Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School
Press Report of the Certificate Ceremony, December 1903
Aberdare County School.
Annual Prize Day.
On Thursday last at the New Public Hall, the annual distribution of prizes to the successful scholars took place in the presence of a crowded audience, Dr T.H. Morris, Tylorstown, Chairman of the Glamorgan Education Committee, kindly distributing the prizes. The chair was occupied by Mr D.P. Davies, J.P., chairman of the local governing body; supported by Mr A.S. Pleace, C.C.; Mr G. George, J.P.; Mrs Lloyd, Mrs and Mr W. Jenkyn Thomas, M.A.; Councillors John Howell and David Hughes, and Dr Morris. The proceedings opened with a rendering of a chorus. “Rest thee on this mossy pillow,” by the school choir, conducted by Mr Tom Price. Miss Edith Handley accompanied.
The Chairman, in opening the meeting, made a passing reference to the gold medal won by Merthyr County School, and said he sincerely hoped that it would be retained in Glamorgan Schools for many years to come. Proceeding, Mr Davies said that the number of pupils at the Aberdare School was on the increase, 270 names being now on the books. Excellent work had been accomplished at the school, and in the face of great difficulties (applause). The scheme under which they were working—that prepared by the Charity Commissioners—might be termed a cast iron one, and he hoped that strong efforts would soon be made to alter it (applause).
Mr W. Jenkyn Thomas, M.A., the headmaster, then read out the seventh annual report of the school’s state and progress. The school had made a study of physical exercise. They held junior sports at the end of the summer term. They were successful and he hoped the experiment would be repeated on a larger scale next year (cheers). The average attendance for the three terms was 251. There was an impression abroad that there was lack of accommodation at the school, and there had been some talk about the unauthorised growth of the school. However, in a letter received from the Board of Education, it was stated that the scheme placed no limit on the number of pupils except that imposed by the necessity of satisfying the inspecting authority that the numbers were not too great for the accommodation actually provided. The school when opened could accommodate more than the maximum of 180. Since then it had been enlarged and now it had room for more than the present school roll. The Central Welsh Board had never complained of the excess of pupils in the school. Dwelling on the aims of the school, he said that there was some truth in the accusation that the Welsh County Schools were cast in one mould. They were small and must be content with providing a sound general education. The curriculum of their school provided that general education, which was the foundation of all technical, and commercial education. The science department had been greatly handicapped through the inadequacy of the laboratories, and the plans for the engineering workshops adopted two years ago, had not been approved. Inasmuch as Welsh boys had greatly neglected the civil service in the past, he would suggest that a civil service side should be added to the school. Also he advocated a technical side for boys, in which engineering and mining should be taught. Gomer Griffiths and Edwin J. Williams were in the result of the Central Welsh Board Examination, awarded Glamorgan County Exhibitions of £40 per annum for three years. Both had gone to the U.C.W., Aberystwyth (applause).
Dr Morris, who was received with enthusiasm, remarked that he and the chairman had been co-workers on the education councils for many years (hear, hear). Referring to the school’s work, there were few schools in South Wales that had made such excellent progress as the Aberdare County School. Dr Morris emphasised the necessity of having a good staff of teachers, earnest application to study on the part of the pupils, and the co-operation of the parents. The speaker paid a high compliment to the local governing body.
Dr Morris distributed the certificates and prizes as follows :—
Prizes Form vi. (upper) — English, Gomer Griffiths; French, Gaynor Jones; history, Edwin Williams. Form vi (lower) form prize, Lillian John; English, Jonathan Jones; mathematics, D.E. Price; Latin, Lillian John; French, Aenid Picton. Form v. a, form prize, J. W. Rowland; English, Maggie A. Jones; mathematics, David Evans; Latin, Nellie Goodwin; French, Blodwen Edwards. Form v. b, form prize, Ezer Griffiths; English, Mildred Pratt; mathematics, Ezer Griffiths; French, Lizzie Parfitt. Form iv, form prize, Trevor Williams; English, Arnold Evans; mathematics, Dewi Jones; French, Arnold Evans. Form iii a, form prize, Hettie Lewis; English, Hettie Lewis; mathematics, R. D. Hughes; French, Bronwen James. Form iii.b, form prize, Chrissie Havard; English, Winnie Chapman; mathematics, Chrissie Havard; French, Lizzie Harris. Form ii. a, form prize, D. J. Jones; English, Lily Prosser; mathematics, Elias Morgan; French, D. J. Jones. Form ii. b, form prize, Henry Thomas; English, D.A. Davies; mathematics, Henry Thomas; French, Annie Rogers. Form i, form prize, Mabel Cocking; English, W.D. Lewis; mathematics, Lizzie Hamer; French, Mabel Cocking. Chemistry, T. G. Jones. Physics, D.H. Parry. Book-keeping, W.S. Levinson. Shorthand, D. Roderick. Dressmaking, Nellie Goodwin. Cookery, Maggie M. Williams. Scripture, Nancy Edwards. Geography, Elly Gregory. Drawing, Thomas Jones. Woodwork, Thomas Jones. Welsh, Katie Williams. Music, Nancy Edwards.
Honours certificates (Central Welsh Board):—Gaynor R. Jones, Gomer Griffiths, Edwin J. Williams.
Senior certificates:—Thomas Davies, Margaret C. Grier, Lillian L. John, May John, Jonathan Jones, T.G. Jones, D.H. Parry, Aenid Picton, D.E. Price, Tom Rees, Henry Roderick, Bessie Williams, T.J. Williams.
Junior certificates:—Lizzie Daniel, Annie S. Davies, Hetty Davies, D.R. Davies, Blodwen M. Edwards, Edwin Edwards, Nancy Edwards, David Evans, M. Ceinwen Evans, May Evans, Nellie Goodwin, E. Fred Griffith, Ezer Griffiths, Gwen Hughes, Sarah J. Jenkins, Maggie M. John, Gwladys Jones, J.D. Jones, Maggie A. Jones, Mary Jones, W.S. Levinson, J. Mackintosh, Mary J. Morgan, Matilda Morgan, Lizzie Parfitt, Nellie Phillips, Katie Powell. Sarah J. Powell, Mildred Pratt, Lilian Probert, G.T. Rees, Maggie M. Rees, S.C. Rees, Tegwen Rees, David Roderick, J.W. Rowland, Ethel Watkins.
Trinity College, London, certificates:—Intermediate division, Honours, Olive L. Thomas; Pass, Edith Handley; Junior Division, Pass, Emiah B. Phillips; Preparatory Grade, Pass, Nancy Edwards, Cyril Morris.
On the Motion of Mr A.S. Pleace, seconded by Mr G. George, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded Dr Morris.
The school choir then rendered the final chorus, “Soldier, Rest!”; gymnastic display by junior boys, W.J.Ll. Bowen, Gomer Davies, Morris Jones, Trevor Mills, and Trevor Reynolds, which was immensely applauded.
On the motion of Mrs Lloyd, seconded by Councillor John Howell, cordial thanks was awarded to the chairman.
Information about some of the pupils mentioned above can be found in
the Published Exam Pass Lists section of this website, in the 1903 results item.