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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 31

Testimonials [Wm. B. Mackay, 1873]

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King's College,

I hereby certify that Mr. Wm. B. Mackay during the course of this session attended the Junior Humanity Class with perfect regularity; that his conduct was in every respect correct; that he acquitted himself very satisfactorily and creditably in the public examinations; and, in the different exercises prescribed to be written, gave proofs of diligence, ability, and correct scholarship.

(Signed) Geo. Ferguson,

Prof. Humanity.

Mr. Wm. B. Mackay was a member of the Junior Greek Class in this University during Session 1848-9. His attendance was regular, his conduct most exemplary, and his progress very satisfactory.

(Signed) A. H. Bryce,

Assistant Greek Professor.
Norland Cottage, Lybster,

I have much pleasure in certifying that I have known Mr. Wm. B. Mackay for the last five years. I have had the gratification of being present at some of the annual examinations of his pupils, and can testify to his abilities as a teacher, the excellence of his system, the regard and esteem entertained for him by the young, and his general excellence of character and modesty of deportment.

To be a successful teacher of youth is an eminence to which few arrive but the simple fact of the highest Greek and Laths prizes being frequently carried by Mr. Mackay's pupils at the competitions of the Edinburgh Caithness Association (annually page 2 held at Wick), speaks volumes in his favour; and the intellectual system of education practiced by Mr. Mackay in his present school has been attended with the happiest results, and places him in a very high rank as an intelligent and indefatigable teacher.

Mr. Mackay's gentle and winning manner has encouraged the timid, and subdued the turbulent; and his excellent character has endeared him to the right-thinking portion of society, while he is respected by all.

Feeling deep regret that this district should be deprived of the services of Mr. Mackay, I cannot do otherwise than recommend him to a similar situation where a wider sphere would be opened to his usefulness, and where such services would meet a suitable reward, confident that, by the Divine blessing, Mr. Mackay will be appreciated in any community where his lot may be cast.

(Signed) Alex. Sutherland, J.P.,

Merchant at Swiney.
New College, Edinburgh,

I hereby certify that Mr. Wm. B. Mackay attended a course of instruction in Plane Trigonometry, also in Algebra, given by use in the New College during the session 1851-2, that he performed most of the exercises prescribed, and that his progress was such as to meet with approbation.

(Signed) John Wallace, Professor.

New College, Edinburgh,

I certify that Mr. Wm. 13. Mackay attended the Class of Logic and Metaphysics during the session 1851-2, with great regularity; that his conduct, as far as known to me, was exemplary that in the examinations, oral and written, he acquitted himself most creditably; that he performed carefully all the prescribed Essays and Exercises; and that his general diligence and progress during the session deserve approbation

(Signed) Lexander Fraser, Professor.

University of Edinburgh,

I certify that Mr. Wm. B. Mackay attended the Class of Natural Philosophy during the session 1852-3, with the utmost page 3 regularity; that ho acquitted himself very satisfactorily in the examinations; that he performed a considerable number of the prescribed exercises, and behaved himself in the class with the utmost propriety.

(Signed) Philip Kelland, Prof.

University Edinburgh,

I hereby certify that Mr. Wm. B. Mackay attended the Class of Moral Philosophy during the session 1857-8, with great regularity; that his conduct, as far as known to me, was quite correct and unexceptionable; that he prepared with care the whole of the essays and exercises prescribed; and that these, together with his appearance in the course of the ordinary examinations, were such as to entitle him to honourable mention at the end of the session.

(Signed) P. C. Macdougall, Prof.


We, the undersigned, beg to certify that the bearer, Mr. Wm. B. Mackay taught for nearly four years preceding October last; that the school B. Mackay taught the Free Church Congregational School, Lyster under Government inspection during the whole of that time; and that the reports of H.M. Inspector were always most favorable. The school was most numerously attended, and all the ordinary branches of a sound commercial and classical education were taught with diligence and success.

Mr. Mackay conducted himself in all respects so as to secure the progress and the affection of his pupils, and the respect and gratitude of the parents, and of all others interested in the prosperity of the school.

(Signed) John Mackay, AM., Minister.

Alex. Mowat, Bank Agent.

Jas. Sutherland, Fishcurer.

James Bain, Fishcurer.

F. C. Manse, Lybster,

These certify that I have known Mr. Wm. B. Mackay for upwards of thirteen years, during which he taught the two principal schools connected with my congregation—one for nine years, the other for four. I have thus had many opportunities of know- page 4 ing, and have much pleasure in testifying, that Mr. Mackay's conduct has been correct and exemplary; that his manner of conciliating the affections of his pupils, and of securing their obedience and proficiency, was most successful; and that his attainments (having given four sessions' attendance at the Universities, and last year having secured a Government certificate of merit) are of a high order; and that his experience and past success warrant the expectation which I entertain that he will soon approve himself, to any parties who may secure his services, as a kind and efficient teacher.

(Signed) John Maoray, A.M.

Free Manse of Latheron

I certify that Mr. Wm. B. Mackay has long been intimately known to me; that he is a young man of excellent moral character, and highly exemplary conduct; that his abilities and acquirements as a scholar are most respectable, and his activity and energy as a teacher most commendable and successful.

As a teacher he has had much experience, and his mode of communicating instruction is such as to secure the attention and affections of his scholars, and at the same time maintain in all respects his own authority.

I therefore have no hesitation in strongly recommending him for public or private teaching, not doubting that he will give ample satisfaction wherever his services may be required.

(Signed) Geo. Davidson, Minister.

(From P. F. S. Sutherland, Esq., of Latheron. Latheron,

My Dear Sir,—Understanding that it is your intention to make application for a new situation as teacher, I beg to express to you the very high opinion I formed of your qualifications for such an office; and, as I have had ample means of ascertaining the great satisfaction given by you in the discharge of the duties attendant upon the teacher of so large and important a school as the one you last taught, I have the fullest confidence in your proving yourself as successful and zealous for the future as you have done for the past. It affords me, therefore, much pleasure in having this opportunity of testifying to the very high opinion I page 5 hold of your superior attainments, extensive knowledge, and the thorough and interesting method you adopt for communicating instruction to those placed under your charge.

With sincere wishes for your success in whatever situation in life your lot may be cast,

I am, dear Sir,

Yours faithfully,

(Signed) P. F. S. Sutherland.

(From Rev. R. R. Mackay, Bruan.) Bruan F. C. Manse,

I hereby certify that having been on several occasions appointed one of the examinators of a school taught by Mr. Wm. B. Mackay, at two different stations, together with other examinators present, I not only felt the greatest freedom, but considered myself in duty bound, then, as I do now, to express my highest approbation of the experience, qualifications, and efficiency of Mr. Mackay as a teacher, and of the very creditable progress of his scholars, both in the initiatory branches of education and also in scripture history and doctrine, as well as in classical and scientific knowledge. The very mild and prudently managed discipline adopted by Mr. Mackay had evidently a tendency both to gain the affections of his pupils and to stimulate their diligence in the pursuit of useful knowledge.

(Signed) Robert Rose Mackay.

(From Geo. Burns, Esq., M.D., Latheron.) Latheron wheel,

I hereby certify that Mr. Wm. B. Mackay has been known to me for a number of years—first as a teacher of a school at Achow, afterwards as teacher at Lybster, and as a private tutor.

Both schools he left in a highly prosperous and flourishing condition, and I have every mason to know, from fluxing constantly with all classes of the inhabitants, that they were highly satisfied with the progress their children made when under his care, as well as with his attention, diligence, and zeal in the discharge of every duty.

I have very great pleasure in expressing the high sense I entertain of his ability and success as a teacher, and of his general page 6 deportment, and have no doubt but he will give equal satisfaction in the locality he may next be placed in.

(Signed) George Burns, M.D., of Edinburgh.

(From Rev. J. M. M'Pherson, Killean.) Killean F. C. Manse, Argyleshire,

The bearer, Mr. Wm. B. Mackay, taught the F. C. Congregational School in the parish of Killean during the two years immediately preceding this date, with distinguished ability, skill, and success. His qualifications as a teacher of youth are of a very high order. He is alike conversant with literary, scientific, and religious knowledge, which he communicates with admirable tact, taste, and effect. Mr. Mackay maintained the most perfect discipline by the gentlest means, and be is equally and universally beloved by both pupils and parents belonging to different denominations throughout the parish.

To the managers, and all parties interested in the prosperity of the school under his charge, Mr. Mackay uniformly afforded the very highest satisfaction. His moral character, while residing here, has been most unexceptionable and exemplary. His removal is deeply and universally regretted. He will long hold a high place in the affectionate remembrance of many parents and pupils in this place, while he will be followed in future life by the best wishes of the whole community.

(Signed) James M. M'Pherson, Minis.

(From Rev. James Cumming.) Lybster,

I have very much pleasure in bearing testimony to Mr. Mackay's efficiency as a public teacher of youth. His manner in communicating instruction is particularly calculated to facilitate the development of the youthful mind. His discipline is both firm and mild. Suffice it to say that he taught successively for thirteen years two of the most numerously attended schools in this county, and that during that time he maintained the highest character as a faithful, conscientious, and efficient teacher. In every department of school exercise he appears to be at home, and the progress made by his pupils in the knowledge of English, page 7 writing, arithmetic, mathematics, Latin, and Greek, indicates that he knows how to teach.

(Signed) James Cumming,

Minister of the Gospel.
(From Rev. Peter Maclean, Free Church, Minister.) Free Church Manse, Stornoway,

I hereby certify that the bearer, Mr. Wm. B. Mackay, has taught the Congregational School of the Free Church here for nearly two years, with diligence, efficiency, and acceptance; that he has during that time maintained an unexceptionable and consistent moral and religious character; and that I regret exceedingly that owing to delicate health he is under the necessity of resigning his charge and proceeding to a warmer climate. I have much pleasure in recommending him as one capable of being a useful, intelligent, and agreeable member of society wherever his lot may be cast.

(Signed) Peter Maclean.

(From Alexander Morrison, Esq.) Stornoway,

The bearer, Mr. Wm. B. Mackay, has taught the Free Church Congregational School here for the period of one year and eleven months, during which time he conducted the school with great ability. His qualifications as a teacher are of no in ordinary kind, his information is very extensive, and he possesses an aptness for communicating knowledge to his pupils with very great clearness. His amiable manner cannot fail to gain the affections of his scholars. In short, he possesses the qualifications necessary for an efficient and successful teacher, while his prudence and exemplary character have secured for him the respect and esteem of the community.

(Signed) Alex. Morrison.

(From James Mackenzie, Esq., Bank, Agent.) Stornoway,

My Dear Sir,—I am sorry to understand that you are obliged to leave this place, owing to your health having failed in page 8 the discharge of your duties amongst us as teacher of our Congregational School.

I sincerely trust that the contemplated voyage to New Zealand, and the effects of the mild climate of that country, with the blessing of God on the undertaking, will restore you to health and usefulness in that country. I have much pleasure in bearing testimony to the ability, energy, and zeal with which you have discharged your official duties as teacher, and to your courtesy and judiciousness of conduct in your intercourse with the school managers and other parties concerned.

I heartily commend your services as a teacher of youth to all to whom they are available, and am sanguine of hearing of your high educational success, by the blessing of Providence, in a foreign loud.

I am, my dear sir,

Yours very faithfully,

(Signed) James M'Kenzie.

(From Rev. John Campbell.) Tarbert, Kintyre,

That Mr. William B. Mackay has been known to me for several years, and I have much pleasure in stating—which I can do with confidence—that I consider him a young man of excellence and worth; that lie taught the F.O. School, Killean, for two years, and that during that time I witnessed the examination of his school several times, and I have to state that I have been highly satisfied and greatly delighted with the appearance which his scholars made in all the branches taught—namely, mathematics, geography, Latin, Greek, tire. I have therefore no hesitation in stating that I consider him a teacher of the first order; and wherever he may be employed, I heartily say that that place will be highly favoured. Is attested by

(Signed) John Campbell.

(From Rev. Alex. Munro, Glasgow.)

As one of the Committee of the Free Presbytery of Kintyre appointed to examine schools, I two years successively examined the school at Killean taught by Mr. Wm, B. Mackay, and had page 9 every reason to be satisfied with the efficiency of the master. The pupils were examined in Greek, Latin, Mathematics (Algebra and the elements of Euclid), Arithmetic, History, Geography, Grammar; and such other collateral branches as are usually taught in the best schools; and the appearance they made left no room to doubt that Mr. Mackay is an able and successful teacher. He is well acquainted with the modern system of teaching generally practised in Normal Schools and Training Colleges, and possesses a happy turn for communicating instruction to others. I have much pleasure in bearing my cordial testimony to Mr. Mackay's abilities as a teacher.

(Signed) Alex. Munro.

Free Manse, Campbelltown,
(Extract from the Record of the Free Presbytery of Kintyre). "Campbelltown,

"Which day the Free Presbytery of Kintyre met and was constituted. Inter alia, a minute of a congregational meeting held at Killean, for the purpose of electing a teacher for the school there, was produced, bearing that Mr. William Bruce Mackay was elected to that office on the 20th day of October last.

"Mr. Mackay being introduced, was examined on his knowledge of English, English Grammar, Geography, Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra, Latin, and Greek, with which examination the Presbytery was highly satisfied, and the Presbytery did and hereby do admit the said Mr. Mackay, in terms of the Act of Assembly, to the office of master of the school at Killean, and to all the privileges and emoluments belonging to that office."

Extracted from the Record of the Free Presbytery of Kintyre by

(Signed) John M'Murchy,

Presbytery Clerk.
(Summary of H. M. Inspectors, Report upon the Stornoway School.)

"The discipline and order are very satisfactory, and the instruction is very sound and well advanced."

page 10
(From Rev. J. H. .M'Naughton.) Anderson's Bay,

I have much pleasure in bearing testimony to the admirable qualities of Mr. William Bruce Mackay, both as a man and as a teacher.

During the period—now nearly six years—that he has been teacher here, I have had many opportunities of witnessing the result of his labours, and, from what I have seen, I have no hesitation in saying that he has been most successful. He is beloved by the children, and much esteemed by all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance.

Were he to leave tins neighbourhood, I would regard it as a great loss to myself personally, and to the community at large. But, satisfied as I am that he is well qualified, both from his talents and scholarship, to occupy a much higher position, I do not wonder at him seeking after it.

I wish him every success in his present application, and can with confidence recommend him as a tit and proper person for the Office of Rector of the Grammar School at Oamaru.

(Signed) J. H. M'Naughton.

(From John Hislop, Esq., Inspector of schools.) Education Office, Dunedin,

Mr. Wm, B. Mackay has filled the office of Head Master of the Anderson's Bay Main District School since the year 1863, and he has uniformly proved himself to be an able, faithful, and successful teacher of youth, He has by his upright and consistent conduct, and by his official ability and zeal, secured the confidence and respect of the parents of his pupils, and of the settlers generally amongst whom he has laboured. I have always had good cause to be satisfied with the state of his school, and the progress of his pupils.

Although Mr. Mackay has not laid much opportunity at Anderson's Bay of exhibiting his ability as a teacher of the higher branches of education, yet it is due to hint to state that the Rev. Mr. Simmons, in his report for 1867; mentions that pupils front the Anderson's Bay School had "especially distinguished themselves" after entering the High School, and that he attributes this to "the care and intelligence of their preliminary training."

page 11

Mr. Mackay's testimonials amply prove that he possesses a competent knowledge of the Classics and Mathematics, as well as other branches of education.

(Signed) John Hisplop,

Inspector of Schools.
(From the Anderson's Bay School Committee.) Anderson's Bay,

As a School Committee we have much pleasure in bearing our testimony to Mr. W. B. Mackay's qualifications as a teacher of youth.

For the last six years he has held the office of Head Master of the Anderson's Bay School, the onerous duties of which he has uniformly discharged with the greatest credit to himself; and to the entire satisfaction of all concerned. As to his ability for teacher, the higher branches of education, we have only to refer you to the excellent testimonials he holds, proving that in other spheres in the home country he has undergone examinations in, and taught successfully, Latin, Greek, Mathematics, Am. He has been successful here in imparting instruction in Latin, Geometry, Arithmetic, History, Geography, and Grammar.

We need scarcely add that, either as a teacher or a useful member of the community, we would part with him with sincere regret.

(Signed) Adam Begg, Chairman.

James Samuel, Secretary,

James Stenhouse

Tilos. Robertson

Wm. Sanderson.

(From John Drysdale, Esq., M.D., Port Chalmers.)

Mr. W. B. Mackay has been intimately known to me for the last two or three years, more especially during the last twenty months, for which period I have been a member of the Port Chal users Grammar School Committee. In this capacity I have had ample opportunity of forming a correct opinion as to Mr. Mackay's scholarship and abilities generally, and it gives me pleasure to state that I consider him an etcellent and efficient teacher, as well as a his of considerable erudition. The success of the school during his rector ship, and the highly creditable exhibition made by the page 12 pupils at the annual examinations, bear better testimony to this than any words of mine. I may say, in conclusion, that I consider him well qualified for the appointment for which I understand he is at present an applicant.

John Drysdale, M.D.

Port Chalmers,
(From, Wm. Elder, Esq., Part Chalmers.) Port Chalmers,

It affords me much pleasure to testify that I have been acquainted with Mr. W. B. Mackay for a very considerable time, both in this Colony and in the north of Scotland, where he conducted several very important schools with marked success. Having been a member of our Grammar School Committee for the last four years, during which period Mr. Mackay has filled the position of Rector to that institution, I have had ample opportunities afforded me of becoming mole intimately acquainted with him in his professional character, and have no hesitation in saying that he is possessed of very considerable classical attainments. In my opinion he is admirably suited to till any position where experience in teaching, and educational abilities are required.

I am, &c.,

Wm. Elder, Chemist.

(From Rev. Wm. Johnston, M. A.) The Manse, Port Chalmers,

It is with great readiness that I here express my views of Mr. W. B. Mackay's qualifications as a first class teacher.

I am in a position to give an opinion, for I have known Mr. Mackay very intimately since his appointment as Rector of our Grammar School. I have been present at the various inspections of the school by Mr. Hislop. I have been present at, and taken part in, all the annual examinations, and I have occasionally visited the school to see it in its everyday work and discipline; and I am bound to say, from all I have seen, that I consider Mr. Mackay a most able and efficient teacher.

I think he has first into qualifications for the difficult office of Rector of a Grammar School.

He is a university man, and an admirable scholar. He is a person of good presence, and manly bearing. He has the rare page 13 power of maintaining capital discipline, without severity. I once thought it scarcely possible to preserve proper discipline in a large school without the rod. I now see it is possible; Mr. Mackay has this power.

I have seen him handle a large class of some fifty scholars, with the greatest skill and ease; this he accomplished apparently by his peculiar knack of putting them into sympathy with him. He is an enthusiast as a teacher, and that awakens enthusiasm.

Altogether, of consider him well qualified to occupy the very important office of Rector in any of our largest Grammar Schools.

(Signed) Wm. Johnston.

(From R. Stout, Esq., M.P.C.) Dunedin, W. B. Mackay, Esq., Rector, Grammar School, Port Chalmers.

My Dear Sir,—Having heard that it is your intention to apply for the Rectorship of the Invercargill Grammar School, I have much pleasure in testifying to your thorough fitness for such a position. I have known you for many years, and have visited your school at Anderson's Bay, and more frequently the Grammar School at Port Chalmers, whilst under your charge. On the last occasion, now some months ago, I examined your senior Latin class, and I must state that the boys showed their thorough grounding in Latin, and their ability to translate Virgil, and that in a remarkable way for boys at a colonial school. I also examined your class in English Grammar, and that class was also well up to its work. The discipline of the school was excellent.

In therefore bearing testimony to your fitness for the Rectorship, I am not grounding my remarks on mere hearsay, nor on the many conversations and discussions we have had on scholastic matters. I have seen the results of your teaching. While I shall regret your removal from the Port, I shall at the same time be only too glad to hear of your advancement and continued success and prosperity.

Very truly yours,

Robert Stout.

Printed by Mackay, Fenwick and Co., Princes Street, Dunedin.