TTT Editor's Notes re: West Hanney, England or at W. Haney's Home in England?
Statements about this meeting differ as to the location where the meeting was held. Some state that it was at West Hanney; and others state (including The Secret Sect) state that it was in the home of W. Haney.
The Convention is held at "Deans Farm House" in the village of West Hanney, England which is shown as Oxford I and II (Oxfordshire) on the convention list for England. Due to boundary changes, West Hanney is now located in Oxfordshire which was formerly known as Berks (short for Berkshire, the county or region). Wantage is the nearest town and Oxford is the nearest city to the West Hanney convention. Older Convention lists show this convention as Berkshire. Regardless, the statement circulated about the event quotes the same information printed in the Secret Sect, and the list of individuals present is identical in both statements.
The meeting was called regarding the rift between George Walker and Jack Carroll, co-overseers of the USA and Canada.
The Secret Sect book states at the beginning of Chapter 8: "The need for a determined and united policy was discussed at a conference held at W. Haney's home in England, 19-21 July, 1930. An attempt also was made to settle the strained relations between Walker and Carroll, but as no preacher emerged as outright leader, it became apparent that overseers retained and strengthened their right to exercise authority within their territories. Repetition of former policy was reflected in the statement issued by the seven senior workers after the meeting: July 20, 1930."
The most famous line of the West Hanney Statement is: "It was unanimously agreed by all present that the past should be buried...".
This line is often taken out of context to mean that the workers agreed to bury William Irvine's role in founding the 2x2 movement. To be fair, please read this statement again, very carefully. Notice the purpose for which the worldwide workers meeting was called at West Hanney. It was because "difficulties have existed in the U.S.A. between some of the elder workers..." The difficulty was was the strained relationship between the two U.S.A. overseer workers, Jack Carroll and George Walker. "The past" had nothing to do with hiding or burying the history of the 2x2 group. "The past" was the offenses or feud that existed between these two men. When two people "make up," it is often the case that they agree to "let by-gones be by-gones," and let the past go. The West Hanney statement was saying the same thing--that as far as these two men, "the past should be buried."
Willie Gill and his sister Emma Gill are both buried in the churchyard in West Hanney, Oxfordshire, England, just 5 minutes walk from the convention ground. William John (Willie); born June 12, 1863; Died June1951 aged 88.
Emma Emily Gill; born October 9, 1871; Died 1945 aged 74.
"For a number of years past, difficulties have existed in the U.S.A. between some of the elder workers, which in recent years became more acute, because of these difficulties it was decided that a number of the elder workers from various countries should come together in England and enquire into the reasons for the trouble and seek to find some basis for a better understanding.
"During the days we (the undersigned) were gathered together, full opportunity was given to all to express their minds and to offer any suggestions that would be helpful. After considering the matter from every viewpoint, we are happy to say that those who were most concerned in this trouble expressed their deep regret for any offence at which they had been guilty and apologised to each other, and undertook to do all in their power to dispel the existing difficulties and promote the spirit of unity and fellowship amongst the Lord's people, particularly in the fields which were most affected by the trouble.
"It was unanimously agreed by all present that the past should be buried, and that in the future, all would use their influence to discourage anything that would disturb the peace in God's family, adhering to the teaching and example of Jesus. It was further agreed that should any violation or supposed violation occur, that no decision should be arrived at or circulated until the matter had been placed before a number of brethren from various countries."
Signed by the following 16 men:
W. J. Gill (Willie) 1900
G. Walker (George) 1899
J. T. Carroll (Jack) 1904
J. Hardie (John) 1900
A. Dougal (Alex)
H. R. Mathews (Hugh)1904
J. Doak (John) 1903
W. Jamieson (Willie) 1905
A. Scott (S.)
J. Jardine (James)1904
J. S. Jackson (Jack) 1901
A. Pearce/Pierce 1904
W. Weir (Willie) 1903
W. Reid (Wilson) 1904
J. Forbes (Jack)