Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

Certificate Ceremonies

school building

Press Report of the Certificate Ceremony, December 1904

Aberdare County School.
Prize Day.

Last Friday was the annual Prize Day of the above school. The function was held at the New Public Hall, the chair being occupied by Mr D. P. Davies, chairman of the Local Governing Body. There were also present the following Governors:—Mrs W. Lloyd, Rev T. Jones, Messrs G. George, G. A. Evans, Alderman W. Jones, D. Hughes, with Messrs W, Jenkyn Thomas, M.A., headmaster, and J. D. Thomas, clerk.

The Chairman said that he had prophesied last year that the junior section would make a mark this year, and so they had. The top forms would take care of themselves and they should look after the lower forms. The school was now very full—315 children—and he was pleased to find that it was appreciated. Out of 274 pupils 53 had gained distinction—a record which would be a credit to any school (cheers). However, they should not expect too much from the school. The home had its part to play in the building of character. He was glad to note that there were reunions of old pupils of the schools. He did not know of one who had not reflected credit on the school in whatever sphere he or she was (applause).

Mr W. Jenkyn Thomas, headmaster, who received quite an ovation, said that an agreeable feature of the school now was the fact that so many pupils were keeping on there. He then dealt with the changes which had taken place in the staff. Messrs Dodgson and E. Williams had left during the year and he wished to pay a tribute to the work done by them. While gratified at seeing the present state of intermediate education in Wales, he thought that they should not rest on their oars. The schools should be financed better by the authorities. Besides, there should be greater sacrifice on the part of the parents in encouraging the children to stay at the schools if they wanted to make them a thorough success.

The Chairman then called upon Col. D. R. Lewis, Merthyr, to distribute the certificates and prizes to the following pupils :

Honour Certificates:—Lillian L. John, May John, Gaynor R. Jones, Jonathan Jones, Aenid Picton, D. E. Price, T. J. Williams.

Senior Certificates:—Hetty Davies, Blodwen Edwards, Morley Griffiths, L. Jacobs, J. D. Jones, Lizzie Jones, W.J. Jones, W.S. Levinson, David Roderick, J.W. Rowland, May Shipton, May Williams.

Junior Certificates:—Annie S. Davies, Daniel Davies, D.R. Davies, Edwin Edwards, Nancy Edwards, Mary Ceinwen Evans, May Evans, T. Arnold Evans, Ellie M. Gregory, Ezer Griffiths, Chrissie Havard, Edith R. Howells, Gwen Hughes, Blodwen Isaac, Lizzie H. Jenkins, Sarah J. Jenkins, Annetta John, Margaret M. John, Gwladys P. Jones, J. Trefor Jones, Mary Jones, P.B. Jones, Reginald G. Jones, W.T. Jones, T.J. Morgan, Elizabeth A. Parfitt, Nellie Phillips, Sarah J. Powell, Mildred Pratt, D.O. Roberts, J. Sydney Vincent, Ethel Watkins, W.T. White, Trevor M. Williams.

Trinity College Music Certificates :— Nellie Sinnett Jones, Sophie Davies Jones, Jeanie Shipton.

Prizes :—Form VI. (upper) : French and English, Gaynor Jones; Latin, Lillian L. John; General European History, Aenid Picton; Chemistry, D.E. Price; Mathematics and Physics, Jonathan Jones. Form VI. (lower) : Form prize, May Williams; English and History, J.W. Rowland; Mathematics, L. Jacobs; Latin, May Williams; French J.W. Rowland; Chemistry, D. Roderick. Form VA.: Form prize, P. B. Jones; English and History, Mary Jones; Mathematics, P.B. Jones; Latin, Elizabeth A. Parfitt; French, Elizabeth A. Parfitt; Science, D.R. Davies. Form VB.: Form prize, Chrissie Havard; Scripture, Chrissie Havard; English and History, J. Trefor Jones; Mathematics, Bertie Pugh; French, T. Arnold Evans; Science, J. Sydney Vincent. Form IV.: Form prize, Winifred Chapman; English and History, W.I. Curnow; mathematics, W.I. Thomas; French, Winifred Chapman; Science, Isaac Davies; Geography, Annie Rogers. Form IIIA.: Form prize, B.T. Howells; English and History, W.O. Twiney; Mathematics, Mabel Cocking; French, Gwen Wigley. Form IIIB.: Form Prize, Gwladys John; English and History, Gwladys John; Mathematics, B. Roderick; French, Mary Howells. Form IIA.: Form prize, J. Brinley Jones; English and History, Minnie Hughes; Mathematics, J.B. Jones; French, David F. Davies. Form IIB: Form prize, G.J. Davies; English and History, Alice Morton; Mathematics, W.J.Ll. Bowen; French, Nellie Rees. Form I.: Form prize, Elsie Jones; English and History, Mary H. Williams; Mathematics, Edgar Thomas; French, Elsie Jones; Book-keeping, W.S. Levinson; Shorthand, Ezer Griffiths; Dressmaking, Sarah J. Powell; Cookery, Ethel Watkins; Drawing, T. Millar; Woodwork, Henry Thomas; Welsh, Lizzie Peters; Domestic Economy, Mabel Giles; Music, Nellie Sinnett Jones.

Colonel Lewis, who was warmly received, said that no one believed more in the very highest education than he did. He wished to congratulate most warmly the pupils, the governors, the headmaster, the staff, and the scholars who had added lustre to the County School in the past. They had not won the gold medal this year, but the young lady who had gained distinction in every subject (Miss C. Havard) had won almost an equivalent. He would give every year henceforth a prize to every pupil who would distinguish himself or herself in that manner, and this young lady would have a prize this year (applause). The speaker then referred to Japan as a nation where education was given its proper place. The boys of this country who were going to mould the destiny of the nation, should, when they grew up, insist on giving to intermediate education the attention it deserved. The difference between elementary and secondary education was that in the latter a better facility was given to the pupils to exercise their brains. Referring to the question of a playground he believed that the playground was as necessary as the school itself. The County Council should supply playgrounds as well as buildings. They should agitate to get the County Councils to be more liberal in their contributions to the schools. Addressing the children the speaker said he would like to see the boys and the girls wearing their colours and be proud of them (cheers). When they were going to sit for examinations let them be determined, for their own honour and that of the school, to pass. They ought to get into touch with the elementary schools—they should be practically one. He was glad to see that the County Council insisted on parents sending the children to school for three years in order to win scholarships. He wished to congratulate Aberdare upon the success which it so richly deserved (applause).

In proposing a vote of thanks to Col Lewis, Mr Griffith George, J.P., C.C., said I am not sure under what political flag Col. Lewis sails, and indeed I do not care, for I have learnt by this that politics have very little to do with a sincere educationist. I emphasise ā€œsincere,ā€ because any one worthy of that label can only be a progressivist. It is only when people try to make education a lever for party gain, or sectarian privilege, that political shades are developed. Thank heaven we have no room for either in our Intermediate scheme. No political or religious test is possible, and yet, under the apparent autocratic powers given to our headmasters and mistresses, the result of the last nine years working defies anyone to say that the education imparted has been an irreligious one. No doubt we are on the eve of a momentous epoch in the history of Welsh education, and it behoves everyone who has a voice on its councils that his note shall ring clear for educational efficiency first; then, we have but little fear that the present misunderstanding between the Councils of Wales and the non-provided school managers will vanish like mist before the morning sun.

In a few well-chosen words Alderman W. Jones seconded.

Mr G. A. Evans proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman. Mrs W. Lloyd seconded, at the same time paying a high tribute to Mr Davies for his devotion to education. Both propositions were cordially carried.

An item that caused great amusement and interest was the club drill by the following boys:—W.J.Ll. Bowen, Trevor Mills, Trefor Reynolds, George H. Evans, T. Millar, and W. Oxenham.

The school choir (conducted by Mr Tom Price) sang several times. Miss Edith Handley accompanied.

The meeting closed with “Hen Wlad fy Nhadau,” Miss Jennie Coates taking the solo.


Information about some of the pupils mentioned above can be found in the Published Exam Pass Lists section of this website, in the 1904 results item.