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The subject which I have chosen is: Why should a Superintendent reside on the cemetery grounds? My answer, is, he should, providing his association furnishes him a suitable home to live in; secondly, I consider myself a public servant to my directors and lot owners and find I can give them much better service by residing on the grounds; then again every lot owner will feel that his interests are in safe hands and that his loved ones are watched over and tenderly cared for by the Superintendent, and if our cemeteries are laid out on the modern lawn plan, up to date, and park-like in appearance, what more pleasant place could any of us ask to reside in than at the entrance of a beautiful, well kept cemetery, with beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers filling the air with their fragrance?
I find that it is much more convenient for me to reside on the grounds than to live in the city some two miles away, where there is no fresh air or cool shade to enjoy after my day of toil is over.
While there will be some difference of opinion in regard to this subject I can only speak for myself; that I am more than pleased to reside on the grounds and am thoroughly in love with my work and I know we all feel a desire to so improve and beautify our grounds that we would not care to reside elsewhere, if we were only so fortunate as to have that privilege.
My thoughts having been often engrossed by the rural beauties of our grounds, led me in my serious moments to pen the following lines, which will give you an idea of their extent and beauty:
"Encircled by a meandering stream, silently flowing to the sea;
True emblem of our mortal course-from time into eternity;
Begirdled well with stable rocks, whose firm foundations stand unmoved;
Amidst the changes wrought around, emblem of the God of love;
Bestudded through with stalwart trees and saplings of a slender form,
Emblem of both old and young, retiring from life's beaten storm;
Bespangled o'er with shrubs and flowers whose varied beauties deck the ground;
Wherein the dead in silence rest, till the archangel's trump shall sound;
Its mountain top o'erlooks the sea, its mounds in harmony agree;
Its hills and vales conspire to raise, an echo to their Maker's praise;
Its winding path, its groves and bowers, adorned with sweet and balmy flowers;
Its placid lakes both east and west, faint emblems of eternal rest;
Where stone and marble yet unwrought, the sculptor's polish have received,
To adorn this consecrated spot, with name or fame of some who lived,
And e'en should many be too poor, a tablet or an urn to raise,
Their inward sigh or silent tear, will oft invoke their need of praise;
Here envy, grief and anger cease, to mingle with the mouldering dust,
The soul returns to God who gave, whose word is truth, whose ways are just,
When generations yet unborn, shall wander o'er this hallowed sod,
And their lost friends and kindred mourn, may they prepare to meet their God.
I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your kind attention.
From the publication:
AACS - Proceedings of the 17th Annual Convention
Held at Rochester, NY
September 8, 9 and 10, 1903