Rev Alexander C Robertson

The information on this page was provided by Morgan Robertson, the great grand nephew of Rev Robertson, transcribed from the records of the local newspaper, the Argyllshire Advertiser. (certain words or parts of lines were illegible on the microfilm records)


Rev Robertson's installation as assistant clerk to Synod of Argyll on November 5, 1919


The Presbytery of Inverary recently entertained their clerk, Rev. A.C.  Robertson, at a complimentary luncheon in the Argyll Hotel, Lochgilphead, as a mark of their gratification at his being unanimously elected as assistant and successor to the late reverend clerk of the Synod of Argyll, the Very Rev. Dr. Russell, who, for over sixty years, has been a credit to the Church of Scotland and a source of strength and power to the Church in the Highlands and Islands.  Rev. D.M. Logan, Tarbert, moderator of Presbytery, presided, and Rev. H. Cameron, Kilmartin, acted as croupier.  There were also present Colonel Dunlop, Ardrishaig; Rev. J. Keith Wilkie, Craignish; Rev. Wm. Eadie, Cumlodden; Rev. J. F. Dawson, Inveraray; Rev. D.M. Lamont, North Knapdale; and Rev. D.A. Cameron, South Knapdale.  A letter of apology for absence was intimated from Rev. Gillespie Campbell, Glenaray.  The loyal and patriotric toasts having been duly honoured, Rev. D.A. Cameron proprosed the toast of “Our Guest,” and in doing so paid a high and well-deserved tribute to Mr. Robertson as a model minister, a distinguished educationist, a business man of singular ability – at once human and genial and sagacious and wise.  Summing up, the guest of the day was described in Johnsonian phrase as a very valuable man who enjoys in the fullest degree the confidence, respect, and affection of all who know him.  In responding, Mr. Robertson thanked his co-presbyters most cordially for their kindness and generousity to him.  All the honours that had come his way he owed to them.  Inspired and sustained by a sense of their confidence, he would go forward to the discharge of the new duties that awaited him in the humble hope that in some measure he would justify the great trust that had been reposed in him.  Proceeding to give some reminiscences of his ministry in Lochgilphead, he testified to the loyalty and support of his attached congregation which enabled him to build the beautiful new Parish Church and Parish Hall.  Rev. A.C. Robertson is a native of Kirkmichael, Banffshire, and a man of high scholarly attainments, … Aberdeen University…


Presentation to Rev. A. C. Robertson, celebrating 50 years as minister of the parish on July 21st 1920


On Monday night a very large and representative audience met in the Parish Church, Lochgilphead, to honour the Rev. A. C. Robertson, parish minister, on his attainment of nearly half a century in the service of the congregation and community.  Provost Mcgregor a member of the session, occupied the chair and was accompanied on the platform right and left by the guest of the evening and his brother the Rev. John Smith, Dr. Ross, A. & B. Asylum, Rev. Mr. Campbell, Inveraray, Rev. Doctor Cameron, Kilmartin, Rev. Mr. Fox, Lochgilphead, Mr. A. MacBrayne, Mr. MacLachlan and Mr. D. Haggart.  Apologies for absence were read from Rev. Mr. Cameron, South Knapdale and Mr. and Mrs. Downie.  The proceedings opened by the audience singing “All People that on…
… distinguished himself as an earnest and devoted pastor of the church and congregation.  When he put his hand to the plough he remained devotred to the work and never failed until he had achieved his purpose.  (Applause.   On introducing Miss Crow, Lt.-Colonel S. Turnbull referred in becoming terms to her long and willing service rendered in the interests of this church.  Referring to their rev. guest of the evening the gallant Colonel spoke warmly of the successful work performed by the Rev. Mr. Robertson during the long period of 44 years. He had not only tended to the interests of his church with devotion and personal fervor, but was ever interested in the social and religious progress of the entire parish.  He was always ready to assist those who required his help and they were deeply indebted to him for the efforts he applied towards the erection of a new church and … and also the successful results achieved in the installation of the fine organ.  He was sorry that in a short time he would be called upon to enter into the duties of his new office and would have to leave them for this purpose, but he would always have happy recollections of his residence at Lochgilphead and his pleasant association with the minister, the congregation, and, ….
… great pleasure in … honor to make the presentation of £243 to the Rev. Mr. Robertson. (Applause.)  Miss Crow thereupon gracefully handed over to the Rev. recipient the generous gift.  Rev. Mr. Robertson in acknowledging the magnificent sum of money thanked sincerely all the contributors and referred to the long and personal friendship he had experienced in his ministry at Lochgilphead.  He thanked the members of his session, the teachers in the Sabbath school and all the other office bearers as well as the choir and congregation for their devoted services and assured them that it was with a sincere wish that he prayed for their continued devotion to the church of their fathers.  He had been much touched by their great kindness and could never adequately express his deep thanks and appreciation.  (Applause).  Encouraging and stimulating addresses were delivered by Rev. Mr. Cameron, Rev. Mr. Knox, Rev. Mr. Campbell, and Rev. Mr. Smith.  The musical part of the evening was a distinctly successful one.  The anthems by the choir, the solos and duets by the vocalists and the splendid accompanists on the organ were all items of meritorious effect that deserve the highest commendation.  The customary votes of thanks were cordially given to all who in any way contributed to the success of one of the most delightful functions ever held in the church.


Obituary


A long and faithful ministry was brought to a close last Wednesday by the death, at the ripe age of 82, of the Rev. Dr. Robertson, Lochgilphead.  Dr. Robertson was a son of Mr. Alexander R. Robertson, farmer and was born at Kirkmichael, Banffshire.  He was educated at the University of Aberdeen and graduated M.A. in 1870.  Deceased was ordained and inducted to the charge of Lochgilphead Parish Church 1876 in and first occupied the pulpit as minister on 19th September of that year.  Since then the old church – “the old barn” as he himself called it – has been swept away and the present dignified edifice erected in its place, while a commodious and modernly equipped hall also stands as a commitment to Dr. Robertson’s industry.  The ministers of the old Lochgilphead Parish Church, which was a parliamentary church built in 1828, were Peter MacKichan, a native of Oban; Donald Jackson (1843); John MacKay (1844); John MacFarlane (1847); John Stewart (1857); and Peter Neil MacKichan (1863).  When he began his ministry Dr. Robertson realized that to perform his duties fully he would have to acquire a knowledge of Gaelic, which he did in a very short time under the able tuition of his brother.  Appreciation of his worth was shown on several occasions by his congregation.  In 1920 they made him a present of £250 – a belated semi jubilee gift.  In 1923 when he was honoured with the degree of D.D., conferred upon him by his Alma Mater of Aberdeen, they gave him another gift, and again in September 1926 when he attained his jubilee, he was presented with a cheque for £76 10s.  Not only did Dr. Robertson spend himself in the service of his own congregation; he also at all times strove to further the interests of the Church as a whole.  He was for a long period Joint Clerk with the late Dr. Russell of the Synod of Argyll and on Dr. Russell’s death took over the whole responsibility of the office; and for about twenty years he was Clerk of the Presbytery of Inveraray.  Dr. Robertson rendered invaluable service to the Presbytery in making settlements with heritors under the Chruches’ Acts.  In his younger days he tutored pupils for the Normal College and University examinations and those who sat under him in many cases passed most successfully.  Apart form all these activities, he found time to advise his parishioners on matters of law and other affairs and many in this day owe him a deep debt of gratitude for his assistance and wise counsel – to say nothing of generous financial assistance.  Dr. Robertson took his full share in the public work of the community.  For two terms he was Provost of Lochgilphead: more than once he was Chairman of the old School Board; for a long period he was Vice Chairman of Glassary Parish Council; and for almost half a century he was Chaplan to the local Lodge of Free Masons and to the A&B Mental Hospital.  He was one of the first members of Lodge “Lochfyne” No. 754 having joined when the Lodge was formed on board the steamer Iona at Ardrishaig pier and at the time of his death was the oldest member.  Philanthropic, genial, ever ready to perform a kindly action, shrewd and far seeing.  Dr. Robertson will be greatly missed.  The Funeral which took place in Achnabreac Cemetary on Saturday, gave evidence of the esteem in which he was held.  A large concourse of mourners assembled in the Parish Church to which the beautiful paneled oak coffin containing the remains, which were dressed in the ministerial robes, had been conveyed the previous night.  Here a solemn choral service was held, Mr. Alex Rae presiding impressively at the organ.  The service was conducted by the Rev. Messers Dawson, Inveraray; Cameron Glassary; Campbell, Lochgoilhead, and Munro Kilmartin; and afterwards the coffin was carried to the waiting hearse by elders of the Church – Messrs Haggart, McMillan, MacBrayne and McLachlan, ex-Profost MacGregor and Dr. Ross.  The hearse was preceded by close on forty members of Lodge “Lochfyne” in regalia, and followed by the principle mourners – Dr. John Smith (nephew) and Mr A J F Mitchell, SSC, Edinburgh (nephew in law) who were accompanied by a concourse representative of all classes of the public.  We counted no fewer than thirteen clergymen and among others present was Cr. Neil T. Kerr, Hartwood.  A very old friend of the deceased’s, Mr. R. Graham-Campbell of Shirvan, was not allowed to attend on account of the cold weather.  The service at the graveside was conducted by the Rev. Messrs McKinnon, Cumlodden, and Grant, North Knapdale, and the Masonic service by the Assistant Chaplain, Rev. Mr. MacPhail, Ardrishaig.  Pulpit Reference.  Tributes were paid to deceased  from most of the local pulpits on Sunday.  In Lochgilphead Parish Church the service was taken part in by Rev. Messrs Munro, Klmartin; Cameron, Glassary’ and Dawson, Inveraray.  Rev. Mr. Munro, who preached, concluded his sermon by saying: -- “I have been thinking much of him whom God in His infinite wisdom called last Wednesday from our midst, who for fifty-six years was minister in this charge and led you and those from whom you have sprung in the public worship of the Most High in this sanctuary; a man deservedly and greatly beloved by every one who knew him intimately; highly esteemed for the prolonged and manifold services he rendered to the cause of Christ and to the community… Many things of which one would gladly speak concerning him must be left unsaid.  There are elements of the character, traits and features of the nature, which elude description.  The seeing of him face to face, and fellowship with his genial and gracious personality were required for their realization. … When he was called to this parish he had just finished his apprenticeship in the service of the Church. He had not years of varied experience behind him – an experience enriched and ripened by life and labor … spheres of work.  He had… himself worthy, and a …. than half a century…
… and what aims and ambitions he cherishes.  The passing of the years means a putting to this proof that not everyone could stand successfully.  But that touching tribute to his memory which you paid when you assembled here yesterday meant surely, if I read it aright, that , in your estimate, Dr. Robertson had successfully stood the trying test, and that you esteemed him highly for his own worth and for his work’s sake.  While everything that pertained to your material welfare genuinely interested him, naturally his chief field of activity lay in the proclamation of Gospel truth, in the administration of Christian ordinances, and in his constant intercourses with you as spiritual guide and teacher, councilor and friend.  … How often within these walls did he seek to bring before you in his preaching the plain, practical lessons of religion and morality, and above all the grand, simple doctrine of salvation in Jesus Christ?  Can you ever forget those special sessions in your Christian life and worship when the atmosphere here was charged to the full with spiritual influences, and when he reverently handed to the elders, and the elders to you, the sacred symbols of the broken body and shed blood of the Redeemer?  This house of prayer must be a place of holy memories for most of you, and for some of you, perhaps for many of you, I trust, the “true birthplace of your souls”.  You owe a deep debt of gratitude to God for His manifold gifts and blessings bestowed upon you, you owe much also to him whose ambition was to be a living epistle of Christ in your midst… We remember him today with esteem and affection, and we cherish the blessed hope that, when our work ends here and God calls us hence, we shall se our Saviour face to face and the loved ones who have gone before us, and see again him who ministered in this place so faithfully throughout the many years, in the land in which there is no death, neither sorrow nor tears, but where love is supremem and joy unending and peace is undisturbed.”


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