Southern Highlander, 1955 December, Volume 42, Issue 4

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Dear Friends:
So often as we approach the Blessed Christmas Season, we wonder whether we are keeping the true Christmas Spirit, and true Christmas Faith. We hear people whisper that we are neglecting the Christ child in favor of our own enjoy ment .
Keeping the faith is our guiding principle at Berry. There are a great many with whom we must keep the faith. The Berry Schools were founded in the spirit of the Christ Child, and we have ever tried to do for "even the least of these, my brethern."
Martha Berry worked throughout her life to interest people in the boys and girls who need Berry. The friends she made, and the friends who have visited Berry, and the blessed friends who "have not seen, yet believed," and who have contributed through the years to help these young people--with all of you,we must keep the faith. We thank you for keeping faith with Miss Berry and these boys and girls.
So at this Christmas time, as I say thank you for the many, many wonderful things you have done for Berry and the inspiring help you have given these boys and girls, I can also say thankfully, "We have fought the good fight ; we have kept the faith."
For your encouragement, your interest, and your faith in us, all of us at Berry say, "Thank you and God bless you." You truly fill Berry with the Christmas Spirit the whole year round.
Faithfully yours

The Southern Highlander

Vol. 42

December, 1955

No. 4

Founded by Miss Martha Berry January 13, 1902
Mount Berry, Floyd County, Georgia

Berry Schools are eleemosynary institutions. Gifts are tax exempt according to federal law.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Wm. McChesney Martin, Jr. Washington, D. C. - Chairman
Philip Weltner, Atlanta .. Vice-Chairman M. G. Keown, Mount Berry- Treasurer
Dr. Harmon Caldwell, Mrs. Virginia Camp bell Courts, Dr. James G. K. McClure, Nel son Macy, Jr., Robert F. Maddox, E. W. Moise, John A. Sibley, G. Lamar Westcott, George Winship, R. W. Woodruff.

But as Christmas nears, there are special programs which increase the reverence of the season. The choir sings Handel's "Messiah," with soloists selected from the boys and girls. The music director once told of a boy who was plowing in the field, singing with all his heart as he worked. It was a beautiful, God-given tenor voice. He walked through the fields, found the boy, and asked him to come to his classes in music for training. Until the boy was graduated, his voice added much to many Berry programs and services. He was always happy to give up anything he had planned to sing at weddings, church services, special programs and on any occasion.
The whole choir sings the magnificant choruses, "Glory to God in the Highest," "For Unto Us a Child is Born," and the "Hallelujah Chorus."

Published by The Berry Schools, Inc.,
at Mount Berry, Georgia
Printed and Published quarterly at Mount Berry, Georgia. Entered as Second Class Mail Matter at Mount Berry, Georgia, Act of Congress, March 3, 1879. Acceptance for mail ing at special rates of postage provided for by section 1103, Act of October 3, 1917. Author ized July 24, 1918.
Printed by Students on the School's Press
CHRISTMAS AT BERRY
Every day at Berry reminds one of Christmas. Visitors from all parts of the country remark on the spirit of helpfulness which is found here. The quietness, the reverence, the courtesy, the purposefulness and desire to be of service of the students and staff at Berry are evidence that the Spirit of the Christ Child dwells here, not only in the weeks preceeding Christmas, but in each heart each day.
On any day, you may find carpen ters working in the shops, even as the young Jesus worked in Joseph's shop. There are orchards and vineyards in which the boys work; and there are shepherds keeping watch over their flocks. You see young boys seeking lambs which have strayed from the flock, which must be found and re turned to the fold.

There is the traditional carol ser vice, in which the boys and girls pre sent the tablaux of the Nativity. The angel appears to the shepherds in the fields; the Virgin worships at the man ger; the Magi offer their gifts; and then comes the adoration scene. The antiphonal playing of the loved "Silent Night, Holy Night," and the singing of the well-loved Christmas carols
moves every heart.
For the boys and girls who stay at Berry during Christmas, there is a Christmas tree and a party. Each boy and girl must have a gift on the tree, and each must be made to feel that he is a part of the great family at Berry.
At the church services, the chaplain tells aeain the wonderful story of Christmas, and the Christmas hymns are sung. The Scripture, containing the magnificant, insniring story of the birth of the Christ Child is read.
And our friends make all this snirit of love possible. Each mail brings some inspiring message; some sacrifical gift. As we open each gift, there is a nrayer of thanksgiving, a prayer for the donor who has given to help these Children of God. Even as Christ prepared for his ministry, these boys and girls prepare themselves for lives of service, with your help.
And it is this spirit which reigns
at Berry.

Page Three

RECITATION HALL AT BOYS SCHOOL BURNS; FUNDS NEEDED FOR NEW BUILDING

"The boys at the mountain school in the foothills of Lavendar Mountain are a little downcast these days. The wonderful new building for which they have longed and waited so many weary months cannot be finished be cause the money has given out."
This was the opening paragraph in the Highlander in 1922 when so many generous friends responded to the ap peal and contributed to the building fund which built the lovely stone reci tation hall at the Boys School.
The most wonderful Christmas pres ent these boys could have is the as surance that they will have a new building to replace the one destroyed by fire Sunday morning, November 27.
"Look at these sturdy young boys at Berry. They are growing toward useful lives and we are trying to con serve them for the nation," Miss Berry wrote in 1922.
We are still trying to train young people to be good American citizens,

and we can only do it with your help. The building of the recitation hall
was a labor of love for the boys at the mountain school. They cut the timber on the place, sawed it into lumber, built the building, and faced it with native stone which they picked up on Lavendar mountain. Each stone was lovingly placed; each board was put into place with pride and joy.
Through the years many boys have gone to classes in this building, and many teachers have given long hours to training them to be useful citizens. There are dozens I could name who, except for the stone building on the hill, would have had no place to learn. It was as a beacon set on the hill, which drew ambitious boys to work and learn.
I am thinking of one boy who had been sent "from pillar to post" all his life. One of his teachers says that they all almost dispared of him at times; he wouldn't bathe, and his language which

Page Four

he had picked up on the road traveling from one relative to another, was al most as dirty as his body. Slowly, how ever, he responded to love and care. He began to take pride in his person, and his English teacher encouraged him to find new words--clean words-- with which to express himself. Today he is a lawyer, with a fine family, and a credit to his community. How much is his influence worth to his country?
Another boy--one of many---walked to the school with his worldly posses sions on his back. Today he holds a responsible position with a Southern agricultural magazine.
There are ministers who have built rural churches throughout the coun tryside, teachers who are using what they have learned to encourage young people in countless rural schools, a few doctors, lawyers, and business men, and many, many farmers who have learned and were touched with the spirit of service at the recitation hall.
I only wish you might have been here the morning the recitation hall burned. The student night-watchman

checked the building at 12:30 mid night, and all was well. At 3:30 a.m. the crackling flames which had eaten into the heart of the building, and the light from the destroying fire woke the people in the nearby buildings. Hurriedly they woke others to fight the fire, and call for help. But the tim bers were blazing, and the roof was falling in. Not one piece of equipment, not one desk, not a record--nothing was saved from the fire.
The next day one of the little boys stopped by the office asking to borrow a pencil. "You know we didn't even save a book or a pencil," he said.
Today there are 300 boys who are anxiously waiting to know whether we can replace their recitation hall. There will be thousands who in future years will come to use the building if we can only replace it.
I know you have many calls at Christmas time. You have your fam ily, your friends, and others to think of. But I do hope that you will find some extra gift, no matter how small, for these extraordinary boys.
Your gift will be a gift to the future.

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A sermon preached Sunday Morning No
vember 27th in Frost Chapel, Mt. Berry
Georgia, by Rev. Dr. R. C. Gresham, Chap
lain, The Berry Schools.
This morning at five minutes to five my telephone rang, the voice at the other end told me that the Recitation Hall at the High School had been com pletely destroyed by fire. As I stood there, dazed, half-comprehending my first question, "Anybody hurt?" The negative answer reassured me. For while material losses can be rebuilt, the life of a single student can never be replaced. Financial loss is bad, but human loss is irreparable.
My next thought was that the ser mon prepared for this morning would not do. A new one against the back ground of the still smoldering ruins must be put together, and quickly. Basic questions, lit even now by the flickering flames and the gaunt, crum bling walls. "What are the chief values in life? What do you consider essen tial? What are those indespensible things for which you are prepared to live, for which, if necessary you will
die?" Man must have some absolute, some
constants, some invariables, else life has no meaning, no value. Let us put ourselves against the smoking ruins of the Recitation Hall and seek in five minutes of hard serious thinking to find what is essential in living. What is that which gives meaning, value, dignity, worth to human life.
Life has a meaning and that meaning can be understood by each one of us. We are not born simply to play, work, eat, pronogate and then go out like an extinct match.
Behind this meaning to life is not simplv the Divine Creator, but one who longs to be Heavenly Father to all humankind.
This Eternal God is revealed as our Heavenlv Father bv the Carnenter of Nazareth, the Teacher of Galilee, the victim on Calvary, the victor over death and the grave, even Jesus Christ the Son of God.
You and I and all men are most pre cious in the sight of our Heavenly Father, and it is the continuing busi

ness of those of us who know this, to tell this glorious fact to those who do not know it or are too heedless to grasp its tremendous significance. In a Book this glorious fact is unveiled for all the world to know.
This world is so ordered that God, our Heavenly Father and His powers are always on the side of right, and always against the forces of evil. "God may not pay every Saturday night, but He always pays." The evidence for this is overwhelming to whoever studies History. This stupendous fact has enabled believers to live through persecution, brutality, terror, violence and even death itself.
Finally, I believe that this life is only one phase of God's plans for us and that beyond death, life goes on without hinderance or suffering for those who believe God.
The events of the past few hours are trying to one's soul. The strong will go on in spite of this seeming dis aster to a greater, finer, more profit able year. So let us take heart and be of good courage as we seek to find those eternal things that are essential to truer, nobler living.
IN MEMORIAM
We have learned with deep regret of the passing of Mr. Howard Frost, who with Mrs. Frost, built the John Laurence Frost Memorial Chanel at the Mount Berry School for Boys in memory of their son.
Mr. and Mrs. Frost, through their gift, provided an education for many boys who built the chapel, but more important, they have contributed to the spiritual life of thou sands. Nobody can enter the chapel without a spirit of reverence, without feeling a near ness to God, or leave without a spirit of dedi cation, and a sense of the eternal values.
"He is like a man whi-h built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock . . Mr. and Mrs. Frost have built upon the Rock, and nothing can shake nor destroy the light cf faith which they have given to so many.
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WHAT IS YOUR TESTAMENT?
In making a will, you make your testament; a solemn covenant with the future.
Have you considered your own ideals, your own beliefs, your desires? Have you thought who can best carry out your wishes?
At Berry we believe in helping young people get an education so they may be better prepared to serve the world. We believe in labor, religion, knowledge, and simplicity. We believe in order, cleanliness, and beauty.
If you wish to help young people achieve our ideals; if you wish this to be your testament, please
REMEMBER BERRY IN YOUR WILL
A Gift to Berry Is an Investment in the Future
Please find enclosed $.to be used for Operating Expenses Endowment Scholarship Fund
Name . Street . City. Zone State . Please make checks payable to the BERRY SCHOOLS and mail to MOUNT BERRY, GEORGIA.

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"For I was hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
"Naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick and ye visited me; I was in prison and ye came unto me.
. . Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethern, ye have done it unto me."
With Best Wishes for a Blessed Christmas and a New Year Filled With Opportunities for Service

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