In 1976 when I was a young lad of 6, Fred Franz came to Glasgow and gave a talk in Govan a suburb on the South Side of the city (for those of you who dont know). Our congregation hired a bus to ferry us all to the hall and it was standing room only.
Being only 6, I have only the vaguest of memories other than an old man shouting and bawling from the stage. But yes, I can claim to have seen JW "royalty" back in the day! This guy was someone who could claim to be there more or less at the beginning of the Russel and Rutherford era.
Fast forward to the late 1980's. Our congregation in East Kilbride had and elder and his wife whose claim to fame was that the elders sister was married to Govening Body member Jack Barr.
My memory isnt what it was but I was definitely hooked up with my girlfriend and future wife so it would be at least 1988 possibly even 1989 but certainly no later than that. Jack Barr and his wife were staying with our local elder as he was the star turn at that summers convention at Murrayfield, Edinburgh.
In advance of that convention, it was arranged that our cong hired a huge hall owned by the local council and Jack was scheduled to give a special talk the Sunday ahead of the convention.
Well! Word got around that a rock star was amongst us and at that Sunday talk folks came from far and wide in Scotland to see one of Jesus "brothers". I was seated approx 3 rows from the front, and my overwhelming memory of that occassion is that everyone to a man just worshipped this man. He as to use my phrase above "JW royalty" or a rock star. One guy brought in a full video camera set up with lights and all the parephanalia that goes with it! It was big deal.
Looking back over a distance of 30 years, I now realise he was just as ordinary as the rest of us.. but at the time I was seriously impressed.
What are your experiences of this. When the Governing Body came to your covention and gave a talk: was there an awed hush over the crowd when they spoke? Or was your experience more ordinary?