Friday, 14 October 2016

Reverend Herbert William Quarrie

Rev. Herbert William Quarrie

“A Brief History of St Andrew’s Church” tells us that “The foundation Stone of St Andrew's Church was laid on 20th May 1926 by Cecil, The Bishop of Southampton in the presence of Samuel Falle, Dean of Jersey and Rev. H.W. Quarrie, Vicar and can be seen on the outside of the west wall of the church. The church was built by F. Farley & Son, a local firm, whose offices can still be seen across the road. It is built in the beautiful Jersey pink granite like most churches in Jersey.”

Here is more background from “The Pilot” of 1965 in their “Pilot Profile” in 1965, when Herbert Quarrie was 85, and some gleanings I have found upon the way.

Occupation: Registration Card of Herbert William Quarrie shows him residing at St Andrew's Vicarage, First Tower, St Helier, and born 8th March 1882. When he died in 1976, he was 94 years old.

He married Ethel Edith Pellier (born 1880). The Pellier family owned the Pomme d'Or Hotel and Ann Street Brewery as well as Eulah Country House hotel. It had been built in 1906 by Welsh industrialist Ernest Walker and was purchased by Ethel in 1914. On Ethel's death she bequeathed the house, also known as St Andrew's Vicarage, to her husband, the Reverend Herbert Quarrie, minister at the church. She died around 1935.

St Andrews, Esplanade Church

He was the first vicar who saw the church move from its old position on the Esplanade to its present site in 1926, and was instrumental in its move. Among the more unusual fund raising events was a sponsored swim of the English Channel by the Vicar. This was reported far and wide, and the Evening News from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, December 1927 reports this:

“Swim To Aid Church Fund – Jersey, Channel Islands, December 13. In an effort to raise funds to complete his half-finished church, the Rev. W. Herbert Quarrie, is willing to make an attempt to swim the channel for a monetary reward. Of splendid physique he is known locally as the fighting parson, on account of his fistic prowess. He is a strong swimmer, only a few years ago having swum nine miles from St. Helier to Corbière. About $40,000 is required to finish the church, and clear a bank overdraft of $12,500.”

Paris Newspapers also carried a telegram detailing this story, as did the Madrid Herald!

I have not been able to ascertain if he succeeded in swimming the channel, and he doesn’t appear on any official online lists, but they may not be complete for the period in question.

One of the strangest snippets of information was finding details on the Will and Testament of Henry Ward Middlemist of Mayfield, Millbrook, made in 1947. This included “Bequeaths to Reverend Herbert William Quarrie of St Andrew's Vicarage, St Helier his large model locomotive”

Another snippet. As a former army chaplain, in 1926, he wrote to the Spectator, to say that England helping France in the War " meant the difference between survival and extinction to her.". I have managed to trace the full letter, which is reproduced after "The Pilot" article.

In 1967, Reverend Quarrie retired at the age of 82 having been Vicar of St Andrew's for 55 years. The congregation had however dropped in numbers and the announcement of his retirement of brought a new challenge to the congregation as the “Vicarage” was in fact Rev. Quarrie’s own house.

The Rev. Herbert William Quarrie died on June 9th at the age of 94. He had lived at Eulah, Mont Cochon, used by him as the vicarage. For many years he was looked after by his sister, but following her death, Mrs Falle, widow of Dean Falle, looked after Mr Quarrie in his declining years. The funeral was held at St. Andrew's Church on Monday, June 14th and the service was conducted by Rev. George Dockrell.

In his address, the Dean of Jersey, the Very Rev. Tom Goss, said that Mr Quarrie had been fortunate to have been discovered and nurtured by Dean Samuel Falle. The parish of St Andrew had benefited enormously from a very great priest.

After the Reverend Quarrie's death (c. 1976), his house Eulah was passed on to Mary de Chanval Pellier, Ethel's niece. Mary later sold Eulah to the building contractors Ernest Farley & Sons in 1977.

Pilot Profile: William Herbert Quarrie, 1965
Sixty Years in Holy Orders

Herbert Quarrie was born on March 8th 1882. Four years later his mother died in childbirth and his father died shortly afterwards. His maternal grandfather took user the six children and gave them a wonderful upbringing, and to this day they acknowledge the debt of gratitude for his self sacrifice and high example.

He was head Of the engineering side of the Furness Railway Company and Herbert Quarrie, after private schooling, joined the same company before progressing to the marine engineering section of Messrs. Vickers. Sons and Maxine, Barrow-in-Furness.

These formative years spent in engineering were some of the most profitable of his life. He met working men on the job and grasped some of the problems of living in the industrial age.

And his engineering experience and skill have stood hint in good stead all his life. He made a name for himself in the football field as an athlete, boxer and swimmer, and he taught in the Sunday School of the local Church- St James, Barrow-in-Furness. The Vicar was Canon Samuel Falle.

If the call to Ordination had been a distant one in his boyhood, the life and example of' his vicar left no doubt in his mind. and he studied theology under a professor from Bede College, Durham University. His scholastic ability was such that he came out top in the General Ordination Examinations and was therefore Gospeller at his Ordination by the Bishop of Carlisle in 1905. He took his title under Samuel Falle - there was a staff of four clergy at St James and he came to Jersey with him in 1906 [as assistant curate] when the vicar was made Dean of .Jersey.

After six years as Curate of St Helier he was appointed Vicar of St .Andrews, a little church on the Esplanade. It is now a store. but there is still evidence of its history as it church. It is remarkable that there was it need for a church there in such close proximity to Pier Road Mission and the Town Church. But not only did it flourish but it carried a curate in the person of the Rev. Tom Curtis.

Dean Falle saw the growing need of a church in the First Tower area and he charged the Vicar of St Andrew's with the task of building it. This mammoth task he did in spite of the crippling effect of the
First World War - he served as Chaplain to the Forces 1917-18.

The task of setting about building a church meant some big thinking. The highlights were the four-day fetes which ran from August Bank Holiday Monday to the following Thursday. As the vicar was also President of First Tower Football Club he used 40 footballers to light the lanterns and fairy lights for the evening celebrations. Incidentally. he also armed them with clubs to protect the cash tent from the smart boys who were present on Bank Holiday evening after the Don Bridge races!

The Church was consecrated by the Bishop of Southampton on March 20th. 1926. and must rank as one of the most beautiful in the Island. It is an example of utter self-dedication to the task by the vicar. and the long-sustained sacrifice by the congregation. Herbert Quarrie fulfilled the task allotted to him by the Dean of Jersey. and in so doing he forfeited all chances of preferment and promotion. Bishop Garbett offered him the parish of Hartley Whitney while another Bishop asked him to go to the Falkland Islands as Dean.

He also had two chances of becoming a Member of Parliament-but that would have meant resigning his Orders. Nevertheless, he made notable contributions to the political scene in Jersey and was asked on one occasion to stand as a candidate for election to the office of Senator in the States. He has never considered that the Church should remain silent about day-to day affairs of public importance. But he refused all these offers because he wanted to complete the work given him- that is to provide a worthy church. vicarage and church hall.

His study. deep in theological books, also hears the marks and characteristics of the man - the paintings of the great ocean liners reminding us of his years as marine engineer, souvenirs of his twenty years as Prison Chaplain (1939-59), and the tale told in photographic form of the building of St Andrews;. His gentleness and lovable character reflect his deep faith and love of' God. There is no grumbling nor despairing of the present generation. 'I am very fit' he murmurs; 'and I have had a very happy life”

Herbert Quarrie has been Vicar of St Andrew in the parish of St Helier since 1912 - 53 years from before the First World War. No other priest in the Diocese of Winchester can touch that record. And, if the six years as Curate of Si Helier be counted. he will have completed 60 years in the parish next Year –and 61 years in Orders.

Letter to the Editor of The Spectator by Herbert Quarrie, 1926

Your plain speaking in last week's issue of the Spectator on the subject of French policy and our craven subservience to it has been inspiring reading. Why has this not been made manifest, and so impossible, by the Press long ago ? 

To the average Englishman with a modicum of common sense and patriotism this has been painfully and humiliatingly apparent ever since the armistice. The American Ambassador has rendered a real service to the cause of settlement, and has, in the main, spoken the cold truth, and, however harsh and disagreeable it is apt to sound, in the long run it is saving. 

France has been and is the greatest stumbling-block in the path of real peace and progress since the armistice. Unwilling, not unable, to pay her debts and face facts, her foreign policy has been as grossly out of touch with sanity and reality as her financial policy. She has obviously forgotten how completely dependent she was during the War upon the help of the Anglo-Saxon nations. It meant the difference between survival and extinction to her, and must necessarily do so again in a similar crisis, especially if she wrecks the League of Nations by trying to dominate it. 

Her post-War record inspired, paradoxically, by a present sense of power, and panic as to the future, has alienated her late allies. America stands coldly aloof. We are repelled, but in our self-imposed weakness afraid to speak out. 

The inevitable result, however, unless France substitutes hard facts for present pretences, will be the final alienation of the English and Germans liking peoples. That would be a shattering blow to the present League, and to Latin intrigue ; but if the United States, Britain and Germany cultivated an understanding in the real interest of peace and economic development, that would be a league indeed and unchallengeable. 

Further episodes of the Chanak, Lausanne and Geneva variety might bring it well within sight.—

I am, Sir, &c.,

Herbert W Quarrie
The Vicarage, First Tower

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