IAGenWeb logo

This page was last

updated on 10/02/2011

Delaware County, Iowa  

 School Directory


The Valedictory Address

Class of 1923

Manchester High School

Manchester, Iowa



The Valedictory Address   

      The valedictory address delivered by that exceptionally bright student, Athalene Arduser, at the commencement exercises last week, has been so highly spoken of by many that we reproduce it as follows:

Friends, Teachers and Classmates.
     As a member of the class of 1923 I am here to bid you farewell. It is a time that pleasure and sorrow walk hand in hand, every joy has a tinge of sadness. This is commencement - a great event in our lives, for it is the beginning of a voyage into an unknown sea, the future.
    The voyage of life takes us through many channels, through a billowy sea, and we know not what is in wait for us beyond the horizon. But it makes us happy to pause at the bend of the river and consider the quiet and calm of the waters over which we have rowed these four years. We cannot ????long, however, for the greater ???? of life are calling us.
     ????wish to thank our dear teachers ????for the many pleasant days ????we spent gliding smoothly over so clear and calm a stream. Our lessons may have been hard to learn, our future cares will be still more weighty, But more difficult than anything we have yet undertaken is the task, of tonight, of saying farewell to friends, teachers and classmates- of leaving the familiar high school walls which have protectingly sheltered us by their strength from the storms without and by their silence from the storms within. Meeting  and parting, greeting and good bye, what is life but this? Yesterday we met with words of greeting, today remorseless good bye steps in to separate us.
     While in school our teachers have helped to pilot our ships, but now we shall be our own pilots realize that had it not been for them we would not now be ready to leave this harbor and embark on the greater voyage of real life. But before the bell that tolls for 1923 has ceased it's vibrations, let us remember those who aided us here.
     Members of the school board and citizens of Manchester, it is at your cost that we have been blessed with this privilege. The price of what we trust has been of great profit to us, to you has been very dear. We hope that you will never regret that you have erected and maintained this splendid high school, but that it may ever be looked upon with pride.
    To you teachers, we are very grateful. You have made this, our last year??? time long to be remembered. Though doubtless you have been perplexed by our unruly pranks, which might cause even Job's patience to forsake him, still you have perseveringly and patiently striven to help us up the ladder of learning. We cannot pay the debt we owe you, we can only acknowledge it., and as we say farewell to you we express the wish that your days will be long and happy, crowned with the richest gifts life can bestow.
     We wish you undergraduates joy and happiness in the future, for we feel that we owe you a great deal for the many pleasant times we have enjoyed together. So friends, teachers and classmates, in the name of the class of 1923 I give you sincere thanks.
    Classmate there is one word more, and we did not realize it would be so hard to say. We have paddled through the harbor of the High school together, but must now row forth alone  into the deeper channels to come where ever they may lead. In working together and in the sharing of our pleasures, and disappointments we have become very dear friends, and it seems hard to say good-bye. The boatswain calls " Ship Ahoy "and the bells of the ship ring out as we begin our voyage. Let us as we pilot our ship on the sea of life, forever keep our colors, Red and White flying from the masthead. We have adopted them as they are symbols of the principles we wish to embody in our own lives. The red represents loyalty and courage the white purity of thought, speech and act. On the prow of our ship we have painted the red rose. We chose this blossom for our class flower first because of it's richness and beauty, and second because of it is the universal symbol of love. The rose does not develop at once, but grows petal by petal into all the beauty and fragrance for which it was created. We shall therefore strive to grow slowly into the rose of character.
     My classmates, time does not retrograde at our desire, the clock on our school days swings it's pendulum slowly and more slowly still and will then cease. Although there  may be some of us who will yet be together as we go through college, I feel that for most of us it is indeed a parting word. But let us not say "farewell" but "au revoir".  Until we meet again.

 For now our boat glides out between
The rocks that guard the shores,
 Bearing the class of "23"
To high class no more
But looking forward with a smile
Of courage strong and high
To inset in that glad After while
No more to say good bye.



~ reference: Manchester Newspaper, Manchester, Iowa, Thursday, June 7, 1923

~ transcribed and submitted by: by Colleen Smith <sammy644@gmail.com>