The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72
Your Committee beg to submit the following report of the work of the Association during the past year:—
Nineteen meetings have been held, at the first of which, on 8th March (in accordance with Rule 7 of the Constitution), Mr. A. Burt was re-elected President, Mr. Geo. M. Thomson Hon. Secretary, and Mr. W. Cutten Hon. Treasurer. Owing to illness, Mr. Thomson was unable to attend to the duties of his position during a great part of the session, and these had to be performed by other members of the Committee, assisted by Mr. W. B. Harlow, the Clerk and Collector of the Association.
It is with much pleasure that the Committee are able to report that they succeeded, early in the year, in securing on favourable terms, the buildings formerly known as the Vulcan Foundry in Great King street. The necessary alterations and fitting up of these premises could not be accomplished in time for the opening of the session, but all the available rooms were in occupation by the commencement of the second quarter. Meanwhile the plant ordered from England for the Chemical and Physical Laboratories and for the Engineering Class, together with a shipment of typewriters from America, had arrived, so that the suitable furnishing of the various class-rooms was accomplished as soon as they were ready. Your Committee would congratulate the members of the Association and the people of Dunedin in general on the fact that this city now possesses a Technical School which, though of small size as yet, contains in itself the possibilities of indefinite expansion.
The following classes were held in the newly-acquired buildings-Chemistry, Carpentry, Wood Carving, Engineering, Typewriting, and Domestic Economy. During the recess an excellent workshop for wood and metal turning has been erected, and will be supplied with steam-power by Mr. W. H. Scott, the Instructor, who has also undertaken to act as caretaker for the whole building.
A Jumble Sale and Hobby Show, organised by a Committee of ladies, acting in conjunction with your Committee, was held in page 8 the Choral Hall on May 19th and 20th, the object being to provide funds for fitting up the new class room for Cookery and Domestic Economy. Although various unforeseen causes (especially a severe epidemic of illness) somewhat militated against the success of the sale, a sum of £70 was obtained by this means, and the thanks of the Association are due to all who assisted in bringing about this result.
The majority of the teaching staff was the same as last year, except that Mr. J. S. Tennant was appointed teacher of Botany, under circumstances referred to in the Superintendent's report, while Mr. Simmers took the Physics class. The new appointments were those of Mr. S. C. Cope as teacher of Typewriting, and of Mr. I. Selby of Carpentry.
With the exception of the Botany class, which has met during the spring and autumn months, and of the classes which were postponed on account of the unprepared state of the buildings in Great King street, the general work of the Association's classes was commenced on April 10th, in the Normal School. The total number of students enrolled was 390, of whom 291 entered for the first time. The enrolments in the two past sessions were:—In 1891, 318 (including 48 former students), and in 1892, 364 (including 85 former students). The attendance was well sustained throughout the session, and good work was done in all the classes. Certificates for proficiency were gained by 134 students. In addition to these, Junior Diplomas were awarded to four students, while Mr. John M. Allan carried off the first Senior Diploma of the Association. The session was brought to a close by a very pleasant gathering and exhibition in the new buildings on the 12th October, when diplomas and certificates were handed to the successful students by the President, and addresses were delivered by the Hon. Mr. Ward (Postmaster-General) and several other gentlemen.
During the present recess your Committee ordered an addition to their supply of typewriters, and they have much pleasure in informing the members that the Remington Company, in fulfilling the order, also remitted a handsome donation to the funds of the Association of £19 10s.
In regard to the coming session, the Committee desire to draw especial attention to the provision now made for thorough instruction in wood and metal work. Arrangements have been made with Mr. Selby to conduct a class for carpenter's apprentices, in which they will be grounded in the technique of their business. Miss Gether's class for Wood Carving and Slöjd Work not only meets the needs of those who desire to acquire some useful and page 9 interesting handicraft, but is of especial value for joiners and cabinetmakers; while Mr. W. H. Scott will teach the use of the lathe both for wood and metal. It is to be hoped that employers will co-operate with the Association in securing the attendance of their apprentices at these classes, which are designed to meet a recognised want in the training of our young artisans and mechanics.
The Committee would also urge upon intending students the importance of acquiring some knowledge of mathematics, a subject which is at the basis of much of their work, but the class for which has not hitherto been as freely taken up as it ought to be. Without a certain amount of knowledge of it, some of the other classes of the Association—e.g., Engineering—cannot be prosecuted with advantage.
The thanks of the Association are due to Mr. Walter Cutten for his very handsome donation to the funds, to those ladies and gentlemen (named in the Superintendent's report) who assisted in carrying out the final examinations, to the Otago Education Board for the use of the Normal School class-rooms in which so many of the classes were held, and to Mr. A. Johnstone Browne for auditing the accounts.