The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69
Mr James Reid.Secretary,
Mr C. Mahoney.
Four meetings have been held in the year, at which matters of interest to teachers were discussed. The last meeting was in conjunction with the Balclutha Branch at Kaitangata. This meeting revivified languishing interests in both districts. The roll of membership is greater than it has been for some years past, the ladies of the profession in this district showing a particular interest in the welfare of the Institute. The coming year can be confidently looked forward to as a successful one.
During the year the Branch has held six ordinary and two special meetings, the average attendance being twelve, or one better than last year. A paper was read early in the year by the Rev. Mr Parsonson on "The Position and Functions of School Committees," which was well received by the members and led to a good deal of discussion. During the year several questions of importance to teachers were discussed and a certain amount of action taken thereon. A petition was drawn up for presentation to Parliament in favour of Major Steward's Bill, and this was signed by 51 teachers, or practically unanimously from Kurow to page 9 Palmerston. The abolition of the cumulative vote and prior nomination—the provision for which the Board agitated—have now become law, and have met with general approval.
Circulars were sent to teachers regarding the desirability of forming a Teachers' Union, to which, in most cases, favourable replies were received, but owing to the lack of enthusiasm, nothing definite has yet resulted.
A discussion, opened by Mr Piper, also took place regarding the Board's proposed alteration in the Bonus System. After much debate, an amendment by Mr Fraser "That if there is a financial necessity for altering the present system of bonuses, it should be based on the principle of reducing bonuses on the higher salaries, and leaving them as at present on the smaller ones" was carried in opposition to Mr Piper's motion "That the Branch, while recognising the necessity for an alteration in the system of bonus giving, strongly deprecates making any alteration retrospective." A copy of the amendment was sent to the Education Board.
The Branch suffered considerable loss by the departure of Mr D. Ross from the district, Mr Ross having taken great trouble, as secretary, in forwarding the objects of the Institute.
Kennedy Smith,Hon. Sec.
I have to report that this Branch, after languishing for a considerable time, was resuscitated in December, 1890.
The following were the officers appointed:—President, Mr John Nicholson. Kaitangata; Secretary, Mr Chas. R. Smith, Stirling; Representative on Committee of Management, Mr John-Nicholson.
Four meetings have been held. At one of these the members of the Milton Branch were present, when a short paper entitled "Corporal punishment in schools—its necessity for dealing with one difficulty in school work" was read by Mr Chas. R. Smith. At the same meeting Mr C. Mahoney, of Milton, gave a resumé of the work done at the Council Meeting in Auckland last year.
This Branch, believing that periodical conferences are of the utmost value to those taking part in them, would like to see the teachers of the district take a greater interest in the work of the Institute.