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THE NEW ZEALAND UNIVERSITY, Issue 7998, 29 August 1889
THE NEW ZEALAND UNIVERSITY
THE " CAPPING " CEREMONY. The annual ceremony of presenting diplomas to the students of the Otago University who passed the degree examination last year came off at the Garrison Hall last night. Invitation being by tickets, and these having been distributed in a lavish manner, there was an enormous crowd of ladies and gentlemen present, almost every inch of space in the large hall being occupied. Dr Fitchett, M.H.R., came down from Wellington specially to preside, and among others on the platform were the Rev. Dr Stuart (Chancellor of the University), Mr Justice Williams, Professor Salmond, the Rev. Dr Watt, and Sir R, Stout.- The Professors, with the exception of Drs Salmond and Watt, were conspicuous by their absence. The proceedings were fixed to commence at eight o'clock, but an hour before that time the students commenced a carefully prepared musical programme, among which were some very clever songs, set to wellknown tunes, and which were sung with great spirit to an orchestral accompaniment, also provided by the students. At the appointed hour the Chairman, who was received with great applause, commenced his address, saying that he had been asked to apologise for the non-attendance of the Ven. Archdeacon Edwards, the Rev. Mr Waddell, Mr George Bell, Professor Sale—(groans)—and Professor Black. (Groans, and cries of " Where's Gibbons, where's Dawson ?") It was, he said, manifest from the presence of so many there that night that the " capping" ceremony in Dunedin was an institution, and an institution that was undoubtedly popular. If there was nothing to warrant it save the unmelodious songs of the gentlemen in the middle—(laughter)—it would be a lamentable thing; but the canping ceremony was the students' carnival, and as a student himself he held it to be quite fitting that, according to their kind, the students should enjoy themselves—(laughter)—the more so as they met there, not alone to assert the fact that they were students, bat to congratulate the successful candidates upon obtaining the honors and degrees which were theirs.— (Applause.) As he had said, if there was nothing but the noise and the crowd there would be little to be said for university education in New Zealand, but when they found that in the course of twelve months nineteen students had passed the fiery ordeals of, he supposed, a dozen examinations under very strict conditions, and who came there to receive their degrees, they would agree with him that it was only right and proper that they should meet with some congratulations from their friends. (Applause.) He thought that he could best occupy the time set down for him by saying a few words about the work of the University of New Zealand. The speaker went on to give a sketch of the history of university education in New Zealand, which originated in Otago. The pioneers of this province, with a quite Scotch sense of the advantages of education, early started the University of Otago, and equipped it, endowed it, and started it on its course. Shortly afterwards it was perceived that there was need of university education elsewhere in New Zealand than in Otago, and it was also felt that if a multiplicity of universities were established the degrees they granted would be worth very little ; and, with a loyalty to education and an unselfishness that was as noble as it was wise on the part of Otago University, that University consented to surrender its charter, to give up its power to grant degrees, and descended to the status of a college affiliated to the University of New Zealand, on the same footing as Canterbury College and the other institutions that claimed rank with these two as affiliated institutions of the University of New Zealand. The standard of education that was maintained was that of the London University, and graduates who got dpgrees from this University got, as a consequence, degrees that were recognised as much abroad as they were at Home.—(Applause.) The University had now existed for seventeen years, and it had already done more by comparison than its sister Universities of Sydney and Melbourne, although these had been in existence for thirty-eight and thirty-five years respectively. Thanks to the wisdom of the Legislature in founding the University of New Zealand, and the wisdom of the pioneers of the colony in endowing university education as they had done, there was a reasonable probability that the day would come when the University would be as thronged a3 the primary schools now were, and when every child who went to school would look to the University as the natural consummation of his educational progress. In the hope that that day would come, although they might not live to see it, he would now proceed to confer tho degrees, and would ask Professor Salmond to present the graduates to receive their diplomas.—(Loud applause.) Professor Salmond, who on rising was received with great cheering, and the musical chorus ' For he's a jolly good fellow,' then presented to the chairman the following successful students : BICUELORS OF ARTS. Isabella C. J. It Duncan—Gained the Richardson scholarship; matriculated 1881, passed Aral section of li.A. degree examination 1886. Isabella M. MLandrees-Matriculated 1885; passed first section 1886. James M. Beattie—Matriculated 1885; passed first section 1887; gained senior scholarship. Adam Begg—Matriculated 1885, securing a junior scholarship; passed first section 1887. Joseph Moaa-Matriculated 1885; passed first section 1887. Arthur E. A. Palnier—Matriculated 1883; passed first seetion 1886. William Biddell-Matriculated ISSS; passed first section 18S6. Thomas H. Gill —Took his course under the teachers' regulations. Richard G. Whetter—Took his oourse under the teachers' regulations. BACHELOR OF SCIENCB. Francis Bowen Allen—Master of Arts 1888. BACHELOR OF LAWS. Thomas K. Sidey—Baohelor of Arts 1885. MASTERS OF ARTS. . Flora M'L. Allan—Seoond-clasa honors in Latin and Englieh; Baohelor of Arts 1838. Mary I. Fraser—Seoond-class honors in physic; Baohelor of Arts 1888. R. M. Ryburn—Seoond-class honors in mathematics and physics; Bachelor of Arts 1888. Charles T. Little—Seoond-olass honors in Latin and English ; Bachelor of Arts 1888. BACHELORS OF MEDICIKK. Herbert Clifford Barclay. George Anderson Copland, The following graduates were not present personally to receive their diplomas, which will therefore be forwarded to them : BACHELOR OF ARTS. Robert S. Collie-Matriculated 1885; passed first section ISS7. MASTER OF ARTS. James Bee-Bacbelor of Arts 1888. BACHELOR OF MEDICINE. William T.D.rmer. These recipients of diplomas were all greeted with hearty cheering and musical honors, all the ladies in addition receiving a shower of bouquets, while the two graduates in medicine received a laurel wreath each. Sir Robert Stout : It has been said that this age is the age of unsolved problems. Perhaps we sty so beoausc a3 our life as a race develops our wants increase. There are more questions asked now than were asked a century ago. And if we are to accept the statement of the philosopher of evolution—that life is becoming moro and more complex we must expect more problems requiring solution in the century to come. In a.d. 2000, the time towards which some of our novelists are 'working, there will be hundreds of unsolved questions. There, are, however, some problems tint
are solved, aud some that this century has solved. Ido not mean that universal assent to their solution has been secured. Perfect unanimity about any subject is difficulty to obtain. A few years ago it was denied that the earth was globular —(laughter)— and there was an interesting lawsuit—not twenty years ago—in which a man oifered to demonstrate that the earth was flit.— (Laughter.) Ono question that I think we can say has been answered in the affirmative is this one : Ought everyone to bo educated? Who in New Zealand now ventures to assert that any man or woman ought to be brought up without being ab'.i to read, to write, and to cypher.—(A Voice :" I know one"; aud another Voice: "Gibbons.") It was not always so. I have seen it asked: If you educate everyone even to a Sixth Standard who is to black our boots ? Will the tiresome, toilsome, disagreeable labor of the world be done if you educate everyone ? This was a very debatable question once. Who debates it now ? We may, no doubt, fall on evil days, but at present primary school education to a certain extent is secured. I say to a certain extent, for I cannot forget that some of our parsimonious legislators wished the limit of free knowledge to be fixed at a Fourth Standard. But to the question Ought a'l men and women to know the alphabet ? the answer comes back in an emphatic way Ye'.—(A Voice: •'No.") That question is dead, or has died away, so that its sound is only heard in the distance muc has we hear the drum at the conclusion of the Turkish patrol. Do not let us forget that once the question was a very vital one and much disputed. There are, however, other education questions on which there is great difference of opinion. We have survivals in our systems both university and secondary—survivals out of keeping with the spirit of the age—and how hard they die. The staying power, the conservative force of the race, is very potent. Even students sometimes worship a survival when its usefulness is gone. But waiving those disputes that will arise about systems and subjects, I come to one still unsettled—tho bearing of university work on labor. Is a university of aDy use to those who have to bear the hard toils and manual burdens of the day ? What relation can a university have to toilers? Wo realise that a university education is a necessity to a nation. It is needed for general culture. It is needed for tko highest technical training. It is necessary as a home for research. It will be admitted by all that unless we fix such a high standard of education as a university ever can give us, our secondary, and even our primary, schools will Buffer. Then, if we are to have a national life, and to see New Zealand taking her place as a nation, well equipped for her duty, we must uot depend on other nations for education—wo must be able to give to our own youth, in our own nation, the highest culture. There can be no dispute but that the university i 3 required for the highest technical training. Our clergymen, our doctors, our lawyers, our engineers, our teachers must all be equipped for their special duties, and neither the secondary nor the primary schools can give this equipment. But as the home of the highest technical training, our university must go further. Wo must have it fitting our farmers, our miners, cur mechanics for their important functions. Who knows, even from a money point of view, what we have lost through lack of knowledge in our farming, our mining, and our industries? The aid of the chemist, the biologist, the geologist, the mineralogist, the natural philosopher cannot be ignored in our farming, mining, and mechanical industries if they are to pay. But I fancy I hear some saying: " But what good is a university education of any kind to a laborer ?" Remember, I do not put a university education forward as only a higher kind of teeWiea\ training. There should be somo basis of general culture before specialisation of studies begins. I purpose to answer this question in two ways—first; I apprehend there can be no high ideal of life, of the life of the race, or nation, or of the individual if there is ignorance. Tho more knowledge the higher the life. And can it be said that this world cannot get food for its people, or clothing, or housing, or health, unless some large number—the largest number of the race—i 3 kept in ignorance ? 13 this to be the outcome of our civilisation—a slavery without the name ? If not, how can you draw tho line at the Sixth Standard ? Depend upon it, in tho coming years the line will not be drawn at Sixth or Seventh Standards, and those who wish to fix the sum of knowledge that laborers are to get at primary education will become as few as those who say that the earth is flat.—(A Voice :" I beg your pardon.") Men will live a life higher and nobler than we live now—the mass will bo as well educated as the few are now. If not, it were better for us to cmbraco Pessimism, and exclaim : Is life worth living ? —(A Voice : " Turn over a new leaf.") It is not necessary I should stsp to argue about the good that knowledge does to a man. Did it ever hurt anyone to know something about the world, its history, and the history of its living beings, something of the law 3 under which wo live? How can that harm anyone? And what is a university's aim bat to tell us all these things and to train our minds to think 1 But that leads me to the second objection that may be raised. It is said it will unfit the laborer for his work. That is, if you make a man a thinking animal—" of large discourse, looking before and after"—he will not bo able to do severe manual labor. I deny it. In this colony we have seen men who have done the most severe manual labor—farming and digging —who knew the rules of Greek prosody and the binomial theorem ; and I do not know if the physical exertion in a football match is not as trying as the manual work of any of our laborers. But can the State afford it ? And what time has the boy or girl to get university education ? He or she has to begin work, it is said, at thirteen or fourteen, or perhaps earlier. I meet that objection at once by saying that at present we cinnot expect all to become highly cultured. Sixty years ago we would have despaired of seeing compulsory education got and child labor put down. Let us read an account of Lord Ashley's (afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury) struggles for a Factory Act. Do we realise what child labor and women's labor meant at the beginning of this century ? Do we in New Zealand know that boys of four, of five, and of six years of age had in the beginning of this century twelve and fourteen hours' labor per day exclusive of meals, and that bit by bit the struggle to reduce the misery of labor has been fought ? —that in the beginning of this century hardly a child passed through factory life without being injured or crippled, and that being able to read was the exception ! It was only in 1819 that children tinder nine were prohibited from working in cotton factories, and that no one under sixteen was allowed to work more than twelve hours per day, exolusive of meals ! Children of nine and ten working twelve hours per day ! A /Commission reported in 1833 —(1) That children worked the same number of hours as adults. (2) That the effect of the ohild labor was permanent deterioration of tho physical constitution, the production of diseases wholly irremediable, partial or entire seolusion from means of adequate education. (3) That children were not free agents being turued out to labor for money their parents or guardians received. And the very arguments—almost in the came lanSuage— that were used against factory h>gisition in Britain have been used against it ond against shortening the houra of labor in our own House of Representatives. And thoße who used such arguments have still the confidence of the democracy of New Zealand! So do not let us cast stones at the memory of our ancestors. But what if we -had auoh a social Btate as put off the beginning of work to our young men and young women till they had passed their lad and fcsshood. It seemed impossible in 1800 to aee eight hours the day of labor, and lmposttbletosee boy labor done away with. In our own widßt our boys and girls are going to work too early, and we will have a physical deterioration and degradation of our race if we do not stop it. I hear of boys going to school who have been up at four in the morning helping their parents to milk, etc. I hear of boys and girls in faotories half educated—boys and girls that should be in school, and out of doors when not in school—even in Otago. Our social system in the future will have to ohange and to improve just as much in the next sixty years
as it has changed and improved in the past sixty years. Is it too much to expect that the time may come when, instead of compul- ' sory education being secured up to thirteen years, we may have compulsory education up to eighteen years, and child and boy and girl labor unknown ? Who knows but if | this wore done wo might not have so many ( unemployed. " Oh," but it will be said, i " how can we produce sufficient and cheaply if labor is thus restricted ?" This is what was said when boys of four sat in cnal pits for twelve or fourteen hours doing work ! Wc produce more wheat, and cheaper than ; then ; more coal, more cotton and woollen | poods—everything better and cheaper; and ! child labor is becoming unknown. Machinery has enabled us to do with less labor ; ond we are not at the end of inventions yet. We then may have to look to a new social state, when no one will be allowed to do hard work till ho or she has reached a much greater age than the age now fixed for beginning labor. And then will come the question Whataro they to do? To loaf round tho streets in order to save a few thousands, or a few tens of thousands, or a few hundred thousands, and to unlearn much they have learned in the primary school V True economy will j not permit that. What then? Every-! one may have a high education. To the mechanic and laborer the competition of young persons is difficult to meet, and he does not wonder at trades unions protesting against too m:my young persons being admitted into their trades. Strange to say, some people appeal to the laborers and to the workmen to vote against secondary schools and universities, Why, it is their interest to vote for them. The more education—the higher the education—the better for them, and tho less competition from young laborers. Then, along with the change in the age at which young persons will 1)0 allowed to labor will come the question of the hours of labor. These will have to be still further shortened. In New Zealand we should be the best able to make the experiment, for we should for the same labor bo able to produce with, say, six hours' labor as much as countries less favorably situated could do with eight hours' labor; and if our laborers have only six hours' labor they will have more time for intellectual enjoyment, and I do not see why they should not at the close of their day of toil enjoy the studies of literature, classical and modern, of history, of philosophy, of sciences, which universities teach. The time will come when those who havo to do even laboring work will be able, when their day's work is over, to rationally enjoy the beauties of literature and art. I deny that intellectual labor unfits for physical labor, or physical for intellectual. Of course, one kind too long continued unfits for the other. But the time is coming, though we may not seo it, when the reading of the deepest books and the study of the moat recondite problems will he no more incompatible with hard manual labor than reading the novel or the newspaper is now. And the university is the agent to lead us forward to that time. To our young graduates and to our students I would say, what 13 your ideal of tho future social state? Picture what ib might be. Think of some ideal, and then struggle for if 1 . And to all I would urge this caution : that there can be no high social state in the near future unless and until the university takes a first place in our thoughts, lhe primary school is important—is a necessity for our future well-being; the secondary school has a most important function to perform, and without it the primary school lags behind. But we csn expect no glorious life for the toilers if we have no university. I call it the pledge of progress for the poor, the weary, and the hard worked ; and those who decry university education have not been able to think out what the world is going to be.—(Applause.) Sir RoWrt was occasionally interrnptccl during his address by the students breaking forth into song or interjecting such remarks as " Beg pardon ?'' " Oh, give the rest to the reporters!" and "Time!" Ncaring the conclusion of his remarks Sir Robert said "I hive only another minute or tvro," which statement was received with tremendous applause. At this juncture was sung ' The Student's Anthem,' a clever composition wedded to the tune of the ' Dragoons' Chorus,' from ' Patience.'
Dr Watt said it afforded him _ great pleasure to take a humble part in the interesting ceremony in which the New Zealand University congratulates and crowns with her approbation the students who have successfully passed the examinations prescribed by her. With their permission ho would trot out a fad of his, and attempt to vindicate for classics a place in the studies of the modern university. It must be understood that he was not an out-and-out defender of the old order. To keep boys who had no aptitnde for learning languages grinding away for six or seven years at Latin and Greek, from which they carried with them into business life the merest smattering, from which _ their mind* received no culture, was in his humble judgment a grievous waste of time, if it was not even cruelty to auimals. He could not help feeling that the once prized [accomplishment of being able to write Latin and Greek verse 3 was purchased at tho cost of precious time which might have been utilised in turning out more solid results of intellectual work. But, while making these admissions and concessions, lie felt bound to say that the old system possessed advantages which were more undervalued now than they were overestimated formerly. He would mention two or three of the more subsidiary of these:—(l) He would say that there is a considerable modicum of benefit to be derived from the intellectual exerciso necessary in mastering the grammar and vocabulary of any language ether than one's own mother tongue. Tho mind emerges from a successful grapple with any foreign tonguo enriched and strengthened. (2) This Latin is a considerable factor in the formation of the English language as sjoken, and more especially as written ; and they should imagine that no one can thoroughly understand all the niceties, the delicate shades of meaning in the English words he uses unless ho knows Latin, which supplies the key to their inmost meaning. (3) Then, again, the new terminology which the wonderful development in art and science in recent times has necessitated is largely taken from the ancient Greek, which language is more plastic than Latin, and lends itself to the process of word building more readily than any other language—except, perhaps, modern German. European literati and men of science, instead of excavating the materials for their name building outoftheirown respective languages, had wisely agreed to fall back on the old disused quarry of the ancient Greek, which is common property, with the result that the terminology thus built up, tho words thus coined, pass current throughout Europe. They should think that it would be almost worth while for a Btudent of science to learn Greek if it were only to enable him to understand tho fuller meaning of those outlandish words frowning upon him from above the portals of the entrance by modern annexes to the great temple, of knowledge. But these were subsidiary advantages after all. And, in his humble judgment, out of sight the greatest benefit to be derived from the study of the classics (when thai; study has been carried to the paying point of tapping the rich and rarest literature locked up in front of it) consists in the combined intellectual stimulus and liberal culture this study is so woll fitted to impart. He knew nothing that has a more liharalisiug effect upon the mind than the study of the ancient classics, except foreign travel, " personal contact with the cities and minds of many men," as Homer puts in the * Odyssey.' No poet had yet arisen who could afford to look down upon Homer and Virgil. No historians had yet excelled in terseness, graphic power, or portraiture and fidelUv to truth Thucydides and Tacitus. Tho speaker concluded with an eloquent peroration, and was loudly applauded on resuming his seat. During the course of his remarks he had, however, been interrupted by snatches of song, and such ejaculations aa "Put the gaa out"; "Give the old man a show !" etc. The students here sang the 'Students' March,' to the tune of ' Marching through •eorgia.' . , . , Dr Stuart, who wa3 received with great applause, said : I have much pleasure in congratulating you students on your successful graduation, and in hoping that this important step forward may prove a vantage ground to you in your respective walks of
Usefulness. The mental discipline which it implies should powerfully assist yon in your chosen pursuit, of whatever kind it may be, whether agriculture, commerce, manufactures, literature, or the professions. Somo time ago tho Press of this City made a great "to do" about the position of our students in the competitions for senior scholarships and graduation in honors, and eeemingly concluded, a3 it was not a foremost one, that either the teaching was defective or the students lacking in backbone and application.—(Loud laughter and applause,) I am not ii: lillerent to tho place obtained by our students in the annual examinations: on the contrary. I take special note of it; I watch it with keen eyes. As I read tUn correspondence to which I referred, I recalled that our University was not designed to be a corporation for cramming with a view to a high percentage of pasues, or even of honors, but a corporation whose business it is to teach the knowledge?. It was instituted, as I know, for giving the literary and scientific instruction which is ordinarily an indispensable condition of a man making the best use of his faculties. The founders dwelt far more on the influence of a body of professors good and tn.o in a young community—square men, full of zaal, earnestness, and knowledge, and apt to teach—than on the iullueuce of graduation, which in their judgment was secondary. The church trustees and Synod, who took a keen interest in the University, held the same views in substance. Early in the sixties they proclaimed that a modest college was a colonial desideratum that should uot be lost sight of. They showed their sense of the worth of good men by unanimously voting a stipend to their professors double the average stipend of ministers. Need I say that the greatest care has been taken to obtain fit men for the chairs they instituted and not without '. success. Their first professor was Dr j Duncan Macgregor—a man so competent | that I, for one, have not fully forgiven him | for exchanging the chair of mental and I moral philosophy for a sphere where he is ' useful and does splendid work. Our staff, I though not absolutely perfect, though they l are not angels—(hear, hear, and laughter)— : arc doing noble work. Aud if the students, as the newspapers say, have not lately taken a foremost place in the examinations, I put against this the high places they are taking in the professions and industries of the community, not only in tho colony, but also in the sister colonies. Need I say that lam glad when our students get the testimony to ! their scholarship and scientific attainments ' which a university degree implies. Yet, ! after all, the unmistakeable, the unquestioned test of disciplined faculty is the attainment of position in one or other of the varied competitions of life. I congratulate the University of New 7ealand on the i ability with which it does its work, but I 1 must also congratulate the University of Otago for the adequate provision she has made for the thorough education of the youth in various faculties that frequent her halls. While I live my prayer will be for her peace and prosperity. In conclusion, I may say that I am delighted with the order of this meeting—to bo able to control so well an audience of some 3,000 people is greatly due to you, Mr Chairman, and largely nlso, I presume, to the presence of so many fair ladies in the hall.—(Great applause.) The students sang ' Tho Promised Land,' to the tune of Hymn 414, Church Praise. The Chairman', in bringing the proceedings to a close, said that Dr Stuart had expressed his marvel that the proceedings had been so orderly and good humored, and had ascribed the credit partly to him (the speaker). He disclaimed all credit, save this—that he knew what students were. He knew that if they set up a brick wall on the platform tho students would dash against it like the waves, but if they let them have their own way they would evolve order out of chaos and produce as pleasaut an evening as they had had that night.—(Loud cheers.) The proceedings closed with the singing of 'Gaudeamus igitur.'
THE NEW ZEALAND UNIVERSITY, Issue 7998, 29 August 1889
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