JMC Medal Competiton Bolton 1905
Article from THE FOREIGN FIELD Magazine 1909
THE FOREIGN FIELD of the Wesleyan Methodist Church No. 62 October 1909
How Bolton encourages its young people
Many are the methods employed to create a greater enthusiasm amongst the Juvenile Collectors in their work of collecting for foreign missions, some of which have been employed with success, and others with failure. Among the former, however must certainly be classed the Medal Competition which was inaugurated some few years ago in connection with the Bolton Centre Young People’s Missionary Demonstration, which comprises the Bridge Street, Wesley, and Park Street Circuits, together with the Farnworth Circuit and the Bolton Mission.
A gold medal is presented to the Collector under the age of twenty-one years of age who obtains the largest amount in the Circuits mentioned, and the medal is held by such a collector for a period of twelve months; and should he or she be successful in obtaining the largest amount for three consecutive years, the medal then becomes his or her property. There are also given Silver Medals to the highest collector in each of the respective circuits, and in the event of a successful collector obtaining the largest amount for more than one year a small brooch and ribbon are attached together with the bar for each year. In addition every collector who obtains not less than the sum of £5 a White Metal Medal suitably engraved is presented.
To illustrate the interest and enthusiasm which has been created by this competition it is only necessary to state that in the opening year (1905) the Gold Medal was won by the amount of £8 5s., whereas in the three following years the amounts to win the medal were £14 16s. 7d., £19 4s. 6d., and £23 6s 10d., and these amounts were closely followed by others.
The total amount collected in 1905 by the medal winners was £38 15s. 3d., whereas in 1908 the amount collected by the same number of Collectors was £67 16s. 2d., and beyond this a further sum of £8 3s. 11d., was collected by the highest collector in one of the circuits which in 1905 had no medal presented owing to the largest amount being less than £5. Miss Mabel Leek, of Farnworth Circuit, has been successful in winning the Gold Medal outright, having obtained the largest amount in three consecutive years. Miss May Ashworth, of Bolton Mission, although not successful in winning a Gold Medal, has rendered yeoman service by collecting in the last three years the sums of £12 1s., £16 12s. 2d., and £19 4s. 7d.. A sum of £17 10s. 6d. has also been collected by Miss E. Yearsley.
A rather touching instance is related of one of the Silver Medal winners, who owing to illness had to be taken away to the Bolton Hospital, and whilst there for several weeks she showed her love for the missionary cause by enlisting the help of the nurses and enrolling them all as weekly subscribers to her book, and she became know in the hospital as “The Missionary Girl.”
Medals and bars have been presented to 34 Collectors for work done in 1908, and the total amount collected by them was £270 4s. 11d.
Possibly Circuit and District Missionary Secretaries might be interested to see a copy of the rules of this Competition, and these will be sent if a request is made to Mr. Stanley Walker, Brooklyns, Great Lever, Bolton.
To add some perspective 34 collectors today would need to collect approximately £23,000 to achieve the same “value”!
There is a follow up article in the January 1910 issue which I will add shortly with some pictures.