Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

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

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Boreham on A First Mate

In my last article I posted the tribute I gave at the funeral of F W Boreham’s son, Frank Boreham.

In this article I present excerpts from the tribute I gave at the funeral of Betty, Frank junior’s wife (who died in 2003).

Betty was a woman given to hospitality, an interested listener, a person of prayer, intelligent and self-effacing. She was an avid reader and, with Frank in their latter years, a great traveler. Betty would write up their travels in her journal while Frank recorded scenes on his video camera.

These are portions of what I said at the Kew Baptist Church (the church FWB went to on his retirement and the church where Frank and Betty worshipped and served for most of their lives):

“They (Betty and Frank) were generous with what they had been given. Together they donated cabinets and memorabilia to the Armadale Church and Whitley College to further the work of Frank’s father.

They contributed to the establishment of the F W Boreham Training Centre at the ABMS in Auburn [Melbourne]. They had a world wide interest and God only knows the missionaries and Christian workers that they supported.

Betty’s generosity, her care, her hospitality, her positive attitude and her commitment to learning are all qualities that sprang from her deep faith in God.

While there are many that remember the literary contribution of her father in law, whom she admired greatly, there are very few who realize the work of Betty Boreham behind his manuscripts.

The proofs of one of the fifty-five Boreham books would arrive from the Epworth Publishing Company and in the few days that the ship was at Port Melbourne before returning to England, F W Boreham had to complete the proof reading. Who did he call? This author relied so many times on the services of Betty who with her eagle eye was sharp and thorough.

He so much appreciated this work she did. For me this typified the contribution that Betty made in life. Not centre of stage, her work was largely unsung yet her contribution behind the scenes was absolutely essential.

Dr Boreham entitled one of his essays to The First Mate as distinct from the skippers and the captains who usually win the accolades. In this essay in which he writes about the people who helped writers and politicians he concludes with these words:

“One of these days the worth of the world's workers will be justly and accurately assessed. It will be a day of the most startling and sensational surprises; and not least among its astonishments will be the disclosure of the immensity of the debt that the world owes to its first mates.”

On that day the full disclosure of Betty’s service will be revealed and we shall understand more fully the immensity of the gift that Betty has been to us and we shall be truly thankful!”

Geoff Pound

Image: The Kew Baptist Church in Highbury Grove, Melbourne. I am disappointed that I do not have a photo of Betty.