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OXFORD LOCAL EXAMINATIONS, WREXHAM CENTRE. DISTRIBUTION OF CERTIFICATES AND PRIZES BY MR G. OSBOHNE MOEGrAN. On Wednesday afternoon, Mr Osborne Morgan, M.P., distributed, at the Public Hall, the certificates and prizes won by candidates of the Wrexham centre at the late Oxford Local Examinations. The Mayor (Mr E. Lloyd) presided and on the plat- form were Mr S. and Mrs Yorke and Captain and Miss Yorke, of Erddig, the Rev. Mr M'Gill, Mr Trevor Parkins, superintending examiner, Mr J. G. Buckton, hon. secretary; Rev. F. B. Brown, Mr J. Pryce-Jones, Mr Allington Hughes, Mr E. Evans, Bronwylfa; Mr LI. Williams, &c. Owing to the inclemency of the weather, the attendance was somewhat smaller than usual on these occasions. The Mayor introduced the proceedings with a brief speech, in which he said it must be to all present a source of much satisfaction to find the young people of our country making such rapid progress in general education; and they were all there that day to show by their presence and in other ways how much they appreciated the labours of those whose work it is to instruct the young. He was proud to meet their worthy representative, Mr Osborne Morgan, as well as those other gentle- men who were present and prepared to speak upon a subject with which they were so familiar, the education of the young in the present day. Ho concluded by calling upon the hon. secretary to read the report. Mr Buckton then read the following :— The number of candidates examined at this centre this year was 85, seven of them being seniors and 28 juniors. Of these, 27-five seniors and 20 juniors—succeeded in obtaining certifi- cates. Among the seniors, two—viz., J. H. Rces and D. W. Owen—did very well in Latin and Greek, both beiug placed within the first 20 in those subjects. Two of the juniors obtained a place in the 1st Honour Division, and live in the 2nd honour Division. It is not necessary to read out the names of the successful candidates, as they will be found upon the lists which have been distributed about the room. In 1872, the first year in which Wrexham became a centre. 19 candidates, or tW p- r cent. of those examined at this centre, obtained certificates. In 1S7.1, 20 candidates, or 69 per cent" succeeded. In 18i' 21 candidates pased, being only 43 per-cent. This year, 25 candidates, or 71 per cent, of t11Oe who were examined, have passed. The average ppr cputage of passes for the whole kingdom this year was 68 per cent., so that this cen re is tlJree per cent, above the average. This has been the case every year but the last, when a very large number of candidates was examined at Wrexham, and a much larger proportion than usual tailed. We notice, also, au improvement in the quality of the work. In 1872, only two candidates obtained a plaeein an Honour Division, both bPing ill the second. In 187ii, tin re were two in the 1st Division, and three in the 2nd Divisiou. In 1874, there were two in the 1st Division, and four in the second. Iu 1875, there arc two in the 1st and five in the 2nd Division. This year, as on a former occasion, one of the chools sup- parting this centre has, with one exception, a larger number of candidates in the Honour Diyisions ilian any other }>1"ITate school in the kingdom, and there were only three other private schools which passed a greater number of candidates. In conclusion, the committee 11."k for subscription towards the expense of prizes and the cost of the public distribution. The fees paid by the candidates cover all the expenses of the examination, but do not provide tor the extra expenses ill prizes, &c., which the cOl1lmitte'e think it wise to incur. lYlr J. AlIiBgton Hughes has undertaken th" collection of money for the prize fund, and any donation or subscription may be made to him. Mr Trevor Parkins considered it his duty to attend on that occasion, because he had acted as superintending examiner for the Wrexham examina- tions since their commencement; and on this occasion when the prizes were to be distributed by their old friend, Mr Osborne Morgan, he was par- ticularly proud to be present. Of course one was glad to have common ground on which he might act with old friends, and that was very much the case on this occasion. The promoters of these examinations might all be congratulated on the presence of Mr O/borne Morgan; for he was him- self a very distinguished scholar at the great university by which these examinations were appointed, and had himself taken, in former years, an active part in its affairs. No one, therefore, could be more qualified than his friend to judge of the effect of these examinations, and of the good they were likely to produce. These examinations had gone on for something like 14 or 15 years, and four years they had gone on at Wrexham and the degree of success attained was alike creditable to the boys examined and to those by whom they had been instructed. During the last three years, the number of candidates had increased very much. In 1874, a change was made ia the preliminary part of the examination, which is that portion of jt, which everybody is obliged to pas, and the subjects of history and geography, which before formed part of the preliminary examination, was placed among the optional subjects. The effect of that was to increase the number of candidates by something like 300. He found in the year 1873 the number examined was only 1589, but in 1874 it rose to 1888. Last year the number did not increase, but was nearly the same, being he believed 1875. But there was one circumstance connected with these numbers that deserved atten- tion, and it was this. They had heard a great deal lately of female education. He found the number of girls examined was very considerably increased (applaase). In 1873 only 101 juniors were examined and 104 seniors, but in 1874, 184 juniors and 150 seniors; while this year the juniors amounted to 225 and the seniors to 182; and, without wearying them with figures, he might say that the proportion of girls who were successful had also increased. This is a fact which is very gratifying, because these examinations were very well suited for girls, and the solid attention they could display was very well tested by these examinations. These examinations were useful in a variety of ways. They were 6briously useful as a test of the instruction given at the different schools; they were useful to parents of children who were hesitating where they should send their children and he thought from what they had heard they might be very well satisfied with the way in which the schools of this neighbourhood are con- ducted. They were useful in the next place to the masters themselves; for it must be a great advan- tage to a master to have some impartial person to give him a fair account of the progress made by his boys. He is able in this way to learn what are 1 he results of his teaching and of those who act under him. They often saw accounts in the papers of examinations that took place at schools where some examiner of the University was a friend ef the master. Now, it was a great advantage that these examinations were conducted by persons who had no connection whatever with the schoolmasters, were perfectly impartial, knowing nothing of the circumstances of the school, and only judging of the work done. Then they were obviously useful to the boys themselves; for it was a great advantage to a boy, however clever he might be, to be pitted against boys taken from a variety of schools. He had seen the manner in which these examinations were conducted, and he believed the arragements made by the committee had been such as to con- tribute to the convenience and comfort of all persons concerned he believed everything had been done to enable the candidates tq do their best, and great credit was due to those gentlemen who had acted on the committee during the last four years (applause). Mr Osborne Morgan next addressed the meeting. He said that before he proceeded to the very agree- able task which had been assigned to him he should like to congratulate his young friends in the gallery, to congratulate their masters and teachers, and indeed to congratulate the whole town of Wrexham, which was itself greatly inter- ested in the proceedings of that day, on the very satisfactory report which had been read to them by their indefatigable secretary, a gentleman whose name he thought he had seen, he might say, con- nected with almost every good work which had ever taken place in Wrexham (applause). It was a satisfactory thing to them to feel that both as regards number and quality they not only held their own, but they were actually advancing. They had been told that the percentage of Wrexham candidates who had passed the test of the local examination was not only greater than before, but thrae per cent. greater than the average of the whole of England and Wales (applause). Well, that was he thought a matter to be proud of, and another matter to be proud of also was that they had in Wrexham a school, the Grove Park School, the representative of which, with characteristic modesty, his friend, Mr Pryce-Jones, had retired unfortunately to the back-ground, but had not been in the back-ground at this examination, for his pupils actually obtained a greater number of passes, and cut a more distinguished figure in this examination than the pupils of any other private school in the kingdom, except one (applause). And before he went further he must be allowed to en- dorse most heartily what was said by his old friend, Mr Trevor Parkins, as to the position which the universities had taken up, and the influence of these examinations upon the universities them- selves. He could not help contrasting the time when he and Mr Parkins were at Oxford together z, —he could not tell them how long ago, but he was afraid it was more than a quarter of a century— with the hold which they have now obtained in the country. In those days they thought they had done their duty if they merely turned out annually a few hundred young men more cr less qualified to fill the so-called learned professions, so tiiat really the only persons who obtained any direct advan- tages from the university system were men who could afford to live on their friends, when other men were earning a competency and thinking to settle down in life. Well, he agreed with him that an entirely new career of usefulness had opened out to the universities, thereby acknowledging the fact that as the mountain would not come to Maho- met, why then Mahomet must come to the moun- tain. He had been for a long time, and still was a great advocate for university examinations. He traced its good effects wherever he looked in the educational progress of the country. A most extra- ordinary improvement had taken place in the last ten years in middle-clasJ education. He spoke feelingly on the subject, because he had received the rudiments of his education at a Welsh Gram- mar School- He could contrast the dull, lifeless, listless way in which they were taught, with no spur whatever except the fear of punishment to urge them on, with the kind of life given to edu- cation in these days. Poor as it was, he main- tained that until very lately the education of the working classes improved to a far greater degree than the education of the class immediately above them, and yet he supposed there never was a time when it was so important that those who had charge of the education of the youth of their middle classes should see that they were not left behind in the great social and educational race going on everywhere around them. Wherever they looked, they saw one class treading on the heels of another; the suns of dukes obliged to go into the wine trade, the aristocracy invading the domain of cimmerce, the working classes treading upon the heels of the middle-classes, social barriers broken down, markets overstocked, professions overflown. Where a man before had to encounter one competitor, now he had to encounter ten. Certainly there never was a timc-he spoke from experience, and he was sure he should be borne out by evtry one present— when it was so exceedingly difficult for the son of a poor gentleman to hold his own in life because, observe, they had not merely to dread competition among themselves; the last few years had raised up rivals in countries where twenty years ago they feared nothing. Travel where they would in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and they saw a new life, a new awakening, and, of course, with that new aims and objects. Those countries instead of com- ing to our labour market for supplies were actually invading us. Every large town in England, in London, Liverpool, Manchester, from the waiter at a coffee-house to the head clerk in a merchant's office, the German was competing, and competing not unsuccessfully, with the Englishman Now he wanted to know how the middle-class youth of Eng- land and Wales could hold their own in this great struggle if they were not furnished with weapons at least as good as those dealt out to their rivals (applause). Now let him say that one subject had been very much discussed, and one on which various conflicting opinions had been given of late by eminent men: he meant as to the advantage of the study of the-dead languages and mathematics. The old is opposed to the new curriculum. They knew there were many distinguished men, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr Lowe among the rest, who had given their verdict that the study of mathe- matics and the dead languages ought to be tabooed, or superseded in so far as it did not pay. Now he was oidfashioned enough to believe in Latin and mathematics; and on that question they would aLow him to say that he was as good a Conservative as his friend Mr Parkins himself. He did not like to hear of people talk about what pays in educa- tion. Depend upon it in education quick returns meant small profit s. He did not like to hearaboy say, Why should I learn Greek and Latin ? French and German will get me a situation in Liverpool, but Greek and Latin wont get me a situation at all." To such a boy be would say, Don't be so sure of that. The object of these studies is not to give you knowledge, but to enable you to acquire knowledge for yourself (applause). He was glad to be cheered in that sentiment, it showed they were before their age, for allow him to say he aid not know as much when he was their age, but he was happy to say he had found it out since. Depend upon it the study of Greek, Latin, and mathematics strengthened the mind by disciplining it, and when once they had mastered these, they could master other things for themselves. Give him a boy who had learned Greek and Latin, and he ventured to believe that boy would master French and German in one-third or one-half the time of the coy who had not learnt Greek and Latin, As he said before. quick returns meant small profits in education, and the fruit that was longest maturing was the best z, worth having in the end. The object of education was not to cram the mind with facts, but to give the mind elasticity and power to make a sound clear, hard-headed man; and if education did that for them, they might depend upon it to fill their heads with German, French, and all the accom- plishments they could put into it. Keferiug to one other quebtion discussed not long ago by Mr Gladstone, who, speaking on education, said it would be necessary to admit the fact that as time went on it was likely that mental labour would be less and less paid in proportion to manual labour, Mr Morgan commended the advantages of a liberal general education as opposed to a special training for any particular art, tmde, or profession, as it gave a man a more extensive and elevated view, a sort of vantage ground from which he might select his own line in life, instead of still muddling on in a particular profession in which chance or cast, their greatest social enemy, had placed him. The hon. gentleman concluded with a few words of en- couragement to the unsuccessful candidates. Addresses were then given by the Rev Mr M'Gill, Mr Foster, of the Oswestry Grammar School, 'and Mr J. H. Rawlins, after which the distribution of the certificates and prizes was proceeded with as follows, the gold and silver medals being presented to the fortunate recipients by Mrs and Miss Yorke :— I.—MEDALS. J. H. Rees, Oswestry Grammar School, Mayor's Gold Medml, offered to the first senior at the centre. T. W. Evans, Grove Park School, E,-mayor's Silver Medal, offered to the first junior at the centre. II.—COMMITTEE'S PRIZES. Offered to those irhv obtain a place in the First and Second Division,. T. W. Evans, Grove Park School, First Division, Dr Nicholas's Annals of Wales. W, F. Awdry, Oswestry Grammar School, First Division, Macauiay's Assays and History of England. W. J. Alcock, Grove Park School, Second Division, Trench on the Miracles. J. T Burton, Grove Park School, Second Division, Covybeare and Jloirson's Life and Epistles of St. Panl. O. Giles, Oswestry Grammar School, Milton's Poems. D. J. Higgins, Grove Park School, Itie Ingohlsby Legends. J. Stott, Euabon Grammar School, Irench on the Parables. III.—CERTIFICATES. Seniors, with the Title of Associate, in Arts; A, 0, Evans, Oswestry Grammar School. R. P. James, Ruabon Grammar School. D. W. Owen, Oswestry Grammar School. J. H. Rees, Oswestry Grammar School. F. W. W. Sherratt, Grove Park School. JUNIORS. For First and Secoud Divisions see Prise List above. *W.'Asterley, Oswestry Grammar School. F. W. Bere, Oswestry Grammar School. W. Davies, The Academy, Towyn. G. T. Evans, The Academy, Towyn. E. Groom, Grove Park School. J. C. Hellon, Grove Park School. J. E. Humphreys, The Academy, Towyn. H. Hutchinson, Grove Park School. J. Huttou, Grove Park School. J. J. Pratt, Severn House Schooi, Newtown. W. B. Ray, Wrexham Grammar School. J. Sinclair, Oswestry Grammar School. R. Worsley. St. Asaph Grammar School. The names are arranged alphabetically. Mr S. Yorke then moved, and Mr Alderman Owen seconded, a vote of thanks to Mr Osborne Morgan for his kindness in attending that day to distribute the prizes and certificates. Mr Morgan having acknowledged the Tote, moved that the cordial thanks of the meeting be presented to Mra and Miss Yorke for the grace they had imparted to the proceedings by investing the two young gentlemen with their medals. Mr Trevor Parkins seconded the motion, and Mr S. Yorke returned thanks. Mr Foster next moved a vote of thanks to Mr Trevor Parkins for the manner in which h. had represented the University at this centre, and Mr Pryce-Jones seconded the motion. Mr Trevor Parkins having replied, On the motion of the REVO Mr M'Gill, seconded by Mr Allington Hughes, thanks were tendered to *i:«. ti^iSKqei the Mayor and ex-Mayor for their generosity in presenting medals to the most successful candi- dates. A vote of thanks to th? Mayor then brought the proceedings to a close.