Dunoon Burgh Hall

A Piano is Donated (with conditions ‘to protect morals’)

Mr W.W. Mackay of Isabella Villa gave the town a new gas lamp at Ferry Brae, and presented two fountains, one beside the bandstand near the pier and The Loving Hand fountain at the front of the Burgh Hall. Mr W.W. Mackay’s contribution didn’t end there. In 1888 he offered the Burgh Hall a semi grand piano.

This kind offer came with the following conditions of use: ‘’ That the Lectures committee get free use of the instrument when required in connection with the Lecture Course. While I think music, when rightly applied, has an elevating tendency, it can be perverted, and I condition that the piano will not be let, say, for Negro Comic songs or dances, or any kind of Buffoonery; but I would leave it to those who let the Hall to decide, knowing my mind, what they think will be of lowering moral tendency, and ask them to refuse the use of it only to such. I think it should not be let for Dancing purposes after eleven o’clock at night except on very rare occasions.’’

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