Noted educationalist dies

The first motor car to reach Lake Onslow hydro-electric reservoir, once known as The Dismal Swamp...
The first motor car to reach Lake Onslow hydro-electric reservoir, once known as The Dismal Swamp, in the Teviot District. — Otago Witness, 17.1.1922
The community generally and the education world in particular have suffered a grievous loss through the sudden death of Mr William Davidson, headmaster of Mornington School, who passed away at his residence on Saturday evening. Mr Davidson came to the dominion from Victoria 39 years ago, being appointed headmaster of the public school at Cromwell in 1883. Two years later he was promoted to a similar position at Waitati. He recognised early the value of the printed page, and in 1892 brought into being “Schoolmates”, which he continued to edit for 16 years. In 1899 the  ‘‘New Zealand Journal of Education” — now merged in “National Education” — was launched by him, and for 20 years he occupied the editorial chair, with conspicuous success. Not only did Mr Davidson fill the presidential chair of the New Zealand Educational Institute, but he twice served as a member of the Royal Commission on Education — first in 1901 and again in 1912 — and it was largely due to his intimate knowledge of the educational systems of other countries that New Zealand owes the introduction of what is known technically as the “colonial scale of staff and salaries”. Mention should also be made of Mr Davidson’s connection with the Dunedin Free Kindergarten Association, and with the Workers Educational Association; his establishment of the University Correspondence College; and his untiring activities on the Teachers’ Appeal Board, and as an original member of the Teachers’ Superannuation Board.

Teviot reservoir reached by car

The first journey to Lake Onslow was undertaken by a Dodge car with no fewer than seven occupants, Dr J.R. Gilmour being at the wheel. The actual distance by road, as tabulated by the speedometer, was 25 miles, and the highest point crossed, Mt Peirot, is at an altitude of over 3000 feet. An extensive view of the surrounding country from this coign of vantage included the snow-capped Remarkables, Mt St Bathans, and the Hawkdun Range. The circuitous road from Teviot station gave ample opportunity for demonstrating the driver's skill and the passengers' confidence, though it was not til the slope of Mt Teviot was reached that the chains were fixed to the back wheels, the road in a few gullies being a trifle loose and wet. After a brief visit to the dam waterfall, a welcome from that keen angler, Mr R. Cockburn and a refreshing cup of tea, names were inscribed in the visitors book at the hut, snapshots were taken and the return journey was negotiated without undue excitement. — ODT, 9.1.1922.

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