The Elder Bag. Going the way of the Dodo?

by Open mind 63 Replies latest jw friends

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    Another time & place. 20-25 years ago in a conservative "God's Country" US State. A look around the Kingdom Hall could easily identify the Theocratic Pecking Order.

    plus a song book, KM, etc. and no bag whatsoever =

    Rank & File/newbie.

    = Wannabe MS or MS or possibly fringe elder on his way down the totem pole.

    = ELDER! Secretary, SO, PO, newly appointed, didn't matter. If you were an elder and wanted to flaunt it, you got yourself one of these bad boys!

    Fast forward 20-25 years. Move to Calipornea. Computers gets smaller and cheaper. WT Library is now a status symbol on PDAs. And it looks like the Catalog Case of yesteryear is now an embarrassment. (As it always should have been.) Even to a Congregation Secretary.

    What was your experience?


  • Magwitch

    What was worse was when one of these "badboys" was brought door to door.

    At lease the householder was at first hopeful we were Fuller Brush salesmen.

  • cantleave

    LMAO - I know exactly what you are talking about. Current elders always seem to have a standard sized brief case a diary (usually black A5 size) and a brown folder containing talk outlines, group report summaries prepared by the cong sec and the emergency planning stuff. NB: The Elders with a decent job will replace the Diary with a Blackberry.

  • VoidEater

    Sheesh...that was the worst "flashback" experience I've ever had...

  • zombie dub
    zombie dub

    hahahahaha, nearly all the elders in my cong had these monstrosities too - for all their "important secret things"

  • drew sagan
    drew sagan


    They were still in style when I was a JW (left in 2007). I think you west coast folk are ahead of the game. I'm going to guess the old men in Western PA (where I'm located) still tote those oversized atrocities around.

    I did notice that some JWs are really into the "folder" thing when it comes to door to door work.

  • drew sagan
    drew sagan

    I remember one Elder that was very young and dreamed of climbing the JW corporate ladder. He got special appointments very young, and went to MTS. He would carry around one of those big bags everywhere he went. Inside was a reference Bible, Elder Book, letters, documents, outlines, magazines, etc. It was jam packed. He was poor, and I think that he would use the same thing for field service.

    I remember this guy one time brought his reference Bible to a wedding.

  • Mickey mouse
    Mickey mouse

    It still looks better than those women's hand bags a lot of brothers were carrying in the UK about 10 years ago.

    Check out these:

  • Finally-Free

    I had number 2, only in black to match my suit and shoes, and I wasn't even an MS. I had a different bag for field circus. What an asskisser!


  • GromitSK

    "At lease the householder was at first hopeful we were Fuller Brush salesmen. " then disappointed when they turned out to be Fuller S*** salesmen. :)

  • cantleave

    click to enlarge

    Alexandria - Man's Leather Bag

    2 Zip Compartments

    2 rings to hold an umbrella

    Back pocket with magnetic closure

    A djustable strap with shoulder pad

    41x11,5x30 cm

    Price: £265.00

    BLOODY HELL!!!! Who would spend £265 on a Service Bag? Even when I was zealous I spend no more the £30.00.

  • restrangled

    Open Mind....

    I'm laughing my axx off. The big boys had their initials inscribed. When they came in, the big cases would be set down and lined up against the wall, emblazoned with initials behind all the seats....You heavy and full of important crap they were too difficult to carry around until the meeting started. Of course all were locked. (Snicker)

    I'll never forget the sight of those lined up brief cases, and all the wanna be's walking around with the wimpy version.

    Good lord.....did we really live through this? Did we really take any of it seriously? Damn, its appalling!!!!!!!!!!

  • sir82

    Oh it's far from extinct, at least in this part of....Mongolia.

    It's a wonder there weren't more dislocated shoulders, from the elders lugging those 50 pound cases around.

  • White Dove
    White Dove

    Oh, I remember those! You knew where an elder was going to sit because that huge case was right beside his seat in the aisle.

  • Simon Morley
    Simon Morley

    I remember a nutbar elder (former PO) who had one of those massive 8" wide black cases. He was showing off its compartments that you stock a major municipal library in. Anyway, it had a combination lock - two sets of three numbers and some little kid was playing around with it and reset the combinations - what a laugh as the PO struggles to get his #1 talk out and SM part - broke the locks with a spoon - we just could not contain oursleves!! I seriously came close to peeing myself!

    I was glad to bin mine when I stepped aside earlier this year - I go with what I need now. I don't need the reminder of the past.

  • AllTimeJeff

    I remember my peer when we were both MS talking about getting an "elder bag". He thought it presumpteous to get one before becoming an elder. But he got one anyway. I couldn't have cared less.

    I got one after I became an elder too. Actually, I am trying to remember, did I get one before I was appointed an elder? I can't remember..... It was close.... I had it full of binders and books. And thus, never again was I going to sit anywhere but by the aisle...

    Without going into too much detail, a MS got one. His was the airline pilot variety, and wheeled his in to every meeting. Conspicuous as can be. And just didn't get it...

    *sigh* Yup, elders bags, after market leather binding of reference bibles and FS supplies by Stoops. I sure do miss seeing which JW's were "in" and which were "out".

  • villabolo

    I had one of those big, double wide thingies. No, I was not an elder, ministerial servant or even a brother with responsibilities nor was I a wannabe. I had that monstrosity primarily for field service. Inside were different books (other than the book de jour) in case a householder expressed an interest in a particular subject that was covered in that book.

    The case had the initials TCA which stood for some business. I didn't have a clue what the business name was but when the Brothers and Sisters asked me what it meant I would tell them it stood for Theocratic Colporteurs Aid.

    When I went out in Field Service with the Circuit Overseer he counseled me on one thing only. It was not my presentation but, you guessed it, lose the briefcase. I still have it.


  • OnTheWayOut

    I never had a giant case like that. I was the school overseer and did every last thing on paper and just carried printed sheets from the WT library for all the assignments of the school, that and my Bible, songbook, elder manual (Gotta have that). I used a beat up field circus bag for the meetings.

    I did have the slim briefcase when I was a "new" brother but wore it out and switched to the field service bag- vinyl and cloth, not even leather.

    I saw plenty of elders that did have the encyclopedia case.

  • The Oracle
    The Oracle

    haha... funny stuff.

    Yup I had one of the big bad boys. And wow, did I take good care of it. I would spend some quiet time at home re-organizing the insides of it just so. Oh, how I enjoyed having my shit together.

    Had a few binders with some handy print-outs for shepherding visits inside to help people who were depressed or for other specific problems. How oddly unqualified I was with all the warped WT logic at the ready!

    Always had to sit in the aisle seat too. That bad boy was just too big for a non-aisle situation.

    I still have that bag. I look at it once in a while. It still contains the same old stuff. Not sure what to do with it all. I might put it on a raft and send it down the river and film it, then post it on youtube. Or perhaps I'll burn it in a glorious bon-fire. Or maybe I'll just keep it, exactly as it is. Decisions ...decisions.

    The Oracle

  • dissed

    "Yes, I had one" as he boasts.

    A few years ago, I tossed the contents into the garbage and gave the bag to my wife for her horse club stuff. She finally gets to have her own 'Elder bag'

    Does anyone remember the JW catalog store where you could buy these things? They had the 'Junior' model, a little smaller than the Elder's and described as perfect for a MS.

    'The Swinger' - The perfect service bag for the sister with style

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