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ILlandudno Urban District…

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ILlanrwst County School.

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I Llanrwst County School. THREE HUNDRED YEARS COMPLETED. MR. WILLIAM GEORGE ON FALSE NOTIONS OF LIFE. On Thursday evening the annual distribu- tion of prizes in connexion with the Llan- rwst County School took place at the Church House, the hall being packed to overflowing. The chair was occupied by Mr. W. J. Wil- liams, J.P. (Chairman of the Governors), and the prizes were distributed by Mr. William George. There were also present all the Governors of the School, and the members of the staff. The Chairman said lie took a keen interest in the school, and his connexion with it was one extending over a long period. He was himself a pupil at this very school, and amongst the books which he possessed he valued none as well as those presented to him on an occasion similar to that which had now brought them together. He could therefore fully enter into those happy ex- pectations which the pupils were enjoying that evening. It was a special year in con- nexion with the school as it was this year CELEBRATING ITS TRI-CF.NTENARY, and that in itself was a cause for special interest. Another matter of interest was the enlargement of the school buildings, which had become too small. The old build- ings were to be re modelled, a work probably more difficult than supplying new buildings. Referring to a report issued by the Hoard of Education, he wished to say that the Llan- rwst School did not turn out the wooden type of scholars which that report spoke of. (Applause.) The Rev. J. 1. Farr (headmaster) said that when a school had been carrying on its work for 300 years it must have an interesting his- tory. lie could give them the whole of that history. In matters of numbers they had kept up well. Last year they were 120 now they were 114, the difference being that they had lost the pupil teachers. The ordinary students had slightly increased, and in the possession of certificates stands in Class A, which is the highest percentage of successes in the examinations. He always thought that the greatest test of a school was not what one top boy could do, but what the whole body could do. It was in the middle of the school that he thought the greatest attention was needed. They occa- sionally had an exhibition at the Universi- ties. The attendance was good. -f lie prize- winners had not missed once through the school year. He always lacked the power to boast of himself, but a good school needs no puff. He felt it a great honour for them to 'have Mr. George with them that even- ing. Mr. George, on rising, was greeted with a hearty cheer. Addressing the gathering first in Welsh, he said he had from time to time heard much of the YSGOL RAD LLANRWST. He had even been teaching children to recite some verses about the school, but that day he had the pleasure of seeing the school, and he was much impressed by it. He hoped the Governors would take into consideration the recommendation of the Master respecting a recreation ground. He was much inter- rested in that subject himself, and was took- ing forward to the time when games found their proper p'ace in the schools of Wales. (Hear, hear.) In many places there was no room for recreation, and in this school there was not sufficient room for that purpose. There was congestion both in and out of the school, and lie hoped they would soon overcome the difficulty, and that with the celebration of the tri-centenarv of this excel- lent school. After congratulating the Head- master and staff on the success of the school during the past year, and urging the Gov- ernors to make an early effort to pro- vide better playgrounds for the children in accordance with the Headmaster's request, Mr. George went on to say that it had been plain sailing with him so far, and he had no difficulty at all in deciding what to tell them up to that point. Hut the ques- tion was—"What next He might, per- haps, deliver them a moral discourse on the advantages and responsibilities of school life, but he must sav that he entertained a strong dislike to lecturing either the children, their parents, or teachers, on an occasion like the present. They all got quite enough of that sort of thing in their town he dared say, and they were out that day more or less for a holiday, were they not ? Hut what about the Central Welsh Board ? Good old Central Welsh l)oarcl I It always came in handv when one wanted to do a little slating on his own account, and he admitted tlut for some time he felt sorely tempted to deliver his soul that day with regard to THE UNFORTUNATE CONTROVERSY that had arisen between our supreme Edu- cational Authorities, to wit, the Central Welsh Board and the Board of Education. But neither of these august bodies were re- presented there that evening, and perhaps academical dogs lie in peace over Christmas, and all he would say further on this point was that he did very earnestly hope, in the interests of educational efficiency in this country, that this highly deplorable dispute would very soon come to an end, and that out of the smoke and fire of battle there would emerge a well-tested and perfected system of national education. But, having for the moment ruled controversial subjects out of the question, they would perhaps permit him to say one or two things which occurred to him the other (lav on reading the annual report of the Central Welsh Board upon the secondary schools of this country. From this it appeared that 13,760 children were taught at these schools last year. Of these it was probable that some thousands of children left school every year. and the question was what became of them all ? A good many of them, no doubt, pursued their studies elsewhere, and by the way he was much struck at the number of students that had taken their Welsh degree and were now assistant teachers at one or other of these Welsh County Schools. He said assistant teachers because, though there were some 250 Welsh graduates who had become assist- ant masters and mistresses at our County Schools, not one of the head teachers ap- peared to hold a Welsh degree, though this was probably due to the fact that the head teachers, who were a long-lived race, were appointed before the Welsh University was established. But the point which he was about fomake.was.that according to the best inforn^tiOu avSCITSTulo MSiSfty ft MMA of the thousands that passed through the County Schools went in for an educational career. The rest necessarily had to find a livelihood by other ways and means, and he would again say, as he had said elsewhere, that he should very much like to see a faint effort made to ascertain with approximate accu- racy WHAT BECOMES OF THE GREAT BULK OF THE CHILDREN that have received the benefits of a secondary education at our various public schools. And I feel sure (the speaker added) that the information contained in any such report would be of immense advantage to future I educationists in this country. Now what happens to all these children ? A great many become teachers, with the result that the cry is now raised that the teaching pro- fession is overcrowded. And where do the others go to ? Well, 1 was told a very signi- licant story by a friend of mine this very week. He said that a young lad who had spent some years at a County School in the district, a farmer's son, had asked for his assistance to get a clerkship in a small grocery establishment in an English town, where he would, in due time, get something like a labourer's wage with little or no chance of promotion. Now, if this is anything like a typical case, and 1 rather fear it is, it betokens a very unhealthy and even dan- gerous state of things, which it is someone's duty to call public attention to. Ittcitr, hear.) There we were, on the one hand, doing our best to relieve the congestion of popula- tion in towns and to bring the people back to the land." where the conditions of life are or ought to be much healthier whilst on the other hand they were sending their better educated boys and girls in shoals to do any sort of clerical work they could get hold o'f in our already overcrowded cities and towns. What is the meaning of such a sign ot the times as this That is the question that ought to be considered. Probably it was an effect to which many causes contributed, and he was not at all sure but that one of the most potent of these was the lurking notion that has got abroad that it was MORE GENTEEL and consequently more respectable to earn one's livelihood in any other way than by handiwork and the sweat of the brow. Was this so or not ? He wanted them to think the matter over for themselves. But if it was found that there were something in the present system tending to foster such ideas as these, either in parents' or children's minds, they must not be surprised if the country woke up some day to find that their intermediate schools had done more harm than good. This was an important matter, and lie would wish to make his meaning quite clear to them. He should like to see as many of our children as possible march from the County Schools step by step into the very highest positions in the land and he believed further that their system was a failure un- less it helped to discover the brighter pupils and gave them the wherewithal to speed them along on their upward journey rejoic- ing but we should take care even with these highly blessed, ones, not to spoil their careers by giving them false notions of life at the outset. And with regard to the child of average ability and opportunity, it was a cruel injustice to him to fill his mind with matter which merely gave him a distaste for the occupations within his reach, without adapting him tor any other. The great iiieri-tiie poets, preachers, and writers--who, in times past, have made Wales what it is, were nearly all men who devoted a great part of their lives to some kind of manual work or other, and as Scotland boasts of its ploughman-poet, so do we of our Dewi Wyn," who, on one occasion, described himself as amaethwr boddlon a bardd, and I should be sorry to see young Wales break away from the traditions of the past in the respect which our country has hitherto been apt to pay to honest toil in all its forms. f am amongst those who be- lieve that THE GOLDEN DAY OF LABOUR in its true sense is yet to dawn, and I want you, the rising generation of educated young men and women, to enter into the work of preparing for that era in an intelligent and sympathetic spirit, and to do something in your own sphere to unite all classes in a common effort to raise society as a whole to higher levels in word, thought, and deed. (Applause.) On the motion of the Chairman, seconded by Col. Sandbach, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Mr. George for distributirng the prizes and for his address. LIST OF SUCCESSES. The following were the successes gained by pupils during the vear Central Welsh Board Certificates.—Higher Certificate: William Arthur Jones. Senior Certificate Louisa Jane Barnwell, Elizabeth Hughes, John Rowland Morris, Hugh Oswell Owen, Sarah Florence Rol)erts, Robert Bag- shawe Wynne. Junior Certificate: Olwen Davies, Albert Pritchard Evans, Lilian Cath- erine Hughes, David Henry Jones, Griffith Trevor joaes, Gwilym Jones, Katherine Louisa Keates, Jennie Lewis, Edward Thomas Roberts, Ellen Williams, Katherine Wil- liams, Samuel Williams. Exhibition to University College, Bangor William Arthur Jones. Form VI. William Arthur Jones. Form V.: 1, John Rowland Morris; 2, Flugh Oswell Owen. Form IV. 1, David Henry Jones 2, Griffith Trevor Jones. Form 111. 1, Thomas Edward Roberts; 2, William jones, John Thomas Jones and John Lloyd Rogers. Form If. 1, John William Davies; 2, John Bulkeley Jones 3, William Francis Wynne 4, F rank Smith. Attendance R. F>. Wynne, I). II. Jones, A. Parry, J. R. Parry, T. E. Roberts, J. W. Davies, eX. jqnes, 1C. Jones, H. R. Jones, J. B. Jones, R. ]. Parry, J. O. Thomas, F. Smith, 1. Ll Williams. GIRLS. Form V. Louisa Jane Barnwell. Form IV. Katherine Louisa Keates. Form I If. 1, Phyllis Wynne 2, Blodwen M. Davies 3 Morfydd Evans 4, Margaret Williams. Form I I. 1, Mary H. Parry 2, Catherine M. Williams 3, Gwladys Winitred Jones 4, Amelia M. Evans. Attendance Ellen Eames, Amelia M. Evans, Dorothy A. Gregory, Gwladys W. Jones, Mary H. Parry, Ellen Williams, Mar- garet Williams, Phyllis Wynne. An interesting programme was sustained by the pupils, with Miss Holt as accom- panist. Mendelssohn's part-song, The May Bells and the Flowers," was given with much acceptance, after which the audience were treated to a series of ancient Welsh songs and dances by Blodwen M, Davies, Blodwen Jones, Jane Elizabeth Jones, Lucy Nock, Elizabeth A. Williams, Menai Williams, Mona Williams, and Phyllis Wynne. Excellent acting was displayed in Sheridan's The Rivals," the characters being ably impersonated by the fol- lowing :-Sir Anthony Absolute, Thomas Edward Roberts: Captain Absolute, John an" Hughes LydiaT^anguTs!?^,ll!aIRe*aK<!)$$ff¥^' Julia, Lilian C. Hughes; Lucy, Louisa J. Barnwell.

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