Unfortunately, the first books of the Dufftown Juvenile Society have disappeared, and the first record of this institution is a roll of 333 members, dated 26th January 1849. This document was recently found by miss Cantlie, Fochabers, a sister of Sir James Cantlie, and handed over to Mr John M’Pherson, who has been for several years and now is President of the Society. It was found among some old papers belonging to her father, the late Mr William Cantlie of Keithmore, and Agent of the Town and County Bank at Dufftown. The handwriting on the roll is beautiful, quite a work of art, and the heading reads as follows: 

Scheme of Division of the Funds belonging to the Dufftown Juvenile Society, instituted on 26th January 1835, and now dissolved, namely, the sum of One Hundred and Seventy Five Pounds 4/5, in equal shares of Ten shillings and four pence one-eight to each of the following 333 members, who were found clear on the Quarter-penny Book of the said Society upon 16th January 1849, when the business of the Society was finally wound up, 26th January 1849. 

From a perusal of this, one might naturally conclude that the Society then ceased to exist; but, as will be seen from future records, this was not really the case. Since 1873, from which date minute and “Entry and Quarter-penny” Books have been preserved, the Society has been wound up, and re-instituted every ten years; and from its institution in 1835 the constitution of the Society arranged for a winding up and paying out of ing. Mr Alexander Dey, Interim Treasurer, handed over to Mr Peter Naughtie the new Treasurer the sum of six pounds three shillings sterling, being the Entry Money of two hundred and forty-six members joined to this date, and the new Treasurer made offer of Messrs John Innes and Peter Thompson as security to the Society for his intromissions, which “being accepted, they accordingly sign this minute along with him. The following members were appointed a Sub-committee for the purpose of revising the Bye-laws, Rules and Regulations, and making any necessary alterations, and to lay the same before a meeting of the Committee at an early date, viz.: Messrs Thompson, Naughtie, Dey and Grant.  P . THOMPSON, P .


At Rose Cottage, Errol Bank, Dufftown, this 21st January 1873, the sub-committee of the Dufftown Juvenile Society, appointed to revise the Bye-laws, Rules and Regulations of the Society, being met, all present, and the President having been called to the chair, the Committee went carefully over the Bye-laws, &c., and amended them as follows:— Bye-Laws, Rules and Regulations. 

First.— A Committee of sixteen Members above twenty-one years of age shall be elected annually at the General Meeting of the Society, such Committee to be elected by members above sixteen years of age, and to con- sist of the following office-bearers, viz.:—A President, a Vice-President, a Treasurer, a Clerk, a Secretary, a Box Master, an Armour Bearer, a Standard Bearer, six Stewards, a Key-keeper, and an Officer, five of the saidCommittee to be a quorum. 

Second.— A Committee of twenty-one Boys shall be elected annually, none of whom shall be above sixteen years of age, the said Committee to be elected by Boys below that age, no grown up members of the Society having any voice in the election of the’ Junior Committee. 

Third.— Every one becoming a member of this Society before the General Meeting in January 1874, shall pay to the Treasurer the sum of sixpence as Entry Money. A Quarter- penny shall be payable annually at the General Meetings, to be held on the first day of January or within eight days thereafter, and any members failing to pay their Quarter- pence within that time, shall be liable for interest at the rate of one penny per annum for every year in arrears; and, it they allow themselves to be over three years in arrears, they shall be struck off the roll of members. The Quarterpenny is hereby fixed at sixpence. In the event of the first day of January falling upon Saturday or Sunday, the Annual General Meeting of that year shall be held on the Monday following. 

Fourth.— Every one becoming members of this Society at and after the General Meeting of 1874, must pay Entry Money and Quarter- pence equally, the same as if they had entered the Society at the beginning, with interest thereon up to the time they become members. 

Fifth.— The whole of the Society’s funds shall be lodged by the Treasurer in a Bank or Banks, and the Interest thereon annually added to the Stock. Should there be any surplus arising from ticket money of the Society’s Annual Ball after defraying the expenses of the same, it shall be added to the Funds. 

Sixth.— No sick allowances shall be given out of this Society’s funds, but in lieu thereof Five Shillings of Mortality Money shall be allowed upon the death of a member after the General Meeting of 1874, which sum the Treasurer of the Society shall pay to the proper party, upon getting due intimation of the death of the Member, provided the deceased was clear on the Society’s Quarterpenny Book at the Annual Meeting preceding his death, or within eight days thereafter. 

Seventh— Any member going out of the Country, so that it might be inconvenient for him to continue a member of the Society, shall be at liberty to sell his share, it being understood that the Committee shall get the first offer of his or their shares, and may pay the same out of the Society’s funds, if they consider it profitable to do so. Failing this he may sell his share to any person, who is fit to be admitted a Member of the Society. Mem- herb so admitted must pay sixpence to the Clerk for getting their names inserted in the Society’s Books. 

Eighth.— The Treasurer and Clerk of the Society shall receive the sum of Three shillings each for their Trouble, and any Member pro- posed for election to either of those offices, who shall decline to accept the same without as- signing a sufficient reason, must pay one shilling as a fine for so doing. The Treasurer shall be changed annually, and shall give Two Securities for all his Intromissions to the satisfaction of the Senior Committee. 

Ninth.— All Members capable of attending must be present at the Annual General Meeting of the Society, and, after the necessary business is transacted, there shall be a procession of the Members through the streets of the Burgh. The Junior Committee shall walk in front and the other Boys—Members of the Society—behind them, and the Senior Committee shall walk at regular distances among the Boys to keep order, and the other grown up Members of the Society, two and two, in the rear of the boys. 

Tenth.— After the procession a Ball shall be held in the evening, the price of the tickets to be threepence for all Members under sixteen years of age, and all Members above sixteen years of age shall pay sixpence for each ticket. The Stewards shall furnish Bread and Beer— (since changed to “the refreshments”)—to the Company at the Ball, but no spirituous liquors shall be allowed in the same, neither shall any- one be at liberty to go out of the Ballroom to any house, for the purpose of drinking the same, otherwise the said Member shall immediately be struck off the Society. No person who is not a Member shall be admitted into the Ball. 

Eleventh.— Members must keep order, and regularity at all the meetings, and Balls of the Society, and no Member shall be allowed to come into the same drunk. Should any Member do so, he shall be struck off the Society, and turned out of the Meeting or Ball. The Society shall be dissolved at the General Meeting of 1883, when the last Quarterpenny is payable, and the funds then belonging to the Society shall be divided equally, as soon as possible thereafter, amongst the then Members, who shall be found clear on the Society’s Books, within one week after the said General Meeting. P . THOMPSON, P .    

Dufftown, 11th February 1873, in a Meeting of the Committee of the Dufftown Juvenile Society with a good attendance of Members and the President in the chair, the former Minutes of Meetings were read and approved. The Bye-laws, as revised, were read and sanctioned. Thereafter William Grant, President of the old Society, presented to the new Society the Box, Four Flags, &c., &c.                            Peter Thompson, P.  

At Dufftown “The Boys Ball,” which has always been associated with “The Walk,” is held in the evening. The floor is reserved for the younger members of the community from seven to 10 o’clock, when the mass of surging joyful children is a sight not easily forgotten. At 10 o’clock the juveniles retire, and adults take their place. Others than members of the Society have been for many years admitted to the ball, and any surplus from the drawings, after paying expenses, is now given for some charitable or deserving purpose. During the last two years £20 were handed over to the Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, £10 to the Stephen Cottage Hospital, £10 to the Mortlach War Memorial, and 9 to the Dufftown Amenities Committee.