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Charge against a Treharris…




CYMMER COLLIERY WORKMEN'S INSTITUTE. Interesting Jubilee Celebrations. GENEROSITY OF THE MESSRS INSOLE. THE HISTORY OF EDUCATION AT PORTB A very interesting function took place on Mon- day afternoon at the Cymmer Colliery Work- men's Institute, Porth. The occasion was a public meeting to celebrate the cleaning off ot the debt remaining upon the Library. Tha chair was occupied by the president, Mr T. Griffiths, M.E., J.P., and the spacious hall was well-filled. The proceedings opened with a selection by the Cymmer Brass Band, and the chairman followed with an address. TOUCHING REMINISCENCES. Mr Griffiths said he was very sorry to inform them that he had not prepared an address, and for that muon they must not expeot one. He was very pleased to be at the meeting as a Cym- mer bo. (Applause). Speaking with intense emotion he proceeded to say that his parents brought him there about 4:> years ago. Then there was no school at Cymmer nor Porth, and to receive a little education in those days was a very great favour indeed. He would not forget the fact that his father had to go to Dinas and ask the late Mr Daniel Thomas for permission for his son (the speaker) to go to school, which was held at the long room behind the Old Rock Inn. He went there, and was under the tuition of Mr Thomas for about twelve months. Then Mr Thomas Hughes, a local post-master, opened a school at the Calvinistic Methodist Chapel, Dinas, which was considered in those days a superior one to that held at the long room be- hind "UhL Tavarn y Graig." He benefited by the education given by Mr Thomas Hughes, who was considered a very able man in those days, and there was no doubt about it he imparted as much knowledge as he possessed to his scholars. (Applause). Then the Rev Evan Morgan, Vicar of Llantrisant, who no doubt felt very much for this district, saw there was no school Utere, anil he made up his mind to erect one, which was known at present as the old National School, Cymmer. (Cheers). Ho undertook! upon his own responsibility, with the assistance of friends to erect a school for the benefit of the children of that locality. (Cheers). Inasmuch as -is school was nearer home his parents decided that he should have tho benefits of tha "college"— there was not an intermediate school nor univer- sity then in the Rhondda Valley. (Laughter and cheers). He felt inunediately that the benei,, he derived personally in those days was not to be eompared with the advantages and privileges given to boys to-day. He must thank old Thos. Hughes, the post-master, and "Old Billy o'r Factory," and Mr Davies, for the little educa- tion civen him. He was pleased to say that there were also others in the locality, wlko, through the instrumentality of the late Evan Morgan, Llantrisant, had made themselves fit for the wall, and some architects or other have put them in. Inasmuch as he had prepared him- self, although receiving meagre education, he was glad to believe that he had made himself a stone in the wall, and that Messrs Geo. Insole and Sons had now placed him in the unique posi- tion of being a director of the company. (Ap- plause). He was simply an ordinary miner's son -and received but little education. Inasmuch as his calling demanded more education, and he could not get it very easily, he made up his mind that whatever it cost he would get it, and he would give more privileges to the rising generation than he had himself. (Applause). In- asmuch as he was manager of this colliery, he said to himself, that it was their duty, and they had the power in their hands, and he induced them to establish that institute—(cheers)—so that they might enjoy privileges which he did not enjo- himself. Education had made wonderful strides since he received his little instruction. The National Schools were now abolished, and they had their board schools, higher crade schools, intermediate schools, and, he was pleased to say. their colleges also. The rising venera- tion could, therefore, get some education on every point in life they aimed at, and they should now apply themselves to it. No one would suc- ceed in life to-day unless he equipped himself with the education given. This was the c1 ect of the erection of that institute, so that the workmen might elevate themselves after leaving their daily employment. They had an oppor- tunity to make themselves stones fit for the wall. The social building was a great one, and was composed of various stones, such as the corner- stones, front stones, back.,stones, and filling stones. Therefore it was essential that every man should prepare himself for the great social building, of which they were com- posed. This was the purpose of the institution. He was sorry he had been touched by his feeling, but it was a weakness of his, and some people's weakness was their strength. (Loud applause). THE SECRETARY REPORTS PROGRESS. The summary of accounts was then read by Mr J. H. Evans, the secretary, for the library com- mittee. The old House" Coal Colliery ceased working in November, 1875, and there was a sick and accident fund in connection with it, which at the time had 2137 16s 9d in hand, ano this was kept by Mr George Insole. In the year 1892 there was an application from this institute ij. there was any possibility of getting this money back. In 1893 Mr Geo. Insole handed over the sum of JE400, which meant six per cent. upon the monev for 16 years. (Applause). In 1871 the workmen commenced a contribution fund, and between 1891 and December, 1893, the work- men bad contributed the sum of £ o71 5s 711, The Cymmer Colliery Company subscribed ±,100,ana gave the stones of the building free upon the site. (Loud applause). Amongst the other subscrip- tions were: Dr 1. A. Lewis, £ 25 North Estate, E10 10s; Cymmer Colliery, £ 10; Sir W. T. Lewis, Bart., ES 5s: Mr W. Thomas, Brynawel. £5 5s; Alderman W. H. Morgan, £3 3s; M: Thomas Williame, Abordare, 1;2 2s; Mrs Picton, Tuberville, El Is; Messrs Williams, El is; eollected by Messrs William Williams, overman, jE5 5s 3d; E. Palmer, E3 Is lOd; Thomas Howell, jEl; Morgan Williams, fireman, JE3 16s 6d. By this time the Library was opened at a cost of :82.500. At the time of the opening in December 1893, the Cymmer Collier Company gave a cheque for £ 100. (Cheers). The total amount ef money handled up to that day was £ 3,107 Is 4d. There were now 1,308 books upon the shelves at the Library.The first year s (1895) read- ing was 200; 1896, 935 and 1897, up to that day, 3,862. During last year technical instruction •lasses were established, but they decided only to send one to the examination, and 13 external wtadenta sat. This year again they had estate Habed classes. The number in the machine oon- stnrction dass was 13; mathematics, 17; Welsh, 11 mini. nearly 30; and music, 27. (Cheers). THE PRESIDENT JUBILANT. The President said that he had been the instru- ment of getting from E700 to E800, but he wanted this to be placed in the back-ground now. He felt proud that that day the institute was redeemed of any financial burden, and the contributions would in future be used for the purpose of purchasing the best literature. (Hear hear). The human intellect had of late de- veloped to such an extent that they had tho productions of the ablest men in the world and he wanted the Cymmer Colliery Institute to get these if possible. (Hear, hear). He wanted to raise up those who worked at the colliery. He was pleased to be at the meeting which Welshmen called "Jubilee i glirio'r hen ddyled i gyd." (Laughter and cheers). Mr Tom Matthews then gave a fine interpre- tation of "Cymru Fydd," the chorus being sung by the Male Voice Party. The Chairman then said he was sure they were pleased to see the Lord Bishop of LlandaJff pre- sent. (Hear, hear). They knew him better as the Bishop of Llandaff, and he hoped he would pardon him as president of the institute to call him as such. They knew he was always in sym- pathy with the elevation of l-lle people, spiritually and morally. He was speaking as a Noncon- formist upon that platform, but he was pleased to see the Church making such rapid strides, and he believed that the prophecy was going to be fulfilled, but he did not know how far distant was the time, when all the denominations would be united. (Cheers). The devil found place to work between the various denominations, When the whole denominations would be united against him, he would take great care to keep away. Whether he was right or wrong, this was his opinion. The Lord Bishop had taken great in- terest in that locality. The church was the in- stigation of their education in that district. They had their national schools long before the Board Schools, and they should not forget the rock from which they had been carved although they were Nonconformists. The Lord Bishop then rose and addressed the audience as fellow workingmen. It gave him very great pleasure to come amongst a body cf workmen. He claimed to be in the first rank < f workingmen, but the class of work in which they were engaged was different. One was manual labour in which most of them were engaged; th?> other was intellectual labour, in which he was engaged, and he could assure them that that was the hardest. He was pleased to hear the chairman relate his personal history in such a feeling way. (Cheers). He told them that his weakness was his strength, but he could say that his weakness was in the right plaoe-in his heart. (Hear, liear). The history of the institution was also very interesting to him. He believed with the chairman that the union of all denominations would not be long. (Cheer). Tliey should pray, and go forward against the vices of the day. That institution was one of the most valuable parts of the machinery which was being estab- lished for the elevation of mankind. One might take up the Cardiff dailies every morning and almost shed tears at the terrible crimes commu- ted amongst the people of the Rhondda Valley, and the greatest vice of the whole was, he thought, drunkenness. (Cheers). He had no great faith in legislation as a curative for this. Let them have their library institution, fcotball clubs, and cricket clubs, which would employ the leisure times of the colliers as well as the rich 'i ius would do more than a Sunday Closing Bill. (Hear, hear). He would urge upon the working- men to employ the leisure hours to the best ad- vantage. He was pleased to see such a successful institution with them, and he was glad to see they had their Jubilee Day. (Cheers). They had now cleared themselves of the burden, and they should go on improving the institute. (Cheers). He was going to ask the president one favour, and thit was to allow him to ocntribute four volumes to the library. (Hear, hear, and cheers). The secretary should name what books they had not got. It was not a big thinfr, but he was in sympathy with the object. (Cheers). He wished them God-speed. He had been con- nected with the workmen's club on a smaller scale, but this was a most successful one. The Male Voice Party then renedered the "Destruction of Gaza," which was followed by an address by the Rev P. R. Hughes, Vicar of LIantrisanL The rev. gentleman said it afforded him great pleasure to rejoice in that the Library was now free of all debt. He must congratulate the com- mittee upon the way in which they seemed to manage the institute. It was another instance of the splendid influenc3 of co-operation and combination. The institute could not have been brought to its present position without the healthy co-operation of the employers and em- ployed. (Cheers). Co-operation and combina- tion they would discover, was the success of al- most everything. They read of the Frontier Troops at war in the present day, but they were not combined under one master, and therefore were being defeated. They would also read about similar instances in the history of the past. They, as colliers, should take advantage of this, as little recreation was a rest, because a rest meant a change. Rest did not consist in doing no work at all, but in change. Going from manual to mental labour was a change. In an institution of that character they should provide for the young, middle-aged, and old. It was a most valuable in stitution. (Cheers). It was a fact-and they should recognise a fact-that voung lads preferred fiction to more solid reading but again they would come and like more solid reading, and they should provide for all ages. He urged them to take advantage of the oppor- tunities of the day, and obtain and read the best literature. They should study the great social and political questions of the day. Mr A. J. Jenkins having rendered "The -ast Watch." Major W. H. Wyndham Quin, M.P., was called upon to speak. Although he had been ill, he said, he would have to be very much so to keep away from a meeting of thatcharacter. He did not think that human ingenuity would add much to what had been said that afternoon. He was pleased to say that the educational system of Wales was a good one, and that other movements of tihat character were growing. They should equip i-hemselves with as much information as possible upon the political and social questions of the day. He was glad to hear of the support the institution had received. It was a most pleasant recreation ground. They should treat all the questions of the day fairly. He was pleased to say that he was not there in his poli- tical capacity, but as their friend and sympa- thiser. He bad not eome there from any par- ticular political motive, although he represented them in Parliament.. Mr D. Lewis having tendered "Lead, kindly light," in excellent style, The Chairman called niBon Mr Tom John (edi- tor of the "Glamorgan Free Pwes") to addrrws the meeting. In doing so. lie said, that no man in the Rhcndda Valley had been so prominent in educational matters its Ws friend Mr John. (Lcud cheers). Whilst he advocated good prin- ciples and tausrht them to the children under his care, yet he always took oare of their position RS masters. He was fer a large number of years the Elias of education in the Rhondda. (Cheers). Mr John then addressed the meeting, amidst the acclamation of the large audience, in the vernacular. He thought this a very interesting occasion in the history of Cymmer. He felt that when they heard that £ 2,500 had been got by the workmen in about four years, this spoke highly of the Rhondda workmen. They had undoubtedly co-operajted together. He was pleased to see so many present, and if fihara was a national question which required their consider- ation, it was that of education. (Cheers). They had indeed been very successful in connection with the institute. Institutions of this kind afforded the worldngmen an opportunity to searoh up the best books of the day. They had their institutes, but the question now was, how should they use them. (Cheers). He felt sorry that Mr Ballinger, the chief librarian of the Car- diff Libraries, was not present, for the could give them a great many useful suggestions. He com- plimented the colliery company who had Eo warmly co-operated with the workmen. (Cheers) In introducing Mr W. North Lewis, Cardiff, (son of Mr W .H. Lewis, one of the directors of the company), the Chairman said that this would give the workmen an opportunity of know- in" Mr Lewis, when they perhaps might have to meet him in a dispute. (Laughter). Mr W. North Lewis then handed Mr James Vaughan (trustee of the sick and accident fund) the lease of the institute upon receipt of JE50, which was again handed back to Mr William Williams (chairman of the library committee). He felt that an apology was due to them for his being there that day. because they had ex- pected to see his father, who, he was sorry to say, could not attend -owing to a family be- reavement. He was pleased to teH them that Mr vjriffiths, who had been & collier bov was now a director of the company. (Loud applause). The workmen were the owners and managers of that fine institute, and he always felt it was the one place upon the colliery where he had to take off his hat and ask permission to show his friends around. (Cheers). His friend Mr Grif- fiths had said that this was an opportunity for the workmen to know him (the speaker) in time of dispute, buc. they were too fond of peaceful times at Cymmer. (Cheers). The choir then rendered iJwynwen" in fine stye, and Mr W. D .Lloyd sang "The Wolf." Mr T. Davies (member of the Rhondda School Board) -rotose(i a vote of thanks to all con- cerned, which was seconded by Mr T. M. Ed- wards. Dr I. A. Lewis fJso moved a vote of thanks to the chairman for presiding, and this was carried amidst acclamation. The meeting terminated by the singing of "Hen Wlad fv Nhadau," the solo being sung with Welsh "hwyl" by the chairman. At the invitation of the president, the speak- ers. friends, and members of the Press, were subsequently enioyably entertained to luncheon in the committee room. LETTER FROM MR J. BALLINGER. Since the meeting the following interesting letter has been received by Mr J. H. Evans, the secretary, from Mr J. Ballinger, the chief libra- rian of th& Cardiff Library: "Dear Mr Evans,—I regret that an official engagement for Monday afternoon makes it quite impossible for me to attend your public meeting, as I had promised. I am extremely sorry that this is so, because there are some things which I should have been very glad to say to the meeting. Will you be good enough to convey to your president, and to your mem- bers my heartiest congratulations upon the re- markable success which has crowned their efforts to provide the workingmen with an institute and to free it from debt? I think that the effort on the part of the workers of the South Wales coal field to provide themselves with libraries and reading-room is one of the most notable of the many educational movements of the present times, and I believe that by teaching y .1 to read we put into their hands the weapon which is as powerful for evil as for food. I think it is cf importance that public libraries should be pro- vided to continue and to supplement the work of the schools. May I submit for your con- sideration, if it has not been already done, that vl you should as far as possible provide in your library such books as relate to the history of Glamorganshire, and perhaps of the rest of South Wales? Unfortunately the number of such books is small, an 1 they are not very com- prehensive, but they would be very acceptable to your members. If you 'have a little money to spare for the purchase of them, and if you have any difficulty in having the books, I will gladly make a list of them for you. Trusting that your ceremonv on Monday will do much to encourage those who have worked so hard to bring about the work so successful.—I am, yours very truly, JOHN BALLINGER.