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[from our own correspondent.] Yesterday was a red letter day at Flemington among the school children, if not among the children of an elder growth, the occasion being the picnic and prize distribution in connection with the day school. The children with their parenjw and friends gathered together in ‘-a paddock, kindly given for the occasion, about a mile from the school, between eleven and twelve o’clock, where numerous races and sports for big and little for small prizes in the shape of pocket knives, etc., were indulged in till about half-past one, when dinner time was grace having been sung, hungry little mouths set to work to devour the good things provided for them. After which the fun once more raged fast and furious. Only interrupted by several very severe lollie storms, up to 5.30, when the sports priZeb were given out, and an adjournment was made to the school for the prize distribution, which took place in the evening. ’, Mr Thos. Taylor, of Ashton, occupied the chair, and in a few brief words stated that it afforded him great pleasure to preside on such an occasion. Twelve short months ago Flemington possessed nb school, and now they had met together to witness the first distribution of prizes. He hoped that the young people who were to receive the books would go on and do the same next year, and those who were not successful would take courage, brace themselves up, and win like the others. He called upon the master,, Mr CapeWilliamson, to explain the principle on which the prizes had been awarded. Mr Williamson, on coming forward, said that he had held a special examination, papers had been set, and according to the marks gained the prizes were given. Several of the pupils had tied in one or two subjects and had to work another, and in two instances they were equal again. In these cases a prize had been given to each, and he could assure them that no prize had been won either easily or unfairly—it was only after hard work, and because they deserved it. Every child could not win, and if a book was given to everyone they would become too common and not worth trying for. Mr Taylor then presented the prizes, accompanying each with a few appropriate words.

After which Mr John Dunn, the Chairman of the School Committee, mounted the platform and said that he thought it would be very remiss if they did not pass a vote of thanks to their teacher for the way in which he had worked for them both to-day and in the few months he had been among them. That he got along well in the school was proved by the Inspector’s report, and he (Mr Dunn) was convinced, from all he had seen and heard, that Mr Williamson had thoroughly obtained the confidence of the children. They had a good article, and he believed they appreciated him* and as a proof that, they did, he would move a vote of thanks, and call upon the children for three hearty cheers for their teacher.

This was done, and Mr Williamson thanked them for their kindly expression of good will towards him. It was very pleasing to find one’s efforts were appreciated, and that the work done was, when weighed in the balance, found not wanting. But if credit was due to him, there was also credit due to the scholars. He had been ably seconded in his work by themselves, and he would like to point out that as the school had won a reputa 1 tion already, they must take care that they did not lose it, and this could only be done by steady application to work when they returned to the desks. He also hoped that the parents would show a lively interest in their children’s school welfare, by seeing that they did the home work given them. It was their duty to enquire and see if they brought home and din the work, and all he could say was that if the parents did their work, they might rest assured that he would do his. Mr Williamson concluded by calling upon .the prize winners to give three cheers for the unsuccessful ones, and he would remind them that all could not win, and that they should console themselves with the thought that if they didn’t win they ought to, _ ' . Cheers were also given for the prize takers. . The following is the prize list; — Standard V.—General work George W. Smith. Standard IV. —General work— Sarah J. Anderson, Standard Hl. Reading—lsabella Anderson ; Elizabeth Anderson ; Arithmetic —Bertha Smith ; Spelling Berths Smith ; Geography—Bertha Smith and Isabella Anderson equal. Standard 11., Reading— Esther Anderson ; Writing —Mary A,. Holland ; Arithmetic —Robert Fleming; Geography—Wm. H. Anderson ; Spelling—Robert Fleming and William H. Anderson equal. Standard 1., General Work—Martha Fleming, Ist ; Minnie Fleming, 2nd ; Samuel Holland, 3rd. Below Standard I.—Stewart Houston.

Special Prizes, presented by gentlemen not connected with the school. —Mental Arithmetic.—Sarah J. Anderson. General excellence in Standard 1., Girls— Esther Anderson. Popularity —William Charles Anderson, awarded by the votes of the girls; Bertha Smith, awarded by the votes of the boys; Bertha Smith and Sarah J. Anderson equal, twice, awarded upon the votes of the whole school. Each one of the infants received a present of a picture book.

An entertainment was then gone into, in which Mrs Mac Lean Dunn, Miss G. Gates, Miss Permain, Misses Patching, and Messrs Horace Gates, Stephenson, and Permain took part. Glees, songs, and some of Mendelsohn’s part songs were rendered in turn, Mrs Mac Lean Dunn and Messrs H. Gates and Stephenson each receiving a well-deserved encore. Mr Willie Dacres recited a Scotch piece—- “ Wattie and Meg”—for which he was favored with a good tribute of praise. Votes of thanks having been passed to the visitors from Ashburton, and to Mr Taylor, and acknowledged, the proceedings were closed by Miss Patching singing the National Anthem as a solo, the audience joining in the second and fourth verses.

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Bibliographic details

PRIZE DAY AT FLEMINGTON., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 520, 28 December 1881

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PRIZE DAY AT FLEMINGTON. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 520, 28 December 1881

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