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


The Sawmill Loft Put to Use

It was midwinter as Ellen White wrote on July 5, 1896: 4BIO 268.1

One week ago yesterday I spoke in the upper room of the mill, partially enclosed, to eighty assembled, mostly our own people.... It is rather a rustic place in which to meet, but when the sun shines in this country no other heating apparatus is needed. 4BIO 268.2

I spoke again yesterday. We had a good meeting. We shall be glad to get a meetinghouse and a school building. We are praying for means. We cannot advance until means shall come in from some source.—Letter 152, 1896. 4BIO 268.3

The sawmill loft was often mentioned as a place of meetings that were held from week to week. It also became an assembly room for many of the young people at Cooranbong in a temporary school conducted by Prof. Herbert Lacey and his wife, Lillian. The Laceys had come from America to assist in what was to be the Avondale school. Eager to get on with school work, and finding quite a number of young men and women eager to attend classes, Lacey saw an opportunity to make a beginning. On his own responsibility but with the consent of the school board, he began a night school in the mill loft. Some of the furniture and equipment sent up to Cooranbong when the Bible school in Melbourne closed, was taken out of storage and put to use. Securing textbooks in Sydney and with his wife to help, Lacey conducted classes and collected tuition, with the understanding the school board would not be held in any way responsible for any expense connected with the project, for the board had no money. Some twenty-five young people attended. 4BIO 268.4