YOUNG'S SCHOOL - A FAMOUS OLD INSTITUTION
DIAMOND JUBILEE TODAY [By our Special Reporter.] One of the best-known of the early schools of the State was the Adelaide Edu- cational Institution, conducted by Mr. J. L. Young, the diamond jubilee of which will- be celebrated this evening by surviving old scholars. At that academy many whose names subsequently became prominent in the public and business life of the community received their scholastic training along lines which were at the time novel in character. Mr. Young, it appears, was one in the first in South Australia to recognise as unscientific the old process of instruction summarized in the couplet, 'Ram it in, cram it in. Chil- dren's heads are hollow.' and to substitute the gentler methods indicated in the etymo- logical analysis of the word 'education'— the 'drawing out' of the pupil's faculties to habits of observation and assimilation. - The Master's Career.— Mr. John Lorenzo Young was born about 1830. and spent, his early years in Corn- wall. His father was still residing at the old home at Veryan, on the picturesque southern coast of that country when the son died at sea on the way back to spend a few years in England after the close of his teaching career in South Australia. Mr. Young was educated with the idea of en- tering the profession of an engineer. He was a student of King's College for three years, from 1843 to 1845, and there had for a fellow student Mr. Algernon Sidney Clark (eldest brother of Mr. H. Symonds Clark and the late John Howard Clark, a former Editor of The Register), with whom be was afterwards closely as- sociated in Adelaide. He continued his education at one of the German Universi- ties, and during the vacations made excur- sions to the Tyrol, Bavaria, and Switzer land. Returning to England he further
Mr. J. L. YOUNG' Photo kindly lent by Mr. J. P. Roberts
pursued his engineering studies and assisted in the construction of one or two lines of railway. He had hardly reached man- hood when he set sail for Australia in the ship Panama. One of his fellow passen- gers on the vessel was the late Mr. W. W. R. Whitridge. who was for many years connected with The Register Office. The voyagers landed at Adelaide on October 31 1850. Shortly after gold was disco- vered in Victoria. Mr. Young caught the gold fever, and went overland to the dig- gings with several companions and a bul- lock dray as a means of transit. At one of the camps repairs were being effected to the vehicle, when a prop, which supported it on one side, gave way, and fell upon a member of the party and killed him. Mr. Young did not remain long at the diggings. Upon returning to Adelaide he was induced to accept a situa- tion as assistant in Mr. Feinagle's Aca- demy. "On leaving England.", he said 30 years later, 'I had no idea of becoming a schoolmaster,- but I soon became so fond of this work that I resolved to devote my- self entirely to the cause ol education." At the solicitation of friends in 1852 he started a school at the rear of the old Ebenezer Chapel, off Rundle street east. The schoolroom and chapel have both been demolished to make room for the extension of the New Market build- ing. The first pupil entered at this estab- lishment was the late Mr Caleb Peacock, who became Mayor of Adelaide in 1876 (being the first South Australian native raised to the civic chair), and represented North Adelaide in the House of Assembly from 1879 to 1881. Of the other five scholars admitted at the opening two sur vive—Messrs. G. T. Cottrell (Maylands) and John W. Partridge (Norwood). The remaining three were the late Messrs. John Waterman, Richard Mahoney and T. L. Cottrell. The number did not in- crease during the month, but in October 14 or 15 more scholars joined. St. Peter's College was then the only secondary school in Adelaide; and Mr. Young's establish ment provided a curriculum that soon made it a formidable competitor with the col- legiate academy. —A Larger Building.— In a few weeks the Adelaide Educational Institution - by which name it was to be known for nearly 30 years— was removed to commodious premises in Stephens place, on the site now occupied by the fine ware- houses of Messrs. Good, Toms, & Co. At the beginning of the second quarter it had become the largest private school in South Australia. Two of the most prominent assistant masters connected with the school there were Mr. Oliver Young (a brother of the prin- cipal) and Mr. Thomas Bennett. The in- stitution continued to progress, and as the years went by the value of the training it gave was seen in the quality of the men who passed through its forms,, and who began to make their influence felt among the community. The playing ground of the school was the park lands facing North terrace, between Government House and Frome road. The whole frontage at that time was vacant for the Institute Building had not been erected. The sports con- tests between St, Peter's College and Mr. Young's School were then the classic school events. —Removal to Gawler Place.— When the Stow Memorial Church was built Mr. Young removed his school to the old Congregational Church building in Freeman Street— which to-day forms part of Simpson's tinware factory. The boar- ders were accommodated at the Parkside residence of the principal, in Young street (so named after Mr. Young); and, cu- riously, after the schoolmaster's death the fine two-story house and grounds were also acquired by Mr. A. M. Simpson, who made the property his home, and still re- sides there. When the business of the day had grown to an extent that necessi- tated the selection of a quieter place for such an institution, the work of the aca- demy was transferred to a roomy building in Parkside adjoining the principal's home on the eastern side, which also is now oc- cupied as a private residence. The annual speech days of the school were usually held at White's Rooms, on the site of the present Tivoli Theatre, and one of the fea- tures was the presentation of the Old Scholars' Prize, given by the Old Scho- lars' Association. Mr. J. P. Roberts, of Victoria square was one of Mr. Young's pupils for a number of years, and has quite a collection of certificates, examination papers, and other mementoes of the school. —Friend and Counsellor.— The personal qualifications of Mr. J. T- Young seem to have been ideal for a leader of youth in a new country. In his teach- inh he tried to develop the individual initiative of his pupils to the fullest ex- tent; and while preparing them to grapple with the novel situations and the perplex- ing questions which would demand consi- deration and solution, he yet sought to instil into the students the basic lessons of history and a reverence for all that was noble and good. So intimately con- cerned was he in the welfare of those placed in his charge that his scholars grew to recognise him as a lifelong friend, and the acquaintance begun as schoolboys and teacher ripened into a firm attachment in future years. —A Handsome Testimonial.— In 1880, .Mr. Young announced that he felt it time to retire trom the work he had carried on so long and successfully, and that be had decided to visit England for a few years before finally returning to South Australia to spend the evening of his life. The intimation was received with regret by many hundreds who had benefited from his tuition and comrade- ship; for the number of pupils at any one time would be from 150 to 200. One of the heartiest meetings that have ever cheered the heart of an educationist in South Australia was held to say goodby to the departing principle. The gathering
took place in Albert Hall (now the Sal vation Army Citadel), Pirie street, on December 17, 1880. Mr. Caleb Peacock, M.P. (the first scholar enrolled at the ori- ginal school) presided, and handed Mr. Young a purse of 336 sovereigns, contri buted by his 'old boys.' Before leaving Adelaide, Mr. Young said:— 'I feel as youthful as I did 20 years ago, and when I get home and see my wife and children again' (they had left for England a few weeks before) 'I shall nave nothing left to wish for.' —Death of Mr. Young.— Fate, however, decreed that the looked-for union should not take place. Mr. Young sailed for England in the Orient liner John Elder. On July 26, 1881— only seven months after he had relinquished the work of teaching— when the vessel was passing through the Suez Canal, he was stricken with apoplexy, and breathed his last on the following day. His remains were buried at sea. The Register of September 6, 1881, published the news of his death, and gave he following appreciative comments on his Iife and work:— 'Mr. Young was en- dowed with great natural attainments, and to these were superadded the charms and graces of careful mental culture. 'A dili- gent reader and a close and acute observer. he was eminently qualified to undertake the work of an instructor. Not only was be skilful in presenting in a clear, and co- gent form the very essence of the know- ledge obtained from books, but he broke loose entirely from the trammels of routine, and by drawing his illustrations from nature and from passing events, ac- cording to the character of the subject upon which he wished to enlighten his pupils, be gave a living interest to his lessons. An enthusiast in his profession, his aim was to awaken the enthusiasm of his pupils, and cause them to love study for its own sake. . .'He recognised that the chief end of education is to stimulate and train the reasoning faculties; that the duty of the schoolmaster is not to cram the memories of his scholars with a mass of dry and undigested facts, but to open their minds to impressions, and to lay the foundation for a superstructure of sound knowledge, by making intelligible to them the principles of things and encouraging them to continue research on their own account. Imbued with a horror of creeds as being cramping in their effects, there was in his school course no approach to dogmatic religious instruction and yet his teachings, no matter what the subject might be, were pervaded by the true spirit of practical religion. The claims of the Creator to the profoundest reverence of His creatures were enforced when he en- larged upon the discoveries of science; affection for purity and truth was incul- cated when he discoursed on moral philo sophy; and admiration for all that is good and noble and manly was insisted on in his lessons in history and other topics.' Mr. M. Symonds Clark says that in all his schooldays he never saw Mr. Young strike a boy. On one occasion he told a lad be would have to punish him if he did not apologize for having used bad language; but the apology was made and nothing further resulted. —A Founder of the Royal Society.— Mr. Young took little part in public affairs, but be was one of the originators of the Adelaide Philosophical Society, of which the present Royal Society of South Australia is the outcome. His fellow workers, among others, in that cause were Messrs. Feinagle, J. Howard Clark. A. S. Clark, B. Heeschel Babbage, and W. W. R. Whitridge. -Some Old Scholars.— The diamond jubilee celebration is to be held at Bricknell's, Rundle street, this even- ing. Morning dress will be worn. The com- mittee of former pupils consists of Messrs. S. J. Jacobs. (Chairman), E. S. Hughes and R. B. Robin (Joint Secretaries), H. M. Smith, Peter Wood. W. Herbert Phil- lipps, M. Symonds Clark, Frank John- son, A. W. Marshall, M. Giles, F. W. Sims, F. W. Bullock. and J. T. Fitch. The old scholars' list indudes a number of names prominent in South Australian life to-day. For instance, there are Drs. A. E. and.H. H. Wigg, Dr. J. C. Verco. Messrs, L. H. Sholl. C.M.G, I.S.O., H. F. Peacock, J. W. Jones, Peter Whitington, J. T. Fitch, Wil- liam and Harry Bickford, William, R. K, J. H, and Ebenezer Finlayson, B. B. Car- vosso. B. Solomon, William Burford, C. Hack, C. Giles, E. S. Berry, J. S.O'Hallo- ran, H. M. Martin, J. H. Clark, C. W. and E. H. Babbage, P. T. Hill, John Barker, T. and G. Cottrell and W. Sand over. The school supplied three members of the Stuart Transcontinental Expedition of 1861-2 - Messrs W. P. Auld, James Frew, and Stephen King— of whom only the lastnamed now survives. Mr. Morti- mer Menpes (the world-famous artist), the late Right Hon. C. C. Kingston and his brother (the late Mr. S. G. Kingston), the late Sir Robert Kyffin Thomas, and the late Mr. Spencer J. Skipper. were also among the students of 'Young's' School'