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Harold Chance (Not Change)

Published: March 17, 2023


HI Mary Klein,

I'm sorry to be writing this, but it feels needful: I wish someone there would do more careful research and reliable proofreading.

In your 3/11/2023 issue of Extra Extra Western Friend, we are told that:

“At the very end of this newsletter, you will find . . . Harold Charge's observations on on the history of the Quaker peace testimony. (1951)” [Emphasis added.]

At the end, we in fact find passages credited to:

“Harold Change, Tradition and Challenge (1951)” [Emphasis added.]

The quotes are actually from the late Harold Chance (like Dance)

Citation from the Friends Historical Library:

Chance, Harold, 1898-1975
Harold J. Chance was the Director of Friends Peace Service of the American Friends Service Committee from 1943 to 1962.

(Click here for the Friends Historical Library.)

Further, I don't know who selected the quotes Western Friend printed; but they are from the very beginning and the very end of Chance's 1951 text, and they pass silently by the report (on pp. 40-41 of Testimony & Challenge) that Chance personally conducted a nationwide survey of US Friends meetings and churches in World War Two, the results of which reported that of draft age Friends, 75 per cent submitted to the draft and joined the war, a result Chance very much lamented.

The quotes are tendentious and misleading. The misspellings of his name are embarrassing.

Chance's report could have provided a much more thought-provoking series of quotes for Friends to grapple with in 2023. Careful, accurate reporting of his name could aid those who felt led to seek out his work.

I hope the proofreading and sourcing can be improved.

from Chuck Fager, Spring Friends Meeting (3/11/2023)

[Click here to read corrected version of 3/11/2023 Extra Extra Western Friend.]