Address by Maurice Hendrick
From The Forest City Courier, June 29, 1922
The programme committee asked me to take part in the programme tonight. Some of my friends said they thought the chief reason was because I could say about as little in as few words as anybody in the world. So I want to carry out the desires of that committee.
But I want to take just a minute in behalf of my fellow employees of Cliffside and in behalf of the citizens of Cliffside and the community. I want to say that when we receive this magnificent gift tonight that has been kindly tendered to us, that we do it with heartfelt and sincere thanks. We feel that nothing that any corporation could give to its employees will be more appropriate or more highly appreciated or more in keeping with the spirit and with the life of the man to whom this building was erected as a memorial, we feel that if the ‘Old Boss’ should be here tonight he would heartily sanction this action of his children and their associates.
If he would know how much we appreciate this and how much we revere him for it, he will go with us to our homes, sit with us around our firesides and hear how we teach our little children with reverence and respect to look up at the picture that hangs on three fifths of the walls of Cliffside…
To us who had the fortune of knowing him most intimately during his time, we know that nothing could give him any more pleasure than to be working for the upbuilding of his community, for the making of happiness for his employees and for the making of better men and women. It is indeed fitting that this gift should be a memorial to him.
I feel that the best way to show our appreciation of this gift is by patronizing this building, or, rather, getting all the benefits from it we can, taking advantage of all the privileges, all the good and all the benefits. I know the building was placed there for us to assemble in, and in this way we thank the people who built it for us more than in any other way, I will not try to thank you in words because I cannot do that. If he would know how much we appreciate this and how much we revere him for it, he will go with us to our homes, sit with us around our firesides and hear how we teach our little children with reverence and respect to look up at the picture that hangs on three fifths of the walls of Cliffside, and tell them of the noble life he lived and tell them how this magnificent building was erected as a memorial, so they should know and keep fresh in their minds the good things he had accomplished in this community.
To we older citizens, to we people who knew him in his life, we need no memorial to keep him fresh within our memory. He has a memory enshrined in our hearts for the kindnesses he has done for us, and those things will last longer than any work we could erect by hand.
We accept this building tonight with the responsibility or rather the realization that goes with it through renewed energy and renewed opportunities which this building will present. We shall try to use it to make better men and women out of our boys and girls, and better citizens out the people who are already grown, and we will try within the next few years to make you, Mr. Charles Haynes, and your associates, just as proud of the results of this building as we are to receive the building tonight.
Reprinted with permission from The Daily Courier. Copyright owned by The Daily Courier.