The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 24
(The "Manawatu Times?)
(The "Manawatu Times?)
. . . . . . . . The experiment having worked so well there (Ghent) the system may now be safely adopted by our community. Habits of saving, inculcated in the young mind, are the surest safeguard against excess and intemperance in after life. "To encourage such habits," Lord Derby says, "is one of the most practical forms which a really thoughtful benevolence can assume." The Savings Bank in New Zealand has already proved a great success, and the principle can be applied to the school, and with, perhaps, still better results; for by thus impressing the system upon the child, he will not afterwards fail to continue it. If habits of forethought and economy had formed part of the education of our generation, those demoralising exhibitions of drunkenness, home-desertion, and vice, which are now so frequently witnessed, would be reduced. This habit of saving, engrafted upon our children, can only originate from those in authority over them. It may partly emanate from their parents, but its most fitting teacher is the schoolmaster. It should form a branch of every child's education, and how can it be better applied than in the form now proposed? If the Flemish page 27 children have been tanght frugality by the accumulation of their savings from so small a deposit as that of one-tenth of a penny, the system should be still better appreciated in this country where all are so much better off. The amounts saved would be larger, and the spirit of thrift consequently still more indoctrinated. Money—let the old philosophers say what they will of its use and abuse—is in our age the true mainspring of life. It means independence, peace of mind, freedom from care and anxiety. It gives us the power of exercising our generosity; and happiness and content are, or ought to be, the result of our independent position. Poverty and misery go hand in hand, destroying all the finer feelings of man, driving him to deeds of darkness, and reducing him to the level of the brute. It is the Devil's greatest tempter . . . . . . We are glad to hear that a society is now being formed in Dunedin, having for its object the adaptation of the system to the schools of the Colony. That this system will meet with general support, when it is so thoroughly worthy of it, we cannot doubt. It has our most hearty approval, and will, we are sure, be as warmly appreciated by the district we represent.
The "Clutha Leader" "Hokitika Star," "Ross Guardian," "Wairarapa Standard," and "Taranaki Budget," were also entirely in favour of the proposed scheme as illustrated in the pamphlet under their review; whilst the "Otago Daily Times," the "Waikouaiti Herald," and others, in discussing the matter pro and con, were, in a general sense, favorable to its adoption.