Last Saturday´s celebration of the laying of the corner stone of Independence Arch was a success in every way. The day was perfect: cloudless, warm and still; a more ideal day for an outdoor function could not be imagined. The road which leads from the city to Independence Park was filled with people at an early hour; and the grounds of the park, long before the hour for the ceremonies arrived, was crowded with spectators, both foreign and Korean.
The space which was reserved for the guests was separated from the rest of the grounds by a temporary fence. The entrance was an arch of evergreen branches, decorated with the national flags of Korea. One side of the new arch, which is being built, served as the platform for the speakers, it being now about six feet high; while on the other foundation, stood the pupils of the Pai Chai College, who, at intervals, sang songs consisting of foreign music and patriotic Korean words. The guests were furnished with comfortable seats, and the enclosure was she ltersd from the rays of the sun by a large awning. There were about four thousand people inside the enclosure, and as many outside. The whole was guarded by a special squad of police. Behind the speakers´ platform were the different flags of Korea; conspicuous among which was the new flag of the Independence Club: a pennant decorated with the usual design of the Korean flag, and the name of the club. At half after two the excercises commenced, being opened by a song, "Korea," by the Glee Club of the Pai Chai College. Then the President of the Club, Gen. An Kyengsu assisted by the members, laid the corner stone of the arch; the ceremony being both simple and im pressive. Following this Rev. H. G. Appenzeller offered a prayer in Korean in which he invoked blessing upon the Korean nation,and asked the Divine Power to protect Korea´s independence. His enunciation of Korean was so clear and impressive that the entire audience bowed their heads in unison and reverence. President An Kyengsu made an eloquent address, stating the history of the club, which was organized five months ago with a half dozen members, and at present the membership is over two thousand. The conbributions have come from several foreigners and even from some of the most remote districts in the land. He thanked the hearty cooperation of the members in making it such a successful organization. He hoped that the whole national affair will be managed with the same harmonious spirit as it has been with the Club. He welcomed the guests of the day in most appropriate words, and he hoped that the chub will have ever increasing membership.
The next address was made by Hon. Ye Cha Yun, the Governor of Seoul, on the subject of "How to Perpetuate Our Independence." He is a born orator; his sonorous voice could be heard by all. His arguments were full of patriotic sentiment, and he urged the people to unite their hearts in the work of maintaining sovereignty.
The Pai Chai College students then sang a song, "Independence." We take this opportunity to congratulate the students for their excellent showing; and great praise is due to their teacher, Prof. D. A. Bunker.
Hon. Ye Wan Yong, Minister of Foreign Affairs, delivered an earnest address on the subject of "The Future of Our Country." He made very logical and convincing arguments, that if the people work for the bright future, it will have great influence upon its being bright. He cited the histories of the United States of America and Poland. The greatness of America today is due to a few handfuls of men who worked for the independence of their country, a little over a century ago. The downfall of Poland is due to lack of harmony on the part of the Polish people. Therefore, Koreans can choose to be either an independent and great people like Americans, or become a part of some other nation and lose their sovereignty as well as their equality.
Dr. Jaisohn spoke on the subject of "Foreigners in Korea," both in English and Korean. He gave the facts concerning the praiseworthy record of the foreigners in Korea and their many good deeds. After this speech, the P. C. S. students rendered another song, "March," and finished it by hearty cheers for His Majesty, and the Independence Club.
The Royal English School students gave an exhibition of drilling, and as usual, they showed themselves worthy of being called the "crack" company of Korean schools. More than two thousand school children from the Government and elementary schools sang several patriotic songs and waved their flags and colors, which each school brought with them. The Royal Russian, French and Japanese Schools were, also, ably represented by a large number of bright looking scholars who sang several patriotic songs.
After the ceremonies, the guests were invited to the Indepence Club house, situated on a hill at the West of the arch. The building has recently been remodelled, and presents a most inviting appearance. It is now the largest building for public entertainments in the city. The building was tastefully decorated with Korean flags and tri-colored bunting. There was a bountiful repast served to the guests. President An Kyengsu proposed a toast for the close friendship between Korea and the countries represented by those present. On behalf of America, as Minister Sill was absent, Dr. H. N. Allen of the U. S. Legation, made a very cordial address. and he hoped that this is the new epoch for Korea´s regeneration. America will always be one of the best friends of Korea. On account of the absence of the Russian Minister, Mr. Waeber, Dr. Chervinski of the Russian Army, was called upon, and responded to the effect that Rus sia is a neighbor of Korea and she will do her neighborly duty by assisting in the maintainance of order in Korea; and she will see to the perpetuity of Korea´s independence. Mr. Kato, the Acting Minister of Japan, responded by saying that he hoped that Korea may prosper and her independence be strenghtened. He called for three cheers for the Independence Club, which were heartily responded to by the Japanese guests. H. B. M. Consul General Mr. Jordan and H. G. I. M. Consul Mr. Krien were called, but they had already left the hall. Mr. J. McLeavy Brown spoke in behalf of the foreign community in Seoul. He said that in his experience in the East, the foreigners were never better treated than in Korea. He expressed a desire that Koreans and foreign◈ may meet togetheroften on such occasions and culiv. the mutual friendship which now exists.
At dusk the company dispersed with the best wishes of their Korean hosts. May this event be long remembered by all, and may each year, on the twenty first of November, bring together the enthusiastic gathering of yesterday.
Hearty congratntation is due to the members of the Club for giving all such a pleasant, cordial greeting, and such an instructive afternoon.
Long life to the Independence Club!
The subscription for the Annual Fund for improving and caring for the General Cemetery for Western Foreigners has not met with quite the hearty reception expected from the expressions of opinion made at the recent mass meeting. If any who have not subscribed wish to do so they will find the list at the house of the Secretary and Treasurer Rev. H. G. Appenzeller, to whom all subscriptions not yet paid should be sent as promtly as possible in order that the necessary work may be begun without delay.
On the report of conspiracy which is said to be formed by some army officers for the purpose of overthrowing the present Government, a number of the military officers have been arrested by the police. Among them are Col. So Chungkiu, Commander of the 4th regiment, Col. Yi Keunyong, Commander of the 3rd regiment, and two others who are connected with the army