SUNDAY SCHOOL ANNIVERSARY.
Services in connection with the third anniversary of the Cameron street Wesleyan Sunday School were held on Sunday. The Rev. Edward Best, of Dunedin, at the request of the teachers of the school, preached both morning and evening, and in the afternoon gave an address to the children, their parents, and teachers. In the latter service Mr. Best showed that he possessed the rare ability of engaging the attention of young folks, and keeping them interested for a lengthened time. , The services were on each occasion well i attended, the congregation in the evening i being unusually large. The children of the Sunday school, who have been under training for some weeks, rendered suitable , melodies at each service, and the very creditable manner in which they sang secured for them the highest commendation, and equal praise to the church choir-master, who had the children in hand for the occasion. The collection for the day amounted to nearly Ll2, the handsome sum of L 7 15s. having been taken for the Sunday school, the balance being the usual contributions in envelopes. Last evening the usual tea meeting took place, followed by a public meeting. The providore for : the tea was Mr. A. O. Aitken, whose maiden effort in this direction gave great satisfaction. Amongst others who were noticeable for the very energetic manner in which they were dispensing the good things were the Misses Hodder (3),, Misses Andrews (2), Misses Davis, • Jones, Long ; Mesdames Hopkins, Ling, Knight, Sargeant, Bayliss, and G. Andrews. On the tables being cleared, the public meeting commenced, and after the Rev. W. Keall had made a few introductory remarks, Mr. T. R. Hodder, the superintendent of the school, took the chair. Mr. Hodder made a brief speech, in which he took occasion to refer to the hearty sympathy shoxvn by other denominations, as manifested by their attendance that evening. The Secretary, MV. G. W. Andrews, then read the report and balance-sheet for the year. The report showed that there were on the books at present Male teachers, 10 ; female teachers, 7 ; total, 17. Average attendance of teachers, 13. Scholars—Male, 72 ; female, 67 ; total, 139. Average attendance for past four months, 77. The good attendance had not been secured by the attractions of tickets or prizes. The scholars had collected a sum of L 6 towards defraying the cost of a new mission ship the John Hunt ; the children themselves had also contributed the sum of Ll (mostly in pennies) in aid of the Home Mission and Library Funds. Reference was made to the formation of a class for young men, under the leadership of Mr. J. E. Buchanan, and to improvement in the children’s singing attainments, under Mr. Weeks’ tutorship. The balance-sheet showed the pleasing condition of a credit balance of Bs. 4d. The Rev. A. M. Beattie then addressed the meeting on “New Things,” and was followed by the Rev. E. Best, who, in a speech characterised by much native humor, considered the colony was far from being faultless. There was a tendency, especially amongst the young people, to going too fast. Mr. Best congratulated the school on the gratifying condition of its finances, in so far that while they were not rich they were without debt. ■ It was the first school he had come across in the colony which had net the burden of debt. In fact, wherever he went in the colony, he found that the School, Church, and State were not without debt, and the whole three institutions could unite in singing, “ Come on, my partners in distress.”. Wherever he went in the colony, he was pleased to see the healthy children, who also had the appearance of being intelligent and smart, in fact he thought sometimes rather too smart. Taking all things into consideration he considered tlxere was a good future for the colony. Speaking of the Sunday school, Mr. Best said that’although he was not prepared to yield to all Brother Jonathan’s claims to pre-eminence, yet in regard to Sunday school work he felt the Americans tooK the foremost rank. Especially was this noticeable in the way in which persons of high social standing threw their energies into Sunday school work. From the wife of President Hayes downwards in the social scale, the people were willing to take their part in the labor of Sabbath school teaching. In concluding a hxost interesting and forcible address, Mr. Best paid a high compliment to the success which attended the labors of lady workers in Sunday schools, and fob lowed up Mr. Beattie’s speech with an appeal to the .children to obtain a “ new ” heart. Mr.. Smith, who spoke briefly, suggested that a “new ” name, should be given to Sunday schools. He remarked that many lads had not very pleasing recollections of school, a fact, which our readers may imagine, evoked a smothered assent from the lads. Mr. Smith thought the Sun- I
day schools would be more appropriately designated churches for the young. In concluding, he moved a vote of thanks to the choir and their leader for the manner in'which they had acquitted themselves. Mr. Westbrooke spoke on the “ work” of teaching, and seconded the motion of the last speaker. . Mr. Keall followed, - and referred to the hearty assistance which he had, as pastor of the church, received from the organist, and made allusion to friends who had contributed what was sometimes more valuable than money—labor. He apologised for some little irregularities which had been observable during the tea, and proposed a vote of thanks to tlie/Rev. B. Best for his attendance both on Sunday and that evening. The Rev. E. Best responded, and after singing the Doxology, the benediction was pronounced, concluding the moac satisfactory anniversary celebration of its kind held in Ashburton.
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