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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 85

Report Presented to the High School Board of Governors

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High School of Otago (Boys').

1886. Dunedin J. Wilkie & Co., Printers and Stationers, Princes Street.

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Colin Macan Drew,

Esq., Secretary to the Board.


I have the honour to report to the Chairman and to the Board that during the year 1886 the total number of boys enrolled has been 252, as against 288 in the year preceding.

The actual number of boys in School—as shewn by the register on the day of my assuming my duties—was 223 (17th March, 1886).

A comparison will show the state of the School in 1885 and 1886:—
1886. 1885.
1st Quarter 223 263
2nd Quarter 222 254
3rd Quarter 225 249
4th Quarter 222 247

Hence it will be seen that while there was a falling off in numbers during 1885, and a further falling off between the end of 1885 and the beginning of 1886, the numbers have remained stationary during 1886.

Of the numbers on the roll 115 boys belong to the Upper School, and 107 to the Lower School. Since March the entries have, for the most part, been of boys of 10 or 11 years of age, in whose favour one very important reform of work has already been carried out, and others are now under consideration.

During the year two boys—David Thomson and Noel Lees—departed this life. Lees died very suddenly on the School premises, and Thomson after a very brief illness. The former was too young to indicate promise of his future career; the latter, however, being of the VI. Form, had already evinced signs of considerable mathematical power, and bade fair to become a very useful man.

Soon after my taking office, certain changes of the staff, which had been determined upon prior to my arrival in the Colony, were carried out. Mr. E. Hewat, M.A., retired from the profession to commence the Study of Medicine; Mr. A. WÜst being under a temporary engagement with the Board also retired; and Mr. John White was re-appointed to an Assistant Mastership in the Lower School. Mr. John Allardyce, M.A., who had been recently promoted to the position of Arithmetical Master, having accepted the position of Rector of the Port Chalmers District High School, a vacancy was created, which was subsequently filled up by the appointment of Mr. John Macpherson as Arithmetic Master, with additional duties as Master of the Lower School. Mr. Wm. Butler Williams, B.A., is now Master of Modern Languages, and a very considerable improvement in the German and the French of the School has displayed itself.

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As regards myself as a teacher, I have taken charge of the VI. Form in Latin and French, and share with the English Master the English work of that Form. I also take charge of the Lowest Division in the Lower Latin School, and assist the Latin Master in the work of the Upper V. Form. I assist the Mathematical Master in the teaching of Mechanics, to which subject I have always devoted considerable time and attention.

Examinations have been held twice during the current year—once prior to the Mid-Winter holidays, and once just before the submission of this Report. In either case, all the forms and conditions of public examination have been rigidly enforced; papers have been printed, and the results posted in each case, while the necessity for clear expression, orderly arrangement, and good writing has been insisted upon. I consider the result highly satisfactory, and, as in every case, the papers done by the boys have, after revision, been returned to me, I am willing to submit them freely to the inspection of any impartial person. Professor Sale and Mr. Frederick Chapman have been kind enough to afford assistance in the examination of the Latin and the French of the VI. Form, with results that I am happy to submit for the consideration of the Board.

The School Prospectus having for some time past been inaccurate, a record of current arrangements has been revised and issued afresh. There are some details in it which, it is hoped, will give a just account of what is going on in the School, and also of what springs from the School life. The new departure in it is the clause showing our willingness to endeavour to impart a liberal education by the strict Study of Modern Subjects. Whether this attempt will succeed is, of course, highly matter of expectation. In Great Britain, the attempt to create a Modern School in which Latin should not be studied has largely failed. In a circular sent out to every teacher of rank in England, Ireland, and Scotland in the year 1885 by myself as Chairman of a Committee appointed by the Convocation of the University of London for that purpose, the answer in response to a question demanding expression of an opinion as regards the retention or omission of Latin form obligatory School subjects, was overwhelmingly in favour of the retention of Latin; and among thew armest advocates of the retention of Latin were to be found many leading scientific men.

It is perhaps felt that the conditions of this Colony are not those of Great Britain, and that, therefore, success may attend an attempt here which has not succeeded in a wider area of experiment, where the prizes of life are higher, the inducements to study more varied, and the means of attaining excellence in any study more at command. It may be so. The attempt may be crowned with success. We shall use every means at our command to make it a success. The subjects shall be studied with as much severity as they can bear, and the same amount of work shall so far as possible be exacted. But I am not able to admit that any modern language can replace Latin or Greek in the curriculum of a liberal education. Setting aside Greek from the discussion, I doubt whether, with the same economy of time and labour, French and German can fully replace Latin. In the hands of a competent teacher, Latin becomes to all higher boys a lesson in Archaeology and in Art, in Rhetoric, in Logic, in Style, in Taste, in Thought, in Accuracy, in Memory, in Science, and most important of all—in the learner's own Mother Tougue. There is no evidence at hand to shew that the men who are to teach Modern Languages will teach them better, or more faithfully, than the men who are now teaching Latin. The scientific value of a great mother language, such as Latin, has been much enhanced since the spread of clear philological notions. As a science of observation, which demands for its prosecution neither laboratory nor philosophical instruments, philology is almost unrivalled for School work : with the passing away of Latin there passes away the key of twenty European languages. I speak as a man who, having had some experience of the teaching of Modern as well as of Ancient Languages, am earnestly in sympathy with any attempt to quicken thought, or to equip the young for the battle and burden of life.

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I wish to record my hearty appreciation of the loyalty of the staff generally to myself. I have not attempted to change the main lines of the School in any detail, but sundry minor arrangements have been made which have depended for their efficiency on their being fully and freely accepted. The monitorial system already in existence at my arrival has been further developed with great advantage to the School; the tone of the boys is good, the discipline is efficiently maintained, the punctuality and attendance have much improved, and I have every reason to be satisfied with the industry and energy displayed by the School at large. There is, however, a certain lack in the management of their own affairs by the boys which I shall hope soon to see removed; and I shall be glad to notice a larger influence enjoyed by the VI. Form as representing the best work and products of the School. Of improvement in this direction I discern very clear signs in the vigorous life of the School Magazine. There are few school magazines so remarkable for energy and character as the High School Magazine; and as this publication is managed entirely by the boys for the boys, its existence speaks encouragingly both for the future of the School, and for the future of the boys immediately engaged in the work.

The rifle corps is now fully established; it numbers 70 members, of whom 41 are uniformed and equipped, while it is under contract for 20 more uniforms to be supplied. The funds available enable the corps to pay for all the uniforms supplied; while those contracted for, it is hoped, will be paid for as soon as required next year.

During the year some important additions to the School plant have been made. The walls are furnished with maps, to which only a few further additions will be needed. Messrs. Adams and Barr have presented two very useful diagrams, which are in the Science School. The Drawing School has been furnished with a full set of models in plaster. The Central Hall is decorated with a series of drawings illustrative of the History of Architecture. We are indebted to Mr. W. M. Hodgkins for some very curious illustrations of the Art of Penmanship. A small, but very useful, reference library has been established in the VI. Form Room, of which the boys freely avail themselves. Many minor additions to secure comfort and facilitate tidiness in the rooms have also been made. I am very thankful indeed to notice the generosity with which, considering the circumstances, the appeals made to friends outside the School have been met. The names of donors to the Prize Fund are given on the Prize List, while those of donors to the Cadets' Maintenance Fund have been published both in the School Magazine and also on the notice boards in the School building; and I am confident that the thanks of the School to them for their goodness are very genuine.

Some special notice should be taken of the Drawing.

An examination has been recently held of selected Pupils in the Upper and Lower Schools with results that are submitted. I consider them highly satisfactory, considering the time given to this subject. Not more than four hours are devoted weekly to Drawing, and it is found necessary to send two classes simultaneously to be taught. I do not think Mr. Hutton can work harder than he does; and I consider it highly creditable that such results as these produced have been attained at all. Most of the boys competing would, I believe, have won Second Class Certificates at South Kensington, and I am sure there is room for wider work in this direction.

I now add the list of names of present or former pupils of the School who have won distinction in various ways during the year past:—

I.—Direct From School.

  • Begg, A. (1st), Junior Scholarship, University of New Zealand
  • Moss, J. (2nd) Junior Scholarship, University of New Zealandpage 6
  • Thomson, J. B., Matriculation Examination
  • Harrison J. B., Matriculation Examination
  • Waters J. B., Matriculation Examination
  • Scott J. B., Matriculation Examination
  • Wilson J. B., Matriculation Examination
  • Stuart, W. J. B., Matriculation Examination
  • Hogg, R. J. B., Matriculation Examination
  • Torrance J. B., Matriculation Examination
  • Atkinson J. B., Matriculation Examination

Senior Provincial Scholarship.

  • Gibson, F.
  • Ritchie.

Normal Scholarship.

  • Landreth, R.
Junior Civil Service.
Poison 2nd out of 67.
Fache 7th out of 67.
Russell 10th out of 67.
II—Since Leaving School.
G. M. Hutton, B. A. Commission in the Royal Engineers
W. Smith M.B. in the Cambridge
E. R. Nevill B. A. in the Oxford, with Honors in Theological School
P. Lindsay M.B., C.M., Edinburgh, with Honors in Surgery
I. Johnstone B.A., Aberdeen, with Three Medals for Proficiency
F . Jeffcoat, B.A. M.B., C.M., Edinburgh, with a Fellowship and two Scholarships, and Honours twice
J. Somerville Edinburgh, with Honours in four subjects
J. B. Burns Edinburgh : Honours in two subjects
W. A. Fleming Edinburgh: Honours in one subject
R. V. Fulton Edinburgh: Honours in two subjects
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University of New Zealand.

  • B.A. I. A. Asher
  • P. Levi

B.A. (First Examination).

  • F. B. Allen
  • J. R. Montgomery
  • W. Mill

Prel. Medical Examination.

  • L. E. Hardy
  • J. W. Longford
  • W. D. Elliott
  • F. Armstrong
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University of Otago.

College Examinations.

Mental Science.

  • First class.—1st, John Montgomery


Advanced Class.

  • First class.—F. B. Allen (prize).

Junior Class.

  • First class.—J. R. Montgomery.
  • Second class.—II. Church, J. H. Moir.


Senior Division.

  • Second class.—G. Copland, W. Dermer, E. J. Roberts.

Junior Division,

  • Second class.—J. H. Reid, E. H. Alexander, W. F. Bauchop.


  • First class.—G. Copland (prize), W. Dernier.

English Language and Literature.

  • Second class.—J. R. Montgomery, Mill, and Allen.
  • Third class.—Haggitt.

Political Economy.

  • First class.—Baume (prize).page 9
  • Third class.—Haggitt.

School of Mines.

General Geology.

  • Second class.—Adolf Hamann.

Metallurgy Senior.

  • Second class.—Adolf Hamann.


  • Second class.—Adolf Hamann.


  • Second class.—Adolf Hamann.

General Biology.

  • Second class.—Alexander.


  • Second class.—Torrance.

Practical Biology.

  • Second class.—Torrance, Alexander.

Medical Jurisprudence.

  • W. D. Milne, 88 per cent. (prize); F. E. Baume, 80 per cent., first-class certificate.


  • Second class.—F. E. Baume, first.



  • Second class.—A. Begg and J. Moss.


  • Second class.—R. Donald.



  • First class.—R. Donald.
  • Second class.—L. Hardy.
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  • First class (in order of merit).—Percy G. Morgan, Adam Begg, J. Moss.


  • Second class.—Adolf Hamann, P. G. Morgan, Robert Donald, J. Moss.



  • Seniors (in order of merit.—G. A. Copland, Dermer, J. Reid.
  • Juniors (in order of merit).—Frank B. Allen, W. Mill, A. Begg.
  • Solutions of Chemical Problems.—F. B. Allen.

Practical Chemistry.

  • Juniors (in order of merit).—David H. Black, W. Mill, James Reid.
  • Seniors (in order of merit).—J. A. Burt; Church, W. Mill, and A. Begg, equal.

It will please friends of the School to notice the length of this list, to which I can heartily invite attention, as being the result of good work in which my valued colleagues co-operated, but in which I can claim no share.

I remain, Sir,

Your very obedient Servant,

Henry Belcher,

M.A., LL.D., &c., Rector.
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Prize Winner 1886.

Dux of the Upper School Governor's Gold Medal Scott, John Askew

Dux of the Lower School Governor's Silver Medal Gibson. John

Upper School.
Subject Name Donor of Prize
Geometry and Mechanics Fullarton, James A. Rector
Arithmetic Fullarton, James A. Chamber of Commerce
Algebra and Trigonometry Doull, Peter Mr. Wilkie
Special Prize for Mathematics Siedeberg, Franz V. School
Practical Chemistry Menzies, John Mr. Gilbert C. Matheson
Theoretical Chemistry Thomson, John Bell. Staff, O.H.S.
Biology and Botany .. Barratt, Chas. K. S. . Institute of Otago
English (General Proficiency) Thomson, John Bell. Chamber of Commerce
English, Essay Scott, John Askew . Mr. W'ilson
History (Classes below VI.) Hercus, Peter Mr. Morrison
Latin (General Proficiency) Bird, William W. . Rector
Latin, Composition Thomson, John Bell . Mr. Watson
Prox : Accessit. Watt, James
French (VI. only) Thomson, John Bell. Mr. Sinclair
Prox : Accessit. Fullarton, John
French (Classes below VI.) Hercus Peter Mr. Braithwaite
German (VI. U.V. only.) Stuart, James G. Mr. Siedeberg
German (L.V. IV. only.) Biilau, Ludwig H. A.. Mr. Siedeberg
Drawing, Mechanical .. Smith, Ch. Stanley . Mr. Solomon
Drawing, Geometrical Ziele, Charles W. Mr. Mackerras
Writing Miller, George Mr. J. M. Ritchie
Gymnastics Moore, Charles D. S. Messrs. Sargood & Co
Lower School.
Latin Gibson, John Dr. Brown
English (General Proficiency) Adams, Arthur Henry Chamber of Commerce
French Gibson, John Mr. J. M. Ritchie
Arithmetic Smyth, George A. Chamber of Commerce
Drawing, Freehand King, Alister M. Mr. G. C. Matheson
Drawing, Model Adams, Cecil F. School
Writing (1) Haggitt, Cecil S. Dr. Stuart
Writing (2) Maclean, William M. School
Gymnastics King, Alister M. Messrs. Sargood & Co
Open to whole School.
Recitation Inder, William F. Shakespeare Society
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Class Prizes. July 1886. General Literature.
Form. Name. Donor of Prize.
VI. Thomson, John Bell Mr. Horsburgh
Prox : accessit Bird, William W.
Upper V. Liddell, Gavin School
Lower V. Macdonald, William M. School
IV. Cran, William J. School
Modern IV. Ekensteen, Victor School
Upper III. Gibson, John School
Lower III. Liggins, Fred. C. School
II. Williams, Ernest H. School
December 1886.
Upper .V. Hercus, Peter School.
Lower V. Macdonald, William M. School
Prox. accessit BÜlau, Ludwig H. A. School
IV. Macarthur, James S. School
Modern IV. Malloch, Donald W. School
Upper III. Gibson, John School
Prox : accessit Smith, Geo. A. School
Lower III. Moore, Frederick School
II. Gray, George School
Lower Latin School.
Division IV. Gibson, John Dr. Brown.
III. Smyth, Geo. A. School.
II. Black, Hercus C. School
I. Anderson, Andrew W. School
July 1886. Science.
VI. Fullarton, James A. Mr. Downie Stewart, M.H.R.
Upper V. Liddell, Gavin School.
Lower V. Adams, Chas. E. School
IV. Cran, Wm. J. School
Modern IV. Page, John School
Upper III. Gibson, John School
Lower III. Gillies, Harry T. School
II. Gray, George School
December 1886.
Upper V. Adams, Chas. E. School
Lower V. Matheson, R. S. School
IV. Macarthur, Jas. S. School
Modern IV. Smith, John C. School
Upper III. Smyth, George A. School
Lower III. Wallace, James H. School
II. Greenslade, Robert M. School

Special Prizes awarded in Lower School for Arithmetic.

Valpy, Leonard Mr. Livingston
Adams, Cecil Mr. Macpherson
Herbert, William E. Mr. Macpherson
Backhouse, Harold L. O. Mr. Macpherson

Special Prize awarded in Lower School for General Proficiency.

Ferguson, Vincent Mr. Livingston