OPENING OF THE ABERDARE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL.
The opening of the Aberdare Intermediate School took place on
Monday last. The building, which is situate on a plot of ground near
the lower entrance to the Public Park, has accommodation for 100 boys and 80 girls. The
school is an exceedingly neat stone building, with a central hall and a number of
classrooms, the central hall being large enough to hold the whole number of the
children. There is also a cooking classroom provided, while a workshop
and a laboratory are erected detached from the main building, and a space provided
for a gymnasium. The building, which cost some £5,000, was built
by Mr David Jenkins, of Swansea, the architect being Mr John H. Phillips, M.S.A.,
St. John’s Chambers, Swansea1, whose plans were selected in
open competition by the assessor, Mr Evan Christian, F.R.I.B.A., surveyor to the
Charity Commissioners, London. A master’s house is now in course
of erection upon the site, the contractor being Mr John Morgan, Aberdare, and the
architect Mr J.H. Phillips.
Some £1,800 was collected locally, and the whole of the work has been carried
out under the superintendence of a strong local committee of which Mr D.P. Davies,
J.P., Ynyslwyd, is the chairman, and the Rev. B. Evans, Gadlys the secretary, and
both these gentlemen now occupy similar positions on the governing body of the school.
At 12 o’clock there was a large number collected to see the formal ceremony
of opening the school, and Mr. D.P. Davies, JP, (the chairman of the governors)
handed Mrs D.A. Thomas a silver key, bearing a suitable inscription, wherewith to
open the girls’ department, a similar key being handed Mr D.A. Thomas, M.P.,
to perform the same ceremony for the boys.
Both having briefly spoken, those present inspected the school building, and
at 12.30 the company present sat down to a luncheon, which had been laid out at
the Central Hall. Mr F.W. Caunt catering. Mr D.P.
Davies, JP, presided. The chairman was supported on the cross-tables
by Mr. D.A. Thomas, M.P., and Mrs Thomas, Mr. W. Jenkin Thomas, M.A. (the
headmaster of the school, late classical lecturer at the University College of North
Wales, Bangor), Mr J. Dixon (barrister-at-law Inner Temple) and Miss Dixon, Mr.
L. Acomb (Lloyds Bank) and Mrs. Acomb, Mrs. (Rev.) R.J. Jones (Bron Iestyn), Mr.
G. George, JP, and Rev. W. James. The other governors of the school present
were Alderman D. Morgan, Rev. W. James, Rev. B. Lloyd (rural dean Mountain
Ash), Mr. M. Morgan, JP, and Rev. Thomas Jones (Carmel).
Among other representative men present we noticed Rev. H.R.
Johnson, M.A. warden of St. Michael’s College, Aberdare; Revs. R.J. Jones,
M.A., T.C. Evans, J.D. Rees, J. Sulgwn Davies, J. Griffiths, Aberdare;
W.S. Davies, Llwydcoed; Dr. Evan Jones, JP, Councillor J. Roberts, JP, Pontypridd,
C.C. John Howell, Aberaman; Mr. Charles Owen, headmaster of Merthyr Intermediate
School; District Councillors T. Rees, Owen Harris, Rees Llywelyn, Lewis N. Williams;
Messers W.J. Heppell, T. Railton, W. Charles, and Thomas Walters, member of the
Aberdare School Board; Mr. W. Edwards, H.M. Inspector of Schools, Merthyr;
Mr. Gomer Jones, B.A., assistant inspector; Mr. J.W. Morris, clerk of Aberdare School
Board; Mrs. D.M. Richards, members of the Merthyr Board of Guardians; together with
the staff of the schools, a number of the headmasters of the various elementary
schools, and a large number of ladies and gentlemen from Aberdare and neighbourhood.
Letters of apology and regret at their inability to be present were received from the Dowager
Lady Aberdare, the Right Hon. Lady Aberdare, Principal and Mrs J. Viriamu
Jones; Messrs T. Ellis, M.P., R.H. Rhys, JP, E.M. Hann, High Constable of Aberdare;
C. Kenshole, R. Bedington, Thomas Williams, JP, Merthyr; Dr. Turpin, headmaster
of the Swansea Intermediate School; H.C. Lewis, The Mardy; Thomas Davies, C.C.,
Abercwmboy; Rev. Aaron Davies, Pontlottyn, D. Jenkins, builder, Swansea.
The loyal and patriotic toasts having been duly honoured, Mr D.A. Thomas,
M.P., in proposing "Success to the School," said that was a proud day
for Aberdare - a day that had been looked forward to with great anxiety. It
was twenty years since the claims of intermediate education in Wales was advocated,
and sixteen years since Lord Aberdare’s Committee sat. It was seven
years since the Intermediate Education Act was passed, and that building, which
was an architectural feature in the valley, had been now ready for over two years,
and they had much reason to repeat that delay. However, at last2 the
school was open, and they had as teachers men of very high standing.
(Hear, hear.) Their headmaster (Mr W. Jenkin Thomas) was like
himself, a Cambridge man, and not only a degree man, but had taken his M.A. degree
with honours, and was beside a classical scholar of Trinity. Speaking
as an old Cambridge scholar, and one who was not a Trinity scholar, he could assure
them that was a very high distinction. They had now in Wales a better
system of education from the bottom to the top than in any other civilised country. (Loud
applause.) They were now in a position to give every child equal opportunities,
from the elementary school to the university. (Hear, hear.) Of course
they could not give them equal character, strength, power, or will; but equal opportunities
were now supplied, and if they had any Miltons among them they need no longer be
mute and inglorious ones. (Hear, hear.)
Alderman D.P. Davies, JP, and Rev. W. James briefly responded; after which Mr
G. George, JP, proposed "The, Staff," to which Florence White, B.A, (headmistress),
and Mr W. Jenkin Thomas, M.A. (headmaster), responded.
Mr Gomer Jones, B.A., then read the list of those who had gained free scholarships
at the school, it being announced that the governors had arranged to give 24 scholarships
for boys and 12 for girls. Mr Herbert C. Lewis, The Mardy, had also given
four scholarships, and there were another two given by a gentleman whose name did
not transpire. The following are the successful candidates for scholarships
and the marks obtained:- Norman Picton, Higher Grade3, 254; W.J. Harries,
Higher Grade, 252; Samuel Shipton, Penrhiwceibr Board, 241; Alfred Morgan, Higher
Grade, 212; Sidney Reed, Town Board, 210; Thomas Williams, Blaengwawr, 210; Gow
Morgan, Higher Grade, 209; D.J. Rowlands, Llwydcoed, 206; D.T. Roberts, Higher
Grade, 206; D. Davies, Blaengwawr, 205; W. Mason, Higher Grade, 205; W. Rees Davies,
Higher Grade, 194; W. Crowley, Higher Grade, 194; W. Rees Thomas, Duffryn Board,
190; Levi Jones, Higher Grade, 189; C. Brain, Town, 188; Robert Williams, Higher
Grade, 186 ; Morgan I. Jones, Higher Grade, 183; Willie Thomas, Town Board, 181;
Rubert Hughes, Hirwaun, 179; Willie Jones, Higher Grade, 178; Daniel Griffiths,
Blaengwawr, 174. Girls -May Daniel, Higher Grade, 234; Margaret Perkins, Town, 214;
Edith Evans, Higher Grade, 212; Elizabeth J. Emanuel, Miskin Board, 210; Edith M.
Evans, Higher Grade 209; Catherine Jenkins, Park, 201, Mary G. Davies, Higher Grade,
201; Gwen Morgan, Town Board, 200; Emily Griffiths, Park, 200 ; Elizabeth Evans,
Park:, 195; Blodwen Jones, Park, 195 , Eliza Shaw, Park, 194 ; Mary Richards, Town
Board, 193; Mary Davies, National, 195; Sarah Kate Evans, Park, 189; and Mary B.
Griffiths, Park, 184.
Mr James Roberts, JP, Pontypridd, then in a highly interesting speech, full of
reminiscences of Aberdare, proposed "The Governors," to which Mrs, H.J.
Jones responded in a speech full of pathos, in which she dealt with the hopes and
aspirations of Wales in the past and its responsibilities in the present; Rev. B. Lloyd,
Mountain Ash, also responded.-"H.M. Inspectors"
was proposed by Mr L. Acomb (Lloyds Bank), the treasurer of
the governors, and responded to by Mr. W. Edwards, M.A., and Mr. Gomer Jones,
B.A. Votes of thanks to Mr and Mrs D.A. Thomas and to the chairman
brought a most interesting function to a close.