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EP TH COL EGE PRIZB; D \Y.

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SPEECH DAY AND DISTRIBUTION…

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SPEECH DAY AND DISTRIBUTION OF PRIZES AT RHYL COUNTY SCHOOL. MR. S. SMITH, M.P., ON THE SUPER- IORITY OF AMERICAN EDUCATION AND THE LESSONS OF THE WAR. A large audience filled the Town Hall on Tuesday afternoon on the occasion of t e annual distribution of prizes in connection with the Rhyl County School. The hall had been charmingly decorated, and above the platform were displayed educational and seasonable mottoes. Thej tchair was occupied by the Vicar (Chairman of Governors), and he was supported on the platform by Messrs. S. Smith, \[ P Messrs. R. Llewelyn Jones (Vice-Chair- S ~S. Perks, J.P., the Head Master (Mr W. A. Lewis, M.A.), and staff, and the school children also occupied seats on the platform. The Chairman, who had a hearty reception, said he always regarded speech days as an occasion for Congratulation. Both scholars and teachers were in the first place to be con- aratulated on their release from school duties. He thought also that they could congratulate each other on having at last found the missing link in the educational chain, and had estab- lished on a firm basis the long-needed step between the primary and higher grade of edu- cation in the immediate or what were sometimes called secondary schools (applause). They must not expect perfection all at once; they must be cautious and not too critical. There were many people who were apt to look too much at the results achieved as disclosed in the reports of the examiners. They could not ex- pect much all at once. As yet they had not got their machinery, and were not properly equipped. In Rhyl they had not even yet got their permanent school buildings, though they hoped to have them before 12 months hence. Therefore, they must judge the results obtained according to the conditions under which they worked (hear, hear). He thought perhaps they did not puit realise what was the object of intermediate schools. He was afraid there was too much a tendency to hurry the children from the primary school into the intermediate school, and leave them there just for one term to give them a sort of veneer or polish. It was a great mistake, and a great injury both to the future of the children and to the prosperity of the school (applause). Intermediate schools were meant to further education by following up the education of the child until it was perfected (applause). They must take care not to bring the child away from the primary school at an age when he could not properly realise the higher educational work of the secondary schools (hear, hear). He thought that 13 or 14 years of age was early enough to launch a child out into th higher educational world. When then they heard that the results obtained in connec- tion with the examinations in the county schooh were not good the reason was because the child- ren we're taken away prematurely rom the primary schools, and were often rem-"ed from the secondary schools after only 1- ig there for a term or two. He also reminded :i1em that the object of the intermediate schools was not merely to teach the child to be a good trades- man or a good craftsman, but also to so educate him in the higher things of education as to make him a perfect man, a perfect citizen, and a perfect Christian (applause). He thought that was the object they should have in view, and it was the object they would achieve by and by if they only possessed their souls in patience (applause). Another subject they had to congratulate upon was that such a schema as he had indicated had been established in the town of Rhyl, and that their school under the circumstances had done exceedingly well (hear, hear). In the last place they had reason to congratulate themselves upon the fact that their present temporary premises would soon be dispensed with. They had bought the site for the new school building, and paid for it, and he was glad also to say that they had let the contract for the new building, and that it would be commenced at once (applause). Not- withstanding the subscriptions raised locally, the contribution of £1,500 by the County Governing Body, and a contemplated mortgage of £2,500, they still required a further sum of £311 in order to pay for the building, and he expressed the hope that this would soon be forthcoming (loud applause). The children afterwards sustained an attrac- tive miscellanious programme, the feature of which was the brilliant Latin recitation by Mias F. Millward, which was distinctly and correctly given. The part songs by the school were also well rendered. Miss Jones, the Head Mistress, conducted, and Miss L. E. Jones, Albion Villa, efficiently officiated as accompanist. The following is a copy of the programme: — Pianoforte solo, Miss Alice Jones part song, "A Lullaby," The School; recitations from Shake3beare,ss King Henry VIII., J. J. Jones, W. H. Jones, W. Manley, W. H. Parry, R. P. Thompson, and W. P. ^Williams; Head Master's Report; song and chorus, Little Pilgrims," The School; recitation, Virgil," Miss F. Millward; song, Cathedral Voices," G. G. Bell; part song, Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn, The School; recitation, The Three Preachers," Miss M. R. Jones; part song, "Softly roam, gentle Night," The School; God Save the Queen." The Head Master having read ;his report, Mr. Samuel Smith distributed the prizes to the successful scholars as follows:—V. Form Prize, "Great Authors," J. 0, Jones; IV. Form Prize (girls), Milton's "Paradise Lost," M. A. Pear son; ditto (boys), Character Smiles," A. E. Jones. Juniors: Latin and French (girls), Moliere," F. Millward ditto (boys), Won- ders of Electricity," W. B. Manley; Scripture and English (girls), "Teacher's Bible," M. A. Pearson; ditto (boys), "In High Heavens" (Ball), A. E. Jones; Mathematics and Science (girls), "Wanderings of Aenas," F. Millward; ditto (boys), Tyffe's "Triumphs of Discovery," W. H. Tones; Welsh, Glimpses of Welsh Life and Character," G. M. Jones; General Pro- gress, Picturesque Scotland," S. J. Roberts IV. Form Prize (girls), Nansen's "Greenland," M. R. Jones; ditto (boys), Prescott's "Conquest of Peru," W. H. Parry; II. ditto (girls), Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare," D. Roberts ditto (boys), Hereward, the Wake," W. G. Roberts 1. ditto (girls), Lubbock's Beauties of Nature," M. J. Griffiths ditto (boys), Boys' Own Book of Natural History," T. W. Roberts Drawing, Ruskin's Lectures on Art," J. A. Chilwell. Certificates: Central Welsh Board Junior Certificates, Florence Millward, Scrip., Eng. Gram. and Comp., Eng. Lit. History, Latin (higher paper), Arith., Dom. Econ. Margaret A. Pearson, Scrip. (Diet.), Eng. Gram. and Comp., Eng. Lit. History, Arith., French (Diet.), Physiology, Draw., Dom. Econ., Needlework (Diet.) Gwen M. Jones, Scrip., Eng. Gram, and Comp., Eng. Lit. History, Arith., Welsh (Diet.), French, Drawing; Sarah J. Roberts, Scrip., Eng. Gram, and Comp., Eng. Lit. His tory, Welsh, Arith., Physiology, Dom. Econ., Needlework (Diet.) Arnold E. Jones, Scrip., Eng. Gram, and Comp., Eng. Lit. History, Latin, Arith. (Diet.), Maths, AIg., Gram. (Higher Paper), French, Draw. W. B. Manley, J Scrip., Eng. Gram. and Comp., Eng. Lit. His- tory, Latin, Arith., Alg., Geom., (Higher Paper;, French, Draw. Certificates for proficiency in Shorthand J. Oswald Jones, A. E. Jones, W. H. Jones, W. II. Parry, J. Evans, W. E. Roberts, A. E. Nuttall, and Florence Millward. Mr. Samuel Smith, M.P., who on rising to address the meeting was accorded 'a hearty welcome, congratulated the school on its pro- gress, and said they were all looking forward to the day when they would have their new school premises. They had been longer in Rhyl than in any other place in building, but he supposed it was because they were determined to have the best building (applause). Certainly from what he could gather it was going to be the most expensive (hear, hear). He was glad to hear the exhortation of the Head Master that children should remain in school as long as possible. Parents should realise that the last year or two was the most important. It might also be said that education was only about to begin when the children were taken away from the school (hear, hear). The mind did not reach the point at which it could appreciate fully the value of education until about 14 years of age. It was not until then that the character and mind commenced to be permanently formed, so, if possible, parents should try to keep their children under the training of good educators up to the age of 18. Their education was only beginning at school; it went on all their lives. What they learnt in school was the habit of using their minds, and of controlling their character. The gains in school were moral gains the acquiring of habits of self- control, self-denial, and all those qualities that go to make good men and women (applause). He was very glad to see that in the list of sub- jects in that school Scripture occupied a high position. There was no subject which trained the mind and character so well as Holy Scrip- ture, and therefore he was very glad that in the higher grade schools of Wales Scripture occupied so high a position (applause). What. ever their views might be on this matter, he thought all Christians agreed on the necessity of being familiar with the Holy Scriptures (applause). He had recently been on a visit to the United States of America and Canada, and had the opportunity of seeing something of the education of those great countries, and was very much impressed with the admirable system of education that now prevailed in America. In fact, he was astonished at the progress America had made in every branch of education. He had been in the habit of visiting that country for fortv years, but he had never realised fully until his last visit what astonishing progress our kins men across the Atlantic had made. They brought to bear a vast amount of energy on every department of life, but they brought to bear their best energies on education (applause). They had the most perfect, complete, practical system, covering the whole career from child- hood to manhood, that was to be found any- where in the world (applause). He had visited the great college in which 3,200 women were being trained for the teaching profession. They generally spent four or five years at the college, where they received tuition from first-class professors, and by the time they left college thev were as competent teachers as they would find in the whole world. In America the teaching was done mostly by ladies, and it was quite a remarkable fact to see how much of the taaching profession had fallen into their hands (hear, hear). But what struck him mostly was the admirable practical character of educa- tion in America. At every point the question seemed to be asked, "What will the young peo- ple require to provide them for the work of life ?" We in this country used very much to go upon old traditions in our ideas of education. Our education system was framed in the middle ages mostly from classics, and it was a long time before the teaching profession in this country really came to comprehend that modern life re- quired another kind of training (hear, hear). In America they had adapted themselves to modern life. They had the most admirable technical schools, and their University Colleges contained the most perfect scientific apparatus, mostly the result of .private benefaction, which was exercised in the direction of education in America to a degree that they had had no ex perience in England. We need, therefore, not be surprised at the wonderful progress the American people are making, seeing how well equipped they were. They were surpassing us in every branch of modern life. Inventions in connection with our chief industries were being patented to a much larger degree in Amer- ica than in this country, and that was largely because the inventive faculty was spread over all the people by means of these technical schools. They would find in America a very highly cultivated class of workmen, with high technical training, and strong inventive facul- ties, who were not hindered by the regulations and restrictions imposed in this country. He thought that what they saw in the United States and Canada should be a lesson to us. We must recognise that we must face in the future the keeoest possible competition from these coun- tries. Anyone whose eyes are open cannot fail to see that the centre of human civilization and human progress was passing from Europe into America. We might not like it, but the fact was undoubted, and there was no use shut- ting our eyes to it. In every branch of life they were striding ahead of the old world, and this was largely owing to the excellent practical system of education that prevails in those coun- tries (applause). He mentioned those facts not to disparage the people of this country, but to stimulate them so as to emulate the educational zeal of America. The principality of Wales had had its system of secondary education, and had not had it a day too soon. The great pity was that it did not get it fifty years ago. We had now got an excellent system spread all over the country, which was mush superior to that in existence in England. He was very glad that the Welsh system had been so eminently adap- ted to modern requirements, and that it had not been modelled on medsevial conditions. It provided for a large amount of scientific teaching and manual training of the kind which young men and young women wanted who wished to make their way in life (applause). In wishing them all a merry Christmas, he made feeling references to the many mourning homes in this country this Christmas. He was sure they all wished to express their deep sentiments of sympathy with those bereaved relatives who were mourning for brave and gallant young men who had laid down their lives for their country in this sad and terrible war (applause) pecially did their hearts go out in sympathy to the gallant Commander-in-Chief, who had lc?t his son on the field of battle, and who was now himself going to the front (applause). He did not remember when they had had a more sad Christmas time than this. He could only ex press the hope that out of this dreary disaster some good would come. His belief was that God was dealing with this nation. They had had national sins growing around them, and this country required discipline. We were too proud and too arrogant. We talked too much of our greatness and vast empire, and that we of our greatness and vast empire,and thought we could do everything by our own might. But God was teaching us that in His hand lays the and to acknowledge that in many respects this nation had been sinning against God. He hoped and prayed that out of this dark and disastrous war would come a higher life (applause). There was very much that was very honourable in this country at the present time. When he saw a number of young men ready to leave the country at a moment's notice to defend their native land, he felt that there was a great reserve of patriotism and of self-denial,which itself was worth discovering, and was cause for thankful- ness (applause). England was not a decaying nation, it was full of life, full of patriotism, and full of capacity for self-sacrifice, and no nation would be great unless it had a capacity for self-sacrifice (applause). There was no one who could deny that there had been evils growing t around this nation of late years, and they needed to be placed under restraint, and this solemn tribulation that they might set their houses in order. He hoped they would go on their knees before God, confess they had sinned, and implore his forgiveness (loud applause). Upon the motion of Mr. R. Llewelyn Jones, seconded by Mr. W. Elwy Williams, J.P., and supported by Mr. S. Perks, J.P., a vote of thanks was accorded to Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith, in replying, said that when Rhyl had advanced with their school he would be glad to give them further help. But before doing so he thought more could be done locally by way of subscriptions (applause). The proceedings terminated with a hearty vote of thaiika to the Vicar for presiding,

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