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THE TECHNICAL CLASSES ASSOCIATION.

PRESENTATION OF CERTIFICATES. The aunual presentation of diplomas and certificates in connection with the above Association took place last night in the Victoria Hall, Agricultural Buildings. Mr A. Burt, president, chair, and among those present were gMr A. Sligo, M.H.R. (who on entering the hall was greeted with-hearty applause), the Rev. A. North, Messrs D. R. White, M.A., D. A. M'Nicoll, D. Wright, T. W. Kempthome, and G. M. Thomson, hon. secretary. There was a largo attendance of pupils. Mr G. M. Thomson, hon. secretary, in dealing with the report (which appeaced yesterday), said that the Association had now reached a stage at which he thought it was time it was taken out of the hands of a purely honorary body and orginised as a recognised public means of instruction. (Applause.) One of the reasons why they had been detained that night was largely owing to the work baiugdone by those who were engaged during the d ay, and who, they would see, had thisyear eurulled some 700 members. It'was with no spirit of boastfulness when he said that he questioned it. there was another association in Dunedin run on such economical lines as theirs had hitherto been. At the same time it could not be run on these linesin the future, now that they were entering upon a larger Bphere of operation, and he hoped that the superintendence would be~muchmore efficient than in the past. The great difficulty with which they had hitherto had to contend hid bsen that thfy had carried on operations in two different building?. They had no settled home, a3 it were, in which they could carry on their work, and great inconvenience had in consequance been experienced. He was afraid that at the beginning of next session they would not bs in a position to do their work under one roof, but he hoped the people of Dunedin would recognise that the time had come when that ought to be done.—(Applame.) After dealing with the attendance at the various classes, Mr Thomson remarked that there was the same trouble this year with regard to the classes dropping off as the session advanced. He thought if -trose partly from the fact that, while a great number of students came from a sincere desire to carry on their education, there was always a certain proportion who were sent by their parents, who, he thought, came somewhat against their will. Concluding, he read nn apology for absenco from the Rev. Dr Waddell, who congratulated the Association on the success it had attained during the paat session. The Chairman, in addressing themeetiug, said that he thought the Committee might fairly congratulate themselves on the results of their labors during the past session. The number of students attending the classes had far exceeded any former years, thus indicating that their efforts were being appreciated by the young working peopld of this district. Schools of this description were required all over the colony, so as to afford a means to the young working population to improve their education in the science of their respective callings. Ai lie had often said btfore, he looked upon this school as being a secondary, or rather a combination school, as well as a technical college, and he was truly glad to see that the proper sort were taking advantage of it. In years past they had had many difficulties to contend with, the chief being the want of proper accommodation ; but they now saw a bright light ahead, and they expected to have increasedroom for next winter. They bad leased premises in Moray place lately occupied by A. Morrison and Co. at a rental of £BO per annum for a period of five years, with a purchasing clause at £2,500, and to help them in the undertaking the Education Board had agreed to pay them £7O per annum towards the rent. This, along with the assistance they usually got from the Government, would enable them to extend their operations a little wider next session. He might also inform them that they had arranged to divide the whole of the buildings into olas3 rooms at a coat of £6OO od<l, and as they had only £3OO in hand they would require to again trespass on the good nature of their maay friends for some assistance, which he was sure would be forthComing. When the Minister of Education was in Danedin some months ago he took him all over the building, and after explaining their position to him he promised to place a sum of £I,OOO on the Estimates this session for the purpose of putting the premises in a suitable condition. They would then have a very comp!et3 technical college, which, in time to come, would, no doubt, form part of a general scheme of technical education. He wa3 glad to see from the Premier's Budget that he was alive to the necessity of a general scheme of technical education. When in England he must have noticed the great strides which had faken place in the principal cities there in technical education, and no doubt the putting of £25,000 on the Estimates for that purpose was the outcome of hi 3 observations. With regard to the teaching staff, he was glad to say that every oneof them had given the greatest satisfaction to the superintendent and to the Committee. That afternoon he had received a note from Mr Pryde giving the names of the students who had passed the London City Guilds' examinations, which, so far as the plumbers' class was concerned, was very satisfactory, and should help to stimulate the students who were working up for next Guild. He regretted that no carpenters and very few engineers went up for this examination, but he hoped to witness an improvement in this direction next year. The communication which he had received from the secretary of the Education Board was as follows : —'"l have pleasure in sending you herewith a list of the candidates who have been successful at the London City and Guilds examination in plumbing and mechanical engineering held in the month of May last: Mechanical engineering (ordinary grade)— Matthew Cable, second class pass. Plumbing, theoretical (honors grade)— H. A. Ross, R. Knox, and John Allan, first class; J. Wilson, second class. PlumbiDg (ordinary grade)— John Hay, first clas3. Plumbing, practical—R. Knox, John Allan, •J. W. Wilson, and John Hay, pass." This list included the whole of the names of those who went up for the examiuation in plumbing. Four went up for engineering, and one passed. Of the number who were examined in plumbing in New Zealand 80 per cent, passed, while in England only 50 per cent, passed.—(Applause.) The presentation of diplomas and certificates then took place, most of the recipients being greeted with applause. The Rev. A. North said he was very glad to have the opportunity of expressing his appreciation of the work that was being done by the Association. He took the pains to discover what proportion of the males between the ages of fourteen and twenty were represented upon the roll, ana he was astonished to discover that about one in every seven of those ages in the City and suburbs were upon the roil of the students in the institution. That appeared to him to be a magnificent result of the efforts of the Association. He was quite sure'that the students and the citizens generally recognised their deep indebtedness to Mr Thomson in this matter.—(Loud applause.) Ho should like to congratulate the successful students, who, he remarked, were not necessarily those who had won first class certificates, but those who, through their studies, had become the abler men and women.—(Applause.) There was a tendency to pay too much attention to the commercial value of the certificates, and he directed attention to the moral element which underlay all successful study. They needed to cultivate character of a high order. They wanted men who were robust through their devotion to duty and to God, and women who were adorned with the beauties of holiness.—(Applause.) Mr A. Sligo (who .was well received), after remarking that he could endorse all that Mr North had said, f aid he supposed ho must consider himself a politician.— (Langhter.) The appellation was new to him, and he had not practised the part to any extent—(Renewed' laughter.) He thought it was very gratifying that during Ihc last session the Association had 701 students—{applause)—and it fully justified the existence of such an plause.) It was thought at one time that what was being t ajht in the classes should be taught entirely in the workshops, and be left for private classes in the evening, but the large patronage which th,e

classes received allowed that their'existence"' was amply justified. He was pleased to notice that one student came all the way from Waitahuna three times a week, and he thought that that ought to be an incentive 'o the youth of Dunedin, who had the classes at their doors.—(Applause.) He was very pleased that the English class had been so largely attended and been so thoroughly successful. There was no walk in life in which a well-grounded English education was not of infinite value.—(Applause.) The youog man who stored his mind with some branch of knowledge was not likely to loaf about the street corners, hear : the bad language they too frequently heard, and smoke his pipe among associates who would teach him no good lessons. Concluding, he thanked them for the opportunity of addressing what he hoped were his future constituents.—(Applause.) Mr James Robin proposed a hearty vote of thanks to Mr Burt for presiding and for his labors on behalf of the Association, which, having been carried, the proceedings terminated.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18971016.2.44.8

Bibliographic details

THE TECHNICAL CLASSES ASSOCIATION., Issue 10446, 16 October 1897, Supplement

Word Count
1,629

THE TECHNICAL CLASSES ASSOCIATION. Issue 10446, 16 October 1897, Supplement

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