The Ashburton Guardian. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 1881. The Ashburton School Meeting.
TOWN EDITION. [.lssued at 5 p. m. ]
“ Save me from my friends ” is a saying that has become proverbial, and when one reads the report of last night’s meeting of the Ashburton School Committee he feels that the head master of the school may well utter this prayer against the blind zeal in his favor by the Chairman who, very injudiciously, we think, tried to browbeat the supporters of a motion for a special meeting to consider the advisableness of changing the master. It may be needful before we go further to state the position in which the school stands. The master has been two years in charge of the institution, and during that time its efficiency as an educational establishment has fallen off. Complaints have been said to have been made against the school in this connection all along, and many parents are understood to have been discontented with the progress, or rather no progress, their children have been making. Still, nothing of all • this came before the Committee in a manner they could deal with, and any discontent that did exist smouldered away quietly. But the culminating point was reached when the last report of the Inspector was received —and this was certainly not complimentary. The Board of Education decided to give the school a three months’ trial, and this time having elapsed, and no improvement made, they would themselves take action in the affair and make some alteration in the management. In a previous article we declined to say one word either for or against the school management. We considered that when it was on its trial, as the Board had put it, it was unfair to prejudice its chance to retrieve itself by a single word of either praise or blame, so we refrained. We were fully alive to all the disadvantages the teachers had struggled under, and we believe we are also able to form an opinion of the probable chances they have of regaining lost ground; but we elected to keep s fence till the time of probation has elapsed. We are content to leave the matter in the Board’s hands for the time they have themselves set, satisfied that the importance of a school of over 300 pupils, and costing so much annually to the Board, will be sufficiently great to cause that body to step in as soon as the time has elapsed without improvement, and save the district from being inflicted longer with an incompetent master; satisfied also that if progress is made sufficiently marked to indulge a fair hope that the school will take the position it ought to, the Board will do justice by the staff The bare fact that the staff is on its trial will be sufficient incentive to the teachers to do their utmost. Looking at the position of affairs in this light, we were sorry that an anxiety to get rid of the master before the Board’s trial time elapsed should have been manifested, and the evident haste was, to say the least ofit, just as injudicious as was the palpably dictatorial and unchairmanly spirit manifested by Dr. Stewart. The Dr. evidently mistook the boundary that limits his powers as Chairman of the Committee, and actually refused to put Mr. Felton’s motion for a special meeting. In this, we think, he arrogated to himself a right he did not possess, and it was only when it was made apparent to him, by the attitude of several members who rose to leave the room, that he was not in his own person the concentrated essence of the School Committee, and that they could only pass such motions as he chose to put —that he considered prudence the better part of valor, and put to the meeting a motion that he must have seen for an hour previously was bound to pass. We are quite prepared to make allowances for any belief that may have been in his mind as to the illegality of the motion, but he ought not to have forgotten that the Committee have a perfect right to express their opinion on the state of the school, or to take such steps as the law allows them for the removal of the teacher with whom they are dissatisfied. He ought also to have remembered that the new Committee, any more than the old, have not given any direct expression of their feelings in the matter, and he had no right to attempt forcibly to repress such expression. If the good taste or the sense of fairness of the members did not show them that every movement in the direction of destroying the teacher’s popularity while he was under trial tended to dishearten and disencourage him, and at the same time help to undermine the scholars’ respect for him, and was thus calculated toinjure his chanceof retrievement by still further destroying the discipline of the school, it was the Chairman’s duty to let things take their course. Instead of this, he opposed the motion in a manner we hope he will never do again, for the Briton’s spirit will not stand being browbeat nor dictated to, as Dr. Stewart last night certainly tried his best to do with the recalcitrants of the Committee. Such conduct is a gross injury to the cause in which it is indulged, and we are only afraid that poor Mr. Stott will suffer more from the blind, though wellmeant zeal of his champion, than the open hostility of the men who seek his immediate removal. We are perfectly satisfied that the Board will take its own course, and also take care of the school. It will place no weight, we are sure, on the recommendation of a majority of one of a Committee, passed after a heated discussion; at the same time it will be just as ready to look suspiciously upon a counter recommendation from a minority, when it learns that the Chairman has done his best literally to stop a free expression of opinion on a question of vital importance.
The San Francisco Mail. —As we were going to press wo received a telegram from our Auckland correspondent stating that the inward 'Frisco mail was signalled. The Wrong Side of the Ledger. —At a meeting of the Dunedin City Council yesterday, the Mayor stated that the current year’s expenditure would exceed the revenue by fifteen thousand pounds.
New Telegraph Station. —A telegraph station has been opened, at Rahotn, County of Taranaki. Compulsory. ■ — The Timaru Sob iol Committee resolved on Monday nigh' to bring the compulsory clauses of the I location Act into force at once. Cricket. —The match between the Ashburton Club and players from the Borough and Tinwald Clubs fixed for to-day, did not eventuate owing to the wet In die afternoon, when the rain cleared away, a scratch match of seven a-side was got up. Indecency. —At the Christchurch Resident Magistrate’s Court, this morning, John William Weston, a schoolmaster, was sentenced to 12 months’ hard labor for six cases of indecent exposure. A School of Agriculture. —A suggestion was thrown out by Mr. Macandrew at a meeting of the Otago University, yesterday, that a school of agriculture should be established. It was resolved to make inquiries as to what the Canterbury school cost. Death of a Well-known Actres.i.— We learn from an Australian item T 'iat Mrs. Hoskins, or, as she was better known, Miss Florence Colville, died at Collingwood, Victoria, on January 27th. Mrs. Hoskins had been seriously ill for some time, and her death was not unexpected. Drunks. —His Worship the Mayor sat to-day in the Police Court, and disponed of three rowdies. William Lambert, for being drunk and disorderly and resisting the police, was sent to gaol. Thomas Upton was also drunk, and had attorn;.tod to rescue Lambert. He was also sent to keep his chum company. Benjamin Wilson was fined 10s. for being drunk. New Plymouth Harbor Works. — The ceremony of laying the first stone of the harbor works at Taranaki, took place on Tuesday, and was a great success. N. irly 5,000 people assembled. The stone was laid by Mr. Carrington, late M.H.R., and the founder of the settlement. There was a long procession, and in the evening a torchlight procession through the Uwn and bonfires, concluding with a displa of fireworks.
Colonial Reciprocity.— lt is stated that the Hon. Graham Berry expre sed himself at the Intercolonial Conferem as willing to negotiate with New Zoalaiu as to reciprocity in the admission of cei ain articles on either side free or at a low ate of duty. On the side of New Zeal nd, beer and cereals were mentioned, and on the side of Victoria, wines and some ot her articles of local production. It is ur Jerstood that the New Zealand Government will open negotiations with Victoria ith a view to an arrangement for the benefit of both colonies.
Corn Ehchanoe. —The general meeting of the subscribers to the Corn 'Exchange, adjourned from the previous Saturday, was held at the 100 ms on Saturday, February sth, at 2 ] .m. Present —Mr. Bruce (Chairman), Messrs. Miles, Watson, Osborne, Oamni.ick, Mills, Mcßeth, Higgins, Elder, Joans, Woodman, Henderson, Mathias, Baaks, Hancock, Alington, and Gardiner. The Chairman said the business before them was the adoption of the rules as recommended by the sub-committee, and the election of a secretary. The rules were then gone through seriatim, and with some slight alterations and additions were adopted as read. Mr. Banks proposed, and Mr. Mathias seconded —“ That if any director shall be absent for three consecutive committee meetings, his seat at the Board shall be declared vacant, and that the directors present shall have the power of electing another in his place.” On being put to the meeting, it was negatived. Mr. Henderson proposed, and it was seconded by Mr. Eaglesonie — “That the secretary be allowed LIOO a year, 10 per cent, on all subscriptions collected, and 10 per cent, on the commission earned.” Carried. The present secretary was re-elected for another year. Land Sale at Rakaia. — Yesterday a sale of Government land took place in Messrs. Davies and Winter’s sale rooms, Rakaia, Mr. Marahman, Commissioner of Crown Lands being auctioneer. The land sold comprised sections in the Ashburton, Rakaia, Arowhenua, and Orari townships, and the bidding for some of them was pretty brisk—the highest prices realised being for sections 1095 and 1096, Ashburton township, each of which brought LSO 7s. There was a fairly numerous attendance. The " following was the business done :
Rakaia— N. Welsh—Section 25, Ll 52s 6d; 27, LlB 6s 6d; 29, Li2 10s. T. West—--403 and 405, Lx2 10s each. H. Crook—4o7, Ll2 xos. R. M‘Kerrow and C 0—521, Ll2 los ; 522, LiS 2s 6d ; 523, 524, 525, and 527, Ll2 los each ; 615, Ll 3 15s. C. Tucker—--630 and 632, Li 2 los each. Ashburton —C. Braddell —1010, Ll 4 10s ; ion, 1012, 1013, 1014, Li2 each. A. Harrison—lol6, 1017, Ll2 each. C. Braided—--1018, Ll2. C. W. Purnell - 1058, Ll2. T. Collins —1086, Ll 4 10s ; 1087, L2l 6s ; 1088, L 23 gs. E. Reed—loß9. L 25 16s ; Tick—logo, L 34 7s, T. Bullock— 1091, Ll2; 1092, L2l 6s. I. Mills—lo 93, L347s ; 1094, L 37 16s; 1095, LSO 7s. C. E. Kooks- 1096, LSO 7s. James Reed— 1124, L 25 16s ; 1133, Ll 7 1 is; 1134. L2l 6s. T. Braddell— 1143, L 25 16s. R. Ennis—ll 44, L2B 7s; 1147, L 23 9s; 1148, L2l 6s; 1149, L 23 9s. A. Connolly —1150,L2165; 1151, L4l 12s. T. Braddell—lls2, L2l 6s. W. Reid —1156, Ll 4 103. W. Muir— 1157, Ll 4 los ; C. E. Kooks —1166, Ll 5 19s. T. Smith—l2s3, L2B 7 s - Arowhentta. —E. Brown —8 sections at Ll2 each. I. Lonson, 2 at Ll2 each. J. Uprichard—3 at Ll2 each. E. Brown—7 at Ll2 each. Orati. —W. Jameson —I sectional L 7 10s. A. Waters—l at L 7 10s. A. M'Leod -2 at L 6 ISs each.