Talk about cold and insincere---this guy gives me the creeps! The corrupt political power matrix has apparently always been pervasive, but looking back from the vantage point of a hundred years later, it seems buffoonish and cartoonish. I guess the reporter got the rank hypocrisy on display, and saved it for posterity, so thanks Newspaper Of Record.
January 29, 1912, New York Times,
"1800 FAMILIES SUFFERING.; Result of Recent Strike, Says Commissioner Edwards, to Y.M.C.A.,"
Commissioner William H. Edwards of Street Cleaning Department paid a high tribute to the heroism of Battalion Chief William J. Walsh, who was killed in the Equitable Building fire, in an address he made yesterday afternoon at the West Side Y.M.C.A. on "A Man's Job."
"He had a man's job, and how well he filled it we all know," said Commissioner Edwards. "He was the leader of his men, and he forgot everything else but his man's job. And now the whole city pays honor to his memory."
Commissioner Edwards was greeted with a rousing cheer when he entered the big auditorium. Alderman Ralph Folks, a Republican member of the Board of Aldermen, who represents the district in which the Y.M.C.A. is located, introduced the Commissioner, saying:
"If conditions are ever to be as they should be in this city, we will realize that goal through the medium of our young men, and 'Bill' Edwards, as we know him in the Board of Aldermen, is one of those young men who is helping us to solve the problem."
"The trouble with many men in this city is that their hearts are shriveled and their handshake insincere," said Mr. Edwards. "This is a cold city in many ways; you know that as well as I. It's the kind of work a Y.M.C.A. like this is doing that I love."
Commissioner Edwards referred to the recent strike in his department as "a little trouble we had," and there was a laugh. He held up his hand.
"It's all right to laugh," he said, "but there are 1,800 families in this city suffering because of that strike. I have seen many pathetic cases; women have come to me with babies in their arms and begged that their husbands be reinstated. But when you fight for a principle you have to fight; that's a man's job, and if they did not want to strike they ought not to have allowed any one to influence them to do so."
Mayor Gaynor was one of those whom Commissioner Edwards said had a man's job.
"He has a big one, too," he said. "He gives sixty minutes of his best judgment to the city every hour, and see all the trouble he has been through."