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J. W. Matheson Rev.

Rev. J. W. Matheson and his wife settled on Tanna, in 1858. Mr. Matheson was born at Rogers Hill, Pictou, 1832. He enjoyed the precious privilege of a pious ancestry. He began attending the grammar school at Durham, taught by Daniel McDonald, afterwards Inspector of schools for Pictou County, to prepare himself for the Seminary. After being accepted as a missionary to the New Hebrides, he was ordained in Prince St. Church, Pictou, November 22, 1856. Rev. James Watson, his pastor preached the sermon; Rev. George Walker offered the ordination prayer, Rev. James Bayne delivered the charge, and Rev. A. P. Miller addressed the people. The winter of 1857, he spent in Philadelphia, prosecuting medical studies.

Before his departure, Mr. Matheson married Mary Geddie Johnston, the second child of James Johnston of Pictou, and born in that town, October 1837. Her mother was a sister of the Rev. John Geddie. Mrs. Matheson was one of the loveliest of women, of deep personal piety and admirably fitted for mission work. Both she and her husband entered upon their work with great earnestness. They underwent great hardships, and encountered perils of the gravest character. They only labored four years in the field. Mrs. Matheson died at the early age of twenty-five, the eleventh of March, 1862, and Mr. Matheson a few months later, at thirty years of age. Dr. Paton said that Tanna was often described as the hardest Mission field in the heathen world, but the light which Mr. and Mrs. Matheson kindled there was never wholly extinguished.
The church in the Maritime Provinces, in 1872, sent forth three young men to fill the blanks made by death and by retirement. These were the Revs. James D. Murray, J. W. McKenzie and H. A. Robertson. Mr. Murray was born at Durham, Pictou Co., and took his literary and theological courses at Truro and Halifax. His first and only charge was in Antigonish, N. S. His heart was in mission work, and he was appointed as Dr. Geddie's successor in Aneityum. On account of his wife's blindness, he resigned in a few years and settled in Australia. Resigning this charge he went to Tennessee, U. S. A., where he was settled over a congregation for a time. Subsequently he returned again to Australia and was called to Moruya, where he labored with great diligence and success for sixteen years, until his death, July 13, 1913. Mr. Murray was sixty-eight years of age and leaves a widow and one son. He was a man of great spirit and beloved both in the home and foreign fields.

Rev. John W. McKenzie, D. D., and his wife were for a long time, honored missionaries in Efate. Mr. McKenzie is a native of Green Hill. Pictou Co., the fourth of a family of ten children. His father, Alexander McKenzie, was for many years an elder in Salem Church, Green Hill, under the ministry of the Rev. Geo. Patterson, D. D. From the time he was eight years old, Mr. McKenzie cherished the thought of becoming a missionary, though he never spoke of it until he offered himself to the Foreign Board. He was educated at New Glasgow, Dalhousie College, and the Theological College, Halifax. He also took a short course in Medicine. Previous to entering on his mission work, he married Miss Amanda Bruce of Musquodoboit, N. S. In January, 1913, Mr. McKenzie, retired after forty years of faithful and fruitful service in the mission field. His tactfulness has meant much to the whole mission and his saintly character has exercised a unique influence upon Europeans as well as natives.

Erromanga, where five missionaries were murdered, two of them devoured by the cannibals, is now a Christian Island. Rev. H. A. Robertson and his wife were appointed to Erromanga, the Martyr Isle, where their efforts have been crowned with abundant success. Mr. Robertson was born at Barney's River, Pictou, in 1841. When a young man, he entered the employ of R. McKenzie, Pictou. His health not being good, and having a desire to see these beautiful isles for himself, he took passage to the South Pacific in the Dayspring, 1863. When in Melbourne, Australia, he was appointed agent for the New Hebrides Cotton Co., of Glasgow. His work was to buy the material from the natives and ship it to Scotland. Though accepting the situation for only six months, he remained over four years. He was familiar with the missionaries and deeply interested in their work. In 1868 while still on Aneityum, the Church of Scotland, at home, invited him to be their first missionary. He accepted the invitation and returned to Nova Scotia where he took a course of training in Theology and Medicine.

In 1871 he was ordained as a foreign missionary by the Kirk Presbytery of Halifax, as their second missionary, Rev. Mr. Goodwill being the first. On the sixth of September he married Christina McNeill, daughter of John Dawson, Little Harbor, Pictou. They sailed from Halifax, October 24, and landed at Aneityum, May 1, 1872. He died May, 1914, en route home on a furlough. Rev. John Goodwill of Antigonish, was sent out by the Kirk to the New Hebrides in 1871. He spent some time on Santo and then resigned.

The second pioneer Pictonian in the mission field was the Rev. John Morton, D. D. To him belongs the credit of originating the Trinidad Mission, in the West Indies, in 1867. Mr. Morton was born at Stellarton, Pictou Co., December 20, 1839. His parents removed to Fraser's Mountain, near New Glasgow when he was quite young. The family, one of that good, old Scottish type of the Cotter's Saturday Night, the father an elder, belonged to Knox Free Church, New Glasgow, and afterwards to United Church. He went to Halifax in 1855, and entered the Free Church College, where he completed his course in 1861.

In the summer of that year he was licensed and ordained to the charge of Bridgewater, N. S., where he labored with marked success. Some years after his settlement a throat trouble compelled a rest. He decided to spend a few months in the tropics, and went to Trinidad. While there he became greatly impressed with the destitute spiritual condition of the Coolies. Returning home, he laid the matter before the Board, and they brought it before the Synod which met in New Glasgow, in 1867. So moved was the Synod by his appeal that on motion of Robert Murray, it was unanimously agreed to establish a mission in Trinidad. Mr. Morton offered his services to the Board. He was gladly accepted, and so became the first missionary of the Trinidad Mission. He and his family sailed for the West Indies, December 1, 1867.

Dr. Morton was a man of singular devotion. He served his Master with his whole heart. Next to his devotion was his remarkable tact and good judgment which were felt not only in the Mission, but in all the affairs of the Colony. Shortly after his ordination he married Sarah E., daughter of the late William Silver, Halifax. Mrs. Morton entered with her whole heart into the work of her husband, and was for him a fitting help meet. She and her four children survive him. One of the sons, Rev. H. H. Morton is in charge of his father's field at Tunapuna; Rev. Arthur S. Morton, Ph.D., is substituting in Toronto University, in Church History; Dr. William C. Morton is assistant Professor of Anatomy in Leeds Medical University, England, and the only daughter is married to Rev. A. W. Thomson, Pictou.

Scarcely had Mr. Morton settled down to his work, when he began appealing for another missionary. In consequence of Mr. Morton's appeals, steps were taken by the Board to secure a second missionary. They sent a call addressed to the Rev. K. J. Grant of Merigomish. This call was gladly accepted, and Mr. (now Dr.) Grant was designated for the work, March 29, 1870. He reached Trinidad, with his wife and family, November 22, 1870. From the very commencement the missionaries gave special attention to the education of the young. In 1875 John A. Macdonald, Hopewell, was sent as a missionary teacher, serving two years. He was followed by Mr. A. Campbell, McLennan's Brook, in 1880.

Pictonians at Home and Abroad, 1914

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