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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]


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Timaru High School Board Of Governors. This Board manages the affairs of the Timaru Boys' High School and the Timaru Girls' High School. Its members in 1903 were Mr. W. B. Howell, J.P. (chairman), the Ven. Archdeacon Harper, Rev. G. Barclay, J.P., Dr. H. C. Barclay, Mr. J. Talbot, J.P., Mr. R. H. Bowie, J.P., and Messrs B. R. McDonall, F. R. Smith, J. McCahon, and J. S. Gibson. Major J. H. Bamfield is the Board's secretary.

Secondary Schools.

The Boys' High School, Timaru, is carried on under statutes passed by the Parliament of New Zealand in 1878 and 1882, and was opened in February, 1882, with Mr. A. L. Halkett Dawson, M.A., as its first rector. Until 1897 boys and girls were taught at the school, although they were kept apart except in the highest classes, in which they were taught together for the sake of convenience. In that year a large portion of the Building was destroyed by fire, and since then the Girls' High School has existed as a separate institution. Mr. Dawson was succeeded in 1889 by Mr. George Hogben, M.A., now Under-Secretary for Education and Inspector-General of Schools for New Zealand; and in 1899, Mr. G. A. Simmers, M.A., succeeded Mr. Hogben. The pupils of the school have done credit to the institution in public examinations and otherwise; the school has taken more than its share of junior scholarships of the University, and the final honour lists of the New Zealand University show many names of old Timaruvians. Others have done well at Edinburgh and elsewhere. The school is an imposing building of semi-classical style, standing on an eminence, in about eight acres of ground, south-west of the town. It has a football and cricket ground, fives-court, a carpenter's workshop, a library, a gymnasium and a physical and chemical laboratory. Languages are taught on the natural system, and in other subjects the teaching is based as far as possible, in the higher as well as in the lower classes, upon a direct use of the concrete. In all the science classes the work is practical, experiments and measurements being made by the pupils themselves. Simple surveying and drawing to scale are made the foundation of map drawing; pupils are taught to take the altitude of the sun at different seasons, and to find the latitude (roughly); and models and pictures are largely used in teaching other parts of geography, physical and descriptive. The Sloyd and carpentery work serve not only their special purposes, but are connected with the lessons on geometry and drawing. Again, in one of the bookkeeping classes the boys are divided into firms trading with one another, and write all the necessary forms and keep accounts of all transactions. It is found that not only is the treatment more natural, and the interest more easily sustained, but also that it is easier to make a real co-ordination between the several subjects of the school curriculum.

Mr. George Annand Simmers, M.A., became Headmaster of the Timaru Boys' High School in 1899. He was born in Melbourne, Victoria, in 1858, and was educated in Otago, and trained as a teacher. Mr. Simmers graduated B.A. at the University of Otago, in 1887, when he was senior scholar in Natural Science, and took his M.A. degree in the following year, with first class honours in Physical Science. After holding appointments in public schools, Mr. Simmers was tutor in the Otago Training College for six years, and Headmaster of the Ashburton High School for five years, before removing to Timaru. He was married, in 1892, to a daughter of Mr. W. Wallace, Dunedin, and has five sons and one daughter.

Mr. Thomas Alfred Harper Wing, M.A., of the teaching staff of the Timaru Boys' High School, was born in Suffolk, England, in 1865. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took his B.A. degree in 1887, and his M.A., in 1898. Mr. Wing held an appointment at Newcastle High School, Staffordshire, and came out to Sydney in 1893. In 1898 he removed to New Zealand, and was for three years on the staff of the Nelson College, and took up his duties at Timaru in 1902. Mr. Wing was married in 1898, to a daughter of the late Mr. F. W. Single, of New South Wales.

The Girls' High School, Timaru, has existed as a separate institution since December, 1897; up till then boys and girls were taught as at one institution, though chiefly in separate classes. Miss M. J. McLean, M.A., was the first headmistress, and when, in 1900, she accepted the principalship of the Wellington Girls' High School, she was succeeded by Miss Barbara Watt, M.A., the present principal. The methods of the school have from the first been characterised by a thoroughness which has borne good fruit in the education of the pupils, many of whom have distinguished themselves at the University.

Miss Barbara Watt, M.A., Headmistress of the Timaru Girls' High School, was born at Green Island, near Dunedin. She was educated at the Dunedin Girls' High School, and graduated B.A., at the University of Otago, in 1891; in the ensuing year, Miss Watt took her M.A. degree, with honours in mathematics. After holding a position for about four years at Nelson College, Miss Watt became first assistant at the Timaru Girls' High School in 1898, and was promoted to her present position in 1900.

Stafford Street, Timaru: 1898.

Stafford Street, Timaru: 1898.

Convent Of The Sacred Heart, Timaru. The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus came to establish a house of their order in Timaru in 1880. Their society was founded in France in 1800 by the Venerable Mother Barat, and is consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, of which they bear the name. Its members dedicate themselves to the education of young girls in boarding and day schools, and to the gratuitous instruction of the poorer classes. The system of education embraces a regular and graduated course of studies, which experience has proved to be capable of producing solid and lasting results. The Society of the Sacred Heart is widely spread in most of the countries of Europe, the French colonies, and North and South America. In 1880, His Grace the Archbishop of Wellington invited the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to establish a convent at Timaru, and accordingly they opened a boarding school and parochial school in one of the pleasantest and healthiest parts of the town. The convent is surrounded by extensive grounds, nine acres in extent, which command a beautiful view of the ocean and distant snowy mountains. There are also houses of the Sacred Heart in Sydney and Melbourne. The mother-house of the society is in Paris. The convent at Timaru is a large two-storied building in the Italio-Gothic style. Its main front is 121 feet long and 50 feet high. In the centre is the main entrance with a projecting portico, supported page 984 by four columns with foliated capitals. It contains forty-three rooms, all large and lofty, height being one of the chief characteristics of the building. The dormitories and classrooms are fitted with the new self-acting ventilators, thus securing constant change of air without fear of draught.

Education Board.

South Canterbury Education Board, Timaru. This Board has jurisdiction over and throughout the country lying between the Rangitata and Waitaki rivers, and has over seventy schools under its control. There are about 5000 names on the school rolls, with a total average attendance of 4500 scholars in the district; number of teachers, 155. The members of the Board for 1903 were Mr. W. B. Howell, J. P. (chairman), Rev. G. Barclay, J.P. (Waimate), Messrs John Talbot (Temuka), John Jackson (Timaru), S. Gillingham (Cricklewood), J. S. Rutherford (Albury), W. S. Maslin (Geraldine), D. McCaskill (Winchester), and J. Campbell (Fernhill, St. Andrews). Major J. H. Bamfield is secretary, Mr. James Gibson Gow, M.A., inspector of schools, and Mr. J. S. Turnbull, architect. The Board meets on the second Thursday in each month at its offices, Post Office Buildings, George Street, Timaru.

Mr. William Barker Howell, J.P., Chairman of the South Canterbury Board of Education, was born in 1842, in Devonshire, England; and educated at Marlborough College, Eastman's Naval School at Portsmouth and Camberwell Collegiate School, London. He spent four years in Green's merchant service, came to Lyttelton in the ship “Mirage” in 1864, and has resided in South Canterbury ever since his arrival. Until 1894 he was farming at Totara Valley, and since then he has resided in Timaru. In addition to being chairman of the South Canterbury Education Board, Mr. Howell has been a member of the Timaru High School Board of Governors since its inception, and has been its chairman for several years. He is also a member of the Waimate High School Board and a School Reserves Commissioner. Mr. Howell was married, in 1876, to a daughter of the late Dr B. Moorhouse, Shepherd's Bush, Canterbury, and has six daughters and three sons.

Major John Hichens Bamfield, J.P. Secretary, South Canterbury Board of Education and Timaru High School Board of Governors, was born at Falmouth, Cornwall, in 1835. He was educated first at the Falmouth Grammar School, and subsequently as a private pupil, by the celebrated Greek scholar, Dr. Scrivener. In June, 1855, he passed out of Sandhurst for a direct commission in the army, and on the 1st of October following, was gazetted to an ensigncy in the 72nd (Duke of Albany's, now the Seaforth) Highlanders. After serving in Ireland, Scotland, Aldershot, the Channel Islands, and at Shorncliffe Camp, he sailed in the “Trafalgar” with the regiment in July, 1857, for India, landing at Bombay towards the end of the year. Proceeding thence up the Gulf of Cutch, the 72nd landed at Tankaria Bunda, marching through Guzerat to Ahmedabad, Nusserabad, Baroda, Ajmere, and Neemuch, where they joined General Roberts' force and marched to the siege of Kotah, a magnificently situated city on the right bank of the river Chumbul. After the capture of that place, the 72nd went in pursuit of Tantia Topi, first joined one field force, then another, dispersing the rebel hordes, fighting at the battle of the Bunass and in many skirmishes (Mutiny medal, with clasp, for Central India). Having obtained his promotion into the 1st Battalion of the 11th (North Devon) Regiment, he proceeded Home in January, 1859, to join the depôt at Fermoy. He passed through the School of Musketry at Hythe in 1861, obtaining a first-class certificate, and officiating subsequently as assistant-instructor to the 18th Depôt Battalion at Fermoy. In 1864, having joined the headquarters of his regiment, recently returned from Sydney, he sailed with it for India, and landed at Calcutta in December, 1864. Staying a short time at Dum Dum, en route to Fyzabad, the 11th halted at Cawnpore and marched thence to Lucknow, and on to Fyzabad, the old capital of the kingdom of Oude. Here he obtained the adjutancy of his regiment, which he retained for seven years and until he got his company. As a captain, he held the appointment of paymaster of the regiment for several periods, and was about to be appointed staff officer at Kussowlie, when he was invalided home. In 1878, after twenty-three years active service, he left the army with the rank of major, and came out to New Zealand in the “Waipa,” Captain Gorn, landing at Dunedin in December of that year. Settling at Christchurch, he entered into business under the style of Cameron, Bamfield and Co., but in 1883 was appointed secretary to the Board of Education for the district of South Canterbury, which position (as well as that of secretary to the Board of Governors of the Timaru High School) he still holds. As a Freemason, he is a past-master, having for two years filled the chair of W.M of Lodge “Light of Adjoodhia,” and subsequently for two years as W.M. of Lodge “Rock of Gwalior.” He is married, and has two surviving children, the eldest of whom is Mrs. Frederick Clissold.

Mr. Alexander Bell, M.A., Assistant Inspector and Assistant Secretary under the South Canterbury Education Board, was born in 1871, near Geraldine. He was educated at the Geraldine Flat School and at the Timaru High School, graduated B.A. at Canterbury College, in 1895, and took first class honours in mathematics, with his M.A. degree in 1896. Mr. Bell commenced teaching in 1887 at Waimataitai, and was afterwards at Waimate. Geraldine, Seadown, Oamaru, and Timaru South, before being appointed to his present positions in 1899. He was married, in 1899, to a daughter of the late Mr. James Byers, of Timaru.

Mr. James Gibson Gow, M.A., Inspector of Schools for the South Canterbury Education Board, was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1856, and was educated at Taylor's Institution, Crieff, where he afterwards served as a pupil-teacher. He spent two years at the Normal Training College of the Church of Scotland, where he was the most distinguished student of his year, and was the holder of a First Class Queen's Scholarship, which entitled him to attendance at the college with the privilege of taking classes at the University of Edinburgh. A prizeman of the University, he graduated at Edinburgh, where he took his M.A. degree. For eight years he was senior assistant in James Gillespie's schools, one of the great institutions managed by the Edinburgh Merchant Company. Mr. Gow came to New Zealand in December, 1885,
Mr. J. G. Gow.

Mr. J. G. Gow.

page 985 by the s.s. “Tainul,” and within a few weeks was appointed headmaster of the Waiareka school, near Oamaru. In September, 1886, he was appointed inspector of schools for South Canterbury. Mr. Gow is a member of the Timaru Bowling Club, and was one of the founders of the Timaru Golf Club.
Primary Schools.

The Timaru Main School occupies the square block between Arthur, North, and established in the early seventies, and is built Theodocia Streets and Grey road. It was of Timaru stone. There are, in all, thirteen class rooms, which provide accommodation for 700 pupils. The number on the roll is over 700, and the average attendance about 650; including the headmaster the staff numbers fifteen teachers. The headmaster's residence occupies a commanding portion of the school playground, and borders on Arthur Street. It is a well built house of two stories, and contains about ten rooms.

Mr. John Andrew Johnson, M.A. (New Zealand University), Headmaster of the Timaru Main School, is a native of the Shetland Islands. He was born in 1861, landed in Dunedin in 1870, and was educated at the public schools and the Normal. He subsequently attended the University of Otago, and in 1888 graduated M.A. After holding several responsible posts in the Dunedin public schools, Mr. Johnson was appointed to his present position.

The Timaru South Public School, which was originally a side school, was established independently in 1895, and stands upon an acre of land at the corner of King and Queen Streets. The building, which is of brick and roofed with iron, contains three class rooms and two porches, with accommodation for 250 pupils. The number on the roll is about 230 and the average attendance about 200. The headmaster is assisted by two mistresses, and two pupil-teachers. A good playground surrounds the school, and there is a seven roomed residence, with a verandah, for the teacher in charge.

Mr. James Archibald Valentine, B.A., Headmaster of the Timaru South school, was born in 1863, at Waikouaiti, Otago, where he was educated and served his pupil-teachership. He afterwards studied at the Dunedin Training College, and graduated at the University of Otago, in 1886. Mr. Valentine was in charge of Pareora school for two years and a half, and afterwards was for a like period third assistant at the North East Valley school, Dunedin. He was first assistant at the Balciutha District High School for nearly eight years, until receiving his present appointment in September, 1899. He takes a general interest in athletics, and plays for the Timaru Cricket Club, and also is captain of the cadet corps in connection with the school. Mr. Valentine was married, in December, 1889, to a daughter of Mr. Thomas Jefcoat, late of Pareora, and has two sons and two daughters.

The Waimataitai Public School was established in 1892. The school building is of concrete, brick, and iron, and contains eight class-rooms and four porches. There is accommodation for 350 pupils, there are 360 names on the roll, and the average attendance is 330. The master in charge is supported by four assistants, and three pupil teachers. There is a large playground with well-grown shelter trees, for the recreation of the children, and the school residence is on the property.

Mr. John Wood, Headmaster of Waimataitai public school, was born in Scotland, and trained as a pupil teacher in Edinburgh. He became licensed to teach, and followed his profession for several years before coming out to the colonies in 1880. In 1881 he joined the service of the South Canterbury Board of Education, and has been in charge of the Waimataitai school since its establishment.

Mr. C. F. Collins, Assistant Master at the Waimataitai School, was born at Timaru, in 1872. He attended the main school and the High School of his native town, and finished at the Otago University. Mr. Collins was, in the first instance, appointed teacher at Waimatata, subsequently at Waimate, and became headmaster at Hilton in 1899. He holds a D3 certificate. Mr. Collins takes an active part in athletic sports, and has played more than once in the South Canterbury representative football team.

The Mechanics' Institute, North Street, Timaru. This institute was established in 1861, and has from the first been maintained by private subscriptions. The building, which cost £2000, is erected on land granted by the Government for use as a library or Mechanics' Institute. The money to build with was borrowed, but was gradually reduced till the last penny was paid off in 1902. The building is of brick, two stories in height, and has a newsroom and library on the ground floor, and a convenient hall, which will hold 200 people, on the upper floor. There is also a residence for the librarian in the building. The library possesses 6000 volumes. Officers for 1903: Messrs W. Gunn (president), J. A. Johnson (vice-president), and a committee of twelve. Mrs Russell Goodman is librarian.