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WAKANUI SCHOOL COMMITTEE.

A meeting of the Wakanui School Committee was held on Wednesday evening, 15th inst., in the schoolroom. Present—All the members—viz., Messrs. Earle (Chairman), James Brown, John Kilgour, Charles Hill, Thomas Paynter, P. Lownie, Geo. W. Leadley.

The minutes of the last meeting were read by the Chairman. On the question being put as to whether the minutes as read be confirmed, Mr. Leadley tabled the following resolution, which was seconded by Mr. Paynter;—

“ Resolved, that inasmuch as the last meeting of this Committee, held on the 31st August, was not legally convened in accordance with the provisions and requirements of the 72nd section of the Education Act, 1877, this Committee is of opinion that the business done at that meeting was, and is invalid and unlawful ; and declines to endorse the actions or confirm the minutes of that meeting, and desires that they be expunged from the records. ”

The Chairman refused to put the resolution to the meeting, remarking that Mr. Leadley was “ taking a lot of trouble to appear foolish.’ Mr. Leadley replied that “if the resolution did not please Mr. Earle, that was no reason why he should “ sit upon the mover,” and insisted on the resolution being put to the meeting.

Mr. Earle said that he took the motion as a reflection upon himself. Mr. Leadley denied any such intention.

A discussion then ensued as to whether the clause of the Act was strictly binding, and Mr. Kilgour read several clauses of the Act, including the 72nd, which specifies that ...... “No ' busi-

ness respecting the • appointment suspension, or dismissal of a teacher shall be considered unless written notice that such business is proposed to be transacted has been served to every member of the Committee at least three clear days previous to the meeting, at his usual or last known place of abode.” Several members argued that, as the members had agreed repeatedly at the meeting previous to the 31st to meet on that day to receive applications for the post of schoolmaster, no written notice was required. Others favored Mr. Leadley’s resolution. Ultimately, the Chairman left the chair, and, at the same time, resigning his position as Chairman of the Committee. The meeting then for a time came to a standstill, several of the members expressing surprise and regret at Mr. Earle’s action, and requesting him to reconsider his determination and retake the chair.

Mr. Earle consented, and business proceeded, on which Mr. Brown moved that the minutes of last meeting be confirmed. The motion was put and carried on the voices, Mr. Leadley’s resolution not being put to the meeting, the. Chairman engaging to write to the Board of Education for advice thereupon.

The next business was the reading of correspondence, which was as follows : From the Board of Education, authorising the Committee to impose a charge on those using the schoolroom, and to take legal proceedings against those who had been guilty of trespass on the school property on the 9th inst. Tho Chairman stated that he had placed the matter in the hands of Messrs. Branson and Purnell, whom he had instructed to issue summonses to several of those who had taken a leading part in the meeting of the 9th.—Between the Chairman and the Revs. Keall and Beattie, re the imposition of three skillings tax on the Sabbath services. The rev. gentlemen undertook to place the matter before their respective church boards. To the Board of Education, asking that the schoolroom might be enlarged. The reply was to the effect that a sum of money had been placed upon the Estimates for the desired purpose, but that since tho reduction of the subsidies the item had been struck out. —Prom Orerar and Whitcombe, enclosing account for books supplied, to the value of L 8 11s. Deferred. From Miss Leach, tendering her resignation of the position of school mistress of the Wakanui School. The Chairman stated, on behalf of Mljs Leach, that her solo reason for resigning was that she was now preparing for the forthcoming examination of teachers, and, through indisposition, was unable to attend to both school duties and preparatory studies, hence tho resignation. Mr,

Leadley proposed that, while accepting the resignation, the Committee desire to express their high approval of, and entire satisfaction with, the way in which Miss Leach has performed her duties, in connection with the Wakanui School. Carried unanimously. A discussion took place concerning the occupancy of the schoolroom last Sunday afternoon by three members of the Committee, and the closing of the school on the following day (Monday). Mr. Leadley said that an impression had got abroad tha< Messrs. Brown, Earle, and Kilgour had taken possession of the school for the purpose of keeping the Presbyterians out, and also that they, on leaving the building, had locked the door and taken the key away with them, thereby preventing the children from effecting an entrance on Monday morning. If this were the case he was prepared to bring down a resolution condemning the action and censuring those members for their unwarrantable interference and interruption of school work.

In explanation those members whose names have been mentioned repudiated any intention of keeping the church people out, Mr. Kilgour stating that he was prepared to pay the three shillings, so that they might pass in and use the school as heretofore. It was further stated that the door of the school was open during the whole of their stay ; that on leaving they pulled the door to, which, being provided with a catch, fastened without the aid of the key ; that Mr. Earle took the school key home with him intending to send it down on the following morning, but forgot to do so ; that the children assembled as usual at the school on Monday morning, and, finding the door closed against them, some of them entered through an open window, drew back the catch of the door, and admitted the rest ; that Mr. Guinney, the schoolmaster, came to the school, found the children inside, and on learning how they gained admission called them out and sent them home. The Committee thought this explanation of the matter due to the householders of the district, as they believe many of them have been wrongly informed thereupon. After this matter had been settled, Mr. Kilgour moved, and Mr. Leadley seconded: “ That this Committee is of opinion that it advisable to take no further action in regard of the trespass case of the 9th inst., and as the householders think it a hardship inflicted on them by the Committee pasing a resolution charging for the use of the school, we hereby rescind that resolution, and allow them the same privileges as formerly. Carried —Ayes, 4; viz., Messrs, Kilgour, Leadley, Panyter, and Lownie—the rest not voting. It was agreed that the Committee should not be charged wuth the legal expenses already incurred, those who had instituted proceedings to defray costs. Proposed by Mr. Kilgour and seconded by Mr. Leadley—

“That this Committee think it advisable to call a public meeting of the householders of this district to take into consideration the best means for raising a sum of-money in order that the present incubus of debt may be removed.” Carried unanimously. The Chairman to convene the meeting. It was decided that the next Committee be held on the evening of Monday the 27th September. The ' meeting then terminated.

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WAKANUI SCHOOL COMMITTEE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 154, 18 September 1880

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