Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What F W Boreham and Mark Twain Had in Common

An interesting episode occurred in the life of F W Boreham soon after World War II had finished and Melbourne was still buzzing with people dancing, singing, and shouting in the streets.

Those celebrations in the streets were at their height as F.W.B. mounted the pulpit steps of Scots Church for the weekly midday service, to face the church packed with grateful worshippers. It was a memorable service as the vast congregation, led by the preacher they so highly esteemed, gave humble thanks to God.

That evening, only a few hours later, among the radio bulletins reporting the progress of the surrender negotiations, came the words:

'We regret to announce the death today of the Reverend Doctor Boreham, of Melbourne. Dr. Boreham was widely known for his long ministry at the Scots Church. A memorial service in his honor will be held at Scots tomorrow.'

F.W.B.'s vast company of friends could scarcely credit the news which came with such dramatic suddenness. And many of them had sent their condolences to Mrs. Boreham before learning that, as with Mark Twain, the report of her husband's death was greatly exaggerated.

A corrected announcement that evening explained that the obituary referred, not to Dr. Boreham, but to Dr. Borland, a former minister of Scots Church.

Source: T H Crago, The Story of F W Boreham (London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1961), 234-235.

Image: Mark Twain