THE Curator of the Corporation halls is the son of a noted Chartist, and was born in the East-End of Glasgow. He began life as a paper-ruler with Messrs. William Collins & Sons, and worked for twenty-seven years as a power-loom tenter. Meanwhile he had become an enthusiastic temperance worker. He was an original member of the Independent Order of Good Templars. For a number of years he was president of the Good Templars' Harmonic Association, which is owner of the Wellington Palace. As manager of this Palace he gained much useful experience, and in 1885 when Mr. Thomas Jenkins converted the Wellington Church into the Waterloo Rooms, he consulted Mr. Freer, who afterwards superintended the re-construction of the building, and became manager of the halls and purveying department. Five years later the Corporation purchased St. Andrew's Halls, and he became curator of these and of the City Hall. His curatorship proved an immediate success, the revenue of St. Andrew's Halls increasing by £1,100 in the first year, and that of the City Hall by £300. In 1891 the Corporation Recitals were placed in his charge, and since their origin in the City Hall, they are now given in seven halls out of the dozen in Mr. Freer's hands, and attended by as many as 260,000 persons in a season.
    Mr. Freer is an enthusiastic Free Mason, an honorary member of the Orders of Foresters, Shepherds, and Rechabites, and a noted athlete, cyclist, cricketer and oarsman. He married in 1866, and has a family of six sons and two daughters.

Back to Index of Glasgow Men (1909)