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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]

Education Board

Education Board.

The Hawke's Bay Education Board, governing the Hawke's Bay Education District, which extends from Cape Runaway in the north to Woodville in the south, has about 110 schools under its charge, with an aggregate attendance of 9,500 children. There are four district high schools, and seven centres at which technical education is given, and the total number of teachers under the Board's control is about 250. These figures, however, are rapidly increasing with the steady development of the district, and new schools are constantly in course of erection. The Gisborne district school is the largest in Hawke's Bay, with a roll number of 953; the next in size is the Napier district school, which is closely followed by the main school at Hastings.

Mr. George Crawshaw, who was appointed secretary to the Hawke's Bay Education Board in May, 1906, was born in Yorkshire, England, in the year 1875, and came to New Zealand in 1880. He was educated at the page 343 Oamaru North public school, and the Waitaki High School, and afterwards served for four years as a pupil teacher in the former institution. Mr. Crawshaw was subsequently for a year at the Dunedin Training College, and was then appointed master of the Station Creek public school in South Canterbury, and three years later became second assistant master of the Timaru main school. In the year 1899, he obtained leave of absence to take part in the South African war. He was eighteen months at the front, was several times mentioned in despatches, and return to New Zealand with the rank of Major. In his absence Mr. Craw-shaw was appointed first assistant master of the Timaru main school, and four years later became assistant secretary to the South Canterbury Education Board, and held this position till May, 1906.

Mr. Henry Hill, B.A., F.G.S. (London), Inspector of Schools under the Hawke's Bay Board of Education, is the son of Mr. B. Hill, iron and nail factor, and was born at Lye, near Stourbridge, Worcestershire, England, in the year 1849, and trained as a pupil teacher in his native town. He was educated at Cheltenham College, where he completed his training for the profession of a schoolmaster, and was afterwards appointed to organise St. Mark's school, Nottingham. When the Canterbury Provincial Government were organising their schools (Hon. W. Rolleston being the superintendent), Mr. Hill was selected with several others for the work, and he came to New Zealand in 1873. in the ship “Merope.” While in Chrischurch he was for some time science master at Christ's College, and mathematical master at Miss Lohse's young ladies' school. He started the New Zealand “Schoolmaster,” and edited that journal for several years; and was the prime mover in the agitation which resulted in the formation of the first Teachers' Association in New Zealand, a general conference of teachers being held in Christchurch in 1876. In 1878 he was appointed inspector and secretary to the Napier Education Board, and for thirteen years held the dual position. He was however, obliged to relinquish the secretaryship on account of the rapid increase of the volume of examining work. Mr. Hill is an enthusiastic geologist, and his large district, extending from Cape Runaway to Cape Turnagain, provides him with an excellent field for observation. He assisted the people of Wanganui in the discovery of an artesian water supply, and in recognition of his services was presented with a specially-engraved and valnable gold watch by the Wanganui Borough Council. He was made a fellow of the Royal Geological Society many years ago, on the recommendation of Sir James Hcctor and Professor Hutton. An earnest believer in mutual improvement societies, Mr. Hill started the Napier Young Men's Club, and has done much to assist its progress. He is a Freemason, but unattached. In 1873 he married a daughter of Mr. John Knowles, of Worcestershire, and has four daughters and three sons.

Mr. Samuel McLernon, who has been a member of the Hawke's Bay Education Board for about nine years, was born in the year 1854, at Belfast, in the north of Ireland, where his father was a builder. He was educated at Coleraine and Belfast, and in the latter place became a manufacturing jeweller. He came to New Zealand in 1877, shortly afterwards opened up business in the Waikato, and later established a branch at Gisborne. He subsequently sold out of the former, and acquired the business previously conducted by Messrs Jensen and Moeller in Napier. In 1903 Mr. McLernon erected the present handsome premises in Hastings Street, where, and in Gisborne, he conducts one of the finest jewellery, businesses on the East Coast. For some years Mr. McLernon was a member of the Gisborne Borough Council, and a member of the Licensing Bench. In Napier he was for years chairman of the local holiday association, and at different times has taken part in the management of various public bodies.

Mr. Walter Philip Finch, who has been architect to the Hawke's Bay Education Board since the year 1895, was born in Dunedin, in 1860, and is a son of a well-known wine and spirit merchant. He was educated at public schools, and at the Otago Boys' High School, and was articled to his profession under Mr. James Johnston, of Oamaru. Later on, he was for about a year in the Public Works Department of the Government service, and in 1883 he removed to Napier, and entered into partnership with Mr. T. R. Cooper. In 1891, however, Mr. Cooper withdrew from the firm, and Mr. Finch has since practised his profession on his own account in premises situated near the foot of Shakespeare Road. Mr. Finch's connection extends from Gisborne on the north to Dannevirke on the south, and a large number of the finest commercial houses, public buildings; and private residences, both in town and country, have been designed by him. Mr. Finch is architect for the Napier Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, and holds other minor offices. He comes of a gifted musical family, and is a life member of the Cathedral choir, of which he was for many years secretary and treasurer.