#42: Orphans and refugees (1924)

"About half of our students were homeless and alone in the world. Several stayed during the summer vacation and served with the skilled workmen who built our dormitory. Refugee ships were still coming in so loaded that people could not lie down even on the open deck without more or less lying one on another. As a ship drew up to the wharf we could sometimes see haggard exiles looking shoreward, nudging one another, and then indicate some of us Americans, glad to feel that they had some friends standing by them in the land of their pilgrimage. Macedonian Turks filled the streets and lanes of our city, anxious for their turn to go, since it was "Kismet".

In September the attendance of boys at the Mission School for Girls was discontinued, and thirty-six were added to our boys at half tuition rates, that is, $20.00 each, for the first year. The Girls School carried on with increased efficiency for its real constituency. Of our 157 boys, about half were boarders and about half were Armenians, with about one-hundred applicants refused admission for lack of adequate facilities. The Armenians realized a condition of urgent need. Some other peoples and nations were disappointed with the outcome of the great war, but I do not think any would want to exchange places with the Armenians at that time. They were left without an independent country. In Greece and elsewhere they were foreigners; really intruders. They had not a national system of organized schools accessible and they appealed to their old Anatolia friends. There were thirteen regular teachers in our staff, including Mrs. Bertha Arnold, a lady of experience as a teacher, who came over to the Near East with her daughters and was available for some of our special classes. Mr. Hadji Kyriakos, a graduate of the International College at Smyrna, Mr. Samuel Arukian, from the School of Religion in Athens, joined our staff, as did others in due time whose names are included elsewhere in that list of teachers. Every student had an English lesson every day taught by a native English speaker.

During the summer, Mr. and Mrs. Compton had finished their work in charge of the one Turkish orphanage, that is, an orphanage for Turkish children, maintained by the Near East Relief and they called to visit us on their way home to America for a furlough, needed and earned. Mr. Compton and I climbed the height of Kara Tepe together and I felt like Abraham and Isaac as we viewed the landscape and seascape o'er; with the city, the harbor, the Aegean gulf with various fringes of bordering land, and Mount Olympus on beyond. It was a thrilling spectacle but Mr. Compton would give no indication what their decision would be in regard to returning from America to the College after their furlough. The next March told the next chapter of the story."

NEXT: The final decision (1925)