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The Evening Star. MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 1889.

The Railway Employes Insurance Bill scarcely received the Compulsory consideration it merited, iiisimnm*. either from the Government or the Parliament. The time chosen for its introduction—at the fag end of the session was inopportune, and the tone adopted towards it by the Premier was, to say the least of it, discouraging. In almost so many words he disavowed its paternity, and declined responsibility for its provisions. The Bill, he informed the House, emanated from the Railway Commissioners, and was not a Government measure at all. With Ministers so indifferent to its fate, it is not surprising that it was coldly regarded by the House, Jn fact, it perished stillborn, and wai no more heard of. When the lectures delivered by Sir Harry Atkinson a few years ago in advocacy of the Rev. Mr Blackley’s scheme for the “ Prevention of Pauperism” by a system of national insurance are remembered, his attitude on this occasion seems a little inconsistent. Perhaps, however, the proposals ef the Railway Commissioners, limited as they necessarily are to that branch of the Service which is under their special cognisance, are, in the Premier’s estimation, too narrow a field. If this be so, wo are bound to agree with him ; yet even this view of the matter does not offer sufficient justification for the cavalier treatment accorded to the Railway Employes Bill- A beginning must be made somewhere ; and perhaps the particular service interested offers greater facilities than any other for the initiation of a compulsory insurance system. The proposal is in itself so sound that it should be extended to every branch of the Government service, and should include all ranks. Were this carried into efiect, Parliament would pot be badgered as at present with petitions for compensation, for “ gratuities,” and for u compassionate allowances” such as figure on the Supplementary Estimates of thepresentyeartpthe extentof nearly £3,000. It is the duty of every recipient of Government pay—to go no further —to make provision for the days of old age and infirmity ; and in selfdefence the Government should render this duty imperative. This is what was proposed by the Railway Employes Insurance Bill. Of course, it referred only to permanent employes, meaning those who have been duly appointed and hays subscribed ’to the terms and conditions cf the Government Railway Service. Provisions are made for the medical examination of candidates for employment, and for inquiry into character; and only those who can produce certificates from the Board’s examiner that they are physically and mentally healthy and of sound constitution, and can fllgo furnish certificates of good moral character, are to be appointed. This is as it should be. The same Of similar regulations in force in Victoria pre attended with excellent results. Xwqnty-pne years is the proposed

maximum age for future admission into the service. So far the essential preliminaries. The “ insurance fund ”is to be made up of fines and penalties levied upon the employes which have already accrued or may hereafter be levied, premiums that may be paid for admission to the Service of persons above the maximum age, and contributions from the men themselves—namely, 2s per week when the pay does not exceed 7s per day, and 4d per week per shilling of daily wages above the before - mentioned sum. In return, a permanent employe who serves for twenty years, and whose age is not less than sixty-five, will be entitled to receive a retiring allowance at the rate of one-third of the pay he was entitled to receive at the date of his retirement. If he has served for any less period, and is under sixty-five years of age, his retiring allowance will be at the rate of one-quarter his full pay. Into the details of these proposals it is not necessary to enter. The above are the main points; and it will be surprising if they do not commend themselves to the approbation both of the employes and the general public. Whether the Bill will be revived or not next session, it is too early to venture any expression of opinion. If it is—and in the interests of all concerned it should be—the whole of the Civil Service should be included. There is nothing harsh in the proposal. By the compulsory institution of such an insurance fund the Government merely does that which all prudent men do for themselves. The main difference is that by the compulsory system the extravagant and reckless members of the Service will be prevented from hereafter becoming a burden upon the community. We are hardly yet prepared to accept the German system, which extends to every workman in the State. But if the State will but set the example, by making the system binding on every “permanent” employe in the Public Service, the advantages derivable therefrom would become so conspicuous as to render the prospect of its adoption becoming general a mere question of time.

The highest price on record for a postage stamp was realised recently, when an unused 4c British Guiana stamp of 1856 was knocked down at auction to Mr Buhl, the dealer, for LSO. The same gentleman also bought a similar stamp, which had, however, been through the post, for L3B.

Mr Maecabe’a entertainment was well patronised on Saturday night, the house being comfortably filled. The veteran seems to be as good as ever, and Mdlle Minnia is rapidly establishing herself as a popular favorite. This evening there is to be a change of programme, when Mr Maccabe will himself play the burlesque melodrama ‘ Vanquished Villainy, or Virtue Victorious,’ and will also introduce new songs and sketches. To-morrow is the last night of the season.

Mother John Evangelist, one of the nuns of the Dominioian Convent in Dowling street, died on Friday last of pulmonary consumption, and was buried to-day in the Southern Cemetery. A requiem mass was celebrated at 11.30 this morning at St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Archdeacon Coleman was the celebrant, Father Vereker deacon, Father O’Donnell sub-deacon, Father Burke master of ceremonies, and the Rev. Fathers O’Leary, O’Neill, and Lynch sang the Gregorian responses. The ‘ Dead March in Saul’ was played by the organist (Miss Horan) as the procession left tho cathedral. The pall-bearers were members of the Children of Mary and the Sodality of Our Lady of Perpetual Succor. The hearse was preceded by the girls of the Convent school, and the boys under the charge of the Christian Brothers. The procession extended from the bank corner to the Octagon. Mother Evangelist was born iu Waterford, and died in her thirty-fifth year. She came to the colony about eight years ago, and taught in the Convent School until about two years back, when, on account of ill health, she was ordered to Queenstown. In an article on Mr White’s case ‘ The Schoolmaster’ pays a high compliment to the Otago Education Board, of which it writes :—“ If there is a Board in the colony which more than others enjoys a high reputation for its management of the primary education iu its district, and for its earnestness in tho cause of popular education, it is the Otago Board, As a result, it has schools of which it may well be proud, officered not with the sycophants and trimmers of the profession, but with straightforward men who will cast worldly prudence to the dogs, and go to the extremest verge of allowable criticism and liberty of speech, in their determination to feelingly persuade ‘the threeman system ’ what it is, or what it promises to degenerate into.” The article goes on to discuss the question of classification of teachers, and the following extracts exactly express our own views on that matter: — “It seems to us that it would be a good thing if boards and teachers could come to an understanding as to some leading principles to be acted on in this matter. In making an appointment, for instance, what value shall be attached to high-class scholarships ? What to gentlemanly bearing and prepossessing appearance ? What to experience and proven skill ? What to a pair of twinkling bright eyes ? Is the law of Nature, that kissing shall go by favor, to be seriously regarded—even in educational affairs—as one of those great laws of natural selection that make for good much more surely than the best devised schemes of man, or is the matter to be governed wholly by percentages and tables of statistics ? Is the prophet to have honor in his own country, or is that to bo reserved for the new chum and the prepossessing stranger ? When one candidate shows a series of good reports from a lynx : eyed inspector, and another presents numerous testimonials from eminent divines, which is to weigh the heavier? One thing seems clear to us—namely, that if there is to be in the colony any parallel classification of schools and teachers no one who has not reached division I. by skill and experience should obtain one of the prizes of the profession—a post of head-teacher in any one of the larger schools. The Bill which was abandoned last year proposed to give the highest class of school to A3 candidates. What does this mean? Why, that a young graduate from the University may begin with A 4, as is sometimes the case, may then act as (say) tenth assistant for two or three years, then get promotion to A3, and be eligible for appointment to the best school going. And not only will our young graduate of about three years’ experience be simply eligible for the appointment, but, what is more, he will get. For the ‘common ’ school teacher who, with perhaps a C or D certificate, relies mainly on his dozen years’ good work in a primary school, will not stand a ghost of a chance against tho young graduate, backed up, as he will be, by his degree and tho testimonials (and perhaps active canvass) of the professors and graduates of the University he comes from. . , . The very excellent work being done by teachers in classes D and E shows quite conclusively that for teaching the work of the Standards high class University scholarship Is not by any means a me qvk non. In all parte of the colony there are D and E teachers, who receive the highest euconlums from the inspectors, aw would not receive such praise if they were not able to do their work thoroughly well; and it by private reading they have gained knowledge wb»h am them a grasp of all the subjects of the 3tq,Bdardjj, they should be eligible for appointment in any school, though they may never have spent five minutes in a university hall.

We have it on the best authority that the Rev. A. Bruce Todd has definitely withdrawn his name from being brought forward in connection with a call to Ravensbourne Presbyterian congregation, owing to the divided state of the congregation. Andrew M'Rorie, twelve years of age, was on Friday riding with the driver on a coalbox at Fairfield, Green Island, when, owing to the lad shifting his position, the box tipped forward, and he was thrown on to the rails. Three boxes passed over his right thigh, which was broken in two places. The affair was a pure accident. Dr Will attended the sufferer, who was eventually removed to the Dunedin Hospital. He is now progressing favorably, though at first the case was deemed critical.

Tho resident of the Taieri reported in Saturday’s issue as missing is Mr James Shand. He was In town on Wednesday last, doing business at the Official Assignee’s office, and afterwards returned to Abbotsford, where he was last seen on Friday morning by some of the farm servants, to whom he spoke as he went out to cross the fields. Active search has been maintained since Saturday morning, but up to the time of our going to press no tidings of success bad been received from the searchers,

Linden Lodge, U.A.0.D., meet in Roslyn Council Chambers-to-morrow.

Mr Brunton’s classes give their annual re hearsal of sacred song in the Garrison Hall this evening. Those Interested in the Otago annual regatta are requested to meet at the Port Chalmers Hotel on Thursday evening. The meeting on Friday night was of the “Vs,” and not of the Young Women’s Christian Association, as stated in our columns. The following are the hospital returns for the past week: —Remaining from previous week, 104; discharged during the week, 17; admitted during the week, 26, The total number of patients remaining in the institution is 110. Tho deaths were Christina Edwards, Edward Boas Edmonds, and Ellen Crawley. The quarterly meeting of the Enterprise Lodge, U. A 0.D., was held in the lodge room, OggS Railway Hotel, last week, there being a large attendance of members and visitors, A,l>. Bro. J. Bond was in the chair. It was resolved to send letters of condolence to Bros, Ogg and Fenwick. Secretary Bro. Scott was appointed delegate to the proposed united f deadly societies’ gala to be held during the Exhibition. The receipts were L 42 Ds. The quarterly meeting of Court Excelsior, A.0.F., held in tho Court-room, Morningtou Council Chambers, on Thursday evening was well attended by members and visitors, Chief Ranger Bio. W. Neill in the chair. Bro. William Mearns was elected to represent this court in a conference of delegates of friendly societies, with tho view to having a grand gala day for friendly societies in connection with the Exhibition. The receipts wore Ll7 13a Id. The quarterly meeting of St. Joseph’s Branch, H.A.C.8.5., was held in the Christian Brothers’ Schoolroom on Tuesday. It was decided to turn out in regalia on the occasion of Bishop Moran’s return from Europe should he arrive by the Southern express, and to present His Lordship with a suitable address. Bros. Dunne and Whitty were appointed to attend the meeting in reference to the procession on the opening d\j of the Exhibition. The receipts amounted to L4O.

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Bibliographic details

The Evening Star. MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 1889., Evening Star, Issue 8019, 23 September 1889

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The Evening Star. MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 1889. Evening Star, Issue 8019, 23 September 1889

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