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HONOURING THE SCHOOL- MASTER. On Monday evening there was an interesting gathering in the school at Keyston, the purport of which was to make a presentation to Mr. William Cecil, who after living a useful life as head-master at Camrose (South) School for a quarter of a century, is now retiring, under the regulations of the County Education Coun- cil, which decree that a man over 70 years of age is too old to be in charge of a school. In the abstract, and in individual cases, the rule may be a good one, but in this instance, to judge from appearances, Mr. Cecil might well have gone on for several years "teaching the young idea" at Camrose, and helping the rising generation to qualify for their duties in life. Camrose people, both north and south, have been singularly fortunate in having in their midst two such Christian perceptors as the late Mr. Fry (whose memory ought long to be kept green) and Mr. Cecil. The former has gone to his reward, but the latter is still with us, and his closing days, we may hope, will be sweetened by the knowledge that his life's work has been so fully appreciated by those who have benefited. There was a crowded schoolroom on Monday evening to take part in the presentation to the late head-master. A platform had been ar- ranged at one end, and around this were grouped some of the chief parishioners; whilst at one end, hidden by an embroidered cover until the time of the presentation, stood a handsome marble timepiece and a pair of bronze ornaments. On the clock was an in- scription setting forth that it was presented to Mr. Wm. Cecil in recognition of 25 years' faith- ful service as head-teacher of Camrose (South) School, and the date of the presentation. The clock and ornaments were supplied by Mr. Pantall, of Haverfordwest. Mr. Wm. Roberts, the chairman of the local managers, was voted to the chair, and the pro- ceedings were very appropriately commenced by Mr. C. H. Rees singing a verse of "Auld Lang Syne." Mr. P. Hancock followed with "Tiiora," and Mr. Pantall with a selection on the banjo. The Chairman said they were gathered there with mixed feelings of pleasure and of pain, but all actuated with the desire of showing! their appreciation of the valuable services ren- dered by Mr. Cecil as head-master of that school for a quarter of a century. During that long time there had not been a single instance of any unpleasantness, but Mr. Cecil in all the affairs of the school and of his private life had acted as became a straightforward, upright, and Christian gentleman. He had striven hard to give the children a good education. He (the chairman) had visited the school often to check the register, or other little business, and had invariably found the master faithful to his post. He had set before the children a good example of a Christian life, and thus fulfilled what should be the first essential of a teacher's. life. He had given them a practical proof of the value of temperance, and had worked hard in the temperance cause, in all Church work, and had been an energetic worker in the Sun- day school nearly all the time he had been in the locality. They were, therefore, not only j losing a man of high principle as a teacher in the day school, but also in the church, in the Sunday school, and in the parish; but what they lost at Camrose would be a great gain to Haverfordwest. The Chairman dwelt upon the value of Mr. Cecil's work in the temperance cause in the parish, and said, like Nelson, Mr. Cecil in closing his career at Camrose could j thank God that he had done his duty. Just as Nelson was the hero of Trafalgar, so in the noble work of temperance Mr. Cecil had been the hero of Keyston. (Applause). He hoped their deer old friend would regard the testi- monial they were about to hand over to him as a memento of the affectionate regard of every- one in the parish of Camrose. (Applause.) Song, "Only Tired," Miss George. The Rev. J. Michael said they had met for the purpose of presenting Mr. Cecil with a clock and ornaments, and he was told there would be a nurse of gold on a future occasion. They were there to render honour to one to whom honour was due. Diogenes in ancient tanos went about with a lantern in search of a man; but if the old philosopher had been born in the twentieth century and had come down to South Camrose, they could have pointed out to him a man; a man with a good head and a sound neart; a man who had the patience of Job, the meekness of Moses, and the amica- j bility of the Apostle John. He asked, why were they giving Mr. CecJ a clock? In the first place because it was an emblem of a faith- ful schoolmaster. Whenever in the future they went to Mr. Cecil's house they would find the clock was never idle; and was not that true of Mr. Cecil for the last quarter of a century in that school ? He had heard it said that at all times they were sure to find Mr. Cecil in one of three places: either in the school, in his garden, or at the prayer meeting. If they looked inside the clock which Mr. Pantall had supplied them they would find it had a good inside, that the works were sound and the mainspring good. So with Mr. Cecil the main- spring of his actions was a good heart, and with that sound everything went right. They knew he was a man whom they could trust, whom they respected for his faithful and con- scientious performance of duty. It was his pleasant duty to ask Mr. Cecil to accept from the parishioners of South Camrose that time- piece and pair of bronze ornaments. (Loud applause.) Mr. Cecil, who had a very hearty greeting on mounting the platform, said after listening to what had been said about him he hardly knew whether he was on his head or his heels. (Laughter.) He was greatly indebted to the kind friends at Camrose for the very honour- able position in which he stood that night, to receive that magnificent testimonial at their hands. He could not speak gratefully enough his sense of their kindness, nor could he find words fitting enough to express the feelings which were in his heart. That magnificent testimonial would be a link in the chain of circumstances to remind him, wherever he went, and whenever he looked at it, of the dear friends at Camrose among whom he had spent so many Hal py years. He again thanked them for their kindness in making him that presentation, and asked to be excused from further speech as his heart was too full for words. Song, "Queen of My Heart," Mr. George. Mr. W. J. Owen (Summerhill) followed with a stirring speech, in the course of which he paid a high tribute to the splendid work Mr. Cecil had done for so many years at South Camrose. He (Mr. Owen) personally would like to see sectarian teaching abolished in the day school, and to have nothing more than the Bible read, but at the same time he recognised how im- portant it was that the schoolmaster should be a Christian. They all knew Mr. Cecil was a Christian, and to his mind that was an all- important qualification for a schoolmaster. (Hear. hear.) He admired the stand which the managers had made in regard to the new master. The County Education authority wan- ted to reduce the salary from £90 to £75, but the managers were firm, and would not allow it to be done. It was not fair that the children attending country schools should not enjoy, as far as possible, the same educational facili- ties as the children in the town, and he ad- mired the local managers for the determination they had shown that the school at South Camrose should be maintained at the high standard of efficiency it had always had under Mr. Cecil. He was surprised that the chairman of the County Council should have made the remark that people all seemed to be doing the best they could for their own schools. Of course they were, and it was quite right that they should do BO. (Hear, hear.) Duett by the brothers Rees. Mr. Joseph Roberts followed with a short address, and after another selection on the banjo by Mr. Pantall, the National Anthem closed, the proceedings.





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