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Distribution of PrizesThe Ashburton High School breaking-, up for the Christmas holidays and distribution of prizes took place at the School to-day. The whole of the pupils were in attendance, and a good many parents and friends were also present. Dr Trevor, Chairman of the High School Board, presided, and gave the prizes away; ..... , The pupils occupied their usual places at the desks, the adults being seated in chairs at the lower end of the schoolroom. At the opposite end on a table were ranged the nicely-bound prizes, consisting of voyages and travels, poetry, biographies, etc. Seated by the table were Dr Trevor (presiding), the Rev. A. M. Beattie, Mr Hogg, the head master, and Mr Buchanan;

the- Se'bond master. The Head master, Mr Hogg, said that the proceedings to-day would consist almost entirely of the distribution of prizes, but before that ceremony took place he would wish to make a few remarks respecting the history of the school in the past and only year of its existence. The work commenced on the 7th February. During the first term there were only seventeen boys on the roll. In the next term both the scholars atid himself were exceedingly gratified by the appointment of his (Mr Hogg’s) earnest and zealous colleague, and he corild riot refrain from expressing his dense of the way Ho risld zeal both in school arid out of it. _ The school had indeed been fortunate in the

appointment of Mr Buchanan. When Mr Buchanan came he brought with him a number of pupils; with the result that during the second term the roll had increased to thirty pupils, and during the present, the third term, there had been a further slight increase, the total number of boys being at present thirtytwo; This he Considered was very satisfactory, although he did not regard numbers as any criterion of the success of the High School. One grand result arising from an institution like this was perhaps hardly fully appreciated by the public, and that was the raising of the standards in every elementary school

within the sphere of the High School. In connection with this he hoped that in the course of a few years the influence of the High School Would cause, eich boy and girl to receive a better education in every elementary school throughout the district. (Applause.) He might say that in Class 111. there were a number of very young boys, and he must confess that he had some scruples about admitting those boys at the time of their admission; but on looking over their examination papers he was surprised to find the good wo.k done by these small boys, and had changed his opinion about them. For they had shown common sense and originality that he looked in vain for, he regretted to say, amongst the older boys. Having entered into some details as to the working of the school, which showed the insti i tution to be in a highly satisfactory condition, Mr Hogg called upon the Chairman to distribute the prizes. Dr. Trevor said that he need not assure his young friends that he had very great pleasure in performing the gratifying duty he had been asked to undertake today, but before he did so he would like to say a few words to them which they would hear all the more patiently now that they were all in such good spirits at the prospect of Christmas and the holidays. Their school was quite a new one and he was pleased to think that it was already ' a successful one and that the pupils enjoyed such facilities for acpuiring knowledge among such competent teachers as Mr Hogg and Mr Buchanan. There was only one thing that remained to be done and that was for the boys to do their duty and to strive, by their good conduct to second the efforts of their masters to make and keep the school all that it should be. There was nothing more pleasant in after life than to remember that the school at which you were brough t up was a famous school (applause). He did not suppose the Ashburtcn High School would become an Oxford or Cambridge University, but be was sure it would become one of the bestschoolsinthe colony (applause), it would be a great thing for

them to say when they were grown up, that they had been educated at the Ashburton High School. They were receiving an education which would fit them, when they should be men, for the pursuit of any profession or calling. But let them remember that education was not without its responsibilities. They were receiving the education of gentlemen, and they must take care they acquired the habits of gentlemen. They must put down anything like rowdyism or larrikinism, and set their faces against any approach to lowness or vulgarity. (Applause). He hoped they would spend a happy Christmas, and he believed they would, because last evening ho had asked Mr Hogg whether during the past term you had done your work, and he said yes. Now the only people, whether boys or men, who really enjoyed a holiday were those who worked hard at the proper season. He had always noticed that the boy who was diligent at the desk was usually diligent in the cricket field. He trusted they would benefit by the holiday, and come back to their work with i enewed energy and vigor. (Applause). And now as to the prize?. This giving away of prizes was not an unmixed pleasure after all. It was very pleasant, of course, to hand the successful boy, full of pride and triumph, the reward of his diligence and application, and it was also very pleasant to think how pleased that boy’s parents and sisters and brothers—and he supposed he would not be going too far if he added sweetheart (laughter)— would be at his success ; but what about the unsuccessful ones, the boys who had no prizes I Well, to dismiss the question for a moment, he would tell them a little story about a prize. They had all heard about Sir John Franklin, the great Arctic explorer, and how he had perished while away on one of his perilous expeditions to the North Pole. Well one of his party,

a young surgeon to the expedition, had been found amidst the snow and ice, and lying by his side was a prize he had won at school. Amongst all the h-rdships and privations he had undergone, he had carried this book with him, and prized it above everything. (Applause), lint they must not suppose, the successful ones, that because they were prize winners this year that they would be equally fortunate next year. They must not relax their efforts because they had won one victory, but having gained that vantage, they must endeavor to hold it. And now a word to the boys who had not won prizes. Well, he was very sorry for them, but yet they must not be discouraged. He

thought it- was Peter the Great who was as a young man so often defeated in early life. Battle after battle he lost, and those about him were discouraged and dissatisfied. But Peter was not cast down. He afterwards said that his defeats had taught him how to conquer. A boy who would take defeats like that was not likely to be put down for long. .(Applause. ) Then again they had all heard of the famous American General Stonewall Jackson? As a boy he was not particularly brilliant, but every time he was defeated he tried again, and they all knew he had ultimately become one of the most famous generals the world had ever known. (Applause.) His success had been so great simply because he had improved his condition just a little bit every time he met with defeat. If they would make as good use of defeat as that they might depend that their parents would be as proud, of them as if they had carried off prizes.... Well, he would not preach to them iaby longer, but once more wishing them pleasant holidays and a happy New

Year, he would proceed to distribute the prizes:— The prizes were then given away, thp doctor accompanying each presentation with a few kindly and appropriate words.' The prize list was as follows: —' Glass lll.—lst prize, Ivess; 2nd prize, Buchanan u. , Class ll.—Class prize, Fooks; prize for English,. Tasker; prize for < Mathematics,’ Clark ii. ; prize for Latin, Fish n.,, » Class I. —Class .prize, and Feltonj equal; prize for Mathematics,' O’Reilly} special prize for Arithmetic," Felton. The Rev. Mr Beattie now rose at the invitation of the Rector, and remarked , that he was very glad to have that opportunity afforded him of offering his feficitations on such an occasion as this. The 16th december was a famously reddetter day in the annals of Canterbury; And especially was it memorable in Ashburton as being the day on which the first distribution of prizes was held at the High School. He was pleased to think that the Rector and his assistant, Mr Buchanan, were doing sound and substantial work: here. With one remark that had fallen from the Rector he was especially pleased, and that was that the High School would exert a beneficial influence on the primary schools throughout the district. Doubtless this would be the case, and he hoped the day was not far distant when the Ashburton High School would take a high place in the colony as an educational institution,, and perhaps be affiliated, to the Christchurch University. Sdhopl lifdj he would remind his young friends was not merely valuable for educational purposes, but also for the excellent training and discipline which the pupils received, artd this discipline was absolutely necessary to the turning out of good useful., men. After some further remarks the rev gentleman said he had very great;, pleasme in proposing of thanks to Mr riogg and his able coadjutor, Mf Buchanan. He would take the opportunity of remarking that he thought the Board of Education had : been very .fortunate in securing the services of so capable a master as Mr Buchanan. (Applause.) The vote of thanks was seconded by Mr Hodder, who in doing so expressed his satisfaction with the school and the teachers. The motion was carried with acclamation. The Chairman said he could not allow that occasion to pass without thanking | Mr Hogg and Mr Buchanan, on behalf of himself and the Board of Governors, for their exertions in connection with the school. The Head Master responded in a few words. He trusted both his colleague and himself would prove worthy Of the very flattering remarks that had greeted their efforts that day. and he hoped next year that the school would be in a more satisfactory state still. There was one thing he would like to remark before he sat down, and that was that they had been Working so hard lately that they had had no time to prepare an entertainment befitting such a company as were assembled to-day, but ha hoped next year that this would be remedied. Mr Buchanan was proud to think that his name and that of his colleague had received such honourable mention that day. The successful working of the school he partly attributed to the fact that his colleague and himself were working in harmony and also in a great measure to Mr Hogg’s untiring energy. They both loved boys, and endeavored to train them to become manly without fear and without reproach. Especial care was taken to prevent the employmrnt by the boys of objectionable language, and this offence was always punished. He would like to mention the names of Ernest Felton and Reginald Hodder, for they had the responsibility o f directing the minds of all the young gentlemen attending the school. They looked for great results from the school in the future, and he did not think they would be disappointed. (Applause). Mr Joseph Clark, Tinwald, proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman, which was seconded by Sergeant Felton, and carried unanimously. Three cheers were then given by the boys for Dr Trevor, with “one cheer more.” The doctor having briefly responded. the boys gave three cheers for the visitors, followed by three for the ladies, and after a parting cheer fo r the masters the proceedings terminated.

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Bibliographic details

ASHBURTON HIGH SCHOOL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 510, 16 December 1881

Word Count

ASHBURTON HIGH SCHOOL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 510, 16 December 1881

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