Page 8 - Hobart and Education

The host, although he bears a Scotch name, is nothing if not English. In appearance he bears a wonderful resemblance to Mr. Armes Beaumont, and possesses a baritone voice, which, if early trained, would have made him the rival of anyone on the lyric stage. The house is English in its comfort, but has all the modern appliances which our forefathers did not exactly understand. In the matter of ventilation and of hot and cold baths they were deficient. The 100 guests whom Host Forbes can accommodate will he fully satisfied in this respect. In the matter of eating and drinking Mr. Fenton, M.H.A. for Wellington, tells me there is no better "table" in Tasmania. For myself I am more than satisfied, and shall long remember pleasant meals in the dining room, with the sun shining on the ferns outside and the canaries singing joyously and Mrs. Forbes' kind attentions, supplemented by those of the faithful head waiter, who, as an old Victorian, takes especial charge of me.

Next door to Forbes' Hotel is the office and warehouse of Mr. William Crosby, M.L.C. Formerly this was occupied by Mr. Alfred Huybers, a most respected merchant of Hobart. The members of his family have made name and fame in literature and art in various parts of the world. Mr. Huybers was intellectually and physically as virile as Dr. Agnew. I remember meeting him in London in 1886. He was far on in his eighth decade at this time, hut insisted on walking from Trafalgar Square down the Strand to the Savoy when I would have taken a cab. Mr. Huybers now lies in God's Acre mourned by family and friends. He had friends in all £arts of the world. I have met them in London and Brussels, and in Antwerp and Ballarat. If Mr. Huybers were still living in Hobart, we should be able to exchange many souvenirs of many lands and people. But of no land fairer than this. Thinking of men like Dr. Agnew and Mr. Huybers, I am reminded of a letter written by "Meagher of the Sword " to the Nation in 1849. He said : —

I have seen enough of the country to justify me in saying that it is a beautiful and noble island. The seas which encompass it, the lakes and rivers which refresh and fertilise it, the woods which shadow it and the genial sky which arches it, and with sights of brightest coloring and sounds of finest harmony proclaim the munificence of God on its behalf. Breathing its invigorating air manhood preserves its bloom, vivacity and vigor long after the period at which in other lands those precious gifts have departed.

In host Forbes's hospitable halls I exchange pleasant souvenirs of Far Cathay with Mr. J. Whitton, who shortly after I left Shanghai ran a champion drug store in that, the finest city in the European East. Mr. Whitton shows me views of our mutual friend Jansen and the boys who congregated at the Astor House, all good men and true. We both knew Inspector Strickland intimately, who shortly after left for the now famous war field, Corea, in which we hope he will escape with a whole skin ; for he was as white a man as ever wore a uniform. It seems strange to most people to he able to exchange reminiscences of the far east here in Hobart with one of its citizens. But the world is not only small, but is growing daily smaller. It is no wise strange to me to talk of Yorkshire and Lancashire with Mr. Cuudy, the late locomotive superintendent of the Tasmanian railways, a native of Sheffield, but who served his time at Beyer and Peacock's celebrated locomotive works, Manchester. Mr. Cundy afterwards erected the first plant for the Bessemer steel process. He came out to Victoria in 1866, and was well known in many prominent positions before coming to Tasmania 14 years ago. Mr. Cundy is an enthusiast on the superiority of the 3 feet 6 inch narrow gauge as against the Victorian 6 feet 3 inch gauge, l can tell Mr. Johnson, of Leicester, stories of his native town, and Loughborough and Charnwood Forest, and the Dominican Monastery there. I astonish Mr. Williams that I know his birthplace, Westward Ho, called Northam - in my early days, but which has received its present appellation in honor of Chas. Kingsley, the author of "one of the best books that was ever written." That is how Lord Hopetoun described the novel Westward Ho to me, as we looked at the picture "On Bideford Sands." Mr. W, H. Brown recalls to mind my journey through the Otira Gorge many Tears ago, and maintains there is just as splendid scenery in New South Wales, between Glen Innes and Grafton and Lismore and Tenterfield. But we do not believe him. Mr. A. Aaronson, who turns up at the Metropolitan, is one of those high cIass children of Yiddish whom I am always pleased to meet. He was born at Bangor, in North Wales, and we have mutual pleasant recollections of the land of Eryri. Ir. Aaronson reads to an attentive audience the bracelet buying scene from The Scallywag, written by my friend Mr. Grant Allen, with an appreciative gusto which would arouse the author's admiration.

It Is a pleasure to me to meet Mr, William Guesdon here and renew an acquaintance formed in Melbourne, but not on the turf. I did not know this gentleman when he owned Darriwell und Darebin and won the Derby and Cup. To many men this would make him an object of as much veneration as if he had broken the Bank at Monte Carlo. But Mr. Guesdon is like Lord Rosebery, except that he did not inherit an enormous fortune. He has aspirations for higher things than the turf, and laudably wishes to be at the front in the Parliament of his native land. It is for this as well as for his talents that I respect Mr. Guesdon. He will yet be heard of. Mr. J. Henochsberg also turns up at Forbes's with souvenirs of daring deeds at the Baccarat table in Noumea in the boom time of the Seventies there. We both knew Commandant Servan, of Canala, the bravest Frenchman I ever met. This gallant officer was the military and civil ruler of the district famed for its nickel mines, which were exploited to a great extent by Mr. John A. Wallace.

The Hutchins School, one of the most artistic buildings in Hobart, is the oldest high grade school in the island. It was established as a memorial to Archdeacon Hutchins, the first Archdeacon of Tasmania, who died suddenly at Hobart in 1841. It was opened as a Church of England grammar school in 1846, and under the head mastership of the Rev. J. R. Buckland soon took its place us one of the leading educational establishments in the south of the island. Its roll of old boys contains the names of many of the most distinguished Tasmanians— Sir Lambert Dobson, the Chief Justice; Archdeacon Mason, Canon Hudspeth, Mr. Henry Dobson, the late Premier; Mr. N. J. Brown, the late Speaker of the House of Assembly ; Messrs. O. J. and D. Barclay, of the Commercial Bank of Tasmania ; Mr. Alfred Dobson, the Solicitor-Gcnerol ; Messrs. J, G. Davies, M. H. A. and G. S. Crouch, late mayors of Hobart, with many others who hold high positions in Tasmania, besides not a few who have won distinction in other colonies. The school buildings have a fine old world look about them, and are one of the most attractive features in Macquarie-street. They stand in over three acres of ground, and contain, besides spacious class room, accommodation for 20 or 30 boarders. Besides a large playing field there is a tennis court, a fives court, a gymnasium, a carpenter's shop and a small swimming bath for the use of the boarders. The site is particularly healthy, and any serious illness among the boarders has been almost unknown in the annals of the school. The school has a high reputation for scholarship and for thoroughness of work. In sports, too, the school holds a foremost position, having won the premiership of the schools of the island during the last cricket season and the championship in rifle shooting. During the first half of the present football season the school has won all its matches. The school has almost a unique record among grammar schools, in that for its first 44 years the head mastership was held by one family. The first head master, the Rev. J. R. Buckland, was succeeded by his son, the Rev. J. V, Buckland in 1874, and he held the position till 1892. The present bead master is the Rev. H. H. Anderson, B.A., of London, formerly rector of St. James' High School, Calcutta, and before that principal of the
Hindoo College, Vizagapatam. The second master is Mr. W. E. P. Austin, M.A., Magdalen College, Oxford, who won high distinctions at his University in classics, and who was formerly a master at the Geelong Grammar School. The school is conducted on the lines of an English public school, and is justly proud of its high reputation for the tone and good conduct of its boys. When I say that it reminds me of Geelong Grammar School I can add no farther praise.

The Hobart Ladies' College is situated in Macquarie-street, near the Hutchins School. It was established some years ago by the veteran colonist, Dr. Agnew, and Sir Lambert Dobson, the present Chief Justice, assisted by a council of representative citizens. The present members of the council are Mr. Inglis Clark, the Attorney-General ; Mr. H. S. Roberts, Mr. Charles Butler and Mr. Stephens. The college was established to supply high class education to the young ladies of Tasmania, the curriculum being equal — one young Tasmanian lady I know says superior — to that afforded by any similar educational establishment in Australia. Half the young matronhood one sees at the rare Government House balls and other social functions, was educated at the Ladies' College. To have graduated there gives a young Tasmanian belle a Hall mark. The present principal, Miss Piper, of Newnham College, Cambridge, is a cultured lady, who has few superiors as a mathematician in either sex. Miss Piper is assisted by a highly competent staff of teachers. The Ladies College, situated as it is in the healthiest city in the southern hemisphere, offers great attractions as an educational home for young maidens from Australia. Until recently the Ladies' College had as its French professor Madame Lucien Henry, whose lectures on literature and art were for a long time the admiration of all the cultured people in Hobart. Madame
Henry has now returned to Sydney, the field for her labors in Tasmania being limited.

Officer College was founded in 1888 under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church of Tasmania, but otherwise purely undenominational. The title, "Officer" College, was given in recognition of the services of the late Sir Robert Officer to higher education in Tasmania. The object was to provide a grammar education for boys, and to supply the place of the defunct High School. The situation is in the Presbyterian Glebe, one of the highest and healthiest positions in Hobart, within a few yards of the Queen's Domain, and within a few minutes walk of the rowing sheds, baths and cricket ground. The boarding school is under the immediate supervision of Mrs. McMillan and every attention is given to promote the health and comfort of the boys. The principal it Mr. G. A. McMillan, B. A., of Christ's College Cambridge, and Tasmanian scholar 1877. For 5 & 1/2 years McMilian was assistant master at the Scotch College, Melbourne. The Vice-president is Mr. F. G. Howell, for 20 years mathematical master of the Hutchins School, and for some time of the High School. Mr. Howell is justly considered a most successful teacher of mathematics ; he is a good disciplinarian, and is a great favorite, "a boys' man. " The success of the pupil, in public examinations has given the school a very high standing amongst the grammar schools of the island. Commercial education is taught here by a specially engaged certificated instructor, who trains in shorthand, type writing, letter writing, writing, bookkeeping and commercial arithmetic. In a sports the school has maintained a high position, and during the last two season has only lost one school cricket match and one school football match. The gymnasium is under a skilled instructor. The health of the school is excellent. I have no hesitation in recommending
parents to send their boys to the Officer College. I knew Mr. McMillan in Melbourne, and I knew the father of one of the boarders who is now in British Columbia. Master J--- looks well and happy, and, I think, is to he envied.

Hobart, it will be seen, offers special advantages in the matter of education. Nearly everything that a great town can give one can be obtained here. The people I hope will not he offended when I hint that Hobart is not a great town in the European sense of the word. Technical education is provided for by technical schools in Hobart and Launceston under
the control of a committee acting under the Minister of Education. Lieutenant-Colonel Cruickshank, late of the Royal Engineers, is secretary of the board. In 1888 the Hobart school was established. It now occupies a fine pile of buildings in Bathurst-street, containing 10 class rooms, large lecture hall and a suit of five rooms used as a laboratory by the Government analyst. All sorts of useful things are taught here, but the art classes are the best patronised. These comprise model and freehand drawing, design and decoration, and are under the instruction of Mr. J. R. Trantham-Fryer, who graduated at the Sydney School of Art. Mr. Trantham-Fryer gives lessons during five nights of every week. The gaol is near the technical school. The superintendent, Mr. O. E. Hedberg, was formerly in the Victorian Police, and assisted in the celebrated farce of catching the Kellys. He is a fine manly
gentleman, who has a future before him. The office of the Superintendent of the Hobart Municipal Police adjoins the gaol. Mr. Frederick Pedder bears a name well known in the history of Tasmania ; he controls a force of 6 sergeants and 33 constables. Tasmania is again in this respect English, the municipalities have each their own police force. You will find in various country districts a superintendent of police, two or three sub-inspectors and two constables. There are more superintendents of police in Tasmania than there are in Victoria. Outside the municipalities protection for life and properly is secured by the " territorial police."