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The step that is now being taken is in itself evidence of a desirably progressive spirit on the part of the University authorities. Furthermore, the circumstances in which it is rendered possible merit attention. Of the salary which is to be attached to the chair the Presbyterian Church Board of Property is guaranteeing £600 per annum. The continued proof afforded by the Presbyterian Church of the value which it places upon a sound and liberal education, by its endowment of another chair in the University of Otago, is highly gratifying, and should impress once more the community with a sense of its educational indebtedness to the foresight and breadth of view not only of the founders but also of the present authorities of that church in this province. We need not emphasise here the value of history as an educational subject. Appreciation of the importance of history has been quickened of late years even while the trend of educational progress has threatened to become somewhat aggressively utilitarian. A knowledge of history enables us to bring the lessons of the past to bear upon the problems of the present. No subject is more capable of enlarging the vision, none is of more enthralling interest to the genuine student . . .
In the course of his sermon at the diocesan service on Monday night Dean Fitchett stated that in order to meet the critical and educational level of the day it was absolutely necessary that the clergy should be thoroughly qualified by study and qualifications to really act as intellectual as well as spiritual guides to their flocks. He laid special stress on the need of clergy and the need of educating them at such a college as Selwyn. So far the Anglican Church in Otago had made no sacrifices for the education of its clergy. It was incumbent on them to realise that if they desired the message from the pulpit to be listened to as it was of old, they must see that its quality was on a par with its importance. He referred to the report of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York on the Church at Home, which was in a sense a report of failure. This failure was shown in the way in which the services were rendered in an unnatural voice, the sense of reality was abandoned, and the clergy shrank from dealing frankly with the Biblical problems of the day from their pulpits. If this were true of the Church at Home, it behoved them to take the lesson to heart and to see that the clergy in New Zealand and in the diocese of Otago could cope with the intellectual requirements of the time.
Sly-grogging at Taumarunui
Last week the Taumarunui Chamber of Commerce discussed the growing seriousness of the sly-grog traffic in Taumarunui and district. Almost every member present voiced public indignation at the scope and extent of the evil, and the meeting unanimously passed a motion drawing the attention of the authorities to the present intolerable state of affairs, with a view to immediately curbing the evil. The opinion was freely expressed that the law was at fault, and sympathy was expressed with the police in their present difficulties in securing convictions.
- ODT, 18.6.1919