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.EDUCATION IN WALES. -

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.EDUCATION IN WALES. Opening of Tregaron County School. A RED LETTER DAY. It was easily to be seen, even by the most casual observer, that something beyond the ordinary was taking place at Tregaron on Friday. It was not a horse fair, either; for these, common as they are 3.0 ine iixut; town on cue urenig, are noT, welcomed with the blare of brass instruments, nor yet do the inhabitants hang out their banners on the out- ward walls to greet the dealers and drovers. On Friday Tregaron wore an entirely holiday aspect; flags and banners were flying from many of the houses garlands and streamers crossed the streets from window to window; mottoes, both in English and the vernacular, were to be seen in rich pro- fusion; and the inhabitants, the younger ones especially, were all drest in their best" and wear- ing such contented and happy faces that one was fain to enquire if the millenium, missing the rest (d England, Ireland and Wales, had quietly arrived at Tregaron. A millenium of a sort, it was true, had visited the inhabitants of the town and dis- -triet, but it was a millenium owing its existence entirely to the hard work of the townspeople and their friends—in short, Friday was the day when the new county school was opened. Education, like many other things, may be misapplied, and what is one of the greatest blessings of civilization may become a curse to the community. Fortun- ately, however, cases in which this is so are but few, hardly perceptible in the great mass of bene- fits derived from learning, and are practically the exceptions that go to prove the rule that education is power and strength and opens an avenue to nearly -every calling or career in this world of ours. No wonder, then, that Tregaron put on its best aspect on Friday, and welcomed its visitors right heartily and hospitably. The cause of education at the present day at Tregaron, as in most places, must "nnmistakeably be connected with the enor- mous work done by the Sunday Schools a generation or two ago. In Tregaron particularly and the district surrounding, this fact must certainly be kept in view. In the year 1837 died the Rev Ebenezer Richard, the father of Mr Henry Richard. His remains lie in the churchyard by the stream at Tregaron, and the inscription on his tomb, well written by Gwilym Hiraethog, par- ticularly points out the great work done by the famous preacher in connection with the Sunday Schools. He took a particular interest in the in- struction of youtn, and in all meetings where children were catechised he was in great demand. This inspired the district, as was the case with other districts with a zeal for knowledge, which spread into other spheres beside that of religion. The work commenced by the father was well and nobly carried on by the son. It is really hard to estimate the work done by Mr. Henry Richard for Wales, whether politically, socially,or educationally. He looked upon himself as the only representative of Nonconformity on the Commission which was appointed in 1880 to investigate the needs of higher education in Wales, and to the work of this ommission is due the establishment of the County Schools throughout the Principality. While open- ing the County School at Tregaron no one should lose sight of the enormous debt of gratitude which Wales owes to the distinguished native of the little town which presented so animated an appearance on Friday. While referring to the baby among Intermediate schools a word or two as to an edu- cational establishment of more mature age-the Ystrad Meurig School—may not be uninteresting, Owing to the proximity of Tregaron to Ystrad Meurig, many of its boys of each generation felt the influence of that school, the time ranging over a century and a half, and the whole neighbourhood was saturated with an acquaintance with the classics, and it is doubtful whether any town in the principality had an equal acquaintance with Latin and Greek. Edward Richard, the founder of the Ystrad Meurig School, appears to have opened his academy in the year 1734, and having no school house he gave lessons in the church, the ruins of which are still existent. For a time he gave up school, being desirous of himself becoming more acquainted with the classics. He opened a second -time in 1746, and from that time to 1777 he applied himself to the teaching of pupils, who came to him from the neighbouring districts as well as from parts of the Principality afar off. In 1754 and 1771 he endowed his school, the emoluments from which are still applied to the same objects as the original founder had in view. At one time the school had an enormous reputation, and was the most renowned school in Wales; its pupils being ordained by Welsh bishops without proceeding on a collegiate or univer- sity career. The curriculum of the school was de- voted entirely to the classics,except that the teacher himself, a distinguised pastoral writer, gave lec- tures on Welsh poetry. Amongst his pupils were leuan Brvdydd Hir and Dafydd Ionawr. So great was the classical knowledge of the pupils that they were reputed to be more acquainted with the olassical grammars than with Welsh. The school had had a distinguished roll of pupils, of whom it majr justly be proud, including as it does the Rev. John Owen, Vicar of Thrussington, and biographer of Daniel Rowland; John Hughes, Archdeaedtt of Cardigan; John Williams, M.A., another Arch- deacon of Cardigan, the friend of Scott, Lockhart, Lord Jeffrey, Sir William Hamilton, Dr. Chalmers, and others; Dr. James (Dewi o Ddyfed), father of Dr. James, headmaster of Rugby; Bishop Joshua Hughes, late of St. Asaph John Phillips of Bangor, a man who did as much for elementary Welsh education as any one that can be named. The late Sir George Osborne Morgan, at the unveiling of the statue of Henry Richard, referred with pride to the fact that his father bad been educated at Ystrad Meurig school. In later days there has been a de- crease in the number of scholars owing in some measure to the inaccessibility of the place and also to the springing up of younger schools in different parts of Cardigan and other counties, from which Ystrad Meurig in former days drew many of its pupils. The rise of St. David's College, Lampeter, and of the College School, have added to this. As was briefly referred to at the public meeting on Friday it was only by something in the nature y 11 of an accident that Tregaron came to posess an intermediate school at all. It was originally in- tended to come to some arrangement with the authorities of the Ystrad Meurig schools so that it might be located there, and another scheme sug- gested was that the Aberystwyth schools should accommodate the pupils from this district. Both these suggestions came to nothing, and then arose the question as to the location of the school— Ystrad Meurig or Tregaron. The choice finally fell upon the latter, but the first arrangements did not meet with the approval of the local people. They were to be granted llj per cent of the county funds from endowment and the local rate, and a grant of £ 1034 from the licensing money towards the cost of building. Tregaron protested, and Tregaron gained the day, the annual grant being mcreased^from 111 to 20 per cent. Even at this the terms were none of the easiest. £1,000 must be collected, and provision made for 100 pupils before August 1st, 1897. If this were not 'done, then Tregaron must give up hopes of the settlement of the school in their midst, and either Lampeter or Ystrad Meurig would be given that benefit. But the Tregaron people at once saw the advantage that would be gained by their accepting the terms given, and they worked hard towards the attainment of that end in view. One of the greatest-perhaps the great-estobstacle in the path of progress was the acquisition of a freehold site. This, by unceasing effort, was at last obtained, at ca cost of P,140, and meanwhile the collection was proceeding apace. A few weeks were sufficient to obtain the sum of £750, this sum containing a .subscription from Mr. Williams Jones, the chair- man of the governors, of P,100, and at the present time, having paid £1,150 for the building, £46 to the architect, R71 in scholarships and bursaries, and £ 512 14s. 6d. in salaries, there is a balance in hand on the general fund of L549 15s. 2d., and on the building, scholarships, and general fund of £1,146 12s. lid. The work has been largely in the hands of Mr. William Jones, Dr. Lloyd, Mr. Thomas Jones (Post Office), Mr. Thomas Evans (Albion House), Mr. Rees Jones, Mr. D.J, Williams, J.P., and Mr. Morgan Morgan, while many others have rendered valuable assistance. Once the money was subscribed the question of the building was to the fore. Messrs. William Jones, Thomas Jones, Rees Jones, and Morgan Morgan were appointed a committee to view different schools in South Wales, and report. Afterwards Mr. Bankes Price, of Lampeter, was engaged as architect, and Mr. Evans, Llanybyther. secured the contract for building the amountfeeing £ 1,622. This, of course, does not include furniture and fittings, and the complete cost will he somewhere in the neighbourhood of £ 2,250. The new school is a plain and unpretentious but substantial and convenient building, contain- ing well-lit central hall, class-rooms, laboratory, workshop, laundry, and kitchen, and there are -some excellent recreation grounds attached. The builder was especially highly complimented on the excellent maimer in which he had carried out his work, and the pupils and staff will no doubt wel- come the change from the inconvenient room at the Town Hall to the well-fitted up new buildings. It may be mentioned as a matter of some interest that the school staff consists of Mr. G. T. Lewis, B.A. (hea(1 master); Mr. W. J. Watcrhouse, B.A., B.C.L., B.Sc., F.C.S., science master; Miss J. G. H. Jones, B.A., senior mistress; and Miss Annie .Foulkes, R.A.H. and R.C.M., assistant mistress. The members of the Local Governing body are Messrs. William Jones, Ffosheulog, chairman; Thomas Jones, vice chairman J. H. Davies, Cwrt- mawr, Rees Jones, D. G. Williams, Thomas Davies, J.P., D. Tivy Jones, Professor Williams, Lampeter College. Mrs. Dr. Lloyd, Mrs. Rees Morgan, Llan- ddewi, and Mrs. Evans, Albion House; while Mr. Morgan Morgan is clerk. In conclusion, we may point out that the fact that the school is located at Tregaron, although Ystrad Meurig's loss, is Tregaron's gain, and it is to be hoped that the latter town will not forget this, but endeavour to carry on the great traditions to which it is heir. THE DECORATIONS. As briefly indicated above, the town was gay with bunting, streamers, flags, and banners to be seen in all directions. Among the various mottoes displayed in the streets were Welcome to all," Mewn llafur mae elw," Education will advance Gwalia," Vita sine litteris mors," and Gair Dduw dysg goreu." In the central hall of the school were the words "Welcome" and" Mewu llafur mae elw." THE LUNCHEON. A luncheon was given by Mr. William Jones in the Town Hall immediately before the ceremony of declaring the schools open, and was excellently pre- pared and served by Mr. Morgan of the Talbot Hotel The full list of the invited guests, most of whom attended, is as follows:—County Governing Body Mrs James, Broncastell; Dr. E. Evans, Llandysul; the Rev J. G. Evans, Aberayron; the Rev T. James, Llandyssul; Mr. J. C. Jones, Llanarth; Alderman l'eter Jones, Aberystwyth Alderman Rev T. Mason Jones, Yspytty the Rev T. Levi, Aberystwyth; Mr. Jenkin Lloyd, Pant; Councillor Morgan Richardson, Cardigan; Alderman C. Al. Williams, Aberystwyth the Rev R. Williams, Cardigan Mr. D. C. Roberts and Principal Roberts, Aberystwyth Mr. L. J. Roberts, Rhyl; Mr. Robt. Ellis, Aberystwyth; the Rev R. Williams, Lampeter; Councillor O. B. Evans, Cardigan; Sir M. O. M. Lloyd, New Quay Mrs. Jones, Llandyssul; Mr. J. C. Harford, Falcon- dale; Mrs. Lloyd, New Quay; Mr. H. C. Fryer, county clerk; Mr. H. Herberts, Troedyrhiw; Mr. Wern Davies, Wernriw; and Mr. J. Jones, Cilpill. Mr. Owen Owens, chief inspector of intermediate schools; Mr. Vaughan Davies, M.P., Colonel and Mrs. Davies-Evans. High- mead; Mrs. Harford; the Earl and Countess of Lisburne Mr. and Mrs. Waddingbam; the Rev John Jones, Ystrad Meurig School; the Rev T. M. Evans, Lampeter; Mr. Inglis Jones, DerryOrmond: Mr. Powell, Sunny Hill; Dr. Lloyd; Mr. J. Gibson, Aberystwyth Mr. D. Samuel, headmaster Aber- ystwyth School Mr. Hughes, Aberaeron Mr Lewis, Llandyssul; the Headmaster, Cardigan School; Mr. T. Evans, Albion Mr. T. D. Rowlands, Cardiff; Mr. and Mrs. Evans, Werna Mr. and Mrs. Williams; Ystrad Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Waunfawr; and Mr. J. Loxdale, Castle Hill; representatives of ele- mentary schools; Mr. D. Thomas, Tregaron; Mr, P. Rees, Tregaron; Mr. John Rees, Bont; Mr. D. Williams, Abbey; Mr. Jenkins, Yspytty Mr. Jones, Swyddfynon the headmasters of Lledrod and Bronant; Mr. Hughes, Castell; Mr. Jenkins, Blaen- caron; Mr. Phinnimore, Blaenpennal; Mr. D. Davies, Llanddewi; Mr.E. Jones, Llangeitho; Mr. Emlyn Jones, Penuwch; Mr. Davies, Bwlchllan the Headmaster, Athen Mr. Davies, Llangybi; the Headmaster, Llanfair; Mr. Jones, Bettws; Mr. Owen, Cellan; Mr. Lewis, Miss Owen, and Mrs. Jones, Lampeter; Mr. T. J. Jones, Llanwnen; and Mr. Steward, Silian; clergymen, the Revs. D. M, Davies, Tregaron; T. R. Davies, Llanddewi; J. Worthington, Llangethio; T Davies, Gartheli E. W. Williams. Nantcwnlle; Z. 1,1. Davies, Blaenpennal E. Jones, Abbey; W. Williams, Lledrod; T. R. Evans, Llangybi J. Jones, Bettws D. Jones, Lampeter, T. Jones, Cellan; and R. Morris, Silian; ministers, Revs. Morgan Evans, Tregaron; Rees Morgan, Llanddewi; Daniel Jones, Llanddewi; D. A. Jones, Llangeitho; J. Bowen, Bont; T. Mason Jones, Ysbytty; R. Roderick, Swyddffynon; T. Watkins, Tregaron; Dr. Rees, Bronant; J. Owen, Blaenpennal; H. Lloyd, Bwlch- i llau; J. Evans, Abermeurig; J. Rowlands, Lam- peter; J. Evans, Lampeter; T. R. Morgan, Tylone; T, Davies, Llanfair; and J. Jones, Lampeter Mr. Bankes Price, architect; Mr. John Evans, builder; members of the Local Governing Body and of the school staff. The only speaking at the luncheon were the graces pronounced before by the Rev. D. L. Davies, Vicar of Tregaron, and after by the Rev. Morgan Evans (C.M.) The company then proceeded to the new buildings in procession, its order being as follows :-Police, under Sapt. Phillips, the Tregaron Brass Band, conductor Mr. David Thomas, the girl members of the school, the boy members, the Headmaster and school staff, Governors of the school, members of the County Governing Body, gentlemen^ wearing academicals, ladies and een- tlemen belonging to the list of guests, and the general public. Arriving at the school the boys and girls formed up in line on each side of the doorway as a guard of honour. Very little time was occupied in the opening of the school. Mr. Bankes Price (architect) presented to Mrs. Davies-Evans a silver gilt key, bearing the inscription Tregaron County School, opened May 26, presented to Mrs. Davies-Evans." Mrs. Davies-Evans gracefully unlocked the door, uttered the words, I have very great pleasure in declaring this school open," and the ceremony, as a ceremony, was over. Those present walked round the buildings, and expressed satisfaction at their excellence. There were two mottos in fhp central hall, Welcome," and Mewn llafur mae J elw." I THE PUBLIC MEETlNb. I THE PUBLIC MEETINu. After the inspection a public meeting was he in the Board School near, which was found all too small for the crowded audience, which overflowed into porch and classroom. To relieve the tedium of waiting until the chairman and speakers ap- peared, these present sang God save the Queen "Hen Wlad fy Nhadau," "The March of the Men of Harlech," and others of the like. Mr. William Jones, the chairman of the Local Governing Body, presided, being supported by Mrs. Davies Evans, Mr. Vaughan Davies, M.P., Mr. J. C. Harford (Falcondale), Col. Davies Evans, and the members of the Local Governing Body and the County Governing Body. The Chairman having voiced his regret at the enforced absence of Principal Roberts of Aber- ystwyth, and announced letters of apology from Lord Lisburne, Mr. and Mrs. Waddingham, and Mr. Wilmot Jones, Derry Ormond, went on to say that the Tregaron County School was the youngest of its kind in the county of Cardigan. In fact it was the baby county school, and Dr. Lloyd, who sat by his side on the platform, had a lot to do in bringing the baby into existence (laughter), as no doubt he had had with a good many other babies (renewed laughter). They hoped that the baby would thrive and grow strong, until it had ulti- mately become one of the strongest and most useful county schools in Cardiganshire (loud applause), The school came into existence on May 17th, 1897, that was about two years ago. The Governors were very fortunate to get temporary accommodation at the Town Hall, and on the whole the temporary buildings had answered their purpose very well, but lately it was becoming more and more evident that better accommodation was needed. That day the new school, which had ample accommodation, was being opened. Their dreams were realised (applause). The number of pupils at the school during the first term the school was opened was thirty-eight, second term fifty, third seventy-one, fourth sixty, fifth sixty-two, and the sixth, that was the last term, seventy-two (loud applause). These figures "showed that the baby was a very healthy child and that there were signs of its further development (hear, hear). There had been al- together in the school since its opening 126 pupils. It was rather to be regretted that fifty-one had left in the space of two years. The fact of so many leaving was a distinct disadvantage to the teaching staff. Of course, they could not compel children to continue at the school, or compel their parents to send them. In fact, some parents could not afford to send their children for mere than one term, others for two terms, and others for three terms. It would be of incalculable benefit, not only to the pupils, but to the school if parents could let them stay at the school for at least three or four terms. They could not blame the parents for taking them away, but let the parents do their best so as to make the school one of the successful schools of Cardiganshire and of Wales. A number of pupils who had been at the school had already started their career as bank clerks, whilst others were following a commercial career. This fact showed that the school had already proved of some service (applause). In the last science and art axamination in mathematics and chemistry all the candidates from the school had been successful with the result that they received between R,60 and Z70 as a grant (applause). It was a grant, by the bye, hardly earned by any school in the kingdom in the first year of its existence. The reports of the Central Welsh Board and of Mr. Owen Owen, the chief inspector, on the work of the past year were also most encouraging. At the new school the teaching staff, who had -done so well in the temporary buildings, would be able to continue their successful instruction under more comfortable circumstances. The new building was fitted up in the best Birmingham style (laughter and applause, and a call for Three cheers for Birmingham.") He was sure they were good if the fittings came from Birmingham (renewed laughter). The pupils would also be now in a position to play football, cricket, hockey, and other athletic games without undue inconvenience (cheers). The Governors of the school were anxious to have the co-operation of the parents as much as possible. He had one goo(I aniiotincernelit to make. The authorities in London made it a condition that before they could commence building a school in Tregaron they would have to find £1.000 and a freehold site which meant another £ 150. It was c;ecre(d that T hw would have to collect P,1,150 or graran (e that sum be ore they could proceed with the school

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WELSH COUNTY SCHOOLS.

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