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Fitzgerald's Town

Accordingly, when the

Accordingly, when the Education Ordinance of 1864 became law, education districts were established, schools were built and the machinery for formal education was put in place. This first ordinance was amended several times until provincial government was abolished in 1876, but the main objective did not change. Children were to be instructed in spelling, arithmetic, geography, English grammar, and history. What did change, much to the frustration of school committees, was the control that the Board exercised over planning and financial matters leading to inevitable bureaucratic delays. Holy Scripture was to be read at the beginning of each day, either by a competent pupil, or a teacher, who after satisfying the Board of Education as to his competence, was also permitted to give religious instruction. That this aspect of teaching was controversial was evident when S.D. Glyde, speaking at a function in his honour at Broadfield, commented that religious teaching in schools had the potential to divide a community 2 . The Education Ordinance also established that teachers were to be paid a minimum of 100 pounds a year, later increased to 130 pounds a year, for male teachers, and 60 pounds a year for female teachers! The Ordinance also allowed school committees to appoint assistant and pupil teachers and to control use of the schoolroom outside school hours. The committee therefore could allow local groups to use the school room at its discretion and subject to its own requirements. The Lincoln school was built in 1866 on the corner of Lower Lincoln Road (Birchs Road) and the Lincoln and Coal Tramway Road (Boundary Road) on part of RS2223, acquired by FitzGerald as a Crown grant from his old Springs Run. He incorporated part of this land in his Lincoln subdivision, but sold the rest to farmers Richard Wright and John George Murray, who sold the corner section of one acre on which the school was built to the provincial government for ten shillings. 3 At about the same time Wright and Murray leased just over three acres adjoining the school to the Lincoln Fair Company which were eventually bought by Charles Frank Pyne when he acquired what was left of RS2223. The Fair Company finally bought the three acres from Mr Pyne in 1877 4 and later sold them to Edwin Greaves at auction for 115 pounds. In 1878 Mr Pyne sold his remaining land to James Bell who sold one acre on Boundary Road to the North Canterbury Education Board for five shillings. 5 The Board finally purchased Mr. Greaves’ three acres in 1912 so that most of the original RS2223 outside the original Lincoln subdivision was in the hands of the Board 6 and is now the site for both the primary and the secondary schools. 94

As already mentioned, Mrs Tod taught in her school until Mr Bowie, brought from England by the Tods, took over, but when the new school was established he was replaced by Robert Ferguson who stayed for about a year. It is recorded in the Lincoln School souvenir booklet of 1966 that this popular and energetic teacher dug a well for the school in his spare time. It is a tribute to his work that the well is still in existence although secured against the curiosity of the school children! In 1868 Howard Charles Jacobson replaced Mr Ferguson. During his time at Lincoln the school committee appointed a pupil teacher, Miss Findlay, and a part time sewing mistress. Mr Jacobson was an active man, and besides his teaching duties he was Postmaster, Poundkeeper, auditor for the Farmers’ Club, treasurer of the Cricket Club, as well as occasionally writing for The Press. In 1874 he took up an appointment with the paper for a few years before moving to Ashburton where he and a business partner set up the Ashburton Guardian. This was an unsuccessful venture, for the partners could not agree, and by 1881 he was living in Akaroa where he established the Akaroa Mail. There he developed an interest in conservation and according to the Press obituary 7 it was largely through his efforts that many bits of choice Peninsula bush were saved from the axe and the torch when the hillsides were being cleared for further settlement. He is remembered for his book “Tales of Banks Peninsula”. Following Mr Jacobson’s resignation the committee asked the Board of Education to approve the appointment of Robert Soundy, but because he was single it was reluctant to do so 8 . However, the Board was willing to appoint him on a temporary basis, but not surprisingly Mr Soundy refused to take up this offer and so a Miss Percy, assisted by Mrs Moffat the miller’s wife, was put in charge until a more suitable replacement could be found. Eventually, however, the Board relented and Mr Soundy took over the running of the school with the assistance of Miss Percy who resigned shortly afterwards to be replaced by Miss Nellie Fee. Miss Fee was paid 60 pounds per annum with an additional 15 pounds paid as a “lodging allowance”. Mr Soundy resigned in 1876 to take up a position in Hokitika and was replaced by George Bishop who relinquished his position in 1881, probably because of ill health. When Miss Fee resigned in 1878 Miss Pannett was a pupil teacher, but hard times were beginning to bite and staff numbers were not increased despite the growing roll. The school committee argued that this was neither good for the 84 pupils in Standards 1 – 6, nor for the one teacher responsible for them. The Board accepted the committee’s concern and appointed Miss 95

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