Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

18 articles on this Page

BETTWS (AMMANFORD) OLD MASTER…

News
Cite
Share

BETTWS (AMMANFORD) OLD MASTER HOMOURED A LIFETIME DEVOTED TO EDUCATION. Headmaster of the Bettws Council School for cioso on forty-two years, Mr. John Lewis was de&erv- edty honoured on Thursday night, the 12th inst., by his numerous old pupils and friend", who made him the recipient of an artistic illuminated address and a purse of gold upon his retirement from the post. The function, held at the school where he had laboured so long and successfully, was intensely interesting. Alderman W..N. Jones, J.P., chair- man of tho Carmarthenshire Education Committee. presided over a. large gathering, which comprised ina.ny of the public men of Ammanford and the old pupils, whose respect and regard for the old master increase as the years roll by, had mustered in strong force. A letter regretting inability to attend was read from Mr. J. Harrics-Thomas. Parcyrhun School, who expressed gratification at the fact that those whose careers in life Mr. Lewis had fashioned now availed themselves of the opportunity of showing, -in a tangible manner, their deep appreciation of the important part he had played in the moulding of their characters. The strong gentlemanly element, characteristic of him, must have indehbly stamped its image upon those who were fortunate enough to pass through his scboo!, and ho wished him many yeara of health, happiness, and comfort on leaving the service (cheers'. Many of the old pupils Ln various parts of the country also wrote. The Chadrman said tuere was no one who had a grca-ter regard for Mr. Lewis than he had—(hear, hear)—not only as a schoolmaster, but also as a friend, neighbour, and gentleman, and that night he had made a spetual journey from Carmarthen in order to be able to attend to ahow that respect which he felt for hM friend, whom he had known for a large number of yeaM—he was almost afraid to tell them how long (laughter). During the fort)-one years and eight months Mr. Lewis had been head- master he had not made a single enemy. Whenever they paid a/ visit to the school, as be (the Chairman) had sometimes occasion to do, they always found him kind and a thorough gentleman, and the in. spectors .In their reports had alwaya. something nice to say about him and the work he carried on so well in the school (hear, hear). His labours were appre- ciated, and that day the members of the Education Committee had desired him (the Chairman) to say how very pleased they would be to join with the pupils and friends of Mr. Lewis in their good wishes to him on ills retirement. It must have been a source of great regret to him to sever his connec- tion with the school, because he loved the work and the children so much. Those of the pupils who had grown up would agree that in him they had a model schoolmaster, a man who was always kind, and always endeavoured, to the very best of his ability, to do his utmost for the good of the chil- dren, not only from the scholastic point of view, but also from the moral point of view. His wish always was to see the children brought up to do that which was right and proper, and nothing gave him greater pleasure than when he found-as he often did find-that his pupils were turning out well and making their way in the world. His character was spotless and untarnished (cheers). The secretary of the Testimonial Committee, Mr. Rhys Thomas, who is the present master, said that when it became known generally that Mr. Lewis was on the eve of retiring, It was immediately felt in the neighbourhood that a movement should be set on foot for the recognition in a tangible manner of his meritorious service. A committee met, and the school staif undertook to do the collecting work, and it was their testimony that they received a royal reception wherever they went, with the result that they were able that night to hand over to Mr. Lewis an excellent address. A pupil of Mr. Lewis, and having served his apprenticeship under him, and afterwards having worked with him as a trained assistant master for twelve years, "I have more to say about him," proceeded Mr. Thomas, than any man in the building. I know him better—I know him from the inside. He has. been a good master, and the people of Bettws do not know—and they will not know for a very long time-the type of man they have lost from the school in the retire- ment of Mr. Lewis. Only the people who have worked with him side by side will ever be able to tell of his qualities as a master. No man has ever worked harder, and the rest which he is now enjoy- ing is well earned. I hope he will live long, and be hale and hearty to enjoy it (cheers). Others who voiced their appreciation of the splen- did work of the old master in the cause of education were:—Coun. J. Harries (Irlwyn). Mr. Isaac Joned, Coun. J. Morgans, Mr. D. R. Gnmths, Mr. T. M. Evans, M.A.. Coun. J. L. Williams, Mr. David George, Mr. J. Lewis (Ammanford), and Mr. Wm. Jones (Gwilym Myrddin). The address, which was a splendid work of t'rt executed by Mr. Downing Williams, Llandilo, was proclaimed by Mr. T. M. Evans in the following terms: Dear Old Master and Friend,—We, the undersigned, on behalf of your many old pupils and friends, wish to express our deep regret at the fact that years and the regulations of the education authorities have made it necessary for you to retire from the post of headmaster of the Bettws Council School after a tenure thereof of do&e on forty-two years. It would be interesting to know how many hundreds of pupils (many of them grandparents by this ume) have passed through your hands during this eventful period; the number would, no doubt, prove astonishing. There are at tins. moment not only in Bettws and its neighbourhood, but also In various other parts of the world, many hundreds of people whose memories of youth are closely linked with the old Bottws School, and with you, their old headmaster: and it is largely due to you, personally. and to your careful, patient, unobtrusive labour that their scholastic retrospect is so alluring. We who are proud to be numbered among your old pupils feel that we cannot allow this occasion to pass without making some public acknowledgment of our deep debt of gratitude to you, and wo therefore ask you to accept this address, together with a purse of gold which accompanies it, as some expression, inadequate though it be, of our deep and lasting respect and regard. We a)so desire to place on record our high opinion of your character; how we have admired the serenity and kindline&s of your disposition; how keenly we ha.ve always appreciated your steady, manly work—a, work no less real and abiding because it was ever modest and unostentatious; above all, we want to tell you how you have endeared yourself to us by the gentleness and paternal sympathy of your demeanour. We trust it may be a greater comfort to you, now that you have relinquished the important post which you held so long, to know that the value of your work has been acknowledged by the School Managers and by H.M. Inspectors and to feel that you are entering on a period of repose with the unstinted acclamations of your old pupils. We hope and pray that the' remainder of your days may be long, peaceful, and very happy. We have the honour to subscribe ourselves as repre- sentatives of your old pupils and the public, yours very sinccrely, D. Evans, Esq., J.P., chairman Car- marthenshire Education committee; Aid. W. N. Jones, J.P., vice-chairman Carmarthenshire Educa- tion Committee; J. W. Nicholas, E&q., clerk of peace and clerk to Carmarthenshire Education Com- mittee; B. R. Evans, Esq., chairman Group 1 School Managers; D. J. Morris, Esq.. clerk Group 1 School Managers; Lieut. -Colonel D. Morris, J.P.. chairman Local Managers; Councillor J. Harries and Coun- cillor D. George (representatives of old pupils); T. Grimths. E-,(I., chairman of committee; D. Williams. Esq., treasurer; R. Thomas, Esq., secretary." The presentation was then made by the Chairman, who, addressing the recipient, said: I am afraid I cannot call you "Dear old master"; but t can sincerely call you Dear old friend." and I would like to say here publicly now much I always appre- ciated your kindness, your goodness, and your friendship towards me. It has always been a great source of pleasure to me to come to your school to meet you, to shake you by the hand. and to feel that I, and not onIyY, but all your pupils and the people of Bettws. had equally a true friend. I hope that you may live for many years to look at this beautiful address, and when you look at it you will be able to realise the number of friends you have in Bettws and throughout the length and breadth of the county, who will always have a warm corner in their hearts for you. May you live long, and enjoy the years that may be meted out to you among your frienda, respected in the future as you have been respected in the past (applause. Feelingly returning thanks. Mr. Lewis observed that the beautiful address with which they had pre- sented him might add to his length of days (laughter). He wished he deserved all that ha-d been said of him. He would thank them all profoundly, especially the Chairman, for coming all the way from Carmarthen, and Mr. Thomas, who had done the spade work, and the school stan. That night he really felt a hundred per cent. more confidence m himself than when he started. That was the honest truth. There was a. warm comer in nia heart for the old school it would ba for ever. Coming to Bettws forty-two years a.go, ho fell in love with the place, and now felt that he had been very fortunate in hia choice. Financial worries he had not got, thanks to Mr. Lloyd George, and the surplus money he would return to the headmaster for the benefit ot the school (cheers). During the evening the school choir sang several songs in good style, and the Bettws .Orchestra played beautiful selections, both being conducted by Mr. Rhys Thomas. The renderings of the Urban Choir. led by Mr. J. Williams, and the Bettws Male Vo'.ce Party were also much appreciated. Finally Lh¿r" was a. touching little scene, the school children gathering around the old master and singing Auid Lano- Syne." The latter part of the proceedings was "presided over by Councillor J. L. Wilhama as Alderman W. N. Jones was obliged to leave before the end.

AMMAN VALLEY DRAtMAGE

YSTRAD MEURIG

LLAMSADWBM

Advertising

[No title]

MEWCASTLE-EMLYM

Llandyssul Rural District…

LATTER.

LIanybyther Rural District…

CARDtGAM RURAL DtSUCT COUMCtL

Advertising

Carirarthen County

Carmarthen Borough

Ammanford

CARMARTHEMSHtRE ASSIZES

LLAMFYRMACH

Advertising