Presentation of £100 to a Conisborough Druid

December 1901

Mexborough and Swinton Times, December 13

Presentation of £100 to a Conisborough Druid.

Still another presentation has been made at Conisborough, this time in connection with the Conisborough Castle Lodge No 125 of the Sheffield Equalised Order of Independent Druids.

About two years ago Mr Cockayne, a miner, then employed at the Denaby Main Colliery, was seriously injured and has not since been able to follow his employment. The accident affected his spine, and has been in ill health ever since. Mr Cockayne, fortunately, was a member of the Independent Druids, and thus became entitled to the £100 grant.

The presentation which took place on Saturday night, was proceeded by a supper in the Eagle and Child Hotel. At the after meeting a good number assembled, Mr Moresby (president of the Conisborough Lodge this) presided, and he was supported by brother Jones, P.G.P., brother, A. Wilson, one of the trustees and Mr A France of the subcommittee from Sheffield; there was also present brother Cockayne.

After a brief address by the chairman, a few songs were given, and then brother Henry Jones said such gatherings as these had their pleasant side, as well as a painful side, and the offices of the society were called upon to go to different places in the country to take the £100 to some of their more unfortunate brothers, so that the money they were taking would be of assistance to him during the remainder of his life – that was the member who was permanently incapacitated from following his employment. (Hear, hear) he thought they would agree with him that a man would sooner have his health back again than the £100. (Hear, hear and applause.)

They would remember that the accident took brother Cockayne took place two years ago, and there had been some delay, and perhaps they were wondering why the committee had been so long in deciding whether or not to pay the claim over to brother Cockayne. He wanted them thoroughly to understand, he knew during the time he was president of the society, they they had many claims from various parts. The society were desirous of paying out every claim. He wanted entire to contradict any statement to the contrary. At the meeting of the Society between 30 and 40 such cases as brother Cockayne’s came before the society, and they must also realise the necessity of the more serious consideration that there to give to every case that came under their notice, before they decided to pay the money over. Then after they had considered the claim and found everything satisfactory, then they could say that he was entitled to receive the money. (Hear, hear and applause.)

The speaker went on to give an illustration of a man who once tried to defraud the society, thus showing the necessity of carefully enquiring into the various complaints. In the case of brother Cockayne they had had many similar cases in the past 10 years, and they had paid a large number over, but in some cases they had found the man gradually improved, and was ultimately able to follow his previous employment. Therefore they would see that it was necessary they should take time before they came to a decision in such cases as though.

They were there that night, representing one of the most prosperous friendly societies in the country. They were in fact, above all other friendly societies. He did not wish to run the other societies down; they were all engaged in one grand work, but they went different ways about that work. They were all striving for one object, and that was to make the workmen of this country more thrifty, and prosperous, and also to make provision against the rainy day that would come. (Hear, hear and applause.)

The men themselves should be careful when they tried to make such provision for themselves, and make the most careful enquiry, and join that society which best commended itself to them. Members of other friendly societies, said in their opinion their society was the best, and in his opinion, their society was the best and the best friendly society that a workman could join. He had his reasons for stating that, because they were not connected with other societies. They also had the grand system of equalisation. They could centralise their funds. There are Conisborough if they had a surplus of £20 it was required to be sent to their headquarters at Sheffield. Altogether at 250 branches, and it all of them only sent £20 each, it would amount to between £6000-£7000, and if ever any of the lodges wanted help they could apply to the edge for them and they would be helped out.

The speaker then went on to refer to position of their society. They had carefully considered brother Cockayne’s claim and they were perfectly satisfied that he would never be able to work again, or to follow his usual employment as a miner. Therefore they were there that night to hand over to him the benefit that he was entitled to, the sum of £100. It was not charity by receiving the £100. Brother Cockayne was not indebted to anyone of them in that room that night, or for the matter, any one of the 150,000 members they had in the country. He had paid for that benefit, and so was as much entitled to it as any of the members were. When they presented a man with the £100 they did not say “We have done with you.” No . Brother Cockayne, as long as he retained his membership, would be just as much entitled to the other benefits of the society as any of the members were. (Hear, hear and applause.)

The speaker went on to refer to the financial position of the society, which showed that they could pay the full 20 shillings to the £ and all demands made upon it. It might seem a lot of sum of money, and to some it might seem a fortune. He hoped that he will prove beneficial to brother Cockayne. If he at any time wanted assistance may God grant that the money he was about to receive will be the means of assisting him. (Hear, hear and applause.) He had pleasure in handing him the £100.

Brother Cockayne briefly thanked them all for the sum.

Brother Wilson said it gave him very great pleasure to be amongst them that night, and went on to refer to the position of the society. They had a surplus of £37,080, a capital of £120,000 and a membership of 150,000.