Thursday, November 12, 2009

Alfred Ernest HALL – Braidwood testimonial

The Braidwood Dispatch
Saturday July 2 1910

On Thursday night last at the Royal Hotel Mr A E Hall, late headmaster of the Braidwood Public School, who has been promoted to Junee, was made the recipient of two presentations in recognition of his service not only in the performance of his scholastic duties but for the manned in which he had interested himself in public institutions generally. The Mayor, Mr Olivey, occupied the chair, and there were some 30 other gentlemen present.
Apologies were made for the non-attendance of Messrs W Gracie, J F L King, J F O’Brien, and E Young.
The Mayor said he had a pleasing duty to perform in making two presentations to Mr. Hall, one from the teachers and the other from the public. He was glad to be present to make them. In losing Mr Hall they were losing an old resident and a man who in every walk of life had thoroughly done his duty. He was sure from what he had heard that Mr Hall would be greatly missed from amongst them. He then read the public address as follows:-
June 30th, 1910
Dear Sir,-
On behalf of the parents and residents of Braidwood, we ask your acceptance of the accompanying gold watch and chain as a token of their esteem and a slight appreciation of the valuable services you have rendered both as a citizen and as headmaster of the Braidwood S.P. school.
During the 12 years that you have had charge of this school you have succeeded by your exceptional scholastic ability, and the tact and enthusiasm you have always displayed in your work, in gaining the goodwill and gratitude of the pupils and their parents alike.
The members of the Literary Institution will particularly regret your departure, your work on behalf of the institution having been attended by the most conspicuous success. The cricket and football clubs, with which you have been so prominently identified, and to which you have always rendered invaluable assistance, will likewise feel your loss keenly.
In conclusions, we desire to tender our hearty congratulations upon your well deserved promotion, and trust that the time is not far distant when your high attainments will more fully impress themselves upon your Department.
Wishing you, Mrs. Hall and family the best of health and success in the future.
We are, on behalf of the subscribers,
Sincerely yours,
(Signed) Dr. W.J. Olivey, Mayor
D.A. Gee
P. Coffey
J. McDonald (President Parents’ Association)
G.F. Taylor (Vice-President, Literary Institution)
Very Rev. P McIntyre
G. R. Williams
Dr. R.F. Llewellyn

The Mayor then handed the address to Mr. Hall, accompanied with a gold watch and chain, suitably inscribed. He had also another presentation to make, and that was an address, beautifully engrossed, and a pair of gold alcove links, with Mr Hall’s monogram on them. The address was as follows:-
Sir,-On this the even of your departure from amongst us, we, the undersigned, on behalf of the Braidwood District Teachers’ Association, have very great pleasure in presenting you with this address as a testimonial of the high esteem in which you are regarded.
We are extremely grateful for the valuable assistance you have rendered to this Association during your sojourn amongst us. In connection with the special Saturday classes for teachers, we desire to place on record our appreciation of the painstaking and efficient manner in which you, as instructor, carried our your duties, sparing neither time nor trouble on our behalf.
In the domain of sport we are indebted to you as captain of our cricket club for the energetic spirit in which you have striven towards the promotion of the game in our midst, your enthusiastic efforts having gained for you’re the respect of all the members.
While deeply regretting your departure, knowing what a loss it means to us, nevertheless we are gratified to learn that it means promotion for you, and sincerely trust that in your new sphere of activities your efforts will be crowned with as much success as heretofore, and that you and yours may long be spared to enjoy health and happiness.
Signed, on behalf of the Braidwood District Teachers’ Assoication.
A. Feehan N. Poidevan
W. Thomas T. Ffrench
M. Brennan A. Jennings
G. Jennings E. Marceau
P.J. Maher T. Sullivan
J.S. Maiden

Ald P Coffey proposed the health of “Our Guest,” which was drink to the accompaniment of musical honors.
Mr. J S Maiden, on behalf of the teachers of the district, said it was a sad duty to be present to say good-bye to Mr Hall, who had always striven in the interests of the teachers. Each and every one of them had always received good advice from him, the common remark when in difficulties “Go to Mr Hall”. His departure came rather as a surprise, as they did not think he would go so soon, and so had only about 10 days to arrange anything. Some of the teachers were not able to come in, but all of them had expressed their appreciation of Mr Hall. That gentleman had also shown them a good example on the cricket field which was in the best interests of the sport. He desired to lay special appreciation on the way Mr Hall had attended to the advancement of the teachers in the Saturday classes, and had forced several teachers who were rather tardy to struffle on with their studies to their own advantage. He wished Mr and Mrs Hall and family every success and happiness.
Mr G F Taylor, Vice President of the Literary Institute, said he had great pleasure in hearing testimony to the worth of Mr Hall, and in wishing him success in his new home. As far as the Institute was concerned, it had never had a better secretary than Mr Hall as long as he (the speaker) had been connected with it, and that was some 40 years. He trusted that Mr Hall would make as many friends in his new home as he had done here. He had worked well for the advancement of sport and the public good generally, and the teachers had always spoken in the highest terms of him.
Mr Jas McDonald, president of the Parents’ Association, said he could only endorse the remarks as to the thorough efficiency in which Mr Hall carried out everything he took in hand, and he had of great assistance to the Parents’ Association. He regretted Mr Hall’s departure, but rejoiced in his well deserved promotion. That gentleman had always shown a kindly, broadminded, liberal spirit, and it was hard to lose such a good citizen. He wished Mr and Mrs Hall and family every success and happiness.
Dr Llewellen said he had much pleasure in adding his testimony to Mr Hall’s general all round ability and his qualities as a townsman. Braidwood did not realize how fortunate it had been in respect to its teachers. He instanced a trio of names – Mr Maynard, Mr Kilgour, and Mr Black – who had risen to high positions, and he expressed the hope that Mr Hall would complete the quartette. Mr Hall was probably the most widely read man in the district and was highly educated, and he was not is his right position. Mr Hall had always done everything to the best of his ability. He thought that everyone would agree with him that they could not expect to get the equal of Mr Hall either as scholar, teacher or townsman or as a general all round white man.
Mr G R Williams said that Mr Hall had always assisted in everything got up for the benefit of the town or the recreation of the children or adults. It was not his fault that cricket or football had gone down, and in the football field there was no fairer referee. The children had much to thank Mr Hall for, not only for the education, not only for the education, but in teaching them to lead straight, honest, and good lives. He wished Mr and Mrs Hall and family success and family.
The Very Rev Father McIntyre said he wished to add his heartiest wishes in support of the toast of the evening. He had known very little of Mr Hall, as he was not here long enough. A person might know a man in a short time and with others it took longer, but generally the man whom it was easiest to know was not worth knowing. He had come to know Mr Hall, and had found real pure gold in him. The address said he had won the esteem of teachers and pupils both, and he must be a wonder if he did. He had been here long enough to appreciate Mr Hall and he was sure he would succeed wherever he goes.
Mr D A Gee, on behalf of the cricket club, and Mr P Coffey, on behalf of the football club, spoke in appreciative terms of the work done by Mr Hall for the advancement of these branches of sport.
Mr A E Hall, on rising to respond, was received with acclamation. He said he was placed in a difficult position, and hardly knew what to say to the kind remarks. He would not claim anything like the merit the speakers had put down to him. He never regretted any step more than leaving Braidwood. He had been here 12 years, and had come to love it. He knew every spot of it, and why it had not come to be a health resort or touring place he could not say. In sport what he had done was because he loved both games. In the Institute what he had done was from selfish motives, as it appealed to him as the one thing apart from all others. With regard to the teachers he might have done more. The teaching profession was one of the most difficult, and should be the most honourable. The Teachers’ Association had helped in every possible way, and they had got along harmoniously. He could not find words to thank them for their beautiful present, and he would treasure it and pass it on to one of his boys when he had not further need for it. He was of opinion they would find Mr Arnold would fill his position admirably, and would be found to be the right man in the right place. He thanked them for their presents both for himself, his wife, and family.
The Mayor then welcomed Mr Arnold, successor to Mr Hall, in a few complimentary remarks, which were supported by Mr G F Taylor. That gentleman briefly replied.
The toast of “The Chairman” and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” and “God Save the King” brought a very enjoyable function to a close.

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