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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]

[Education Board]

The Marlborough Education Board . For many years the interests of education in Marlborough were controlled by a number of minor corporations, but in 1877 the province was created an educational district with a central governing body known as the Marlborough Education Board, and at the first election, the following gentlemen were returned as members: Messrs A. P. Seymour (chairman), C. Goulter, E. Paul, W. E. Dive, Joseph Ward, T. E. Hodson, J. T. Robinson, H. Ingles, and Captain Baillie. Each year, as population in the province has increased, new schools have been erected; and within recent years the number of schools under the Board's control has grown rapidly. In the year 1890 there were only thirty-one schools in the province, and at present (1905), there are about seventy. The Marlborough education district is one of the most scattered in the colony, and great credit is due to the local Education Board for the promptness with which it assists the settlers in the establishment of aided schools in the outlying districts. In the Sounds there are about thirty schools, with an average of only seven children each, and in several small districts schools have been opened and maintained for the benefit of only one family. In 1899, a High School was established in Blenheim, for the purpose of secondary education. The offices of the Education Board are situated at the corner of Alfred and Seymour Streets, and the Board meets monthly. Members of the Board for the year 1905: Messrs John Duncan (chairman), J. C. Chaytor, W. H. Macey, C. Ferguson, A. G. Fell, A. J. Litchfied, R. McCallum, W. B. Parker, and J. J. W. White. Secretary and treasurer, Mr. John Smith; Inspector, Mr. D. A. Strachan.

Mr. Alfred John Litchfield , J.P., is a member of the Marlborough Education Board. He was born at Ipswich, England, in the year 1844, and is the eldest son of the late Mr. F. J. Litchfield, who is further referred to as the first Mayor of Blenheim. Mr. Litchfield was partly educated in the Old Country, and partly at Nelson College. He came out to New Zealand with his parents in 1853, and, on leaving college, turned his attention to pastoral pursuits. For about five years, Mr. Litchfield was employed on a sheep station in the Awatere district.
Macey, photo. Mr. A. J. Litchfield.

Macey, photo. Mr. A. J. Litchfield.

and afterwards, for seven years, he farmed his father's property at Kaituna. In the year 1870 he acquired his present farm, which is known as “Livermere.” and is situated in the Renwick Road, near Blenheim. This farm consists of 150 acres, and is devoted to agriculture. Mr. Litchfield also owns a sheep run of 600 acres in the Waihopai district, known as “Longdale,” which is managed by one of his sons. He has also for many years done an extensive trade in chaff-cutting, grain threshing, and heavy haulage, and is one of the largest traction engine proprietors in the province. Mr. Litchfield has been a member and chairman of the County Council, the Omaka Road Board, the Lower Wairau River Board, and a member of the Wairau Hospital and Charitable Aid Board. He has been twice president of the Marlborough Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and is a trustee in the estate of the late Mr. Thomas Carter, owner of “Hillersden,” etc. Mr. Litchfield has held almost every office in the local Wesleyan church, and has twice been appointed a delegate to the General Conference of the Methodist Church of Australasia. He is a man of culture, and takes a great interest in literary and scientific subjects, and possesses an excellent library. Mr. Litchfield has been twice married, and has four sons and four daughters.

Mr. John Smith was appointed Secretary of the Marlborough Education Board in the year 1890. He was born in March, 1834, in London, England, and was educated at Marlborough, in Wiltshire, and under his brother-in-law, Dr. Badham. In October, 1855, Mr. Smith arrived in Nelson, and during the ensuing nine years was engaged in surveying, teaching, and farming. In 1864, he was appointed headmaster of the Nelson Boys' School, and eleven years later he accepted an appointment as secretary and inspector to the Westland Education Board.

Mr. David Anderson Strachan , M.A., was appointed Inspector to the Marlborough Education Board in July, 1904. He was born on the 15th of July, 1871, in Montrose, Scotland, came to New Zealand with his parents, and landed at Port Chalmers, Otago, in the year 1877. Mr. Strachan was educated at the Port Chalmers District High School, of which he was dux for the year 1887, and continued in the same institution as a pupil teacher. Two or three years later, he entered the Normal School in Dunedin, and became exhibitioner for the year 1892. Mr. Strachan then went to the Otago University, where he graduate B.A. in 1894, and M.A., with double honours in mental and political science, in 1895. He was afterwards appointed assistant at the Kumara public school, and shortly afterwards was promoted to the mastership of page 329 the secondary department of the Westport District High School. Mr. Strachan was subsequently appointed junior Inspector of Schools in Nelson, prior to his present appointment.