Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 1905. A CARNEGIE TRUST.
The abstract of accounts of the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust has recently been published, and makes infcereatiug reading. The trustees met for the first time m August 1903, and the abstract gives a brief statement of their doings up to the end of December, 1904. Dunfermline, it may be remarked, is Mr Andrew Carnegie's native town, aad has consequently shared largely m the benefactions of the great American millionaire. He presented the town with a parcel of United States Steel Corporation bonds, of sufficient value to produce over .£20,000 interest annually. Last year the total income of the Trust was .£22,952, nnd the terms of the bequest stipulate that this large annual revenue has to be spent by the trustees m improving and beautifying the town of Dunfermline, and m bringing" sweetness and light " into th* lives of the inhabitants. One of the chief beauty spots to which the trustees have devoted their attention is the Pittencrief Glen, on which £2,400 was expended last year m forming walks, providing seats, and effeoting other improvements. Baths and a gymnasium were erected by Mr Carnegie recently at a cost of .£30,000, the expenditure m<tdo last year m connection with them being .£1,368. Needless to remark, the buildings are magnificently equipped, and they are maintained m a style m keeping with their cost. Classes for physical training are held m the gymnasium, and only a moderata fee is charged to all residents of the town, The provisions which DuDfermline enjoys m tbia line are unequalled by tho?e found m any other provincial town m Britain. One of the chief aims of the Trust is to foster a taste for the beautiful and to exert a generally educative influence, The trustees have consequently devoted a good deal of time and money to providing and maintaining a library, supplying first-class concerts at a low charge, and to encouraging the pursuit of horticulture. Last year JG3OO was spent on the library, £520 on band performances m the public parks, .£7lB m grants to musical societias, £900 m concerts and lectures, £360 on flower shows, and on a children's gala day. It will be noted that a large amount is set apart annually for prodding facilities for cultivating the taste for music. The trustees hold that " m any effort to promote the refinement and moral elevation of a people the value of music cannot be overlooked." The musical societies already existing m Dunfermliue were aided to the handsome extent mentioned above. Provision is also made for the delivery of lectures by men distinguished m science and literature, and Tarious branch libraries are to be established m connection with the Carnegie Dunfermline Library, an institution which has filled an important place m the life of the people for a, quarter of a century. Various educational schemes also absorbed .£4OO last year, the total amount expended being £17,690. In their report the trustees declare that they do not claim to have accomplished anything very novel or startling; all they claim is that their efforts are to be regarded as a very fair j beginning, Those m charge of the administration of funds so vast m proportion to the population of the town, have necessarily to proceed cautiously m striking out on new lines of expenditure. Great as are the benefits which such a bequest as Mr Carnegie's can confer on the town, the trustees rghtly hold that the trust must not supersede personal endeavour, but must assist and stimulate ie, if it is to be of real and lasting good to the community. The trust was established for the purpose of brightening and bettering the liyes of the masses by removing some of the monotony and depression which too often rests upon the life of the toiler m the Old World. The ■^periment which Mr Carnegie has made is •-«»*kable ons, and ita results will be I ua *,',!■',* Merest. It is philanfcbroenduring gratitude and fame, an« though m New Zealand we do not possess meH °* such enormoua wealth, there is no reason why some o? our richer colonists should not make similar bequests fco t}& £pwns where they have accumulated their mop&y, and thus help to increase the happiness of future generations, and at the same time make a lasting monument to themselves.