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Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

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-----University College of…


University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. A meeting of the Court of Governors of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, was held on Friday last at the County Hall, Bala. Alderman J. Foulkes Roberts, Manchester (vice- president), occupied the chair, and there were also present Principal T. F. Roberts, Professor Hugh Williams, Bala; Rev. H. Cernyw Williams, Corwen; Rev. Ji Williams. B.A., Dolgelley; Professor Morgan Lewis. Professor Angus, Professor Edward Edwards, Aberystwyth Miss K. Trubshaw, Aber- ystwyth Messrs Edwin Jones, Llandinam; H. Haydn Jones, Towyn; William Roberts, Brýn- crllg; E.P.Jones, Festiniog; E. Vincent Evans, London; J. H. Davies, Cwrtmawr; W. J. Brown, Liverpool; J. A. Doyle, Brecon; J. Marshall Dugdale, Llanfyllin; Hon. C. H. Wynn, Rug; Mr Ll. Roberts, H.M.I., Rhyl; Dr. Emrys Jones, Man- chester Mr D E. Jones, Bala; Mr Mortimer Green (registrar), and Mr Phillips (assistant registrar). ABSENTEES. The Registrar announced that owing to the sad circumstances of the death of Principal Edwards, and also the death of the wife of Alderman Peter Jones, Aberystwyth, a large number of members were prevented from being present. Hct bad re- ceived communications from the following gentle- men regretting, for various causes, their inability to be pre-ent:-Sir James Hills Johnes, V.G., G O.B.; Mr Edward Davies, Dolcaradog; Professor J. Young Evans, Trevecca College; Rev. F. N. Colborne, Haverfordwest; Rev. D. Charles Edwards; Mr Robert Evans; Mr J. Francis, Wallog; Mr R. E. Hughes, and Mr D. E. Jones, H.M'3 Inspectors of Schools; Mr D. Lleufer Thomas; Lieutenant- Colonel E. Pryce-Jones, M.P.: Councillor Idris, London; Mr C. E. Howell, Welshpool; Mr J. S. C. Parkhouse, and Miss Dobell, Pontypool. Mr Green also stated MrO. M. Edwards, M.P., fully intended being present that day, but the award of the history scholarship that day made it imperative that he should be present at Oxford. THE LATE PRINCIPAL EDWARDS. The Chairman then said that they were met that day under a very gloomy aspect. He referred to the death of their friend and the first principal of Aberystwyth College. He had had the joy and the privilege of working with Dr. Edwards for nearly the last 25 years, and he was witness to his devotion to his work, and indeed he might almost say the devotion he had to his work was now the cause of his death. He worked all the week with the College, and on Sundays he went for long distances to preach the Gospel. To refer to one circumstance of the way he laboured. The meeting of the College was on one occasion held at Festiniog. He went there on the Saturday, and after the services on Sunday be had to get up at 3 o'clock in the morning to get back to Aberystwyth in time for his College meetings. And that was the way with him he was so devoted to his ^ministerial work, and he believed he was the most distinguished preacher of the Gospel that they had in the Principality during his lifetime. There was not time ftfr him to enter into particulars now, as several gentlemen had to leave by an early train, but he remembered very well lie and his father, Dr. Lewis Edwards, were at his house in Man- chester, and the son asked the father What shall I do with this invitation that I have received to be the principal of the Aberystwyth College 1" And his father's reply was very singular, all he said was 11 Weti, try." Well, he did try, and he made it a great success (hear, hear). And his own opinion was that if he was not then a very strong man the College at Aberystwyth now would certainly not have been established. But he commenced with determination to carry out the suggestion of his father to try and make it a success, and he had made it a very great success. He would now ask Principal Roberts to say a few words before bringing before them a resolution of the Council. Principal Roberts said he had first of all to read a telegram he bad received that morning from the President of the College, Lord Rendel, to whom he communicated the sad circumstance to which reference had already been made. The telegram was from Cannes, and was as follows Please associate me with due public expression of sorrow, gratitude, and respect, and with appropriate measures for their permanent record." Proceeding, the Principal said he felt it was exlremely difficult, as the chairman had already said, to give any expression in words of the feelings which were stirred in him by the death of the great teacher and great leader whom Wales -had now lost. By a sad coincidence, this Court assembled at Bala on the day following his death. Little less than 12 months ago, Bala and Aberystwyth were bound together in an eqrally intimate association of common sorrow, when they bad farewell with the pupil of Principal Edwards at the threshhold of his career, and when his presence was as the sunshiue in the life of Wales. That day, a teacher had gone to rest. But the circumstances were different. He left behind a task accomplished, an achieve- ment rounded and completed. It was true that Wales seldom lost a leader who bore greater evidences of the stern conflict in which he was called upon by Wales to engage. But he never grudged the cost. In the last years, when his strong frame no longer responded to the behests of his great spirit, so far from repining, he manfully pressed on in the path of self-denying sacrifice. The educational awakening of Wales was to him from its first beginning to the end a broad and inspiring movement. Instilled with great ideas and high possibilities, he refused to abate his ideals under the pressure of the limitations incidental to their first embodiment in action. He interpreted those ideals in terms which made them rallying cries for popular enthusiasm, without abating anything of their searching and purifying power. Those who came deeply under his influence-and these included a laige number of the younger generation of Wales in his time-however they might in other respects differ from one another and from him, had certain characteristics in common. They cherished rever- ence of the higher spiritual and intellectual tend- encies of Wales. They conceived of Wales as a whole without regard to sectional or local divisions. They combined with their separate vocations a broad interest in social and public activities. In these respects they acknowledged his strong influence, and the stronger because it was indirect and was concentrated into isolated utterances reaching to the heart of the matter, and fixing themselves in the memory, rather than urged with anything like dicdatic detail or persistency. Asa public teacher, none came nearer to his fellowman or more frankly laid bare the secret springs of his life. Yet, accom- panying this, in private life there was a character- istic detachment, something of isolation and of proud restraint. His life was one of intense absorp- tion, relieved by few distractions, and was one which, like that of his father before him, was lived entirely in and for Wales (hear, hear.) Yet, it was the life fiiled by the enthusiasm of a great epoch, when the people of Wales first became conscious of their higher unity. They recognised in him, his whole hearted devotion to Welsh causes, and his broad and intellectual inter- pretation of them, his steadfastness in defence of the first great institution which embodied them. They saw in all these their own better, stronger selves, their higher aims. The latter years of his life, if they lacked the passion and fire of the earlier ones, retained the sure judgment and unswerving purpose, along with an ever-deepening spirit of simple sacrifice for the highest enterprises. They heard that day, he re- called, the words in which he spoke at the opening of the Bala Theological College, of the new enter- prise upon which he bad entered as it represented itself to his mind, and the characteristic words in which he said that he hoped that this Welsh College might eventually be able to contribute to the advance of theology, to photograph some of the distant, stars in the spiritual firmament. He be- lieved that that aim also, like other aims of his great career, would be richly accomplished, though he was not privileged to see that day. He could only, as one of his old pupils, say that so long as they lived he would not lack his witnesses, who would have expressed his all reverence, and the debt which he and others owed to his memory. The Principal, on behalf of the Chairman, then proposed that the Court of Governors record their feelings of deep regret at the of Dr. Edw? rds, principal of Bala Theological College, and their profound recognition of the invaluable services which he rendered to the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, as its first principal, and of the lusting influence which he exerted upon the life of Wales at a great period in her history by his person. and intellectual gifts, his inspired leadership, and his unselfish devotion to the higher aims. And further that the Vice-President and the Principal be requested to convey to the family of Dr. E Iwards the deep sympathy of the Couit with them in their bereavement. The resolution having been proposed by th. Chairman, and seconded by the Principal, was carried with silent unanimity. ■THE PRINCIPAL'S STATEMENT. The next business was to receive a statement I from the Principal respecting (1) The training of secondary teachers; !z), Tile instruction in horti- culture and I'ee-koepin^ now carried on by the Council; and (3\ The development of technical instruction in subjects other than agriculture. The Principal ",j,t, in the lirst place he had to report tbe action which had been taken in consequence uf certain r"1 ^^ed by the Court at the previous meeting. The Court then directed him to draw up and f jrward to various educational authorities in the seven counties represented on the Court of Governor- a scheme dealing with the educadon of pupil ■•v ^s. He had accordingly done so. The scheme set forth in some detail all that he thought was necessary for school managers J to be told in order to be able to give effect to the j new proposal to educate the pupil teachers of Wales so far as their general education was concerned in the county schools. The plan suggested was that they should be sent to the county school for three years, followed by a two years' apprenticeship as pupil teachers in the actual work of teaching in the elementary schools. The scheme was largely based on the system now at work at Festiniog. They owed a great dcpt "to Festiniog for having led the way in this important matter (hear hear). They had proved that the system was feasible, and they had also, to some extent, experienced the value of its results. The Court of Governors could do nothing more than the steps they had already taken, and it now rested with the school authorities-the school boards and the. school managers-to put this scheme into action He thought he might say there was no obstacle in the way, and further, that the scheme as laid down in the statement, was undoubtedly the best for dealing with the question within this area. No doubt there were other plans which varied to suit the conditions of other districts. But in dis- tricts like this, where the elementary schools are separated from one another, and from the inter- mediate schools by difficulties of communication, the only practical plan was to send the pupil teachers first to the Intermediate school for con- tinuous study, and then to enter them upon an ap- prenticeship rather than to combine together by a plan of half-time study in each school the instruction at the secondary and elementary school during the same period. Much, no doubt, would depend upon H.M. Inspectors in the giving effect to any schemes of this kind. He was glad to say he believed the state- ment as drawn up commended itself generally to some at any rate of H.M's Inspectors, whom he had had the opportunity of consulting, as a sound system (hear, hear). Although he would not wish in any way to pledge them to its details. Another matter upon which the Court at its last meeting requested action to be taken was in the matter of the University of Wales Bill, which was now being promoted in Parliament, a Bill to give the University the same privileges and powers in respect of the legal professions as were already enjoyed by the other Universities of the countiy. They had sent out a circular to all the solicitors practising within the seven counties with a copy of the Bill, and a copy of the resolution of this Court, commending it to their attention, and requesting them to take such steps that they may deem desir- able with the view of bringing before the notice of the Council of the Incorporated Law Society the merits of the Bill, so as to secure the Society's approval of it. He trusted that as the result of this appeal a considerable number of representa- tions would be made to the Incorporated Law Society .from Wales by way of pointing out to them the importance of these privileges to Wales as well as to the University. That matter bad a bearing upon their own project of establishing at Aberyst- wyth a school of law. Many of the members were aware that this matter had been in view for a con- siderable time, but they were still a considerable way from attaining the endowment of JS500 a year for five years wkich they regarded as necessary before they could open the school. A considerable sum had been obtained — some £150 per annum out of the £ 500—and he was glad to say further that they had been able to enlist in this case the invaluable services of Mr. Lleufer Thomas, who had taken a very great interest in the proposal from the beginning, and who was now giving them his aid in connection with the Bill, particularly in South Wales, with very encouraging results. What he would like would be to be able to see the College able to make a beginning as early as the opening of the next session. Every effort would be made to attain that object, but he was at present, of course, quite un- able to say whether they would be successful. He could only say that the more opportunity he had of looking into the proposal and of conferring with others who have the right to speak, the more desirable and important did it seem to him to be for the College and for the country to succeed in establishing the school. He now came to the matters which had been indicated upon the agenda of this meeting. The first of them was the train- inc of secondary teachers. The prospectus of the College Department for the training of secondary teachers had recently been issued, which showed that the Department had been very largely re- organised within the last few months, so as to cope with the practical side of the training of secondary teachers. For some years, as the Court was aware, the elementary training department of the College had been remarkably successful in its work, but hitherto the secondary training department had only made a beginning, chiefly in the direction of theoretical study of the principles of education. Now, however, it was proposed to provide as com- plete a practical training in teaching for secondary teachers as the practical provision already in ex- istence for elementary teachers. That they pro- posed to do by the assistance of the County School at Aberystwyth, of whose help they were already assured, together with some other secondary schools outside Aberystwyth in the adjoining counties. By the aid and generous help of the authorities of these schools they hoped to be able to give at Aberystwyth as thorough a practical training in secondary teaching as was obtainable in larger schools. The prospectus contained in detail the machinery by which it was proposed to provide this tiaining. Into that he need not enter. It only remained for him to point out to the court that the training of secondary teachers was a matter which had been pressing on their attention for a con- siderable time. Hitherto, trained teachers had been found very largely in high schools for the education of girls, but in the public schools and grammar schools of the country, the training of teachers in the theory and practice of teaching in training colleges of any kind, other than by experience and actual teaching had been carried on in England only to a very small degree. Some little time ago the Association of Welsh Secondary Teachers passed resolutions upon this matter, emphasising its great importance whether as regards boys' schools or girls' schools, and they drew up a scheme showing in detail the conditions which they thought, as practical teachers, should be satisfied by any system of secondary training. In this pros- pectus, the arrangements of the Department had been reorganised so as to meet as far as possible the requirements laid down in that pamphlet, It was true they were not met in every particular, but so far as the present conditions would allow, it had been their aim to provide a course of practical training for Welsh secondary teachers, which would be in accordance with the best and most modern principles. Perhaps he might mention that the professor of education was one of the most accom- plished scholars upon the history of education in the Kingdom, and at the same time is himself a secondary teacher of great experience, so that he combined the practical and theoretical interests fully. Among the other teachers in the Department -who were three in number-were practical experts, who at the same time held a high standing in respect of their university acquirements. The next point which he thought would be interesting to refer to was the instruction in horticulture and bee-keeping, which the College had been carrying on for some little time. It had been carried on by means of short courses of lectures and classes and demonstrations in the villages, chiefly of Cardigan- shire and Montgomeryshire hitherto, with 0 the object of interesting the inhabitants of these villages in allotment gardens and cottage gardens and such matters. He was glad to say that the reception which the instructor, who was a thoroughly competent man and very enthusiastic, had received was highly satisfactory. The reports which reached them from the various centres in which he had been engaged spoke enthusiastically of the way in which his instruction was followed. He was not a Welsh-speaking instructor, and in that respect undoubtedly laboured under a disadvantage. The astonishing thing was that although ignorant of Welsh he was able in the most Welsh-speaking districts to make his instruction so thoroughly interesting and so welcomo. The provision of technical instruction in the villages of Wales was one of the main objects for which the University Colleges were established. and their charter required them to provide this part of education. They might divide the whole field into three sections. There was the provision of elementary and secondary instruction to children up to the age of 16, 17, or 18; there were the regular courses of University in.str*ction then in addition to both these, there was the large section composed ot young men and women who were above school age and were engaged in the actual I zn work of life. Hitherto, at Aberystwyth, they had been endeavouring to meet the re- quirements of one element in that section of the population, viz., the young farmers and agricultural workers of Wales, together with the daughters of farmers who were interested in the manufacture of butter and cheese. And in carrying out that type of instruction they had on the one hand arranged a course of lectures in scores of villages in counties in North and South Wales, together with practical schools in butter and cheese-making, and also sup- plemented this instruction by short courses of from seven to twelve weeks' duration at the College it- self. There had been, for instance, a short course in agriculture for young farmers fur the last five years or thereabout s,and the last one of all, which had just been cornp leed, had been, as he understood from the lecurers, he most successful of any hitherto. Between 50 and 60 young men presented themselves d irir.g the months of January and Feb- ruary, and readied a standard of attainment, con- si It-ring their circumstances, which w as gratifvinc in 'he highest degree. He wished to refer to this system of village lectures supplemented by short c ourses at the College, in order to ask whether it is not possible to adopt the same system to other industries, besides the great industry of agriculture. Whether, for instance, it is not possible to provide in that way for the young workers, in some respect the best element in Wales, who were to be found in the mining and.textile industries of this county and all the other counties of central and western Wales. For example, in this county of Merioneth, in the quarry districts at Festiniog, at Corris, Abergyn- olwyn, and elsewhere, there was a generation of young workmen, capable, ambitious, who would re- pay any effort. made to provide them with instruc- tion adapted to their requirements a hundred-fold. It would be in the memory of some members of the County Council of Merioneth that lie saw present that some five or six years ago a scheme was ar- ranged under the small grant from the County Council for providing a series of lectures upon geology in its relation to mining in the quarry dis- tricts of Merioneth, the lectures to be delivered in the Welsh language. These courses were to be given by a gentleman particularly well qualified for the work, but unfortunately, just when he was going to commence their deliverly, he received an important appointment, the duties of which compelled the abandonment of that particular work. Since then nothing had been done. The County Council of Merioneth, like other County Councils had found its hands full as far its technical resources were concerned with the requirements of the intermediate schools, and the help which they rendered to the agricultural work he had already referred to. But he would wish very strongly to urge more in this county and in the county of Cardigan, Montgomery, Carmarthen y I and other counties the importance of pro- viding to the best of their ability for the young workers in these industries in this county as he said, for chiefly the mining industries, for North I Cardiganshire similarly, where the lead ore indus- tries, he believed, were showing a very consider- able revival at the present time; in South Cardi- ganshire on the other hand there was a thriving textile industry, which was carried on with enter- prise and with every prospect of commercial success. For the mining workers, what he should like to see would be a course of say half-a-dozen or a dozen lectures followed by classes carried on so that full explanation could be given, in the Welsh language where necessary, in each of the quarry districts of Merioneth and the lead mining districts of Cardigan. After these courses of local lectures had been gone through, those who should acquit themselves best would have the opportunity of becoming students in a short course of mining at the College on the same lines as the short course in agriculture. And perhaps they might before long be able to urge successfully upon the Govern- ment of the country a matter which he believed bad been brought to their notice hitherto without result, the great importance establishing some sort of certificate for managers in quarries and in other mines, such as were already existing in the collieries. Such a certificate would be a stimulus to the young men it would be a qualification for responsible positions, not only in Wales or in England, but in the Colonies, and he was quite certain that a large number of young men from Cardiganshire, and from Merionethshire also, would push their way in the Colonies if only they were provided with the facilities of knowledge necessary in order to en- able them to do so (hear, hear). In connection with the weaving industries, the proposal was a similar one, that there should be instruction pro- vided in the dyeing processes, and also in the de- signing of fabrics, so that the young workers who had to go through the mechanical process of weav- ing and of dyeing might understand the theory of those processes to some extent, and be able to look upon his work with something of an artist's in- terest, instead of doing it in a mere routine fashion. Such a school of design could be established with- out any very large expense, and he was glad to say that the Corporation of Aberystwyth proposed to erect a building for the purpose of science and art instruction, where a museum could be located, con- taining specimens of all kind of textile designs, the best products of other countries, which the young workmen could inspect when they came up for their instruction, so as to be able to acquaint themselves with the best that had been done, in the hope that they might themselves eventually be able to originate some designs at any rate which should have a character and a stamp about them reflecting the individuality of the Cymric artistic genius. It seemed somewhat ambitious to speak in this way, having regard to the present conditions of these industries, but they must remember that one of the greatest authorities on the matter, the late Wm. Morris, illustrated in his own person the combination of the weaver, the dyer, and the de- signer, and urged throughout his life, as a principle of cardinal importance, that craftsmanship and art were closely blende together, and that the crafts could not make progress until the various processes of dyeing, weaving, and designing were the pos- session of the actual worker himself. It seemed to him that with this instruction they might hope something from these industries in Wales.' These were the points to which he wished to direct the atten- tion of the Court. Clearly, they required consider- able pecuniary resources, and their resources, both those of the College and the County, Councils con- cerned were very limited. At the same time, by co- operation, by a small grant from one County Council, added to a small grant from another, added to the resources that were to be found in the laboratories of the College, he believed it was possible to attain a very substantial result, the object throughout being to unite together these counties in an effort in co-operation for their mutual benefit (applause). HORTICULTURE AND BEE-KEEPING. Mr. Marshall Dugdale then proposed the follow- ing resolution:—" That the Governors desire to 11 call the attention of County Technical Instruction Committees to the facilities now provided by the College Agricultural Department for obtaining in- struction in horticulture and bee-keeping, which is calculated to be of great service to cottagers in the development of their home and allottment gardens." The proposer said he hoped instruction in poultry- keeping would also be shortly added. He had re- ceived such tremendous benefit from lectures he had heard in connection with the Aberystwyth and Bangor colleges. Any success he bad bad in the agricultural world was due to a lecture he heard by a professor from Bangor College, and it had been his endeavour ever since then to do everything he could to help in every possible way these two colleges which were doing such useful work. He attended a meeting recently in London when the work of these two colleges was criticised. The question was asked, What can you show for the money that has been spent ? and the answer given was, You can show very little." The speaker maintained, however, that that was not a fair way of looking at the question, as they could not say what vast good was done in outlying villages, where they would never think of looking for it. He was heart and soul in this matter, and was of opinion that they must try and help all classes. They must tell their supporters the needs of the College and state that they had been asked to give lectures in mining and other things, and he believed the money would be forthcoming. The money had been provided by their rich patrons in the past, and as long as they showed they were doing really excellent work he believed they would find that the money to carry on that work would be forth- coming (applause). Mr. Doyle seconded, and the resolution was unanimously carried. SECONDARY TRAINING DEPARTMENT., Mr. H. Hadyn Jones proposed That in view of the proposed legisiation for the registration of teachers, the governors rejoice to hear of the steady progress of the Secondary Department for the training of teachers which has been established at the College." The proposer said they insisted in most schemes in Wales that the headmaster should Vwj-ITO fdkan ■> r1£),- 0.+ TT~: TT I I ua.ttuauia U.L.ÇQ.U AU VJlllveiSll-y. ne WQUla make it, if possible, absolutely necessary that the headmaster should also have received training in some such department as had been referred to by the Principal that day. Without that he was sure they could not fulfil their duties to the satisfaction of the governors, and the best interests of the pupils. The resolution having been seconded, was unanimously agreed to. The Rev. J. Williams, B.A., proposed, That the governors should urge upon the Council the desirability of making provision for instruction in subjects connected with the mining and textile industries of the Central and Western Counties of Wales." The rev. "gentlemen pointed out that in this county raw material was being raised in several of their mines, and sent to Leeds and Sheffield for manufacture. He did not see himself why they should not do that work in Wales. Mr J. Davies, Liverpool, seconded, and the resolu- tion was carried with unanimity. COURT OF THE WELSH UNIVERSITY. The Principal proposed the re-election of Alder- man Roberts (vice-president), Sir James Hills- Johnes, V.C., G.C.B., and the Registrar as repre- sentatives en the Court of the University of Wales. For the vacancy caused by the lamented death of Dr Edward Jones, Dolgelley, who was one of the most faithful JEriends and supporters of the College u I p z! and of every good movement for the advancement y of Wales in his generation-he would propose the name of a gentlemen well-known for his patriotic sympathies, although he did not live in Wales, viz., Dr Emrys Jones, Manchester. He believed if he would actively interest himself in the work of the University of Wales as well as in the work of this College, so far as his leisure would admit, he would be conferring a debt upon his native country. The Chairman said it would be better to leave his name out, because on the following day he would be 82 years of age. He thought it was time for him to retire for younger people to come for- ward. Mr Ed. Griffith, seconded the Principal's proposi- tion, which was then unanimously carried. ABERYSTWYTH ART SCHOOL. Mr E. Vincent Evans proposed, Miss K. Trubshaw seconded, and it was unanimously agreed to, that the Court support the memorial addressed by the Corporation of Aberystwyth to the Department of Science and Art praying for a grant towards the proposed school pi science and art in the borough, j