James Napier

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Newspaper References


On the evening of Friday, 7th inst.,a complimentary dinner was given to James Napier Esq., lately manager of the Chemical Works, on the occasion of his leaving Bathgate.  The dinner took place in the Co-operative Hall, which was tastefully decorated with flowers and evergreens.  Between seventy and eighty gentlemen sat down to dinner.  Provost Waddell occupied the chair, and was supported by James Young, Esq., jun., of Limefield; Henry Hill, Esq., Glasgow; Alex Moore, Esq., Glasgow; R Lavender, Esq.; Capt. Wright, &c., &c. Captain Birnie and Lieut. Calderwood officiated as croupiers.  After the usual loyal and patriotic toasts the chairman proposed the “Health and Prosperity of Mr Napier.”  In speaking to the toast he said he had never before presided at a dinner with more pleasure than he did on the present occasion.  He had been intimately acquainted with Mr Napier for many years, and a more straightforward and honourable gentleman he had not met.

Mr Napier had come amongst them some nine years ago as a chemist in the Bathgate Chemical Works.  He had occupied that position to the entire satisfaction of the then proprietors of the establishment, and he had ultimately risen to the position of manager of the works.  He regretted that he was now about to bid them farewell, but he congratulated him upon the step he was taking, as a step dutiful in itself, and presenting the prospect of increased prosperity.  It was unnecessary to prolong his remarks, for Mr Napier's qualities were as well known to all present as they were to him, and he would conclude by calling upon the company to dedicate a bumper to the toast he had had the pleasure of proposing.  The toast was enthusiastically responded to.  Mr Napier, in replying, said he was quite unprepared to meet such a large company, and to be greeted in so warm a manner.  He was unable to find suitable words in which to return thanks for the kind wishes which had fallen from the chairman, and for the very hearty way in which the toast of his health had been received.  They must take the will for the dee, and try to imagine the gratitude which he felt himself unable fully to express.

He looked back upon the years he had passed in Bathgate with much satisfaction, for he had spent there many happy days, and had formed friendships not a few of the most close and lasting character; and when he swa around him the faces of so many of those friends, he experienced a pang of regret at having to bid them farewell.  As, however, he was going to no great distance, he hoped frequently to have the opportunity of meeting with them all again, and, if it were possible, repaying them in some small measure for the kindness they had shewn him on that and many former occasions. Lieut. Calderwood proposed the “Health of the Provost and Magistrates of the Burgh,” to which Provost Waddell and Bailies Calder and Dougal replied. Mr Moore gave the toast of “Prosperity to the British Mineral Oil Trade;” Mr Hill and Mr Vietch Wilson replied.  The toast of the “Medical Profession” was then proposed by Bailie Calder, and replied to by Dr Longmuir.  The “Legal Profession” was proposed by Mr S Wilson, and replied to by Mr Dodds.  The Chairman proposed the “Health of James Young, Esq.,” and James Young, Jun Esq., of Limefield, replied.  Capt. Birnie gave “The Mining Interest,” to which Mr Thomas Thornton replied.  Mr Holt gave “Education;” Mr Rankine replied.  Capt Wright proposed the “Prosperity of the Bathgate Chemical Works,” to which Mr Lavender replied.  Captain Birnie gave the “Health of Edward Meldrum, Esq.” Mr Orr proposed the “Health of the strangers present,” to which Mr Peter Shaw, Edinburgh, responded, and gave the “Health of James Napier, Esq., sen.”  Mr Lavender gave the “Health of the Foreman of the Chemical Works;” the junior foreman, Mr Baxter, replied.  Mr Dodds proposed “The Ladies;” Lieutenant Stoddart replied.  Mr Strong proposed the “Prosperity of the Addiewell Chemical Works,” to which Mr Paterson replied.  Mr Paterson proposed the “Health of the Chairman;” Provost Waddell replied.  Mr Cameron gave “The Croupiers,” to which Lieutenant Calderwood replied.  The enjoyment of the evening was much enhanced by the pianoforte performances of Mr Cameron and Mr V Wilson, by the singing of Messrs Rough, Clark, Stoddart, R Napier, Baxter, Morton, Lavender, Macpherson, Gardner, &c, and by the recitations of Messrs Maclaurin, Macgregor, and Hendry.  The meeting, which was a most enjoyable one, was brought to a close by the company singing “Auld Lang Syne.” The dinner was purveyed in an excellent manner by Mr Stewart of the Commercial Hotel.

Falkirk Herald, 15th October 1870