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The New Stoke Orphanage

ITS HISTORY AND SURROUNDINGS THE OPENING CEREMONIES

(Our Special Report.) It was six-thirty of the clock on May 20 when we came on deck of the s.s. ' Penguin ' outside Nelson. The ' leeth of the wind ' were somewhat sharp and bit the surface of nose and ear sufficiently to remind us that we were in latitude 41 south, that the sun was yet abed, and that iti was the seasion of the sere and yellow leaf. Nelson is beautifully kept. Its streets, its parks, its gardeais, shops, ottices, and homes look as spick and span and neat as if they had just been turned out of wrappings of tissue pamper. Over the whole place there broods an air of settled comfort and prosperity. Commercial (Nelsqn seems to aim at doing enough business to keep itself in exercise and health. But the prevailing impression that it leaves upon the casual visitor is associated with smoking-caps and slippers and easy-chairs. It is a clean, comitortable French provincial town in an English dress and speech. Like Napier, it has a climate to write poetry about— and poetry with ' beef ' in it, too. It seems tbat during the past twelve months the sun dul an average of eight hours' work a day of actual sTiining in Nelson, from the dawn of New Year's Day to the close of St Sylvester's— Sun/dayis and public holidays ana" suchlike over-time included. Somewhere in one of his writ-

ino-s Max O'Rell picks Nelson out as a terrestial paradise' We cannot quote his words just now, but (as the police reports say), ' from information received it seems to us that Nelson has become to Welhngtonlans what Paris (accqrding to Mark Twain) is to Amencans-a place where good people go to after dCalh THE CHURCH \\\ NELSON In the matter of buildings, institutions, and other evidences of spiritual acthity, the Catholic body in Nelson (although only a very small and by no means wealthy percentage of the population) stand easily ahead of all others. The principal part of their caurch property in the town Is situated in a fine position across he back oO a round knoll, and commands a iew ONer the city, across the harbor, and down the rug-

ged coast avid over the) hills and far away. The buildings include the following : a fine two-storey presbytery ; a fine church ; a lalrge a\nd well-fitted boys' primary school (also used as a hall for entertainments) ; a two-storey girls' primary school ; a large five-storey convent and high school of the Sisters of the Mission— the largest and most notable buiiaing in Nelson ; and two orphanages conducted by the Sisters, one for girls and one for little boys. The latter is, so to speak, a preparatory institute for that of Stoke. The buildings are all solid structures, chiefly of totara. For, till recently, erections of brick and stome were unknown in Nelson, as the earth's skm is somewhat uncertain there, and subject at times to the shivering fits which seismologists call tremors, or to the more emphatic blows from the deep interior that are known as shocks of earthquake. The girls' school is the last architectural souvenir of the pastorate of the YEN. ARCHPRIEST C^HIN, S.IV|. better known as Father Gann. Two others— the orphanage of 1872 and its next successor— were eaten up by the flames that left ' old St. Mary's ' in Stoke a blackened ruin im April. 1903. The fir&'t Mass was celebrated in Nelson on Sunday, May 5, 1841, by Bishop Pompallieir, who preached to the Maoris on the occasion. Father O'Reilly (them pastor of Wellington) followed with a sermon in English. Just six years later— on St. Michael's day, 1850— Father Garin reached Nelson as its first resident Catholic priest. He had in his pocket a slender grant of £6 irom Bishop Pompallier 't 0 buy a house '—or rather (as it turned out) to erect a simple whare after the plans and specifications then customary with the Maori of Nelson. But Father G arm's white parishioners would not hear of a whare And so their new pastor settled in a litUe two or three-roomed cottage, and paid for the pri\ ilegc to the tune of eight shillings a week. Father Garin was a model and devoted pas tot. He openeS a school in 1850, v-ith 30 pupils. He was the preceptor, guide, philosopher, and friend of the present Archbishop of Wellington, who, on December 8, 1854, proceeded to Europe, accompanied by Father Comte, to pursue his ecclesiastical studies there ' FrankRedwood ' (as he is called in Father Garin's diary) was the first ecclesiastical .student that went from New Zealand : the first priest or'damed from this Colony ; and on the golden jubilee of his departure he stood amidst the mitred throng at the great celebrations of the Tmmaculato in Rome as the first Archbishop and Metropolitan of this new Prounce of the Church of God. On February 6, 1871, four Sisters of the Mission came to Nelson and opened a convent. Father Garin's diary— the substance of which we hope one Say to publish—is an epitome of the history of the Catholic Chinch in the Nelson mission from the days when it was in ils swaddling clothes till it's lusty growth of 18N<). lie passed away full of years and "honors and good works, on Palm Sunday (April 11), 1889, after a fruitful pastorate of 39 years A year and a half later, a handsome mortuary chapel was completed by a grateful people to his memory. Thoujrh the coffin was in part water-logged and portions of the Aestments decayed, the holy old man's remains were found as incorrupt ami placid as if he had only just passed away. There was not even a graveyard odor about the coffin. The reni'a/rka>ble fact was attested in full legal form by the medical ana other witnesses— fifteen in number, and of various creeds— who had been prnileged to witness it. Father Garin's memory and his work are still a bonedictkn among the widely-scattered little flock of the faithful in the Nelson province. Father Clancy is tjic venerable old man's second successor in the pastorate of Nelson. Close by the school erected by Father Garin, there stand, in ample grounds, the Two Orphanages conducted by the Sisters of the Mission. We found both, in e\ery department, bright, cheeiful, and more spotlessly clean than the deck of a man-o'-war. The children (42 small boys and some 7'o girls) were chubby, clean, well-nourished, and comfortably clad. But what pleased us most of all was the evidence of close affection that bound the little ones to those who stood to them in the place of mothers. On the day of our visit twelve of the ' biggest ' little lads were to be selected as a draft for tlhe Stoke Orphanage We were present when their names were announced, and witnessed the tearful grieif with which the little fellows clung to the Sisters, and entreated to be allowed to rcnvain with them Some of them (we were told) avowed their intention of becominig Sisters— when they grew up ; and little weeping deputations! s came two anS two to open to their confidant and friend, Father G Mahoney, their grief at parting from Ihose who had been more than mothers to them. It was a delicate and eloquent compliment to

the great-hearted kindness of the Sisters in charge of the little motherless waifs, THE ORPHANAGES The first Catholic orphanage in Nelson was a small cottage opened in September, 1872, by Father Garin ia order to rescue and preserve to the faith some parentless Catholic children who were being brought up in an alien creed in a non-Catholic Orphanage in the suburb of Motueka. In the early part of 1877 increased accommodation was added, at a cost of £240. in 18.82 another addition was made, this timd at a cost of about £500. Up to 1884 the Orphanage bad been supported by grants from the Provincial District of Nelson. In that year it was gazetted as an Industrial School under the Ac v and entitled to direct Government capitation. Magistrates from all parts of New Zealand were thenceforth empowered to commit children to St. Mary's, and, as a consequence, its numr bers soon began to increase rapidly. The Nelson home became too small for the new conditions. A fine estate of 375 acres was therefore secured near the Stoke township, some five miles from Nelson. In 1886 a fine twostorey wooden building was erected there at a cost of

abouu £5000. A few years later the ' Trolove ' eslate, of nearly 4,00 acres,, was acquired at a cost of £3000, giving an extensive frontage to the main road. The management of the Orphanage has always been \estcxl in one of the priests of the Nelson parish— first in Father Garin, next (from 1881) in Dean Mahoncy, S M.. who continued In his office till his death in I<JO3. The Government then appointed the Rev. George Mahoney, S.M , the present Manager. From the commencement till the year 1800 the Orphanage was staffed by secular teachers awl attendants. In the year just mentioned, the Marist Brothers took charge, at tfie request of Archbishop Redwood. Their tenure of office was terminated by the unfortunate occurrences of the year 1900, whictfi are befit known as

'THE STOKE PERSECUTION The work has, so to speak, passed through flood and fire since the dawn of 1900— through the bitter waters of persecution and through the lapping of material flames. In 1900 and l!) 01 it passed through a long, slow martyrdom of coarse calumny. Some administrative errors were attributed to the Marist Brothers, who were in charge of the Orphanage. These referred chiefly to punishments. To these were added, later on, two trum-pedr-up charges of a criminal nature. 'I he accusations ■wore eagerly caught up, encouraged, and exaggerated by the Orange faction in Nelson. A disreputable ncwsipaper threw itself into the campaign. It, unhappily, controlled the avenues of press information to thfc world outsido Nelson Day by day sensational and malevolent reports went o\cr the wires to the ends of New Zealand; and e\cn across the Tasman Sea, and were accorded the prominence- of position, type, and generally biassed editorial comment by a considerable section of our secular newspapers, that had passed o\er in dead silence, or with the briefest veiled mention, the grave moral scandals that had arisen in some of our State Industrial Schools. The ' yellow ' organ of Nelson was itself as silent as the grave when, at a later stage, grave and specific irregularities were alleged against a denominational orphanage in the same district. The friends or Tools of the Orange Faction in the Legislature poured out waterspouts of abuse'upon

the Brothers, under the safe -cover of parliamentary privilege A Royal Commission of Inquiry was appointed. Its report exonerated the Brothers from the allegations of cruelty, and lecommcnded certain alterations in clothing (which was admitted to be strong and sufficient, though somewhat rough), and in the food, which was pronounced to be abundant and wholesome, thougn not sufficiently varied. Panic legislation was passed by an excited maiority of law-makers who sorely needed icebags to then heads. It imposed conditions which were intended to make it impossible for the Brothers to have any connection with the Orphanage. So they quitted the scene of their labors. Six charges of cruelty and two of anothet kiwi were brought against them by the Crown They returned, of their own accord, from Sydney, and fared their accusers in the Supreme Court in Wellington While the trials were still pending, frantic meetings of the Saffron Sash fraternity and their friends were- held in Nelson and elsewhere ; the anti-Stoke press

openly and shamelessly published commenls on the cases; and fanatical efforts were made to prevent the possibility of a fair trial by arousing popular feeling to the point where reason abdicates her throne to paspion. In court, however, the conspiracy against the Brothers was exposed and avowed at an early stage. Judge Edwards decKared that he would not hang a cat on such evidence as had been tendered. The cases against the ' blackgowns ' collapsed completely and all along the line. They left the court without a stain upon tneir character — acquitted of the concocted and envenomed charges made against them by juries that were wholly or almost wholly Protestant. The Brothers Triumphed. But they had already quitted the scene of their long and useful labors for the waifs and strays of New Zealand. A select and efficient lay staff was introduced. It consists at the present time of the following : Master and matron (Mr. and Mrs. Pitz^ibbon) ; head teach«r (Mr. Beech) ; two assistant teachers (Messrs. F. Kelly and J. Dwyer) ; a female staff (Mesdames Beech and Kelly, Misses Cummdngs and McCarthy) ; farming staff (Mr. V. Beech in charge) ; gardener (Mr. C. McGee) ; and Mr. Matthews, who is in control of the brickworks. Among the workers on the farm is an aged man from the (lien of Aherlow. Old James Kelly was the discoverer of Reefton's first reef. 'He came to Stoke to pass the late evening of his life in pcaoe and prepare for the twilight and the dark and the Light Beyond. The Rev. George Mahoney succeeded the late Dean Mahoney in tine managerial carea of Stoke. Dean Mahoney never recovered the shock of the Stoke persecution. It broke the happy and sunshiny spirit for which he was so well known, and shattered his erstwhile robust constitution, lie went to his native air im search of health, and remained to (lie. It was in Dulblin, on Easter Sunday (Aoril 12), 1903, that his spirit took flight, bright with the hope of the Better Land. His remains lie among those of his* kith and kin in Pallasgreen. Bcteide the pretty church in Nelson there stands a handsome monument of Carrara marble, erected to his memory at 'a cost of £108 by the people among whom he bad so fruitfully labored for eight and twenty years. Beaieath the principal inscription are engraved these appropriate words from the Sermon on the Mount : ' Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven ' (Mat tan., v. 10). T^E Flf\E ' Tlho persecution ' (as it is commonly called) furnished sufficient anguish to satisfy even the gluttony of even a J(ob for the chastening lessens of sorrow. But another blow was soon to follow. It fell just fifteen days after the parsing of the late Dean Mahoney. At about two o'clock on the morning of April 27, liKM, the Stoke Orphanage was disco\ered to be on fire. The dry wood of 1885-6 was chewed up like grass before an ' Australian bush-fire. The buildings were completely swept. Stores and clothing were reduced to smoke and ashes. Everything was destroyed. The staff— nobly intent on saving life— lost everything. The boys, clad only in their nightclotb.es and blank els, fell in coolly to drill, at the word of their instructors, marched downstairs and out into the thick plantation of pines and aucalypts. There they passed the remainder of the night, warmed by the fierce glow of the flames that left them, for the time, without any roof above 'their heads bpt the sheltering arms of the tall pines. One little boy, in defiance of instructions, eluded the vigilant eyes of the staff and went (as is thought) into the building by its yet unburned end, in search of some prued object. It is surmised that a burning ceiling fell upon him. At any rate he was never seen alive again. His charred lemains were discovered later on amidst the smoking ruins. Within an hour after the outbreak of .the fixe the Rev. (ieo Mahoney was awaked out of troubled slumbers by the hoof-beats of a horse galloping at a break-neck pace. The news was passed to him like the blow of a paving-sett. There are some— and they are, we wc«n, the born leaders of men— who are so constituted that suSden calamities merely harden up their nerves and emphasize their power for cldar ana rapid thinking. Of such a land is the Manager of the Stoke Orphanage lie hurried out, surveyed the scene, and then Set to WorkBy fhe o'clock, a.m., he had the shops Tn Nelson opened an,d ransacked for clothing, groceries, cooking utensils and all manner of supplies At eight o'clock every boy in the Orphanage was dressed in a complete new suit of clothing and sitting down to a steaming and generous al fresco breakfast — a sort of improvised picnic — in the old play-yard. Tarpaulins were bought or borrowed ; tents were lent by the Defence Department ; quantities of timber were sent out ;

a squad of carpenters were engaged ; the museum (which had escaped the flames) was ' turned out ' and the large hop-kiln and l>arn were transformed ; and that night, at the customary hour for retiring, every boy in the place was snugly ensconced in a capacious ' berth,' provided with a comfortable mattrass and pillow. But for weeks the slumbers of the little sleepers were disturbed by lurid dreams to which the vivid terrors of the great conflagration gave, many a time, a voice and a cry that broke the stillness o' nights with fresh alarms. It rained dismally for a great part af the four weeks of feverish and anxious work that followed the destruction of ' old St. Mary''S.' By that time temporary premises were completed at a cost of £600, and life pursued the even tenor of its way, as in the era that is now called) by the boys ' bePore-the-fire.' Even during these weeks of dripping rain the health of the boys was all that okuld be desired. The ashes were still warm in Stoke when a new building was arranged for, to rise over the pall of black cinders which were all that was left of the old. Within six weeks the plans and specifications of the new St. Mary's were ready. TendeSrs were oalleid. They were all too high.- Father Mahoney decided to do the work without the contractor's adventitious aid. He started up-tordate brickworks to utilise the immense resources of fine material upon the farm, let plumbing and otjher contracts wherever such a course commended itself to his judgment, and did the rest of the work by day labor, under his own and the architect's skilled supervision. The result has in every way amply justified Father Mahoney's practical knowledge and business acumen. The new building was started in September, 1903. Over 300,000 bricks were used In the building. The lowest tetnjder for the new Orphanage was £10,700. It was erected an 9 furnished for £9500. On Wednesday of last week was solemnly blessed and opened the new and beautiful Stoke that has arisen, like a Phoenix, out of the astfies of the old. It stands to-day more like a college than an Orphanage, and is the fmest and best appointed institute of its kind in New Zealand. THE NEW BUILDINGS The new building was erected from the designs of' Mr. John S. Swan, architect, Wellington. It has a frontage of 224 feet, with a varying depth of 128 feet. The height from ground line to the highest ridge of roof is 35 feet, and to top of cross on belfry 50 feet. The outside has been treated in a bold, simple manner, the style being Romanesque. The foundation is of concrete, and the ordinary walls and gables of red brick relieved with plaster dressings. All the roofs are covered with Marseilles roofing tiles. The main entrance is approached from a massive set of concrete steps 14 feet wide. The entrance porch is 10 feet 3 inches by 6 feet 9. The main vestibule measures 10 feet 3 wide, and the fine halls and corricfors 8 feet wide. The following accommodation, is provided :—: — Reception room ; office ; two rooms for the use of the Rev< Manager ; a particularly beautiful chapel 54 feet by 20 by 27 feat ftigh, with .sanckiary, sacristy, fino open-work roof, and handsome window which is to be fitted with stained glass and to serve as a memorial to the lato Dean Mahoney ; dining hall for the boys, 13 feet 6 by 25 feet ; kitchen, 21 feet by 19, with large central range and up-to-date appointments ; store-rooms; scullery ; sitting-room and bedroom for working Manager ; dining-room for staff ; workroom, with knitting machines which the boys are trained to use, and sewing machines for those learning the tailoring trade (bootmaking and carpentry will shortly be added) y clothes room 32 feet 6 by 16 feet 6, with locker for each boy ; and drqssing room for the boys, 32 feet by 13. There are two large dormitories, finished, like the rest of the rooms, in spotless white, with the architectural members of the ceilings picked out in a faint green tint. They are flooded with light and measure, one 82 feet by 36, the other 75 feefc by 38, both together affording ample accommodation for rOO boys. The mattrasses and pillows were all made by the boys, under the direction of the Rev. Father Mahoney f who has a thorough knowledge of' the trade. Attached to each dormitory there is a prefect's room. Adjoining the dormitories is a well appointed lavatory, 48 feet by 12 feet 6, together with six baths and other conveniences. There are also three fine class-rooms, each 22 feet 6by 20 feet, each with its own large fire-place. The rooms are divided by folding doors. All the rooms have rimu 'dadoes. The walls abovo the darloes ; likewise the ceilings, are finished in patent plaster. The rooms are (with the exception of the chapel) 15 feet hiejh. They are admirably lighted and ventilated, and so arranged as to render the Working of the Institute as easy as possible. Electric bells are everywhere, and

the whole building is brilliantly lighted by the largest installation of acetylene gas in New Zealand. To the left of the entrance, set in one of the gable ends, is a memorial tablet to the late Very Rev. Bean Mahoney. The inscription thereon reads as follows :— ' This building replaces old St. Mary's, destroyed by fire 27th April, 1903. A home for the homeless waifs and strays of the Colony, it is raised, moreover, as a memorial of the late Very Rev. Dean W. J. Mahoney, S M., the orphans' greatest benefactor and constant friend. "He that shall receive such little child in My name receiveth Me."— St. Matt., xviii., 5.' Detached from the main building is the hospital, which is not yet complete. It will contain a ward 36 fppt by 18 ; nurse's room, kitchen, bathroom, and other conveniences. The latest sanitary appliances have been used,- and the drainage is disposed of by the septic tank and filter-beti system. An excellent water supply has been obtained by building, on a hill some 150 feet above the Orphanage, a large concrete reservoir holding some 30,000 gallons. This is feel by a mountain stream, and from it the water is conducted in pipes to the buiiaing, which is also furnished with ample and ever-ready appliances for the extinguishing of fire. Up a sunny, osier-planted valley there is a large swimming bath, in which the boys disport themselves in the summer-time. Some ftlea of the extent of the Orphanage may be gathered from the fact that over 300,000 bricks have been used in the walls, and about 80 tons of tiles for the roof work. The bricks were made on the Orphanage property. An everlasting supply of the finest brickclav has been tapped. It is treated by "new and thoroughly up-to-date plant. There is shed accommodation for 120,000 bricks, but sheds and kilns have to be enlarged to meet the increasing demands for the excellent article that is being turned out by the brickworks staff. Other sources of revenue to meet the heavy outlay arc a flock of some 800 sheep ; a well-kept poultry run; a hop-garden ; and some hundred or so of sleek, comfortable ' gintlcmin that pay the rint '—and look as if they knew it. Rut there is a heavy burden of debt upon the Orphanage—Some £10,000 all told, including a n old liability that remains, like an Irish "hanging dale,' from the days before the fire. The Government has declined any building grant ; and it only remains for generous souls throughout the Colony to come to the aid of this great New Zealand charity. And he gives twice that gives speedily. THE OPENING CEIIEtyOUY The new Orphanage and Industrial School were solemnly blessed and opened on May 24, Empire Day. The ceremony was performed by his Grace the Archbishop of Wellington, who was assisted by the following clergy : Yen. Archdeacon Devoy, S.M, ; Very Rev. Father Lewis, S.M., V.G. ; Very Rev. Dean McKenna (Mastcrton)'; Rev. Fathers Ilickson, Tubman (Timaru), S. Mahoney (Christqhurfch), Fay (Blenheim), O'Shea and Moloney (Wellington), Clancy and G. Mahoney (Nelson), and Cleary (Dunedm). The beautiful chapel was first blessed, and then the remainder of the Institute. The ceremonies were witnessed by a large gathering of people of various creeds from the Province and its capital, including the Mayor of Nelson and other local representative men', tho Hon. Colonel Pitt, Attorney-Gejieral and Acting Minister of Education; the Hon. F. Trask, M.L C. ; and the architect (Mr. Swan). Among the assembled gathering were many old Stoke boys. ' Apologies weie icceued from his Excellency the Governor, who evpiessed his intention of shortly paying a visit to the Orphanage ; iihe Right lion Mr. Seddon ; Sir J. G. Ward ; the Right Rev. Dr, Mules, Anglican Bishop of Nelson;' tho Hon. R. Reeves ; Mr. Mackenzie, M.H.R. ; Judge KennyMr. Hogben, Inspector-General of Schools ; and many of the clergy and laity throughout New Zealand. At the close of the ceremonies of blessing and opening tho building, Addresses were delivered from the steps at the entrance. Archbishop Redwood said in part : ' I have first of all to express my sincere thanks to those who have assembled here to-day in such large numbers to assist in the ceremony of inaugurating so great a work. I feel sure that if the late Dean Mahoney were present here in the flesh to-day, his heart would leap with joy to see, the beautiful building that has arisen on the ruins of the old Orphanage. When the fire destroyed the old Orphanage, theie was universal grief among the Catholic body. But now there is universal joy because we see erected a building so far superior in every lcspecl 1o the one that has been destroyed, and I feel sure that the whole Catholic body will feel proud of a building which is a credit to them, and to their generosity. It was a great blow to us when the old

building was destroyed, but we did not lose courage, ami llmsf day -witnesses the crowning of all) our hopes. The building is a credit to the architect (applause), tho builders, and to Father Mahoney, who had the management of the institution through its period of \ lassitudes .since the late Dean Mahoney relinquished ts charge. Father Mahoney was heae when his heart was almost broken at the sight ot the ruins of the Orphanage , he was here to pilot it thiough anxious moments and trying times , but the tangible icsult of his ehorts is now before him, and his wonk has been crowned wiih great success.' Having rcferiod 10 me mid.voida.blo absence of liio JJ':vLclle;icy the Governor and tine Premier, the Aichbi.sh.op concluded as follows . — ' Jn the name of the Laiiiohc body, I thank all those who have helped in connection with the Orphanage. r ihe institution has succeeded in carrying out the great work for which it was instituted — in training, a large number of our youthtul wails and strays to be good and useful citi/.ens. Out of TOO ■who have gone forth from the institution, more than 1)0 per cent, have given full satisfaction as usetul members of society (applause). This is a reward which amply repays the founding of the institution and the carrying out of its work through so many vicissitudes.' His 'Grace again thanked all helpers in the name of the Catholic body. TliE HOJI. COL. PITT congratulated the Archbishop and the governing body ofl St. Mary's on the opening of the new Orphanage. 'We all,' said he, ' know that an institution of this kind, and with such extensive accommodation, is not erected, matured, and brought fto full perfection without those who are guiding Its desr tiny experiencing many difficulties, many disappointments, and many untoward circumstances in bringing their task to a successful issue. Knowing this, then, we can all the more heartily join together in extending our congratulations to those icsponsible iol this institution upon their having been able to erect the splendid building which his Grace has blessed and formally opened heie to-day (applause). It is a pleasant, thing to appreciate work well done, and it is pleasant also for those who have done that work well io receive congratulations from such a large number of members of the community as are asembled heie ; and all the more so, because they are not all membeis of the particular Church which founded and maintains this institution (applause). It is unnecessary for me to speak 01 tihe building It speaks eloquently for itself. But all will agree that it is a gicat credit not onl\ to the professional skill and taste of the architect, and to the governing body, but also a credit and an ornament 'to the district in which it is erected. I should, however, like to say just a word or two as to the work which is carried out in such an institution as this, and to remind you of the Cares and Difficulties winch beset those in authority in sucn a school in carrying out the woik they have m hand. In the first place, they have very little to flo with the selection of those who aie to be the inmates of an Industiial School such as thm. In many educational establishments the governing body can refuse to accept as pupils tho<-e -whom they may consider undesnable, or those whose presence in the school may have a prejudicial effect upon their fellow scholars That is not so here Children of all sorts- and < ondit ions as to mental ability or inability, of all soils of physical condition, of all degrees of moral worth or the reverse, children, mere waifs and strays, whose parentage, upbringing, and general surroundings have been such as to preclude, one would think, any chance of success as le^ards their mental or moral improvement— are committed to these Industrial Schools And vet I asscM here to-day that St Mary's Orphanage and other Industiial Schools in this Colony, much as they have been criticised horn time to time— < nticisetl, too, When Not Understood (hoar hoai)— have done a great work in the education, reformation, and mental, moral, and physical uplifting of the pupils committed to their charge (applause). The inmates are educated, clothed, and cared for in this institution They are instructed in their religion and in their Christian duties. They aie taught useful work, vntil stub time as they aie lit f<u it, when they are licensed out, put to learn a trade, or to some other suitable occupation , and they are given every opportunity of becoming useful members of society, and of making their way successfully in the world (applause). Of their wages, a small portion is allowed them for

pocket money. The balance is banked for their use, but aot handed to them until they attain the age of 21 years— and not then unless they have led a creditable life and shown that they are deserving o* assistance. In such cases the institution does not get the money* It is paid i\nto tfce Public Account of the Colony. The accounts are audited annually by an officer of the Department. At the end of 190-1, the amount to the crrdit of the resident inmates of the Stoke Orphanage was £,747 ; of past inmates, £912— a total of £ltisy. Very otten, as soon as a lad in the Industrial School can make himself useful — say in learning a trade and earning wages — the parents bring all the influence thoy can to bear upon the Education Department to have their child restored to them. In many cases such influences, if yieiaed to, would be highly prejudicial to the welfare of the child. Sometimes a lad misbehaves himself and, in consequence, is returned to the School. In such a case, it sometimes happened that those Kn charge of the School are handicapped by his bad influence among the other scholars. We see, then, what a difficult tasik those in charge of these institutions have in carrying out their duties, and now much they Deserve Support and sympathy in the work they have to do (applause). To show how the Orphanage has progressed, l would remind you that St. Mary's Orphanage was founded in the year 1872 by the late Father Garin— one who, both as a man and in his sacred office of priest r was held in the highest esteem in Nelson by all who knew him (applause). The Orphanage started in a small cottage he purchased in Manuka Street, .Nelson. In 18(80 there were only siome six boys in residence. Here to-day there are over 100. Since 1880 some 675 boys have been admitted to the School- Of these, 441 have passed from the control of the Institution or the Education Department, and 184 now belong to the School. During the last ten years there have been only fhe deaths among the inmates— four at the School and one at the Hospital. Many of those who na\Q passed from control, and, indeed, many of those belonging to the School, have good reason to feel grateful — and f I doubt not, are grateful — for all the care bestowed upon them, and from the benefits they have derived during' their residence at this institution (applause). The speaker then paid, amidst applause, a high tribute of praise to the memiory of the late Dean Mahony, and refcired to the coincidence of the opening of the institution on Empire Day. ' The Managers,' said he, " deserve every encouragement in a work requiring so much tact, so nmch patience, untiring energy, perseverance, forbearance, and unselfishness (applause). Whilst they have much to discourage them, they will recognise, I am confident, that work as a duty, and they will hav-e the satisfaction of knowing that the result of their work must be the improving of the mental and physical and material condition of those committed to their care (applause). The work of the Industrial Schools throughout the Colony is progressing and inproving. There are some 2000 children in them, at a cost to the Colony of £25,000. Here at this institution, in the erection of this building;, a great advance has been made, for which those in authority richly deserve— and, I am sure, have— our best wishes and 'heartiest congratulations (applause). Father George Mahoncy then, in a brief speech, returned thanks to all who attended there that day, and to all who aided in the erection of the Orphanage. In an especial manner he expressed his grateful sense of appreciaticrti'for the kmdly consideration extended by those m control of the Education Department to the institution in the trying times through which it had passed 'during the last two years. lie detailed the circumstances under which he had embarked upon the making of bricks upon the premises, and the satisfactory results that had attended that venture. A liberal res7>onse had (he sand) been made to the appeal for the Orphadage, but a heavy Sebt still remained, and assistance would be Gratefully received towards extinguishing the heavy liability upon the building. A sumi of £2C>O was received in connection with the opening ceremonies. After tne addresses, the large gathering assembled in the schoolrooms, which were thrown into one for the occasion. A short programme of sacred music was there 1 rendered in fine style by the Nelson Catholic choir, assisted by a number of musical friends. The visitors were subsequently entertained to afternoon tea, and, 'previouH to their departure, spesnt some time in inspecting the building and admiring its design and finish and the admirable arrangements that have been made in it for the health, comfort, and safety of the boys.

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The New Stoke Orphanage, New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXXIII, Issue 22, 1 June 1905

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6,077

The New Stoke Orphanage New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXXIII, Issue 22, 1 June 1905

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