[From Manx Quarterly #17 - Oct 1916]
The death took place at Ballaglonney Cottage, Marown, on August 22nd, of Mr Joseph Callister, formerly of Ballavitchell Marown. Mr Callister, who had attained to a ripe old age, was a successful farmer. He retired from the cultivation of the land some years ago, being succeeded in Ballavitchell Farm by his son. Mr Callister was highly respected throughout the Island, and his death will be keenly felt by a host of friends. He took a great interest in religious, political, and social movements, and was wont to express his convictions fearlessly. A Wesleyan Methodist, he strove hard to further the welfare of that denomination. He was an ardent temperance advocate, and came into considerable celebrity some few years ago by reason of his determined opposition to the grant of seven-day licenses in respect of public-houses in the neighbourhood of Crosby. Politically he held Liberal views and was generally a strong supporter of progressive candidates for the House of Keys. He was a. widower, and left grown-up family.
The funeral took place on Friday afternoon, August 25th, There was a large attendance of parishioners, though undoubtedly the very heavy rain during the day kept many people living at a distance from being present to pay their last tribute of respect to the memory of the deceased gentleman. The mourners were Messrs Edward Callister and Joseph Callister (sons) Mrs Leece. Miss Emma Callister, Mrs R. H. Kissack Miss Nellie Callister, and Mrs Herbert Kelly daughters.
Mrs William Callister (brother), Mr; W. Callister (sister-in-law), Mr Ernest Leece (grandson), Mrs Joseph Callister, Mr Herbert Kelly, Mr Fred Leece, Mr Bert Leeee. Mr J. E. Callister, Miss Sarah Crest, Mr R. H. Kissack. Mr Richard Creer, and Corporal David Callister.
A service was conducted in the Crosby Wesleyan Chapel by the Rev Henry Williams (superintendent of the Douglas Wesleyan circuit) and Mr J. E. Douglas. The hymn, "Rock of ages" was sung. after which the 12-on, -the 90th Psalm and the 15th chapter of First Corinthians were read by the Rev H. Williams.
Mr Williams afterwards addressed the congregation, and said : I feel it would ill become me, persionally, to let this service pass to its close without saying one or two words. The late Mr Callister was one of the men whom I got to know within the first few days after my arrival in the Douglas circuit nearly two years' ago. I remember our first conversation ; I remember distinctly that, the conversation turned on Methodist matters, and not only on :Methodist matters, but upon those interests which are related to every section of the church. and which make for the betterment of the world. We have lost in him a staunch Methodist, a deeply spiritualy-minded man ; one who never lost an opportunity of fellowship with God and with His people when the opportunity came. I have been accustomed to come to Crosby on Sundays and weeknights, but I never missed him from service but once, and that, once I learned it was physical incapacity that deprived him from attending public service He was an attentive listener bo the Word of God. The circuit, of which he was a member, will miss him greatly ; the chqrch here will miss him, more especially i.n his leadewhip and trusteeship, If I were to summarise his relations to the church here, I should say that. they were characterised with the utmost fidelity ; in all his relations there was fidelity to the church and to God, the Head of the Church. Some of the younger-people may have thought him a little narrow, according to presentday standards, but if he was a little narrow, he was none the worse for that. He was a consistent Christian, and as a result of his Christian life he is esteemed, respected, admired, and loved, and we shall miss him. Now, let me appeal to the young people here. A friend in Douglas said to me, after he had heard of Mr Callister's demise, "We are losing the old men rapidly, it seems to me" ; and I venture to suggest .that the time has come when the young' men should seek to be baptised for the dead, and fill the vacancies and perpetuate the work in which they so delighted and gloried to engage. We thank God for his memory, and for his witness to Christ, and the sympathy of his congregation will go out today towards the member, of his family more especially concerned in this bereavement. Let me ask them to regard to-day not as one of sorrow, but as one of rejoicing. He has been taken from us, but he is with Christ. and has entered into the richer life, and has enabled us to anticipate with increased' confidence the ultimate re-union tha.: admits of no further reparation. In the name of Christ, may be given grace to prepare for such a re-union as that.
The hymn, "Give me the wings of faith to rise," was then sung ; after which prayer was offered by Mr J. E. Douglas. At the close of the service, the "Dead March" (in " Saul ") was played on the organ by Miss D. Gelling.-The interment was in the Marown Churchyard.