A tribute to the life
and legacy of

A. E. Clarkson

Building of Character

Clean Heart and Clean Speech

Arranged by the Port Lincoln Man and Boy Club — an interdenominational movement which sprang into being as a result of the man and boy banquet held last May, on the night following Mother’s Day — a banquet was held in the Cheddington Hall on Monday evening.
The ball was filled to overflowing, there being 153 names placed on the attendance register.
One of the conditions of admission was that each man should take a boy, and each boy a man.
The success of Monday night’s gathering was even more pronounced than that of its forerunner. This was due largely to the presence of Mr. A. E. Clarkson, who came from Adelaide to deliver an address.
In the absence of the president (Rev. i. C. Richmond), Mr. T. E. Ashton (vice president) was in the chair.
He apologised for the absence of the president and the Mayor (Mr. D. Whalt), Each sent his good wishes and greetings.  The Loyal toast was honored at the instance of the chairman.

He traced briefly the history of the club, and explained the objects of its formation. He said he hoped that the involvement would be developed somewhat on the same lines as the Commonwealth Club in Adelaide, which often invited distinguished visitors to address members. He should like to see meetings arranged occasionally as distinguished visitors were in the town, to enable members to be addressed by them.

The toast, ‘Man and Boy Club,’ was proposed by Mr. W. D. Randall.  When a boy was at school, he said, he was disciplined to a certain degree. Upon leaving school, such a movement as the Man and Boy Club should be of great help to him. There could not, at the present day; be too much discipline, of the proper kind.
Messrs. A. S. Hopping and Reg Nancarrow replied. Mr. Hopping said the first aim of the club should be to build up character, both in themselves and in their boys. Upon leaving home, some boys went, astray because they had not received the help which would assist them to resist temptation. There was no better ‘way to give that help than by means of a movement such as the man and boy club.
Mr. Nancarrow said the younger members of the club were delighted with the progress that had been made
Without wishing to be egotistical, he said, they realised that without them the club could not exist, for it was largely for their sake that it had, been formed. It was plain, by the success that had attended the movement during its brief existence, that the welfare of the boys of the town had been taken to heart by those closely associated with the club. The boys appreciated the interest that was being shown in them.


Mr. Clarkson in his address stated that he was a firm believer in the youth of today, which, he considered, was as good as the youth of any age.
There were persons who declared that the boys and girls of today were not equal to those of yesterday, but those pessimists had existed since the world began. In the ruins of ancient Babylon had been discovered a tablet, upon which had been engraved long before Christ, the legend that the boys of that day were not as good as those of the writer’s youth.
‘Today,’ said Mr. Clarkson, ‘is a day of great opportunities for the boys. This is borne home to me with greater force when I think of the wonderful things that have happened in the world during my lifetime. First there came the telephone, then the electric light, the motor car, wireless, and then aerial navigation. These wonders came upon us so quickly that we are almost bewildered. It is without a doubt a wonderful age that we are living in.
but we are so close to it that we do not realise the full wonder of it.  You boys are being trained and equipped for tremendous opportunities, and many of you will make the best of them.
‘It is a great accomplishment — one that gives you immeasurable satisfaction — to have done something worthwhile. The worthwhile things still remain to be done, although there are comforts and good conditions today that did not exist in the years gone by.’
‘You boys are in what might be termed the planting stage. Growth is going on unseen at present, but by and by you will be able to see what growth you have made, and it will be plain then whether you have sown in a straight line or not. You will either look straight or crooked — and nothing is uglier than a crooked furrow. What you are today is going to make its mark on your future life.
The straightness of your furrow will depend upon whether you have made good use of your sowing period.
All should strive to make the world a little better because they had lived in it, continued Mr. Clarkson.
Everybody had a chance to make the world think of them after they were gone.
‘We learn at school that the shortest distance between any two given points is a straight line. This is true also in life. Make for your goal in a straight line, and let nothing turn your footsteps aside. To do this, character is essential. There will come a time when you will have to part with your money and your worldly possessions. When you pass to the Great Beyond you cannot take money, but you can take character; that is a thing that will live forever.
Scorn the mean and paltry; love the pure and the strong. Have clean thoughts in your mind, and keep your heart clean. Your hands may be soiled and marked through your occupation, but your heart may be clean, just as a man may have clean hands, but a dirty heart. The colour of your hands does not matter, so long as your heart is clean.
‘Cleanliness of speech is another essential in the make-up of a man of character. Few men object to an occasional explosion, but filth and smut are to be avoided. Much of the
loose talk of today is due to the fact that parents grow careless in the presence of the boys, and the latter, who usually think, that father is right, pick up their habits. Every father should be a pal to his boy and should do all he can to develop his character.
Train up a boy in the way he should go, and go that way yourself.’

The health of the visitors was drunk at the instance of Capt. P. M. Mclntosh, and Mr. Clarkson and Inspector H. E. Flint replied.
The programme was interspersed with community singing under the direction of Mr. B. F, Derbyshire.
Mr. L. B. Blaskett was the accompanist.

Port Lincoln Times (SA : 1927 – 1954), Friday 13 September 1929, page 9
National Library of Australia