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Editorial Notes and Comments.
-We regret very much to learn from the local papers of Richmond that the citizens of that place are not altogether unanimous in their loyalty towards St. Francis College. An important meeting of the Trustees of the College was lately held on the return of the Principal from his holidays, at which an investigation brought out the fact that, even among the Trustees themselves, there was at least one gentleman who thought that matters were in an unsatisfactory state. hardly be possible that citizen or trustee would care to do such an important institution an injury. The history of the institution is the history of the place, and, to be loyal towards it, is as much of a duty to every inhabitant of Richmond as it is for such to have a pride in the place itself and its progress. If the dissatisfied trustee be correctly reported, we can hardly see how he can justify his attacks upon the College by saying that "he himself had been persistently maligned and misrepresented by certain persons ever since he had been in Richmond, and had been traduced in the press." The substance of his complaints seems to be that the College is not, as it should be, a close corporation; that the different Christian denominations are not properly represented on the Board of Trustees; that the Principal has shown a disposition to favor one particular Church, and has been partial in the distribution of the honors acquired by students. In the spirit of such complaints,
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
moreover, several letters had appeared in the newspaper of a neighboring village; but as Mr. Hepburn was in a position to repudiate either being the writer or the inspirer of the articles in question, his defence was confined to what he had said about the College among his parishioners and fellow-townsmen, and for this he expressed regret. In justification of the Principal, under whom the institution has enjoyed a longer period of prosperity, perhaps, than at any time previously, the matter could not be allowed to rest here, and, before the meeting closed, the following resolution was passed: "We, the Corporation of St. Francis College, having heard the statement made by Principal Bannister re the standing of the College, and in view of what has appeared in the Granby Leader, desire to place on record our satisfaction with the status of the College and our continued confidence in Principal Bannister, and we repudiate as false and misleading what has appeared in the Granby Leader." Our purpose in referring to this matter is not so much to give publicity to the event, as to urge upon all our communities the necessity of rallying round the school of the district. Mr. Hepburn, in his defence, disclaimed any desire on his part to injure the College, his purpose being merely to improve what he thought to be defective in the management of the institution. And we cannot but accept his statement as an honest one. His manner of bringing about a reform, however, is objectionable, and it is this we wish to emphasize in mentioning the case. teacher needs sympathy from all-not antagonism. His work is the work of the community, and, unless the community comes to the support of his conscientious efforts in behalf of the coming community, there is a canker eating at the root of intellectual progress in such a locality. It is always a suicidal policy to defame the teacher. Even when he is thought to be wrong or injudicious, there is a way of coming near him with sympathetic advice, and we can hardly think that the outcome of the Richmond investigation does other than prove this. As a parallel case to the above, we have followed, with some interest a libel suit in England, in which a member of the School Board was charged with defaming the teacher. The summingup of the Judge, Mr. Justice Vaughan Williams, is as follows:"Undoubtedly, the words which were published were words which were capable of the meaning-that the writer charged the plaintiff with personal cruelty towards the children. We have had this investigation, and I must say that it is abundantly clear that the defendant could make out no case of any such cruelty. On the other hand, I think every one who has watched the evidence
must feel satisfied that the defendant, although he may not have acted, or did not act discreetly in what he did and what he wrote, was actuated by a sense of duty, as a member of a School Board, and he is obviously a man who, quite apart from his own having been punished, takes an interest in the welfare of the children. In one respect I think he was right. I do think that when the defendant tried to get a resolution passed as to corporal punishment being administered by the head teacher alone, carried out in its integrity, he was doing a thing for the interests of both children and teachers, and I do not suppose that any man will for a moment believe that you can conduct a large school of this sort without having resort to a course of corporal punishment. Good sense will concur in the view that corporal punishment must be administered; but it should be administered gravely and deliberately, and by far the greater punishment should be left in the hands of the head teacher, and never delegated to the assistants. I hope the result of this case will be that that rule will be acted on strictly in this school, and I hope the punishments will be entered up in the log book. I hope one more thing, and that is that the result of this trial will be that the plaintiff and the defendant will be good friends and work together. We see there has been a disposition to do so on the part of both of them. When the question of the head master's increase of salary came up, the defendant showed at that time, at all events, that he was absolutely free from any ill-will against the plaintiff, because he supported the motion."
-The formation of a Dominion Association of Teachers is a movement of the greatest interest to Canadian educationists. There are many questions of an inter-provincial character which can be discussed by the members of such an Association in the light of experience gained in different sections of the country, and, with the success of the National Association of the neighboring republic before them, the Provisional Council cannot but enter upon their work with hope. The question will, no doubt, come up for further consideration at the Teachers' Convention in October.
-The remote Newfoundland is moving in a direction which the Province of Quebec has been finding out to be the right direction. A Bill has been passed authorizing the Government to spend $15,000 for the improvement of the schools, and the Colonial Secretary, in addressing the Legislature, said that the greatest amount of good to be derived from this grant would be the raising of the teachers' salaries. The schools there, as
elsewhere, have suffered from the moving about of the teachers from place to place, and this can only be remedied, it is said, by making the various positions of more value. We trust the Government of Quebec have it in mind to follow the example of Newfoundland, in increasing the subsidy for our elementary schools.
-On account of the various reports we have had to make space for this month, other matter has had to lie over. In the meantime we subjoin among our Current Events the report of the meeting of the Executive Council of the Provincial Association, in reference to the coming Convention.
-Subjoined is to be found the programme of the Annual Convention of the Provincial Association of Protestant Teachers, to be held in the McGill Normal School, Montreal, on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of October next, and the indications, so far, point to a very successful gathering.
On the WEDNESDAY EVENING, previous to the Convention, there will be a meeting of the Executive Committee, in the Normal School, at eight o'clock.
On THURSDAY MORNING, from 10 to 12 a.m., the following is the programme :-Organization, Reports of (1) Executive Committee, (2) Treasurer, (3) Curator, (4) Pension Commissioners, (5) Representative on Protestant Committee, (6) Committee on Canadian History, (7) Committee on Text-Books, (8) Committee on A. A. Examinations, (9) Committee on Examination of Elementary Schools, (10) Committee on distribution of Grants. N.B.-The reports of the above Officers and Committees must be in writing, and cannot be allowed to exceed five minutes each, except by permission of the Executive Committee.
On THURSDAY AFTERNOON, from 2 to 5 p.m., the routine business is to occupy fifteen minutes, when the following items will be attended to:-" Professional training of Teachers," R. J. Hewton, M.A; "Efficiency of our Elementary Schools," E. A. Dyer, Esq., M.P., W. H. Lambly, Esq. Discussion.
On THURSDAY EVENING, beginning at 8 p.m., the following programme will be carried out:-The President's Address, Rev. E. I. Rexford, B.A.; Address, Wm. Crocket, Esq., M.A., Morrin College, late Superintendent of Education, New Brunswick; Music and Readings.
ON FRIDAY MORNING, from 9 to 12 a.m., routine business will again engage the attention of the Convention for fifteen