International Day Of Friendship


Today is International Day Of Friendship, designated by the United Nations as the day when:

by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust [. . .] we can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good.

What better day to delve back into our Archives for examples of generating “passion for a better world”?

Take a look at the images below. These pages detail the “People’s Friend Children’s Cot Industrial Exhibition And Fancy Bazaar”, an event held in April, 1886.

The object of this event was to raise money to fund a cot in Dundee’s Royal Infirmary. This followed a competition run in the magazine, and a call to readers for donations.

So, even more than 130 years ago, both our staff and our readers placed a premium on doing good deeds.

We’ve transcribed the article for you below. We enjoyed the story of “one little fellow of 7½ years of age” in particular!


The Exhibition And Bazaar

Their Origin And Aim

Perhaps no object in the World so readily stirs the deepest, tenderest feelings of the heart, as the sight of a helpless child laid upon a bed of suffering, unable to tell its wants and ailments, yet writhing in the power of some terrible disease. But it is comforting to know that, in the multitude of our Charities for the alleviation of the ills to which flesh is heir, the claims of disease-stricken Children have not been forgotten. In the Children’s Ward of our Royal Infirmary the little sufferers are tended with all a mother’s care, receiving at the hands of skilled physicians and nurses that loving attention which they could never have obtained in such homes as most of them belong to. It was with the desire of doing some real and permanent good to an Institution, so deserving of the consideration of rich and poor, that he CHILDREN’S COT BAZAAR was organised. The following remarks explain more fully the scheme:-

The “PEOPLE’S FRIEND” INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITION AND BAZAAR, to be held in the KINNAIRD HALL, Dundee, on FRIDAY and SATURDAY, the 9th and 10th instant, is the outcome of a desire on the part of the Proprietors of the “FRIEND” to enlist the sympathies and engage the activities of the Juvenile Readers of the Miscellany in some good work calculated to develop their higher faculties, and at the same time afford active employment for the talents. For this purpose the young readers were asked to compete for a series of Valuable Prizes and Certificates of Merit, by sending in specimens of their own handiwork, for the best of which Prizes to the aggregate value of between Twenty and Thirty Pounds will be awarded. The response has come from upwards of Five Hundred Boys and Girls in all parts of the country, who have forwarded more than a thousand useful articles, comprising every variety of plain and fancy knitting, plain and fancy sewing, plain and fancy crochet work; also crewel. embroidery, lace, bead, and other fancy work; drawings, paintings, models, wood-work, cork-work, card-work, and nick-nacks of all kinds — the whole forming a wondrous display of perseverance, diligence, and taste, representative of the juvenile industry of Scotland. The competition articles are being judged by a Committee Of Ladies, and will be arranged to the best advantage, making a unique Exhibition, the like of which has never previously been seen in this country.

The primary object of the Exhibition is to raise a Fund of 200 Guineas to designate a “People’s Friend” cot in the Children’s Ward of the Dundee Royal Infirmary. For this purpose every article sent in is to be sold at fair prices to such as like to buy; and when these young competitors, who have entered so enthusiastically into the scheme, and worked so hard to make it a success, have given cheerfully of the fruits of their industry to promote this object, the public surely will not withhold their generous sympathy and support, but will, by their presence and their purchases, help to give the boys and girls great joy in the thought that their efforts have not been in vain, and that heir articles have found willing buyers, especially when it is remembered that the object is unsectarian in character, and is one which merits the goodwill of all.

In addition to the Exhibition, there will also be a GRAND FANCY BAZAAR. When the scheme was first broached in the columns of the “PEOPLE’S FRIEND”, several of the adult readers suggested the propriety of permission being granted them to send in donations, as an expression of their interest in the work. Since then the donations have come pouring into the Office in such a steady stream that they now outrival the competition articles in number and value. In the most generous and spontaneous manner, from the most unexpected quarters, and from all parts of the country, donations of fancy and useful articles have been received. One little fellow of 7½ years of age unable to make anything for the Competition, collected £3 10s among his friends, and got his father to send a bank draft for that amount as a donation. Seeing, therefore, that an Exhibition and Bazaar of such a novel and interesting character is being held so well stocked with good, useful, and fancy articles, all to be disposed of at fair prices, for such a worthy object, the promoters trust that the public will help to make the scheme a triumphant success, as a graceful compliment to the young exhibitors, and as showing that there are warm hearts and quick sympathies in responding to any scheme for the benefit of the little sufferers in the Children’s Ward; remembering the words — “Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto Me”.

Take a look at our Helping Others pages for more on how the “Friend” continues to support charitable endeavours across the world.

This includes our latest Hand Of Friendship campaign in support of the Book Bus.

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.