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Chapter on Watertown High School

 

High School Commencement

Presentation Speech by Louis Bandelin

 

Fund for frieze in assembly room of new high school

 

Watertown Gazette, 06 25 1914

 

The occasion which brings us together is full of significance. Tonight ó our last night as students of Watertown High School, produces in us mingled feelings of joy and sorrow.We are happy because we are now ready to enter life, and we are sorry because we must leave school.

 

Our high school career is at an end; no longer shall we be active in student affairs.Freely we have received of the benefits of education, freely we hope to give ourselves in service.We have accepted education, the most vital element of our future lives, together with innumerable enjoyments from our high school activities.

 

To many of us the education we have here obtained will be our only capital in beginning life; and for whatever of wealth and honor we may hereafter win in the world, we shall feel greatly indebted to those who have guided us.

 

With pride, with joy, and yet not without regret we look back on the four years spent in high school.It is the wish of this class to leave some token of our appreciation of our alma mater for the benefits we have received during our high school days.We wish in a definite way to show that appreciation, not because of custom, but because of gratitude; gratitude to the institution which has put within our grasp knowledge which we will use and power which we will employ to overcome the obstacles we meet in life.

 

Within a few years the students of Watertown High School may forget our class; but we want them to remember our loyalty.Therefore, in behalf of the class of 1914, I present this sum of money, to be held in trust by the Superintendent, as a nucleus for a class memorial fund.

 

The object of this fund is to adorn the assembly room of the new high school building with a frieze.

 

Since work on the plans for the new building began, the class of 1914 felt that it would be a privilege to start such a fund to help make beautiful this new school house of which we have dreamed, but which it will be the fortune of others to enjoy.Nevertheless we desire to show our interest in the new building, and it gives us satisfaction to assist in its decoration.

 

To some degree at least, all of us reflect our surroundings.Someone has well said that order is heavenís first law.The reason why Chinatown was a chaos of narrow streets and lanes was that no orderly plan was followed in its construction; while the city of Philadelphia, a model in orderliness and harmony of arrangement, is so because before the ground was broken, the far-seeing William Penn carefully planned the city that was to be.

 

Too often, we believe, the decoration of a school building, added to year by year as the passing fancy of the outgoing class suggests, lacks the guidance of a harmonious scheme of selection and arrangement.The statute of Lincoln is a grand thing to have in a study room; but it would appear strange to have at its side a statue of Aphrodite, and opposite them the plaster representation of Washington Crossing the Delaware.

 

We are able to acquire knowledge by reading an encyclopedia; but a good text-book is of much more service in mastering a subject.

And so in the adornment of the new building we believe that a definite plan of decoration begun by us, and followed out by other classes as the years go by, will result in the development of a decorative scheme not only much more valuable from an educational point of view, but having a harmony of arrangement which shall have an aesthetic value and an influence as lasting as those figures on a Grecian urn, immortalized by the verses of Keats.

 

With this purpose in view we wish to create this fund . . .

 

 

 

 

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