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SWANSEA'S MAYOR-ELECT. COUNCILLOR RICHARD MARTIN. At a meeting of the Council on Monday, Councillor Richard Martin was unanimously invited to accept the Mayoralty in succession to Mr. J. Aeron Thomas. All sections of the Council joined in paying tribute to Mr. Martin's many good qualities as a representative of the ratepayers. Mr. Martin accepted the offer, and he will, therefore, for the next twelve months, occupy the position which Mr. Aeron Thomas has so admirably filled during the past year. The Council has made an excellent choice. Mr. Richard Martin thoroughly deserves the high honour which will shortly be conferred upon him He is, unquestionably, one of the ablest public men in South Wales. He is courageous and conscientious. He has served the burgesses faithfully and well for the past fifteen years or so. He has taken an active and highly creditable part in all the important measures promoted in that period. He has, in the face of strong opposition, and almost alone, rescued the town from more than one ugly mistake. As an ardent, practical educationist, he has rendered services which the friends of education will not soon forget. Mr. Martin deserves well of Swansea. He is not always in the right; none of us are; but his ability, integrity and independence are beyond question. We are glad that Mr. Martin has accepted the offer so heartily and unanimously made him. He may be relied upon to discharge the important duties of Chief Magistrate with dignity and tact. Mr. Martin was born at Pentre-Mawr, Swansea, in Aug., 1843, and was educated at the Hafod Copper Works School, where the late Mr. John Carr worked so long and successfully as head-master. On leaving school he entered the office of the Millbrook Iron Works, but in 1 67 he entered the Customs as a. clerk. In 1872 he was transferred to Grimsby. Three years later, however, he severed his connection with the Customs, and commenced business in this district on his own account. In 1879 he joined with a few friends in the establishment of the Swansea Vale Spelter Works at Llansanilet, and in 1831 the Birchgrove Steel Works. In 1884, the same firm acquired the Ymspenllwch Tin-Plate Works. The two last-named went into voluntary liquidation in 1895, consequent upon the effects of the McKinley Tariff. Thus it will be seen that Mr. Martin has been actively engaged in the commercial life of Swansea and district for many years. In 1878 he was elected a member of the Swansea School Board, his co-members being the late Rev. W. Williams (Argyle), the Rev. A J. Parry (of Be- thesda), Mrs. Higginson, Mr. F. S. Bishop,Canon Wilson, Canon Richards. Mr. F.W.Richards, &c. Mr. Martin took a keen interest in the working of the School Board, and he rendered very valuable Bervices. He introduced the proposal for the establishment of a Higher Grade School, and at the ensuing election it became the chief plank in the educational platform. Mr. Martin and his friends were re-elected, and they considered the ratepayers had given an emphatic pronouncement in favour of the scheme. With the assistance of the late Dr. Morgan, Mr. Abraham Francis, and the late Mr. F. Cole, Mr. Martin succeeded in establishing the Higher Grade School in Richards Place. In 1884 the Mayor-Elect was elected a member of the Council, and in the same year he relinquished his seat on the School Board, much to the regret of the then members and the friends of education generally. Mr. Martin at once threw himself earnestly iuto the work of the Corpora- tion. In 1884 he took up the important question of the purchase of the Gas Works. He took an active part in the negotiations, and terms were arranged to the satisfaction of both parties but a bitch occurred over the disposal of the Gas Co.'s reserve fund. It was while the question was being discussed in the Council Chamber that the painfully sudden death of Mr. Edward Bath took place. Mr. Bath took a leading part in con- ducting the negociat'ons with the Gas Company, and it was while he was addressing his colleagues on the subject that he died. Mr. Martin did not consider that the terms in regard to the disposal of the reserve fund, and insisted upon by the Gaa Companv, were such as to justify the revival of the purchase question. In 1888 the Mayor-Elect was appointed Chairman of the Water and Sewers Committee. It was while he occupied this im- portant position that the upper Lliw Reservoir was finished, and that the costly and tedious litigation with the contractors, Msssrs Baldry and Yerburgh, took place. In 1891 the question of the additional water supply was dealt with by the Water and Sewers Committee. About this time fhe late Alderman Naysmith discovered the site of the Cray Water Works, with the result that a Bill was promoted in Parliament in 1892, and the Corporation secured the powers they needed to deal with the water supply of the town. Martin was one of the first five mem- bers of the Intermediate Education Committee— the then Mayor (Mr.Thos.Freeman), Aid. Tutton, a- ?Iartm representing the Corporation, and ir 0 Joneg Jenkin?, MiP., and the late Judge avi ewis the Education Department. rhe Committee framed the scheme of Interme- diate Education, and were then requested by the Corporation to report o be ing technical Q.nder the Act of 1889. With the object of ^cert^ning what other towns •were doing iu this direction, the members of the Committee visited, among other towna, Birming- ns B' ham, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, London and Bristol. A report was presented, and ulti- mately it was decided, upon e s rong advice of -the late Lord Swansea, to amagamate the tech- nical and intermediate education schemes. The result has been satisfactory in the extreme. Whatever some people may say to the contrary, the Intermediate and Technical Schools are doing good work The number of pupils has increased to about 200 and the following examination suc- cess have been gained :-matriculat.on, 6 passed Oxford locals, 28, eleven with honours; London Chamber of Commerce, three commercial certifi- cates College of Preceptors, three Institute of Chartered Accountants, one; Science and Art Department, 209 successes. In addition to this, entrance scholarships or exhibitions have been at Aberystwyth, Cardiff, Lampeter and Clifton Colleges. Mr. Martin has rendered very valuable services, indeed, in connecticn with the Intermediate and Technical Schools. As chairman of the committee, he attends to every detail with a devotion quite characteristic of him. The inter- mediate and technical education scheme has widened, and now embraces every kind of modern education, whether commercial or scientific, whilst sufficient attention is still devoted to classical subjects to enable boys to prepare for the learned professions of the universities. A couple of years ago Mr. Martin introduced the Triple Scheme, his work in connection with which is too well known to need any reference here. The Mayor-Elect is a Congregationalist, and is a member of Walter Road Congregational Chapel. For several years he was a member of Zoar Con- gregational Church, High-street, and took an active part in the re-building scheme and in the effortB made to wipe out the debt.





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