The Rev. P. McLachlan
Only a week ago the Catholic Herald recorded a presentation to the Rev. Peter McLachlan from the congregation at Bovey Tracey. grateful to that priest for the ministry which he exercised so zealously in the town until his state of health compelled him to give up. At the time when he received this proof of esteem and affection, Fr. McLachlan was nearing his end: he died on May 26 at Torquay.
Fr. McLachlan's death deprives the Church of a zealous and energetic priest. For many years, even from his student days, his health had been poor, and within a few years of his ordination he was obliged to retire permanently from the archdiocese of Glasgow and live in the south of England. Many ill St. Mary's, Maryhill. and in St. Mary's, Paisley. will now recall his untiring and unselfish labours during the short time he was able to serve in the archdiocese.
After spending a short time of very necessary convalescence in Torquay, Fr. McLachlan asked the Bishop of Plymouth to give him some work in the diocese. As a priest he could not bear to be idle. But it was typical of him that in a letter to a friend he said that he had taken on some work because " the rust is coming out of my ears." Bovey Tracy, where previously there had been no resident priest, Was thenceforth the scene of his priestly labours. Even in the restricted scope which such a small Catholic population offered. his activity was incredible. He won the love as well
as the confidence of his parishioners. He built a new church and presbytery. In the press account of the opening of the church his name did not appear, though many others were mentioned. That again was typical of the man: self was always excluded.
The few who were privileged to win Fr. McLachlan's friendship know that his was a friendship of the truest and most loyal kind. Gifted with an intelligence far above the ordinary, and with a sense of humour which at times was sheer boisterousness, he was noted for a frankness and sincerity that were the outcome of these qualities. One could never be bored in his company.
Surely he fulfilled the ideal of the priest. A life that did not realise the world's idea of success, but which was closely modelled upon the life of the Great High Priest even in the matter of constant trial and suffering cheerfully borne.