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THE LATE DR. TRAILL

The Master of Trinity College. Dublin, one of the best-known men in the Irisii capital—Dr Traill, Provost of Trinity College and a great churchman—died on October 16. .In the course of an appreciation in the columns of the London ' Times ' Professor Charles Down thus writes of his old colleague: Dr Anthony Traill's most striking quality was his untiring energy of mind and body. The Province of Ulster has been described as an '' unfailing reservoir of human energy." No more remarkable illustration ot the truth of the description could be given than the fact that Anthony Traill was an Ulsterman. With unflagging energy he united an extraordinary tenacity of will and the most perfect fearlessness. Pie liked popularity, but he. would always sacrifice it to the carrying out of whatever purpose seemed to him to be right and necessary. He was essentially a strong man who believed that he had work to do, and meant to do it, no matter what difficulties stood in tho way. With all this he had an exceedingly kind heart; indeed, ho had a deep capacity for affection, and would spare no pains to help those whom he loved. He was splendidly magnanimous, too, and never bore malice, even against those who were his most determined opponents. If convinced that an opponjuit had reason on his side, Traill would at once franklv confess his error.

Quite early in his career he gave up the systematic pursuit of scholarship and de voted himself to practical affairs. Here he. shone pre-eminent.. He would have made a magnificent Chancellor of the Kxchequer. He ought certainly to have been sent to Parliament: but ho was too strong and fearless for modern politics. ffe possessed a strong and deep sense of religion, but eared little for Church parties. For tho Church itself in the widest sense lie had a great love, and was one of that body of able men of affairs who. after the Disestablishment of tho Irish Church, undertook 'and carried through the reorganisation of her finances! To the last he took a leading part in the administrative, work of the General Synod' and Reprosenattivo Bodv of the Church of Ireland.

But the greatest work of his life v:as accomplished during the 10 years of his tenure of the high office of Provost of Trinity College, Dublin. They were critical years in the history of tho university. Siho had to be defended from attack from without and to bo reorganised in her constitution. In both tasks he was splendidly successful. That the problem of university education in Ireland was solved without a breach in the great traditions of Trinity College and without injury to her prestige-was,mainlv due to his ability and his fearless guardianship of her welfare. The task of reorganisation was even more difficult. Under the. old constitution Trinity College was absolutely ruled by the Board of Senior Fellows under the headship of the Provost. These, were all men of advanced years. I well remember Dr Mahaffy saving—it was about 35 years ago —that in Trinity College no man's opinion was regarded as worth considering until he was 60, and that when he reached the age of 70 he was held to be " positively infallible." It bad long been seen that, this system must be changed. New methods were imperative, new sciences must be provided for. Here was the problem that Provost Traill faced. Leading the forces of revolution, he. a man of 70. stormed the citadel of the ancients and opened the way for youth and enterprise. Tho necessary King's Letter was obtained, and after many hard battles Trinity College passed, without breach of continuity, under the rule of a governing body on which the younger men of the university and f Jie professional schools are represented. It i« tho most important of the many developments which College owes to the intrepid leadership of the late Provost. The opening of the. university to women was also mainly his work. Tn ail these movements his aim was ever to fit the old university for modern conditions, and to promote efficiency.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19150109.2.8

Bibliographic details

THE LATE DR. TRAILL, Issue 15696, 9 January 1915

Word Count
686

THE LATE DR. TRAILL Issue 15696, 9 January 1915

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