What the saga to establish a library in Port Elizabeth indicates is the civic mindedness of its citizens. This is a case in point in which the denizens of the town understood that to improve society, education in general and libraries specifically had a significant role to play in this process. Unlike today’s public libraries which offer a free service in those days it was a “subscription” service.
Main picture: Library
Regardless of how and why Captain Evatt came to be stationed there, his civic-minded mien ensured that he would forever be feted as the “Father of Port Elizabeth.” For that reason he deserves to be recalled and commemorated.
Main picture: Captain Francis Evatt
Society holds priests and other arbiters of human behaviour to a higher standard than normal humans. So when their behaviour does not conform to these standards, the disbelief and interest is all the greater.
So it was with two clergymen of St. Mary’s Church half a century apart.
Main picture: Rev Francis McCleland