[From Reminiscences of Notable Douglas Citizens etc, 1902]
Mr. Jas Cowin
Late of Belevedere Temperance Hotel, Douglas
Whets I first consented to write some reminiscences of the Douglas of my boyhood for the "Herald", I had no conception that they were likely to make the more enduring form of a booklet, and that I would he asked to preface them by a short introduction ; I might say apology, for I have been more anxious to give the unvarnished incidents from my own personal knowledge in the most isomer way, than to interlard them with any attempt at literary merit.
In describing men, women, manners, and oddities, I have endeavoured to steer clear of giving offence to any who may lay claim to be in the line of decendency from them. and all those who were mentally affected of whom there were sadly too many, not catered for by the State as they ought to have been I have carefully excluded although many of them had points and, peculiarities which often came into play in the public life of the town.
From my boyhood I had an instinctive leaning towards the funny, or comic side of human nature; and my several years in the Douglas Post Office afforded me too many opportunities for cultivating this taste, With "Her Majesty's Mails arriving and departing two or three times a week, at most irregular hours, night: and day, made it, often hard with late and early work, and the alternative of no work but play and plenty of time to spare.
For many years, I have been persistently importuned by friends to
write down, and "Tell them the tales that they once loved to
Long, long ago ! Long, long ago
And whilst it has been a pleasure to them and a, joy to me to do so. it has also brought the saddened reflection of
Where are the friends that I once loved so dear
Long, long ago! Long, long ago!"
When I look back on the thinning out of the ranks of my old friends and associates during the past 20 years, I fully realise the truth
When musing on companions gone,
We doubly find ourselves alone."
Yet, there is sunshine in the world, kind hearts, and encouraging words. I am deeply touched with the many appreciative letters I have received during the time these articles were appearing; they have warmed my old heart, and made me feel that I am still Manx to the core; with a revived love to the Island, and to my fellow country people, that grows with my growth into old age and strengthens with my years.
I am, truly,
Southport, November, 1901.