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Tho oighloenth anniversary of these schools was celebrated on Tuosday by tho usual tea-party. The woathor boing beautifully fine, tho occasion drew togother a large number of both children and adults. Tho rejoicings were commenced on tho green adjoining tho Clvuveh, by various games suited to the variod tastes of tho children of both sexes—rounders, football, racing in packs, &c, with tho capital Erenoh game of the " Chicken in tho jug," being kept up with great zest during the afternoon, and making tho grcon present a vory festive appearance. At threo o'clock, the children adjourned to tho schoolroom and partook of a very substantial repast, returning ngain to their games until nightfall. Tho tea provided for the'parents and adult visitors took plnco nt fivo o'clock, also in the school-room, which may hero bo described as having been decorated with great taste, being .adorned with a profusion of very beautiful floral devices, many of which were of rare beauty, and spoko not only for the taste, but also for tho zeal of tho fair portion of tho promoters, whose handiwork they wore. The Countess de la Pasture entertained the audience by a few choice selections of music on tho pianoforte, and a musical box, lent by Mr. Hornby, added to the attractions. At six- o'clock tho Volnnteor Band arrived, and for two or three hours, on tho grcon in front of tho school, continued to givo an excellent assortment of musical pieces with good taste, very much to the general enjoyment. In tho evening, both children and visitors ro-ossemblcd in tho school-room, where an exhibition of the magic-lantern, illustrated by the lively and instructive remarks of Mr. Richards, kept the audience highly amused, especially tho juveniles, who testified by the usual method of clapping their hands, &c., their extremo delight. This was followed by tho customary award of tho three first prizes, to Masters Condell, Seymour, and Frank, and a present to tho former for assistance as a monitor. Father Garin then addressed tho assembled guests in a few telling and appropriate remarks. Ho doecribed tho great advantages conferred by a good education, and tho wonderful changes it has wrought m tho civilized world. Ho referred particularly to a modern phase which education had assumed, namely, tho night-school system, nnjd said that in France, the country with which he was most conversant, an attendance of 900,000 pupils at evening schools had been shown during the last year. Huving given a short resume of the difficulties linclor which St. Mary's School had laboured for some years, ho said he folt much pleasure in publicly tendering his thanks on that occasion to tho Superintendent, and through him to the public, for the beneficial change that had been brought about; adding that St. Mary's Sohool now started out on a now era of existence He paid a high tribute to the self-sacrificing assiduity of Mr. Richards, which, with his ability as a teacher, had maintained tho credit of the school, and gained for him the respoct and esteem of all who know him. As examples for tho emulation of tho pupils, ho cited the case of some of tho former pupils of Sfc. Mary's, who hud onco occupied tho samo forms as themselves, and who wero already filling positions calculated to incite them all with hope if they studied diligently in youth, and grew up to manhood in the exorcise of those virtues which ndorn and enhance tho worth of lifo. Tho roverond gentleman sat down amid prolonged cheers. Captain Rough next addressed the children, and dwelt at considerable length on tho subject of education, giving most vnluablo advice to them in the matter of self-instruction aftor they shall havo left school, and the kind of reading they should solcct. Ho concluded a very interesting speech, which we arc sorry wo cannot do nioro than allude to here, by urging the children to increased exertions, advising them in all things to attend earnestly to the instructions and examples of their most excellent and, painstaking muster, who hnd raised and kept up tho cliaractor of the sohool, und of their able and zaalous pustor, Father Garin, whoso efforts for their welfare during a series of years had at length gained a substantial recognition from the public. He then proposed threo cheers for Father Garin and Mr. Richards. Father Gavin proposed Bimilar honours for Captuin Rough and Mr. Mtreweather and the ohoir, and these having been heartily responded to, tho proceedings terminated with tho National Anthem, amid expressions of satisfaction from all present. Another tea-party foe tho school children took placo on Thursday, when a general salo of books, pictures, toys, &c., took place, followed by another exhibition of tho magic lantern, to which Mr. Brown lent his assistance. As a finale, the party stayed to witness tho ascent of a balloon from, tho premises, and then dispersed. Presbyterian CiiUßcn Sabbath ScnooLS.—The annual picnic in connection with the Presbyterian Church Sabbath Schools look placo on Thursday last in tho Maitai valley. Tho scholars having assembled nlong with their teachers, at ono p in., in Trinity Church, where- they wero briefly addressed by tho Rev. P. Cnlder, proceeded to tho place selected for tho day's enjoyment (kindly granted on tho occasion by Ralph Richardson, Esq.). Tho attendance of young people was larger than at any previous meeting of tho snino kind, about 150 being present, in addition to tho teachers und oilier friends. Tho usual games wero gono into with much spirit, tho beautiful weather contributing largely to the success of tho meeting. Art Tnion Pkizks.—Tho prizes drawn by the Nelson mibscribers to tho Art Union arrived by tho Queen Bee, together witli the engravings, of which each member receives a copy, and were unpacked yesterday by Mr. Stauton. Mr. Stanton informs us that they should havo been hero some timo ago, but were delayed in consequence of an accident to the plato from which tho engravings wero struck. Nelson has been unusually fovlinmto this year, no less than four prizes having been drawn by subscribers hero. The ilrat is Danby's picture, of " North Shields," an oil painting,Yulucclut thirtyguinouo. In delicacyof finish, and nice arrangement of light and shade, this work is cortitinly one of great excellence. Tho winner of this prizo wns Dr. Squires. The other prizes were, •'Tho Wood Nymph," a statuette, copied from n pieco by tho tculptor Birch, won by Mr. Dalbedyhll; bust of "Clyle," from the antique, Avon by Mr. N. Edwards; bust of tho " Princess of Wales," from tho original, by Mrs. Thorue\eroft, won by Mr. J. Sharp. Tho otigravjiii; for Iho year is mimed "Pity, or tho Wounded Robin," and is from a picture by Lo Jeuue. The engraving for Iho next }ear will bo " Hamlet—the Play Scene," engraved by C. W. Sliarpe, from tho celebrated original picture by D. Mnclise, R.A. The Wellington School.—"The Wellington Grnnnnnr School," says the Independent, " has at length been finally constituted, with It. E. Tuokoy, Esq., 8.A., tis its classical, and W. S. Hamilton, Esq., iti mathematical master."

Removal op Mb. Button tbom Chableston.— The inhabitants of Charleston are about to send— or have Bent— a petition to his Honour the Superintendent, requesting that J. 11. Dutton, Esq., the Resident Magistrate at Charleston, should not be removed to Cobden, as was intended. The Westport Times concludes a paragraph on the subject with these words :—" Should the request not bo granted, we must congratulate Cobden on having obtained tho services of Mr. J. Eoger Dutton, who is not only a gentleman in manner!) n.ncl cducfttion, but a thoroughly impartial and conscientious magis tratc." Clergyman at Brightox.— -The Brighton Times, of tho Bth instant, complains that the Bishop of Nelson lias not fulfilled a promise which ho gave on his recent visit to that town, of sending a clergyman there to reside permanently. The Resident Mugistrato has hitherto conducted the service, but it is too much to expect that lie should undertako this constantly in addition to his arduous duties as Resident Magistrate and Warden. Southland Railway.— We learn from the Southland papers that tho Government have consented to set apart 60,000 acres from tho -waste lands of the Southland province for the completion of tho railway between Invercargill and Oreti. Gaol Commission.— lt is stated that Mr. Haughton, who was recently appointed a member of the Gaol Commission, is about to leavo for Melbourne, for the purpose of gaining information relative to the system pursued in the Pentridgo penal establishment. Waikaeapa Railway.— The Wellington papers say that a deputation recently wailed upon the Superintendent to request him to grant them £230 out of the £2,000 voted for preliminary survey. His Honour declined, but promised tho services of Mr. Stewart, Provincial Engineer, as soon as that gentleman should be at liberty. The IStii Regiment. — The Wanganui Times, of tho 9th instant, says that two companies of the 18th Regiment are to be sent back to Wanganui, and that General Chute never intended that the whole regiment should have been removed from that place. MuaniEß tor Omata. — The member for Omaha, Mr. A. S. Atkinson, has resigned his seat in tho As- \ eeinbly. In his letter to the electors, Mr. Atkinson states that "having assisted for some time in making laws, he was now going to try and understand them." Wo believe that Mr. Atkinson has been appointed secretary to Judge Richmond. The Mail Services.— The Wellington Independent t of the lGth instant, says that the tenders sent in for tho conveyance of the interprovincial mails have been opened, and that of the New Zealand Steam Navigation Company accepted for the following services : — From Manukau to Wellington, from Auckland to PorL Chalmers, and from Port Chalmers to Manukau. The tender of tho Pannma Company has been accepted for the conveyance of the miiils from Wellington to the Blud, from Iho Bluff to AVcllington, and from Wellington to Auckland. Gold in Wellington.— Mr. Grovo, who has recently been searching for gold at Horowheuua, reports to the Superintendent of Wellington that, after a strict examination, ho failed to find a single speck of gold in tho locality. It appears that the man who gave the information as to the auriferous nature of tho country mistook some specks of mica for gold. Mokuiinui Coal.— The Wesfport Times, of the 13th instant, says : — " The Mary, a small ketch, came in with yesterday afternoon's tide, bringing the first cargo of coal from Mokihinui, of which sho has on board 25} tons. The coal appears to bo of excellent qualify, quite equal, if not superior, to the average of Newcastle coal, and fully equal to that of the Grey. It is clean and bright, and burns freely with a strong gaseous llame that augurs well of its richness in all desirable qualities. It is the produce of a mine between three and four miles up the Mokihinui River, where it crops out on the face of a cliff, thirty or forty feet in height, and is easily worked from the face ; but the mouth of the mine being below tho level of high water, some difficulty arises in its transport, as none but very small boats can go up to the spot at such times as it is possible to deliver it, which renders its carriage somewhat troublesome and costly. But this obstacle is about to bo overcome by tho sinking of a shaft down on to the crown of the seam from the top of the hill, by which tho miners will bo ablo to work at all times and load boats at the most favourable period of the tide. The seam is not less than six feet in thickness, bo that the workmen can stand upright in the claim. It has been traced back to a very considerable distance, and there are indications of other seams in the immediate neighbourhood. A very curious formation is observable in the face of the seam ; it is permeated by a distinct stratum of rosin nearly a foot thick, dividing the seam of coal into two distinct strata." The Caledonian Lead. — The Weslport Times, of the 13th instant, speaks wery highly of tho prospects of these diggings. "All the intelligence," says our contemporary, "we havo been ablo to gather of tho diggings in this locality seem to point to ono result, that there is about to be established hereabouts a large and very lucrative gold-field. Numerous parties of diggers with whom we havo conversed, who havo abandoned their claims on Addison'B Flat in despair of ever effectually subduing tho water, have been up to the new ground about the Caledonia to judge for themselves of the probabilities of better success there, and without a single exception they express themselves so highly satisfied with the prospects as either to have pegged out claims or sent one of their mates to prospect that p.irt of tho country. The great obstacle to a more rapid development of the auriferous wealth thnt doubtless lies here awaiting tho research of the miner is the villainous character of the road, or rather the want of all road whatever, which enhances the cost of provisions to an almost prohibiting point. Wo are glad to see, however, that the Government have begun to move in this matter, as tenders are out for a foot-bridge over the Orawiti Lagoon, above Jones's Briilge. Diversity of Religions in England.— When Talleyrand said that in England there were thirtynine religions and only one sauce, he greatly underestimated the religions. A return lias just been published from which it appears that there are no fewer than ninely-three sects. As a rule, the smaller tho number of members the more imposing the title of tho denomination. They think nothing of assuming to themselves alone names which all Christians claim. Some of them are, however, more modest and outspoken, as for instance, the "Ranters," who have registered themselves under that title. There is one sect which has adopted a name that is more appropriate than Avas intended. Its members call themselves " Peculiar People," and no ono will deny that, they are very peculiar people indeed. There is ono sect which does not know how to spell, ami calls ilself " Electics," having apparently confounded together the old eclectic philosophers with tho modern electric telegraph. There is another sect which seems to attach considerable importance to amusements, find calls itself " Recreative Baptists." Another, seeming to defy the apos- ' tie who censured those who " separated" themselves, openly call themselves " Sc^uvatista." The " Hallelujah Band," and Iho " Wo<leyan Reform Glory I Band," would seem to be fond of music, if not of ritual. There is a denomination called "Christian Eliasites." whose tenets can only be finessed at, and who might copy with advantages the precision of the sect which styies itself " Protestants adhering to ; the Articles of the Church of England, 1 to IS inJ elusive, but rejecting order and ritual" — a title thnt ' nt least has the merit of coinprchensibilily, if not brevilv. There is one sect, which, in endeavouring to attain to simplicity, has in its very efforts defeated its own objecf. It is called " Christians who object to bo otherwise desianated," a title which i.= sure to be converted for the snip of brevity into " Otherwise designated Christians." These ninetytlireo bodies do not, it must be remembered, include nil those numerous sects in which the priest, preacher, and congregation are nil one, and only ono. No religious body containing less than two persons is registered.

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ST. MARY'S SCHOOLS., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXVII, Issue 8, 18 January 1868

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ST. MARY'S SCHOOLS. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXVII, Issue 8, 18 January 1868