Rev. D. J. Hunt
Address by Rev. D. J. Hunt
From The Forest City Courier, June 29, 1922
Mr. Chairman and Friends: It is with no ordinary pleasure that I answer the call of beloved Cliffside to take part in the exercises of this meaningful hour.
I feel like the young man on the street car when two ladies—old maids, I suspect—boarded the car. One of them steadied herself by holding to the hand of her friend, as she thought; later she discovered that she was holding to a man’s hand. Greatly surprised, she exclaimed: “Oh, I’ve got the wrong hand!” The man looked up with a smile and said: “Here’s is the other one, Madam.” I would tender Cliffside both my hands and my heart; and yet I may be like the young, gawky mountaineer whose father led him into the school-house and said to the professor: “This here boy’s arter larnin. What’s yer bill o’ fare?” “Our curriculum embraces Geography, Philosophy, Arithmetic, Trigonometry.” “That’ll do,” said the father, “That’ll do. Load him up heavy with Trigonometry; he’s the only poor shot in the family.” Friends, I may be the poorest shot on this occasion, but I have one qualification in common. I love my friends. One was Raleigh Rutherford Haynes. My friends have meant so much to me, perhaps none more than he. I have had good friends wherever I have gone, but none more loyal than those of Cliffside. Here we live together, go to school together, work together, worship together, rejoice together, suffer together, die together, are buried together. Our union is beautiful—it is great. In life and in death we are together, and may it please Him for us to dwell together with Him in that Eternal City.
“He found his sweetest pleasure in service. ‘He came not to be ministered to, but to minister.’ He knew more people, remembered more kindnesses, fed more, advised more, helped more people in more ways than any other man in all this section.”
It is your faithfulness to R. R. Haynes, and for the good of this happy people that we have been called together.
The first time I met Brother Haynes he was in company with an educator. I soon learned that he was a sane, enthusiastic educator, an expert farmer, a successful merchant; as a manufacturer our mills had won and now hold an enviable reputation on both sides of the waters.
As a Christian he was a man of strong faith and sought God’s guidance in everything, As the Good Shepherd knew his sheep so our Friend knew his help and sought to do them good. He saw and seized his opportunity and with the poet was saying: “Let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man.”
His life was a continuous ministry. He found his sweetest pleasure in service. “He came not to be ministered to, but to minister.” He knew more people, remembered more kindnesses, fed more, advised more, helped more people in more ways than any other man in all this section. In helping others he was sensible. He preferred to help men to help themselves. He knew it was but little use to help anyone who would not help himself.
He felt that the ideal world was one in which its citizens are free from ignorance, poverty, and pain; loved God supremely, and his neighbor as himself, and he who does most to bring this world to this ideal does most for the world.
This house is a memorial to a man who not only sympathized with the poor, but helped them to a better life.
That he was public spirited, let the schools and churches speak from all over the land. Last, but not least, the magnificent public school building in Cliffside.
That he was industrious, let the sleepless nights, the busy, feeble, foodless days testify.
That he was saving and economical, let his princely fortune speak.
That he was master of his wealth, let his known and unknown benefactors bear testimony.
That he loved his neighbor is evident for he rejoiced in the prosperity of the humblest.
That his mind was great and his heart large is seen in this splendid enterprise and the peace and happiness of our citizens, and in his strong hold on the people he loved and served.
His life was like the hidden stream that hides beneath the blooming flowers, nourished on its bosom.
He loved the gates of Zion, the old Gospel. He was an humble supporter of the Cause of Christ. Like Aaron and Hur he stayed up the hands of the pastors, being the last.
He was most kingly in the home. The early home-going of his loved wife left to him the cares of both father and. mother. By his attraction, love and devotion he held the home together. The children were held about him as the stars are held about the sun.
The end came Feb. 6th, 1917, while away from home. Shall the flowers never bloom again? Yes; they are fadeless in our memories, the fruit is perennial in the lives of others. We stand and say: Shall we not see his radiant smile, have the council of his gentle voice, the watch care of his watchful brilliant eye, the kind deeds of his loving hands?
The answer comes back from the company and from children, pealing forth every fifteen minutes from the clock tower, giving charm and sweetness to the happy passing hours, saying: “Yes, yes, all this has been curiously and wondrously wrought into this magnificent building which has been presented to you so lovingly tonight. It was graven on our hearts; we have wrought it out and devotedly presented it to you.”
Oh behalf of the citizens allow me to say a word. Accept our heartfelt thanks for the R. R. Haynes Memorial Building, which stands for the highest development in the making of men, physically strong, mentally wise, spiritually useful. We thank you for the exquisite taste in building and furnishings, for the righteous purpose, for safeguarding it with a man of the right type.
To the donors let me say, in no better way could you have honored the dead than by helping the living. You are wise.
May we be able to see how well the life of Raleigh Rutherford Haynes has been wrought into this building and your love and devotion in producing his life so perfectly and presenting it to us so lovingly.
Hallowed be this work, this hour. May it be enshrined in our memories and bless not only the present, but future generations.
Reprinted with permission from The Daily Courier. Copyright owned by The Daily Courier.