The Ashburton Guardian. agna Est Veritas et Prevalebit. SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 1881. Educational.
TOWN EDITION. at 5.35 p. m. ]
There can be no two opinions as to the importance of the position which will be occupied by the question of education during the coming session of Parliament. We cannot say that the change made in the Cabinet in the matter of the transference of the educational portfolio from the charge of Mr. Rolleston fore shadows much in favor of the subject from the gentlemen composing the Cabinet. Without exception, that gentleman was the only person in the Ministry who gave this subject his whole consideration. Mr Rolleston made this his study, and we had hoped, previous to his transference, that he would have introduced measures at the coming session capable of coping with the necessities of the day. From postsessional remarks up to the present, but little can be gleaned regarding the intentions of the Government on this point. Major Atkinson, in treating with the subject in his address to the Patea electors, very ably avoided giving any expression of a decided character thereon, but, nevertheless, avowed himself in favor of limited denominationalism. That, however, the Government will find themselves called on at Parliament’s next sitting to lay down a definite line of action is certain. In free State education we argue that a system of partial denomina tionalism would render the country liable to a large amount of unnecessary expense in the support of numberless small educational branches in places where one possessing the advantages necessary for primary instruction would be amply sufficient, and far less expensive. It is all very well for the Colonial Treasurer to passively assent “ that whatever expense is necessary for the education of the children of the colony will have to to be incurred,” but a line of action embracing the halfuttered convictions of that gentleman regarding dcnominationalism would, we believe, meet with general disapproval. By engendering the hopes of various sects in this direction Major Atkinson and his colleagues render themselves liable to a revolution of feeling on it being made apparent that the project will not hold water, and this of a character likely to anything but advance the party interests during the ensuing general election. Their action in shirking the subject, and misleading the public, cannot meet with approval. The introduction of the Bible in schools and the mere perusal daily of a portion of its teachings will entirely fail in its hoped for result. Instead of obtaining a clear commonsense view of the maxims brought under their notice by this means, the scholars will experience a feeling of disgust for the subject, which feeling will be shared by the teachers. If the Bible is to be read in our schools let it not be glibly run over as a species of preliminary canter to the real business of the day, but let it take its position in the children's studies, and be clearly expounded by persons able to cope with the various interpretations put on its contents. We should be of the last to advocate a system of godless education, but are positive that the present arrangements meet the requirements of the case. The Auckland Industrial Home-
The disclosures in connection with the Auckland Industrial Home point to the fact that our lunatic asylums
are not the only public institutions in New Zealand in which considerable reform is requisite. The state of affairs which has been permitted is of a most disgraceful and revolting character. In the one a patient is subjected to cruelties equalling the tortures of the Inquisition, whilst in the other, children committed thereto for the purpose of being reclaimed from a heathenish state of existence, are allowed to indulge in immoralities of the grossest character, consequent on an indiscriminate mixing of the sexes. That the appointment of superintendents over these institutions have been conferred in a “ sisters, cousins, and aunts ” sort of manner, without the slighest consideration as to the qualifications of the recipients, is plainly apparent. The, Government, by their lax manner of carrying on business in these matters, have dragged the colony into shame and disgrace, and their duty is rendered painfully apparent. No Royal Commissioners are needed in these matters, but an immediate scouring out of the hot-beds of infamy.
Local Sparrow Clur. —A meeting of gentlemen interested in the formation of a local sparrow club was held in Quill’s Hotel on Thursday evening, Mr Silcock occupying the chair. The following resolutions were carried: —“That a Club for the removal of the sparrow pest be formed in the county of Ashburton.” “ That a provisional committee be appointed to arrange for the formation of the club, fixing the amount of subscription, procuring poisoned wheat, and making other necessary arrangements, and to report at a meeting to be held at as early a date as possible.” Mr H. C. Jacobson, at the request of the meeting, kindly consented to act as hon. secretary. It was decided to hold a meeting on this day fortnight to receive the committee’s report. The secretary having promised to obtain copies of the rules of the Tai Tapu club, the proceedings terminated with a vote of thanks to the chair.
Magisterial.—ln the Resident Magistrate’s Court, Rakain, on the 14th inst., a man, charged with drunkenness and using obscene language in a public house, was fined 10s., or in default forty-eight hours’ imprisonment. In the assault case of Shellock v. C. Lake, the complainant stilted that defendant had since apologised, and he therefore did not wish to press the charge. A fine of os was inflicted. The civil business only included one case, Hashwell v T. E. Fagan, in which defendant pleaded insolvency, and the case was adjourned for a month by the Bench. Tinwald Sports.—lntending visitors to the Tinwald Sports on Monday next are referred to an advertisement elsewhere, requesting them to enter the Sports Ground by the gate on Graham’s road. Train Arrangements.— The District Traffic Manager, in another column, publishes the train arrangements for the Autumn Race Meeting on Monday and Tuesday next. More Work.—Tenders are invited by the manager of the Coldstream Estate for the formation of a water-race (plough and scoop work). Dismissed with a Caution. This morning a first offender, on a charge of inebriacy, was dealt with as above by the Resident Magistrate. Easter Monday.—All branches of the Post-office will be closed on Monday next, and Sunday hours will be observed by the Telegraph Department. Accident.—This morning, as Mr Smith and another person were driving in a buggy into town, and when nearing the north end of the bridge, the horse took fright at the timber stacked there, and dashed the buggy against the railing of the approach. Mr Smith was slightly cut about the face, being thrown violently to the ground. These, however, were the only injuries he received, and his companion escaped unhurt. The shafts of the' vehicle were broken and the harness generally wrecked. A Sporting Loss.—Our cablegrams today contain the announcement of the death of Mr. R. 0. Bagot, the secretary of the Victoria Racing Club, or, as he was perhaps better known, “ the indefatigable. ” The deceased gentleman had held the position of secretary to the premier turf institution this side of the lino for a number of years, and, from very small things, comparatively, had raised the Club, by his unflagging energy and great business tact, to the exalted position which it now occupies in the spotting world. Altogether, the demise of their late secretary creates a blank, which the V.R.C. will find it hard to fill. Annineksahy Tea Meeting. —The third anniversary of the Soafield Wesleyan Church was celebrated yesterday, by a tea and public meeting. There was a fair attendance of Seafield residents, while a large number of visitors from Ashburton took advantage of the delightful weather to patronise the proceedings with their presence and support. The catering was in the hands of Mr A. O. Aitken, and the quality of the edibles was only equalled by their very prolific supply. The following ladies were either presiding at the tables or otherwise energetically engaged in affording substantial help : Mesdames Brown, Bruce, Collison, Hardwick, Jones, Richardson, and M'Lean, with Misses Cowan, Hardwick, and Lawrie. After tea was over, and a little recreation indulged in, in the way of rounders, &c., an adjournment Was made to the Church, the proceedings there being presided over bj r the Rev. W. Koall, who opened the mgeting with prayer. The rev. gentleman, afterwards, in a very brief speech, took occasion to remark that the existing debt on the church amounted to L4O Os 3d. Since the last anniversary over L 47 had been cleared oft’ the debt, that amount having been allocated for the purpose from the funds of the Ashburton Circuit. He hoped that, from the proceeds of the present gathering, LlO or Ll2 more would be available tow-ards reducing the debt still further. Messrs Jones, Hodder, Buchanan, Olsen, Crisp, and Bcrrimau also addressed the meeting, and a very pleasant and satisfactory anniversary concluded about eight o’clock. A strong choir, under the leadership of Mr Chas. Ray, of Ashburton, rendered suitable music during the evening, Miss Hodder accompanying on the piano.