49 ' exceedingly quick and even precocious in their perceptions'

In document Hobart town society, 1855-1895 (Page 140-142)

and the organizers believed that there was no doubt that in the course of time the 'cause will be followed by its

50

appropriate effect' and the children would enjoy a moral change. The scholars' deficiencies were tackled in three ways: mechanical, to provide them with a basis for independent wage earning; intellectual, for their regeneration into civilization; and moral, so that they would be captured for God.

The task of the social workers was to continue until the day when;

...that proportion of neglected and ignorant children shall be so small, as not to demand exceptional

institutions - when education shall be better appreciated by parents, and the blessings of knowledge shall be the common possession of every order of society - and when the principles of

morality and religion shall be diffused through p... every class....

This was the optimistic tone of the free society manufacturers of i860. Within their mind's eye they could visualize the perfect civilization, and it was not so very different from the

482nd Annual Report H.T.R.S.A. 1857. 49Ibid.

8°Ibid.

one t h e i r own c l a s s e n j o y e d , n o r , w i t h t h e c l o s i n g o f i m m i g r a t i o n , s o d i s t a n t f o r a l l t h e c ommunit y a s t o a p p e a r u n a t t a i n a b l e i n H o b a r t Town, The s u p e r i n t e n d e n t o f t h e s c h o o l s was a s a l a r i e d c i t y m i s s i o n a r y , R . G . G r a y . The p r e s i d e n t was G eo r ge H u t t o n , an i r o n m o n g e r a n d t r u s t e e o f t h e C h a l m e r s P r e s b y t e r i a n C h u r c h . The t r e a s u r e r a n d t r u s t e e s wer e m e r c h a n t s a n d b u s i n e s s m e n o f

t h e c i t y , m o s t o f the m members o f t h e Chamber o f Commerce. The A n g l i c a n B i s h o p was a c o m m i t t e e member a n d s i x o f t h e 14 w e r e P r o t e s t a n t c l e r g y m e n , w h i l s t a l l o f t h e o t h e r s h a d c h u r c h c o n n e c t i o n s . T h e i r w i v e s f o r m e d a L a d i e s ' C o mm i tt e e o f 18 w h i c h made no d e c i s i o n s b u t c o l l e c t e d s u b s c r i p t i o n s , d i s t r i b u t e d c a s t - o f f c l o t h i n g a nd v i s i t e d t h e c h i l d r e n b o t h a t s c h o o l and 52 a t home. P r a y e r s a t t h e f i r s t p u b l i c m e e t i n g w e r e l e d b y a C o n g r e g a t i o n a l m i n i s t e r . Dr E . S . P . B e d f o r d , who was a s o n an d b r o t h e r o f A n g l i c a n m i n i s t e r s , was a p r o m i n e n t s p e a k e r ; s o was B a s i l R o u t , t h e m e r c h a n t a n d d e v o u t C o n g r e g a t i o n a l i s t , a nd G .W. Wa l ke r, t h e Q u a k e r . Memb er s hi p o f t h e A s s o c i a t i o n c o s t 1 0 / - p e r y e a r a n d t h i s g av e members t h e r i g h t t o n o m i n a t e c h i l d r e n f o r a d m i s s i o n t o t h e s c h o o l s . By 1857 n e a r l y 600 c h i l d r e n h a d h a d t h e i r names u p o n t h e b o ok s o f one o r o t h e r o f t h e s c h o o l s, J J a t a c o s t t o ^ 1 s t A n n u a l R e p o r t H . T . R . S . A . I

856

. ^ 2 n d A n n u a l R e p o r t H . T . R . S . A . 1857«

the Association of 40/- per head. Not much of this income ever came from subscriptions, since even whilst the Association was fresh, membership was not much more than a hundred (a third of these were on the committees). A canvass around the houses could produce up to half the operating cost and the occasional bazaar or sale of work sometimes brought in twice as much. All of this meant devoted time-giving. The proportion of income raised by personal effort showed a persistent decline over the years, just as it did in all voluntary associations, a pattern of rally and slump as management committees whipped up

54

enthusiasm and then tired of the annually decreasing returns from effort. In almost all cases these associations fell back upon income from the investment of donations and legacies and ultimately upon government cash aid. The government was involved

in the ragged school movement from the beginning because the principle of responsibility for public education had been accepted before the ragged schools opened, and the Association was removing a burden from the shoulders of the Board of

55

In document Hobart town society, 1855-1895 (Page 140-142)