Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4), Page 287

Chapter 24—(1897) The Avondale School—Working Toward the Target Date

As the new year, 1897, dawned, most activities at Cooranbong were geared to the proposed opening of the Avondale school, announced for April 28, 1897. On New Year's Day Prof. Herbert C. Lacey, who had returned to Australia to assist with the new school, was, with the help of his wife, Lillian, deep into the canning of fruit for the institution—starting with apricots. A donation of $60 just received to aid “where ... most needed” was applied toward the purchase of other fruit, peaches, plums, et cetera, as they ripened. “There must be ample provision of fruit,” declared Ellen White.

On New Year's Eve, Lacey had been dispatched to ride horseback through the community to call the Adventists together for a meeting planned by Ellen White. She was determined that as they neared the target date dedicated enthusiasm for the school enterprise should not wane. It was an excessively warm evening, with the air “close and stifling,” so instead of meeting in the loft of the sawmill, chairs were brought out to seat the crowd on the “green sward.” Ellen White spoke, seated in her carriage with Sara to her right, holding a lantern, and Herbert Lacey standing on her left, also with a lantern. She reported that “all listened with interest” as she read from a manuscript and then spoke for a time, telling of “the establishment of the work in different localities, where buildings had been erected for schools, sanitariums, and places of worship.”

Then she introduced a point of particular concern, the fruitage of the criticism and tale-bearing of two of the carpenters, who because of the limited school finances could not be paid wages they felt they

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