and stuck to me until the end.
He was naturally conservative in his churchmanship; but once convinced of the soundness of an idea, that it would be better for the progress of the church or the music he was with you through thick and thin.
Often has he stood down for another singer to be given an opportunity in our church, but he never withdrew his help when he knew he was the only person to sustain a part. His position as choir secretary has not always been confined to such pleasant duties as arranging for an annual outing. There have been unpleasant incidents to be put up with, and I can only say the fortitude with which he bore them, marked him out as a man whose character stood out conspicuously among his fellows. He endured many things for the church and was loyal to a degree.
Mr. COULTHARD was always sympathetic towards young members, helping them all he could and making them welcome. Inside church he was always reverent and earnest in his efforts; outside he never let his church down, there was always that restraining influence there, without any priggishness in thinking he was better than the man who did not attend church. All classes could feel comfortable in his company. He has become so deeply rooted in my affections that to me it is like the loss of an elder brother.
The sad circumstances under which he has left us have in no way coloured any remark I have made. This is simply a true record of a close and happy friendship between choirman and organist."