1868 Examination report

Border Watch

Saturday, December 19, 1868
PENOLA (From our own Correspondent) December 17

…At 10 o’clock on Tuesday [15th December] the children of St. Joseph School assembled for examination by the Rev. Father O’Connor and the Board. The room was very tastefully decorated with festoons of evergreens and flowers. A platform faced the entrance carpeted and decorated, the banner of the Virgin and St Joseph on either side. A table well covered with the desired prizes stood in front of the examiners, consisting of Father O’Connor and the Board, and each of the classes called stood before it on the platform and were severally examined in all the previous studies by Father O’Connor. The examination lasted from about 10 o’clock till nearly four.

The marked attention to the questions of even the youngest was observable the whole time, relieved at times by their singing pleasantly and sweetly several school songs. I particularly noticed two – “The Whale” and “The Clock”. The prizes were awarded as follows; –

First Class

  • First Division
    • Mary Eaton, Mary Skipper, Mary Ann Harris, Tommy Britt.
    • For tidiness – Julian Artaud.
  • Second Division
    • Tom Whitford, Geo. Harris, W. Darby.
    • For tidiness – Lilly Artaud

Second Class

  • First Division
    • Tables and Arithmetic – R.[Richard] Miles;
    • Reading and spelling – Emma Gray;
    • Writing – Mary McLean.
  • General Proficiency
    • First prize – J. Miller;
    • Second prize – Mary Beaton.
    • For tidiness – J. Miller.
  • Second Division
    • Spelling – M.[Martha] Marcus;
    • Reading – H.[Henry] Eaton;
    • Tables – S.[Sophia] Johnson;
    • Sums – Martha Marcus, and J. Black.
  • General Proficiency
    • First prize – Sophia Johnson
    • Second prize – H.[Henry] Eaton.
    • For tidiness – Henry Eaton.

Third Class

  • First Division
    • Reading – M. Skipper;
    • Spelling – L.[Lizzie] Egan;
    • Tables – M. Harris;
    • Grammar – G. Murphy;
    • Arithmetic – C.[Christina] Beaton, and G. Murphy.
  • General Proficiency
    • First prize – M.[Michael] Skipper;
    • Second prize – Lizzie Egan.
    • For tidiness – Lizzie Harris.
  • Second Division
    • Spelling and reading – P. [Peter] McKillop;
    • Grammar – R. Cameron;
    • Geography – F. [Flora] McDonald;
    • Writing – R.[Rachael] Cameron;
    • Arithmetic – J.[John] Black, and J.[John] McDonald.
  • General Proficiency
    • Flora McDonald – 463 marks;
    • Flora McInnes – 328 marks.
    • For tidiness – John McDonald.

Fourth Class

  • Reading – A.[Annie] Hester;
  • Spelling – Lilly O’Keefe;
  • Grammar – Annie Coyle;
  • History – A.[Annie] Hester;
  • Geography – A.[Annie] Hester;
  • Arithmetic – M.[Mary] Britt, and A.[Annie] Hester;
  • Essays – Annie Johnson.
  • General Proficiency
    • Lilly O’Keefe – 361 marks;
    • Annie Britt – 236 marks
    • Tidiness – the most tidy girl in school Annie Johnson.
  • Good Conduct Prizes
    • First – Rachael Cameron;
    • Second – Minnie Congdon.
  • Fancy work and plain work – A group of raised flowers on a ground work of beads, beautifully and tastefully done, won the first prize; a well executed figure of a Highlander worked in three different stitches, second prize; a boy’s shirt deservedly won a prize, as also a set of doll’s clothes.

Sufficient credit cannot be given to all, it seems only a pity all could not receive awards, an anti-macassar in crochet, or a sampler. Several articles in beadwork, and some knitted stockings, were noticeably well done.

On Wednesday the children of St. Joseph’s School attended at their rooms at 11 o’clock, and after a little delay marched out with banners displayed and a large Union Jack figure, to Mr Mathew [sic] Clarke’s ground about a mile from the township. All feared the weather would be unfavourable, but the high wind kept the rain off, and the children, over a hundred, and quite as many adults thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Tea was made on the ground, and from the demand appreciated – sandwiches, bread and cheese, buns, cakes, and lollies in abundance – till about four o’clock, when the children were again marshalled by “The Sisters” and returned to the township. After the benediction in the Chapel the children returned to the school,  and at half-past six o’clock sat down. The girls first, numbering 55, to a regular banquet. – I have never in the colonies seen a ball room supper table better furnished – poultry, hams, tongues, pork, beef, mutton, jellies, blanchmange, fruit, &c., &c., ad libitum. The boys to the number of 43, had then theirs, several ladies and gentlemen attended to all their wants, and had their wants also supplied, after some of the boys retired. Several ladies played upon the piano. The tables were cleared and removed and the space cleared for games. From first to last everything was a success and everyone enjoyed themselves to the utmost. The children presented The Rev. Father [Michael O’Connor] with a stole, white satin, beautifully embroidered, a beratta and pair of handsome slippers. Mr Artaud read the address as follows:

“We the children of St. Joseph School, beg most affectionately to tender to you our dutiful regards, for the kind interest you have always taken in our welfare, and we beg to offer to you the accompanying small gifts, as an earnest of our endeavour through the assistance of Divine Providence to persevere in attention to all those spiritual duties and studies in which you have so kindly directed us.

Begging that you will often remember us in your prayers. Your affectionate CHILDREN OF ST. JOSEPH.”

The Rev. Father was much affected and addressed them as follows:

“I am indeed surprised at this address and present of yours this evening, and cannot but consider myself highly complimented that the interest taken by me in your welfare should be so gratefully acknowledged. To attend to your wants is nothing more than my simple duty which I am happy to say you render very agreeable by your good conduct and general proficiency. I have observed with pleasure your improvement and the advantages you derived from the means adopted for your education. The examination yesterday was very creditable to you and showed how much you have benefited by the instruction of the good Sisters of St. Joseph; your vacation now begins and I hope you will not spend it idly but like good children devote a portion of your time to your studies that you may not forget what you have learned, and may be able to show to the Sisters on their return how diligent you have been in their absence. Wishing you a very happy vacation I conclude, may God bless you all.”

The weather stormy; heavy showers.