by Betty Mae Foster Parnell '48
From the Crows Nest
Class of 1948 Newsletter, February 1999

The adage which graced the Mepham High School auditorium wall in 1948 "The Virtue Lies in the Struggle Not the Prize," is still in pure golden evidence today.

As a high school student I pondered over those words many times. In that particular passage of life, the "Prize" or the end result was just fine with me. To attain the end result with as little struggle, or pains, and in as short a time as possible was my goal!

In the life passage labeled parenthood, I quoted the "Virtue" adage whenever it seemed appropriate. In their teenage years, the time of quick results and instant gratification, my children would dismiss me with "Oh, Mom", sighs and groans as I began "The Virtue" phrase.

In other life passages where challenges and difficulties presented roadblocks in decision making, I recall gaining inner strength in repeating that "Virtue" adage.

Speaking of passages, October 1998 marked a landmark for over one hundred Mepham graduates of the Class of '48 as they attended a weekend of reunion festivities. As I watched the wonderful men and women together reminiscing, smiling, enjoying each other's company and hearkening back to the carefree days of high school, I had an awakening! "Ah, today-this is the Prize!" Whatever struggles and experiences have been ours for five decades, we were fortunate, so fortunate to be together again.

Reunions can be occasions of renewal and of refreshing memories. How thankful we were for that wonderful weekend and for the great committee whose dedication made it so special! We look forward to more future reunions - that is - more "Prizes"!

Webmaster's note: Out of curiosity I searched for the author of the quote and find that it was Richard Monckton Milnes, Lord Houghton, English statesman and writer (1809 - 1885). He was a former Labour government minister, active in animal welfare causes. He died at the age of 97 and was thought to have been the oldest person to successfully pilot a Bill through one House of Parliament.