How the Editor of the "Timaru Herald" Promotes and Fosters Timaru Institutions
W. H. Foden, General Printer Timaru Main South Roadpage break
Time after time, the Editor of the Timaru Herald has grossly maligned and basely pandered the High School, and parties connected with its staff and management. He has done so by insinuations and general expressions of a kind which appear very plausible, and under pretence of a deep interest in the welfare of the School, and a desire that it should succeed. He has been ably supported by a small clique, whom he speaks of as the public of Timaru, who, having personal grudges against individuals not beloved of the Editor, have been doing their utmost to ruin the School. When, some two or three months ago, a very bitter leader upon the School, and myself in connection therewith, appeared, I replied in a letter which was refused admission on the ground that it was a reply to what had appeared in another journal. This was simply not true, as it was a reply to his leader. I then sent an advertisement in reference to the matter, but this was also refused admission. This is what the Herald deems fair play! On Wednesday last, another leader appeared, casting most unfounded reflections on the School, and containing most exaggerated statements in relation to the state of matters contacted with it. The train on Monday was said to be "crowded" with youths and maidens going away to Akaroa and Christchurch High Schools, owing to the utter disrepute into which Timaru High School had fallen. Some were even going as far away as Dunedin. These statements had less foundation a great deal than our M.H.R.'s now famous representation of the necessity for the "Hinemoa" being sent to take away the starving workpeople of Timaru. The Railway might have contracted to carry away "the crowd" for a five pound note, and done well out of its contract. A cheap advertisement was given to Akaroa High School, which it will be very ungrateful of the Board of that School if it does not acknowledge by a share of its patronage. In view of all this opposition, I have felt constrained to take this step of laying before the residents of South Canterbury a Chapter in the History of the High School, which will explain to a large extent persistent attacks which have all along been made by the Herald and certain others upon that Institution, and myself in connection therewith. The School was born and cradled amid a storm of virulent opposition, and the would-be Herods of its infancy have pursued it with relentless enmity up to the present time. Some knowledge of the past history of the Institution is necessary to understand the present position of parties. In order, therefore, to enlighten the public, and as a matter of simple justice to others as well as myself, I have been led to issue the following pamphlet. Few are aware of the whole facts herein detailed, and many have forgotten them. Had there been anything like fairplay, or a desire to do justice manifested by opponents, I would not have taken this step, but with the facts now before them, I confidently appeal to the public for their decision between us.
20th Sept., 1883.
A Chapter in the History of the High School, Time.
A letter was read from Mr Tate, Chairman of the Timaru School [unclear: Co] enclosing a resolution of the Committee with reference to having the Public School proclaimed a district High School.
The Rev. Mr Gillies said he had a resolution to propose, in reference to [unclear: Mr] letter.
Messrs Goldsmith, Postlethwaite and Barclay urged that as there were members absent it would not be fair to discuss so important a matter.
The Rev. Mr Gillies objected to postponing matters on the ground the members were absent.
The Chairman said he thought that as it was late in the day, and the several members of the Board absent, it would not be fair to bring [unclear: for] important a question as the establishment of a High School. He would [unclear: say] Mr Gillies to defer moving his resolution until the next meeting of the [unclear: Board.]
The Rev. Mr. Gillies said that while he did not approve of the [unclear: print] postponing the business of the Board because some members were absent, [unclear: be] submit to have his motion made a notice of motion for the next meeting Board.This having been agreed to, the Rev. Mr Gillies read the notice of [unclear: motice] was as follows:—
"That this Board approves of the proposal to erect the Timaru Public [unclear: School] a District High School in terms of sections 55 and 56 of the Education [unclear: Act] and resolves to apply to the Minister of Education for the necessary [unclear: saw] enable the Board to give effect to the proposal.""That in making application to the Minister of Education for his [unclear: sanction] erection of the Timaru Public School into a District High School, the [unclear: fi] statement thereanent be forwarded to him—
"That at present there is no High School in the District of South [unclear: Cal] and consequently, no school to which the proportion of revenues of [unclear: a] for secondary education, available for the district, can be [unclear: applied] School Commissioners.
"That at the last session of the House of Representatives a sum of [unclear: a] voted for the erection of buildings for a High School in Timaru [unclear: and] Canterbury College Board of Governors; but no provision was [unclear: may] does any exist, for payment of the salaries of the staff necessary [unclear: of] page 5 establishment of such a High School, the revenue from reserves for secondary education not being sufficient for that purpose, so that it will necessarily be some considerable time before such High School can be established.
"That it is a great hardship to the district that no provision for secondary education should exist within its bounds, in connection with our public educational institutions, the consequence being that the few who are able to afford it have to send their children elsewhere for such education, whilst the many to whom such education would be an immense boon are deprived of it.
"That at last inspection of the Timaru School, as per education report for year ending 31st December, 1877, page 26, there where eight pupils who passed standard VI, 30 who passed standard V, and 78 who passed standard IV, all of whom might have been doing something in the branches of secondary education had provision existed for it. There being no provision for such education, the V and VI standard pupils mostly pass away from school altogether; but at present there are in the school 33 boys and 43 girls above the IV standard capable of undertaking some of the branches of secondary education.
"That an attempt is being made to supply in some measure such education so that 30 boys and 12 girls have begun the study of Latin, 8 boys and 9 girls mathematics, and 12 boys and 26 girls French, besides which, 27 girls are being taught the pianoforte. But it is obvious that without some increase in the staff beyond what can be allowed for an ordinary Public School, the work cannot be satisfactorily carried on.
"That the funds for payment of such extra staff must come from fees and revenue of reserves set apart for secondary education but in order to ensure School Commissioners giving a grant for this purpose, it is necessary that the school have the status of a District High School.
"That unless greater means are placed at the disposal of the Board of Governors of the Canterbury College than are at present available for a High School at Timaru, they cannot for some time proceed with their Boys' High School, and to make provision for a Girl's High School will require still greater means; but the erection of the Timaru Public School into a District High School will give both sexes the advantage of secondary education at once.
"That the present application is not intended as in any way antagonistic to the High School to be established by the Canterbury College Board of Governors, but as a provision mean while for getting something done in the matter of secondary education, thus paving the way for better success of the more complete High School, by preparing pupils and fostering the desire for such education as it will more thoroughly supply. The Board will quite willing on the establishment of a High School of a better kind to relinquish their present proposed arrangements."
In preference to the necessity for the school being declared a District High School in order to its receiving any grant from the School Commissioners, it is necessary to state that by an Act of the Legislature of [unclear: the] previous session, all the Education reserves in Canterbury were [unclear: divided] into two classes, the one consisting of three-quarters of the whole be devoted to primary education, and the other consisting of [unclear: the] remaining quarter to be devoted to secondary education. They were all placed under a Board of Commissioners, who were bound by the Act to distribute the reserves in North and South Canterbury on [unclear: the] basis of population. Thus the annual revenues from the primary school reserves are divided according to population between the North page 6 Canterbury Board of Education and the South Canterbury one the Act the commissioners were bound to pay over the proportion the revenue from the secondary education reserves only to [unclear: second] schools established under the Canterbury College, or to other [unclear: regard] constituted High Schools; and so they passed at one of their first [unclear: meeting] the following resolution, which was duly made public:—"That [unclear: except] schools established under the Canterbury College, no school [unclear: will] deemed to be entitled to participate in the revenues [unclear: drived] from reserves set apart for secondary education, unless its to participate shall have been recognised by the Minister of Education and that it must be left to the Education Board of the district to [unclear: of] such recognition."
Notwithstanding the provisions of the Act, definitely prescribing [unclear: of] the Commissioners were to do with the revenues of the secondary [unclear: vacation] reserves, and their having passed the resolution given above carrying into effect of these provisions, the following resolution moved on the 14tn June in the Geraldine School Committee, by the George Barclay, and seconded by the Rev. Mr Preston—[unclear: That] Committee earnestly expresses the hope that the Commissioners [unclear: appoint] for the administration of Educational Reserves throughout the [unclear: vot] provincial districts will not restrict their allocations out of [unclear: meeting] accruing for secondary education to high and grammar schools, [unclear: but] the contrary they will see their way to giving a considerable [unclear: proporting] to the various district schools in which the upper standards—say [unclear: that] and sixth—are taught, and whose teachers are capable of [unclear: imparting] secondary or higher branches required; and that moreover the [unclear: Comissioners] will not fail to perceive the many advantages arising [unclear: of] such a distribution, such as furnishing a stimulus to teachers to [unclear: raise] standard of the school, the convenience of a large number of [unclear: part] who would not be able to send their children a long distance and great expense to some one high school; and the general diffiusion [unclear: of] higher branches of education throughout the whole colony, [unclear: instead] practically confining them to a few particular towns and [unclear: neighborhood]. The Geraldine School Committee thus lifted up its voiee and [unclear: its] aloud to all the School Commissioners in New Zealand to go in the [unclear: find] the Act which they were appointed to administer!
Mr. Gillies' resolution, of which he had given notice on June came up for consideration at a meeting of the Board on the 19th days after the above famous Geraldine resolution, and on the [unclear: motion] the Rev. G. Barclay, the subject was again postponed on some [unclear: place] further consideration being necessary before taking such a step, June 24th, a letter appeared in the Herald from Mr John [unclear: Me] which he pointed out (1) "That the Board by their action had [unclear: not] the children of the town and district of their educational [unclear: birthday] (2) that the Board had deprived the whole district of its fair [unclear: show] secondary education money; (3) that they had opposed and [unclear: obst] the cause of education and wilfully cast away our share in the [unclear: hard] page 7 benefits obtained for us by our most enlightened statesmen; (4) that they have gained for themselves that most unenviable character—Dog in the Manger."
"That the Committee having seen from the public Press that their application to have the Timaru Public School declared a High School, was delayed for the purpose of making an inquiry into its constitution, teaching staff and expenses, would respectfuly urge that their request be granted; and in reference to the information required by the Board, would forward the following statement":—
"1st. That whilst this Committee would, if funds were available for the salaries of the necessary staff, gladly hail the immediate establishment of a High School in Timaru where secondary education alone would be provided for boys and girls, yet they cannot see that there is any probability of this taking place for a year or two to come The Minister for Education has distinctly intimated in his recent circular to Boards, re funds for educational purposes, that he has no funds available for special purposes, such as High Schools, so that any application to him for aid would be useless The Board of Governors of Canterbury College have no funds; the South Canterbury Board of Education have no funds, and all the funds at the disposal of the Board of School Commissioners for secondary education will be very limited for a considerable time, not more than from £200 to £250 per annum, and in the opinion of some, these funds should not be wholly devoted to one central institution for the district. In these circumstances a High School constituted for the sole purpose of providing secondary education seems to be a very remote possibility indeed. But it would be folly to delay the attempt to supply at once in so far as practicable the means of secondary education in connection with our present Public School, and in order to accomplish this it is necessary that it should be converted into a District High School under clauses 55 and 50 of the Education Act, 1877.
"2nd. That it was clearly the intention of the Legislature that such High Schools where the giving of primary and secondary education might he combined, should be established in all suitable centres of population. That Timaru is as yet the chief centre of population in South Canterbury, and so is entitled to the privilege now claimed without detriment to the claims of other districts when they are ready for a similiar privilege.
"3rd. That by the combination of primary and secondary education in the one school, secondary education can be provided at a much less cost than when separate establishments have to be maintained.
"4th. That by a comparatively slight addition to the present staff, the end timed at could be attained; and for this the Committee do not ask the Board to give one penny additional money from their funds above what the school is entitled to as a primary school, but only that the school may be declared a High School, in order that the Committee may have the right to charge fees for the secondary education to be given. From the fees, and the share of the revenues of Education Reserves for Secondary Education they may justly be entitled to, this Committee undertake to pay the additional staff required. The proposal, therefore, to have the Timaru Public School declared a District High School will not in the slightest degree take away from the funds at the disposal of the Board for primary education throughout the whole district, and no injury or injustice will then be done to country districts."
The motion having been seconded by Mr. Mee, was agreed to unanimously.
The question came before the Board again on August 18, when the motion of which notice had been given by Mr Tate, should have been discussed, but was postponed because Mr Postlethwaite was absent The page 8 Board met again on 21st August, when Mr Tate rose to move his resolution Mr. Barclay asked whether similar applications to that received [unclear: from] Timaru had been received from other schools. The Chairman said Mr. Tate then moved—"That this Board take into consideration constitution, teaching staff, and expenses of a District High School South Canterbury, and the basis on which such school will be established." Seconded by Mr Granger. Mr Barclay moved as an [unclear: amendment]—"That since it is known to certain members of the Board [unclear: the] applications re high schools are being forwarded from various district the Board, before acceding to the request of the Timaru School Committee, take into consideration all such applications [unclear: concurrently] Seconded by Mr Postlethwaite. Amendment negatived. Mr [unclear: Barclay] then proposed and Mr Howell seconded—"That the Chairman, [unclear: Met] Tate, Howell, Gillies and the mover be appointed a sub-committee confer with the Inspector, respecting the basis on which high school should be established." Agreed to.
At the meeting of the Board on September 4, Mr Hammond [unclear: g] in the report of the sub-committee, which recommended (1) that school be allowed to commence the branches of secondary education [unclear: which] they have passed standard IV in primary education; (2) that the to be charged should not exceed £6 6s per annum; (3) that any Committee applying that their school be made a District High School should guarantee a minimum of 25 scholars: (4) that no grant town such secondary education be made out of primary education [unclear: fund] (5) before any teacher is appointed head master of a high school, must satisfy the Board that he is able to teach matriculation subject Amendments on this report were proposed by Mr Barclay, seconded Mr Postlethwaite; but ultimately the report was adopted. Copies was ordered to be sent to the various school committees. At this meeting applications were read from Terauka, Geraldine, and Waimate Committees, that their schools should be made district high schools.
It is a very remarkable thing that when no provision existed in the district for secondary education, such obstacles should have been [unclear: throw] in the way of getting the Timaru Public School declared a District High School, and that the conditions precedent to the declaration any school, a District High School should have been so stringent, [unclear: which] now, when provision does exist for such education, the Board should such easy terms, proclaim Waimate and Temuka public schools to district high schools. The spirit of opposition to Timaru having a High School thus early manifested by the Board of Education, has been [unclear: consistently] maintained throughout.
The contest had proceeded thus far, when the opening of the railway right through from Christchurch to Dunedin took place, about the [unclear: M] September, and the members of the Legislature took a trip from [unclear: Willington] in honor of the occasion. As they were passing through [unclear: Timaru,] Mr Gillies saw Mr Stout, who was then Attorney-General, and [unclear: fought] that he would be favorable to the passing of an Act granting a High page 9 School to Timaru, with an endowment out of secondary education reserves. On the return of members from Dunedin, Mr Gillies went to Christchurch, and arranged with Mr Stout to draft the Bill, and as to the general terms thereof. On his way home, he met the lion. Mr Rolleston, at Selwyn Station, and on placing the matter before him, found he would give the proposal his hearty support. A public meeting was immediately called by advertisement. That meeting was held in the Borough Council Chambers on the evening of September 12, Mr Tate, Chairman. Mr Gillies stated to the meeting what he had already done, and then proposed, seconded by Mr Granger—"That immediate steps be taken for the establishment of a High School at Timaru." Proposed by Mr Gillies, seconded by Mr Hammond—"That an endowment of land to the annual value of £1000 be asked to be set apart out of the reserves for secondary education for the Timaru High School." Proposed by Mr Hammond, seconded by Mr Scott—"That the constitution of the Board of Governors should be two members nominated by the Canterbury College Board of Governors, two nominated by the Governor, two elected by the South Canterbury Board of Education, and the Mayor of Timaru:" Proposed by Mr Scott, seconded by Mr Granger—"That a committee be appointed to carry out the foregoing resolutions, consisting of Messrs Tate, Gillies, Hammond, Fussell, and Scott" On the motion of Mr Fussell, a vote of thanks was accorded to Mr Gillies for what he had done toward obtaining a High School for Timaru.
The scene of battle was now transferred to Wellington. A statement in regard to the education reserves in Canterbury, and what was wanted for the establishment of a High School in Timaru, was printed by Mr Gillies, and a copy posted to every member of both houses of Parliament, that they might have definite information before them on the subject, The Bill was read the first time on September 17. The second reading same on upon the 25th, when Mr Montgomery objected to Timaru getting the endowment asked for, and proposed that [unclear: t] be left in the hands of the School Commissioners to make an allocation [unclear: in] accordance with the Education Reserves Act, 1877. That meant that population should be the basis of the endowment, so that South [unclear: Canterbury] would have got about £250 per annum, and Christchurch all the houseands. Mr Rolleston and Mr Turnbull of the Canterbury members [unclear: of] the House of Representatives, alone supported the Bill, and they and Mr. Stout replied to the objections raised against it. Mr Rolleston said that "he wished to express his opinion that nothing could be worse than to make the primary schools institutions with secondary education attached to them, instead of creating a different grade of education Distinct from primary schools." Mr J. E. Brown let out the secret [unclear: Whence] the opposition to the Bill was emanating. He said (vide Vansard) "If he was not misinformed, the Board of Education of South Canterbury was not unanimous as to the establishment of a high school a Timaru, and as that Board was very much interested in the manage- page 10 ment of the institution, it should have a voice in the matter." [unclear: B] suggested that the Education Board should determine where the school should be, and that they have control of the money. Intimation having been given from Wellington of the determined opposition [unclear: for] Bill was to encounter from the Canterbury members generally, [unclear: Mr] Gillies wrote to all the Otago and Southland members, and also some the North Island members on the subject, asking their aid to get [unclear: the] Bill passed, and received favorable replies from every one of them. [unclear: the] October 2, the Bill came on for discussion in Committee, and the [unclear: stout] of what transpired there was thus graphically told by "Our Own Corespondent" in the Timaru Herald, who that corespondent was I [unclear: may] not say, so that from his own pen we have the story of his opposition the Bill. "The last week has been the most interesting of the when session so far. Wednesday, the only day in the week that is [unclear: devoted] to private members business now, was almost entirely occupied in [unclear: discussing] the Timaru High School Bill. Mr. Turnbull was nominally charge of the Bill, but it was evident from the beginning that Mr. Stout was strongly interested in it, for [unclear: same] reason or other while the very fact of all the Canterbury members, with the solitary exception of Mr. Rolleston, be opposed to it, was quite sufficient to induce a good many others support it much more actively than is usually the case with purely [unclear: low] measures. The first dispute arose upon the clause providing for constitution of the Board, the original proposal of the Bill was that Board should consist of the Mayor of Timaru, ex officio, two members nominated by the Canterbury College, two nominated by the Governor and two by the South Canterbury Board of Education. Mr. [unclear: Wake] moved as an amendment that the Board should consist simply of [unclear: the] members elected by the South Canterbury Board of Education, [unclear: the] three members nominated by the Governor. The reasons which he [unclear: u] in support of this view were that there was a strong feeling in the [unclear: court] districts against Timaru monopolising the advantages of second education, and that the school about to be established would be [unclear: render] much more popular if the governing body were made generally [unclear: representative], as it would be by leaving the election of the majority of members to the Board of Education. He pointed out that though Mayor of the town was the chief person in municipal matters, it by means followed that he was the best man to put on a committee management of higher education, and in the present case it was [unclear: particularly] undesirable that he should be so appointed, owing to the feel which prevailed that this was about to be made a school for [unclear: Timaru] alone. Mr. Turnbull accepted the amendment, and every one of the Canterbury members supported it. The Southland members, however got up an opposition to it, and managed to raise a false issue as [unclear: better] Mayors as popular representatives and nominated members. Mr. [unclear: j] who probably neither knew nor cared a straw about the Timaru High School made a most abusive speech, in which he denounced the [unclear: Canterbury] page 11 members en masse as snobs, a term which the Chairman made him withdraw immediately, and the drift of which was that all educational and all other public matters ought to be entirely in the hands of the mob. There was something evidently the matter with the member for Wallace, who did not appear to have any control over what he was saving. The light on the Mayors presently became general—the particular bill being forgotten for the time—and on a division it was decided that the Mayor should be on the Board. It may be thought strange that, Mr. Turnbull having accepted Mr. Wakefield's amendment, it should yet have been negatived, but the explanation of that is that Mr. Turnbull privately opposed the amendment, and asked all the Government men to vote against him upon it. This having been settled, the member for Geraldine stood out for having the country districts directly represented as well as the town, and with this view, Mr. Rolleston moved as an amendment, allowing the County Councils of Geraldine and Waimate to nominate one member each to the Board. This was carried, but the Board having been a decidedly peculiar educational body owing to the introduction of so many foreign elements, Mr. Stout moved a further amendment which was also carried, to the effect that all the members should only hold office for a year. After this the Bill ran pretty smoothly until the clause was reached vesting a portion of the educational reserves in the Board, sufficient to yield a present income of £1000 a year, then the fight began in earnest. Mr. Turnbull took no part whatever in it, but sat at the table with his head leaning on his Hands, as if he were quite indifferent to the result The real combatants were the Attorney-General and Mr. Rolleston, backed up by the Otago and Southland members on one side, and on the other all the rest of the Canterbury members and their friends from various parts of the colony. Mr. Wakefield moved an amendment, embracing the principle which his side advocated, It was to the effect that the Commissioners should be empowered to pay to the Timaru High School Board an annual sum sufficient for their requirements, but that the body of the reserves them selves should not be encroached upon. He mentioned that a great part of the country districts were not interested in the Timaru High School, Bid could never take advantage of it, and that therefore they should not be deprived of their prospect in sharing in course of time in the proceeds of the endowment for secondary education. He was strongly supported by Mr. Bowen, Mr. Wason, and Mr. Montgomery. The last named read a letter from the Rev. George Barclay on the subject, of which I have obtained a copy. As it may interest many of your readers, I transcribe it in full. "Manse, Geraldine, 23rd September, 1878. Dear sir—At a meeting (a very small one) recently held in Timaru, it was resolved to ask the Government out of reserves for secondary education within the province of Canterbury to allocate lands to the annual value of £1000 for the purpose of a high school in Timaru. Outside of Timaru I have been asked by a great number of people to communicate to you what they feel in the matter. They strongly object to asking for page 12 the whole endowment of £1000 per annum out of the secondary education reserves. The feeling of the people outside of Timaru is, that [unclear: at]least certain largo schools such as Waimate, Temuka, and Geraldine numbering in the register from 150 to 400 pupils, should receive [unclear: some] share of the funds accruing for secondary education," &c. (The rest of the letter I omit; it is all in the same strain, and is a long one.) "Our Own Correspondent" continues—"In spite of all the efforts of the Cantrebury members, however, the Attorney-General, who made a party question of this as of anything else, carried his point, and one amendment after another was negatived, At last an amendment, proposed by Mr. Kelly, member for New Plymouth, reducing the high school endowment from £1000 to £500 a year was accepted by Mr Stoutand carried. The member for Geraldine still resisted the clause with all his might and [unclear: main] and would undoubtedly have prevented its passing if he had had one or two equally determined friends to help him. The question now got to muddled, however, and the reduction of the amount had so far allays opposition, that the interest in the Bill was destroyed, and at last he [unclear: will] left alone. Still he fought on singleluanded against all the forces of [unclear: the] opponents, and only gave up the struggle when overpowered by number and fatigue at one o'clock in the morning, the Bill having occupied the whole day. I hear that the contest is not over yet, but that it is likely to be renewed in the Legislative Council. Mr. Montgomery, too, [unclear: but] introduced a similar Bill for Christchurch, and I believe Mr. [unclear: Was] and Mr Wakefield are likely to do the same for their own district respectively. Among them all, the Timaru Bill will have but little chance, unless its provisions are altered so as to leave the [unclear: reser] themselves intact." The indications given in this letter of an intention fight the battle afresh in the Legislative Council, led Mr Gillies to write to [unclear: all] the members of that House from Otago and Southland, and others from the North Island known to him, and again he received assurances support, among which that of Sir Dillon Bell, now Agent-General, [unclear: was] one of the heartiest The Bill came on for its second reading in [unclear: the] Council on October 16, in charge of the Hon. Mr Buckley. It had [unclear: previously] been referred for consideration to the Local Bills Committee which Sir Dillon Bell was chairman, and from that committed reached the Council with this very important and beneficial alteration of the endowment being made one-fourth part of the education reserves for secondary education in Canterbury. Thus, [unclear: instead] of being defeated in the Upper House, Timaru was treated with [unclear: the] utmost generosity. The Hon. Mr Buckley, in moving the second reading of the Bill as amended by the Local Bills Committee, took up the [unclear: ca] of South Canterbury very warmly. The Hon. Mr Hall wished the [unclear: But] delayed till other Bills for schools in North Canterbury could brought up, and asserted that South Canterbury was entitled only one-sixth part of the reserves. He was answered with great spirit of the Hon. Mr. Holmes, who said "That Christchurch had always managed to get its fair share of these endowments, and derived [unclear: and] page 13 than its fair share of the emoluments for the support of education. He did not grudge them that, what he did complain of was that instead of agreeing with a good grace to what was just to Timaru, there should be any opposition from any person coining from Christchurch." A lively debate followed, in which the Honorables Robinson, Wigley, and Dr. Pollen took part against the Bill, and the Honorables, Reynolds, Menzies, Paterson, and Colonel Whitmore took part for it, Mr. Buckley summing up the debate with a very spirited reply. The Bill was then read a second time, and next day was read a third time. On the day following, it came before the House of Representatives for consideration of the amendments introduced by the Legislative Council. On Mr. Turnbull moving that they be agreed to, Mr. Wakefield made another attempt to destroy the Bill. He said "that the changes made in the Bill were entirely for the worse. The Bill was a bad one when it went to the Council, but was worse now. He proposed that the amendments be not [agreed to and he hoped the House would assist him in resisting this piece of gross injustice." Mr Stout again defended the Bill, Messrs Stevens, Teschemaker, and Montgomery disapproving. The latter said as, however, it had previously passed the House by overwhelming majorities, he did not see the necessity for fighting it over again. At last the amendments were agreed to, and the Bill finally passed and became law. After this narrative of the opposition which the Bill met in its passing through the House, it is not difficult to understand the warm affection which the Timaru Herald has ever since displayed toward the High School and the Rev. Wm. Gillies.
In due course the act came to be carried out, and the Government communicated with Mr Gillies as to the two members of the Board whom they should nominate. He sent up a list of six or eight names, of which the two at the head were Archdeacon Harper and Mr. R. A. Chisholm, and he received a reply stating that these were the two selected by the Government. His own name was not on the list, as he, being a member of the Education Board, expected that body to elect him one of its representatives. This, however, it did not do, but elected Messrs Belfield and Barclay. So elated were certain members over this apparent triumph that they could not conceal their delight, But openly boasted at the railway station that they had kept Gillies out at any rate. On this being known, two or three gentlemen, without consulting with Mr. Gillies, sent a telegram to Mr. Stout, asking that he be made one of the Government members. His name was accordingly substituted for that of Archdeacon Harper, as the nominations had not yet been gazetted, and thus it came to pass that Messrs Chisholm and Gillies were the two Government nominees. The other members of this first Board were Mr. Cliff, mayor, Mr. Howell for Geraldine County Council, and Mr Bruce for Waimate. Mr Gillies was elected chairman. With, the beginning of 1880 the school was opened. We who were sanguine of its success were laughed at, because we expected at least 60 scholars to begin with. Our expectations, were however, exceeded, page 14 as during the first quarter, 74 were enrolled. All went on successful the school growing in popularity and increasing in numbers till October 1881, when the school sports meeting was held, On that occasion, [unclear: the] zealous friends had collected money for a ladies' cup, but had given notice to the Board or its Chairman of their intended gift. It brought on the ground on sports day, and arrangements made by parties themselves for its presentation, but as the Board had on [unclear: the] previous year decided that all sports prizes should be dealt with as prizes, and presented at the end of the year on speech day, the [unclear: Rest] objected to the special presentation of the ladies' cup on the ground contrary to the rule laid down by the Board. An apeapl was made to [unclear: the] Chairman of the Board to order the Rector to allow the cup to presented that day. He declined to do so, and said he must uphold [unclear: the] decision of the Board, and as other parties had also given prizes difference would be made between one and another. Over this there was great storm, and ultimately notice was sent to the Chairman that the ladies' cup was withdrawn. He accepted the intimation, but told Rector that a cup of equal value would be provided, as the boys [unclear: are] not suffer through any disagreement which had arisen. Funds [unclear: was] soon subscribed by other friends present. The original cup was [unclear: that] taken off the ground, and declarations were made that the first [unclear: for] ward step in the history of the school had taken place that day. [unclear: All] sure enough from that day ceaseless and persistent efforts have been made to damage the school, its Rector, and its then Chairman.
The story of these efforts can all be told with documentary [unclear: pa] if it should become necessary. In the meantime, I content myself [unclear: was] this narrative of the earlier history of the school, that the public of South Canterbury may have before them the real origin and cause [unclear: an] the bitter opposition which it has encountered in Herald circles, the beginning of the year 1882, the old Chairman suffered the [unclear: pear] of his part in the cup business by being ousted from the chair, [unclear: where] the Rector has been subjected to constant annoyance, and all [unclear: sorts] slanders circulated against him, and attempts made to find fault [unclear: that] provoke a quarrel to secure his dismissal. By the aid of a hostile [unclear: Person] the small persistent clique of detractors have so far succeeded in [unclear: being] the school into a certain amount of disfavour, and had it not [unclear: been] for the exceptionally good work done within its walls, it would ere this have been an utterly ruined institution. Parents who [unclear: will] not had children there have been frightened from sending [unclear: them] by the malevolent misrepresentations of the Press, and one or two have had children have withdrawn them, because of the cup [unclear: well] ness, whilst one or two have been withdrawn from dissatisfaction of kind which is to be found arising everywhere in connection with the institutions. The Herald in its last attack says that " the [unclear: mind] in connection with the school was in giving it too narrow a tone, trying to mould it too closely on a particular model. This, whilst [unclear: in] doubt gained the support of one section of the community, alienated page 15 the others and created a prejudice against the school, which will never be removed until a complete reorganisation takes place." It would have been nearer the truth had the Herald said "that the offence in our eyes is that the school was established on too broad a basis, admitting the children of a class which has deterred certain persons of position from sending their children to the school. A high school was never meant for the many, but for the few, and great offence has been given to the wealthier section of the community, who, taking advantage of their means, are sending their children elsewhere. By reorganisation we mean re-officering of the school, by removal of teachers (notably the Rector), who, from causes we are not called upon to specify, as we cannot assign incompetency, have come under our displeasure, and the removal from the Board of one most hated member, who, it seems, in additition to other sins, has by some hocus-pocus got a life appointment,"
After the first Chairman was set aside, an attempt at reorganisation was made. The hour of opening was changed to suit the convenience of some families in town, and thereby the attendance of all pupils from the country by train was cut off. An alteration from quarters to terms was also made in the interests of the few, and that after a quarter had been begun and paid for. And thus confusion was introduced into the payment of fees, and their payment made more difficult for persons of small means. The decrease in pupils began with this re-organisation, and the determination to avenge the cup business. As to the working of the school, and the work done by the school, official reports and examinations give an emphatic contradiction to newspaper misrepresentations. Here I leave the matter in the meantime, but if occasion requires it, I shall not shrink from making a further contribution to the History of the High School, exposing the efforts which have been made to blast its fair fame and that of those who have striven for its general usefulness.
W. H. Foden, General Printer, Main South Road, Timaru.