Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mrs Stella Boreham

Frank and Stella met when he was the student pastor at Theydon Bois. Stella Cottee was only sixteen and her parents invited him home for lunch. She came from good evangelical stock. In his Bunch of Everlastings F W Boreham wrote of visiting William Cottee (Stella’s grandfather) who was over ninety years of age at the time. Boreham must have found him rather daunting for the student pastor said: “He had no respect for any theological opinions of mine. He was a sturdy old hyper Calvinist, my doctrines were milk and water.”[1] What did Frank and Stella do in their courtship in their Theydon Bois days? Who knows but one of the things they did was read to each other. In some of Boreham’s books that he had acquired he wrote (with the date), ‘Read to Stella & Mrs Cottee’ or ‘Read to Stella and Mr Cottee.”[2]

Stella was young when she arrived in Christchurch, NZ to get married to Frank and set up their new life together. Reading between the lines it seems that they both experienced extreme homesickness. Writing more than fifty years later Boreham lets down his guard and speaks honestly of how they felt and the most painful times:

“Although I have spent nearly three score Christmases under the Southern Cross,
I have never completely resigned myself to celebrating Christmas at midsummer
and have never quite recovered from the shock that I sustained when that strange
experience first befell me.”

“As we approached the first Christmas after our wedding, my second Christmas in
New Zealand, my wife's first thought of spending the festive season by our two
homesick selves grew increasingly intolerable. But whom could we invite?”[3] They sought to alleviate their homesickness by inviting
friends such as J J Doke.[4]

In this posting there is a photo taken by Frank of Stella posing as a nun!

Geoff Pound

[1] F W Boreham Bunch of Everlastings, 173.
[2] These books are in the F W Boreham Collection, Whitley College, Melbourne and include a book of sermons by F B Meyer.
[3] F W Boreham, My Christmas Book, 12.
[4] F W Boreham, The Man Who Saved Gandhi, 3