OFFICERS' TRAINING COLLEGE OPENING CEREMONY ADDRESSES BY PROMINENT PUB* LIC MEN. The formal opening of the General Booth Officers' Training College, Words-worth-street, took place yesterday afternoon. ,'L'here was a large attendance, and the ceremony was very impressive. Ixiteresting addresses were delivered by the Prim Minister, the Minister of Customs, Sir John Find Jay, and other prominent public men. The proceedings were begun by the singing of a hymn aild the offering of prayer. Colonel Powley, Chief Secretary, said it/ was thirty-one years since the Salvation Army flag was first unfurled at Dunedin. Hon. I\ M. B. Fisher* Minister of Customs, said : — '"We are here to-day to open and dedicate this home to the memory, of the immortal William Booth, founder of this great international Army of Salvation. It was ever the wish and practice of the late General William Booth that every penny controlled by his Army should be spent in the interests of suffering humanity, and to-day, in accordance with the noble spirit inspired by that great man. the Army presents to our citizens a rrtonument to his genius. William Booth started life in somewhat obscure circumstances. He had first to conquer himself and dedicate his -life to the service of his Master. "Then, with an unquenchable spirit of love for his fellow men, lie had to lay the foundation stone of this magnificent institution. From the day he started 'to the day he was called to rest he waged a vigorous and lelentless war against poverty and crime. His mission was the salvation of men. t In all countries, in all climes, the invading spirit of this great man spread relentlessly. No barrier was allowed to stand in his path. ' Opposition, contumely, and contempt ' were heaped upon him. but his mission of conquest was invincible." Mr. Fisher then gave a short sketch of the marvellous progress of the Salvation Army and its far-reaching activities in the interests of the poor and distressed, concluding as follows: — "To General Booth the devoted soldiers of his Army have dedicated this Memorial College. The very atmosphere of the building is hallowed by his spirit. His life is an inspiration to all men. He has blazed the path for you, his officers and soldiers, to follow. May each and every one of you profit by the noble example of unflagging self-sacrifice which he has set," Mr. Fisher then expressed the happiness he was sure all present felt to see their worthy citizen, Mrs. Williams, at the ceremony. He was sure they would all agree with him that she was a worthy citizen of Wellington, one who would never be forgotten. Commissioner Richards said that with the completion of the Training College the Salvation Army had put up over £40,000 worth of building property in "New Zealand during the last eighteen months. He was delighted to be able tti say that the people of New Zealand had given some £20,000 towards the erection of that £40,000 worth of property. Although he was pleased at the completion of two important buildings in Wellington—the Maternity Home and Hie Booth Officers' Training College—an in» congruous feature about the prospect was the existence of the Terrace Gaol (pointing to the building' on the hill opposite). Ho' suggested that thii Government should hand the gaol over to the Salvation Army, and they would convert' it into an ex-prisoners',, home. The Army would take the * prisoners after they* were discharged, and would restore them to good citizenship. Another wing would be odded to the building, in which the Army would try and so improve persons who were likely to get into gaol as to prevent them from going there. The Officers' Training College had cost £13,000, but further expenditure would have to be incurred in furnishing the building and improving the giounds. ' THE GREATEST PROFESSION. Sir John Findlay said the present ceremony had two aspects— one, that of marking the commencement of ari officers' training institution, and the' other the completion of a monvtment to a great man. In that institution there would be trained those who had dedicated their lives to the greatest profession of the .present or any other ago — the noble work of uplifting the fallen, assisting the weak, and bringing light and hope into lives which were dark. Training — long training— ~was necessary for the work of Uplifting and improving those who had fallen by the 'way No one required so much knowledge, training, and devotion, as those who were to make other people virtuous. Those who sought to help the fallen, to help the drunkards, and redeem those whq; were going the wrong way, required method and discipline, and other qualifications which were not readily acquired. All that was necessary in that respect would be taught in the Training College in the days to come. ' Those who entered the institution must comply with the first condition of the Salvation Army— « namely, evei'y officer must recognise that his supreme duty was the dedication of his life to the salvation oi others. But while the Training College had that aspect, it also had another. As Emerson said, ' ' Most institutions are the length and shadow oi' a great man." Here they had the shadow of one who probably was the most 'outstanding figure in our history for She last hundred years. _ Rising from obscurity, he, had attained to great eminence as a great thinker and reformer* Beginning his work in derision and contempt, he had gained the greatest honours. One could only rise in that way by sterling merit, tireless energy, and by possessing a conviction that the cause you were following was one of righteousness and justice. That was shown 'in the life of General Booth. No one who was not possessed of faith in a great cause could have undergone the contempt and derision that William Booth had to face. ' Courage, patience, and, above all, faith — all these he had. He lived in the heart of every man who loved his fellows. His name would be honoured and his memory respected in the years to come. The seeds he had sown would result in rich harvests here and the world over. THE PRIME MINISTER., The Right Hon. W. I<\ Massey, Prime Minister, said tho Training College was a credit to those who had originated it, to the architect, the builders, and to the Salvation Army. He hoped that within its walls in the years to come there would be trained many officers who would carry on the wotfk initiated by William Booth, and to which lie had devoted his life. Tlie Salvation Army had always appealed to him (Mr/ Massey) because he knew of much, of the good work it had done and was doing. The Salvation Army had always 'played the part of the Good Samaritan ; it_ had always been ready to succour the distressed and comfort those who required consolation. Its officers had obeyed the Divine instruction, and bad carried the Gospel into all countries. They not only preached the Gospel, but by their lives set an example to their fellow-citizens. The Salvation Army desemdj tho encouj&gemeab and uuppoft
of every tight-thinking man and woman. The organisation had his heartiest good" wishes for its success in the future. SPOILING THE DEVIL. The Hon. H. D. Bell, Minister for Internal Affairs, said he was one of the scoffers when the Army started iv New Zealand thirty-one years ago, but he liad lived to know that the view he then held was wrong. On the occasion of the first visit to New Zealand of General Booth, Mr. Justice Richmond, the greatest of Wellington's citizens, said : I "Thank God for any plan of making a 1 man or spoiling the devil ! '* It was because the Salvation Army had made men and spoiled.' devils that those who were responsible for the Government — whether of the country or of the citywelcomed the .Army as the best aid that social organisation had to-day. A Magistrate in this city had said to him: "What we should' do without the Salvation Army in the Courts I don't know." From the Training College men would go out, like the Apostles of old, with a message of hope, faith, - and charity, amongst the people of New Zealand. The Mayor. (Mr, J. . P. ,Luke) spoke in the highest terms of praise of the good work done by the Salvation Army, and wished success to the organisation and to the Booth Memorial Training College.
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BOOTH MEMORIAL!, Evening Post, Volume LXXXVII, Issue 79, 3 April 1914
BOOTH MEMORIAL! Evening Post, Volume LXXXVII, Issue 79, 3 April 1914
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