Retiring Headmaster, Mr Foss, honoured 1936

Presentation to Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Foss - Large gathering of citizens.

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The high standard of service main­tained by Mr. R. J. Fuss daring his period of fourteen years as headmaster of the Levin District High School re­ceived fitting recognition yesterday afternoon when, in view of his approaching retirement with the close of the term next week, a large number of citizens assembled in a very representative gathering at the Council Chambers to express their appreciation, and to extend to both him and Mrs. Fuss wishes for their every happiness in their years of retirement. These sentiments were suitably conveyed in the presentation to the guests of honour of a handsome chiming clock.

Numerous organisations of the town were represented at the gathering, including, in addition to members of the School staff and the School Committee, representatives of the Home and School Association, Levin Chamber of Com­merce and several very old residents. His Worship the Mayor, Mr. P.W. Goldsmith, presided, and also present were Mrs. Goldsmith and Mr. C. L, Hunter, M.P., and Mrs. Hunter. Apolo­gies for absence were received from Dr. L. J. Hunter, Rev. Dr. I.W. Fraser, Mr. and Mrs. H Denton, Mrs. C. Bar­tholomew, and Messrs F. Auckram, H.V. Hudson, F. C. Lemmon, W. Jenson and D. S. Mackenzie. Mrs. Voss was presented with a charming bouquet at the commencement of the proceedings at the hands of the Mayoress.

In addressing those present, Mr. Goldsmith remarked that they were assembled on a unique occasion, to mark the completion, in a measure, of Mr. Foss' life's work. Mr. Foss had spent some time in Levin as the culmination of many years of service, and it had been felt that he should not be allowed to finish his course without some slight acknowledgement of his work in this centre. They had gathered to convey to Mr. and Mrs. Foss their appreciation of the work which they had accomplish­ed amongst the people of Levin, and to express the hope that they would enjoy their years of retirement and final interests in the period of life before them.

Speaking as one of the oldest residents of the district, Miss H. E. Bowen expressed her pleasure at being enabled to extend congratulations to Mr. Foss on his retirement from service. Miss Bowen gave an assurance that the years of retirement were indeed the best part of life, and in merry terms painted a rosy picture of the future which lay ahead. In claiming the privilege of presenting Mr. Foss with a button-hole, she expressed the hope that both he and Mrs. Foss would enter into a life of great happiness and content.

The president of the Home and School Association, Mrs. C. E. Thorpe, expressed her pleasure in voicing the appreciation of that body of its associations with Mr. Foss, who during its past operations had always accorded the members his fullest co-operation. She added every wish to both Mr. and Mrs. Foss for good luck and many happy years of retirement.

Claiming to have known him longer than any others of those present, Mr. F. G. Roe congratulated Mr. Foss on his long period of school service. The speaker traced Mr. Foss' career since he had commenced his association with the district when serving at Waikanae, prior to leaving to take up a succession of appointments in Wairarapa, and re­viewed the progress of the Levin School from the time when it was a tiny es­tablishment with one teacher and ten pupils, until its status at the present day with some seven hundred pupils and a teaching staff of 25. Since Mr. Pass had arrived in Levin fourteen years ago, there had been a marked in­crease in the numerical strength of both staff and pupils, and this was, he con­sidered, a  matter for congratulation. He expressed the wish that Mr. and Mrs. Foss might enjoy a long and happy retirement, president of the Levin Chamber of Commerce, Mr. E. E. Hirst, spoke of the privilege of participating in such an occasion as recording an estimate of the public appreciation of the efforts of Mr. Foss during his term of service. The attainment of one of the highest positions in his profession, said Mr. Hirst, entailed the possession of many qualifications, amongst which those of culture and leadership occupied a high place, together with very high ideals of service, and the occasion would be tinged with sorrow after so outstanding a period of activity. Mr. Hirst referred to the kindness and friendly nature of which Mr. Foss had shown himself to be possessed, and of his highly-devel­oped sense of responsibility, actuated by the purest of motives and the courage of strong convictions. The teaching profession, he considered, was one of the most worthy possible to adopt, in that it entailed the moulding of the lives of the citizens of the future, and those boys and girls who had passed through the hands of Mr. Foss and his staff would long remember the care devoted to their needs and the 'high ideals with which they had been imbued. Mr. Foss' achievements, said Mr. Hirst in conclusion, could never have been realised but for the help afforded by Mrs. Foss, and thus it was that he joined with the previous speaker in wishing them both a full measure of prosperity and good health in their future years in Levin, where he was sure that they would be able to find their interest in various organisations existing for the welfare of the town.

Speaking on behalf of the parents, Mr. H. L. Jenkins expressed gratitude to Mr. Foss for his efforts in the child­ren's interests during his term of office in Levin. He himself, said Mr. Jenkins, had come into contact with a number of past pupils and was thus in a posi­tion to know that their education had been very well carried out. He added his best wishes for Mr, and Mrs. Foss' happy retirement to the remarks of the previous speakers.

The chairman of the School Commit­tee, Mr. A. C. Kennerley, in briefly reviewing Mr. Foss' long period of ser­vice, pointed out that early in his career he had commenced to specialise in district high school work, and was well experienced in this aspect of edu­cation when he arrived in Levin from the Wairarapa district some fourteen years ago. Shortly after commencing his duties in Levin he had introduced the Matriculation course, and with the growth of the School from year to year had been able to lay the foundations for the establishment of increased secondary educational facilities. With the promise of the Minister of Education that a technical high school was to be established in Levin to serve the south­ern district, he could have the satisfac­tion of knowing that something was now being done in that direction. Mr. Kennerley spoke of the cordial relationships which had always existed be­tween the children of the School and the teaching staff, and the smooth running of the establishment, he considered, bespoke of the high standard of efficiency set by Mr. Foss during his term of administration. Mr. Kennerley added further good wishes for the future happiness of Mr. and Mrs. Foss, together with a hope that they might continue to be relied upon to assist in the interests of the School.

As a past member of the committee, Mr. J. W. Procter spoke in appreciation of the assistance which he had received at the hands of Mr. Foss during his period of office, and also spoke on be­half of the Natives of the Beach road area, expressing gratitude for what Mr. Fuss had done for their children. He added his best wishes.

Mr. C. L. Hunter expressed a desire to associate himself with the previous speakers in congratulating Mr. Foss on his retirement, and spoke of the dynamic energy which the retiring head­master had displayed in the execution of his duties. The well-kept grounds of the Levin School said Mr. Hunter, were an indication of the outlook of the pupils, and this fact reflected consid­erable credit upon those in charge. It was interesting to note that the loss of Mr. Foss from the teaching service coincided with the virtual loss of the Levin District High School following upon the decision for the establishment of the new technical high school, and the retiring head would thus now be

Able to watch the progress of education in Levin from the “outside”. In conclusion, Mr. Hunter added his best wishes for the future happiness of Mr. and Mrs. Foss.

At this stage Mr. Goldsmith the acceptance of the guests of honour of a handsome chiming clock, suitably inscribed and bearing with it the best wishes of the citizens of Levin for a happy and pleasant retired life.

Mr. Foss, on rising to respond, con­fessed himself to be overwhelmed with the expressions of gratitude made and the very kindly estimate of his past activities, but he hoped that his years of service were not yet ended, and that he could continue to be of use to the community. Very generous terms had been employed in reference to his years of service, but, he said, whatever he had been able to do had been largely conditioned by the assistance he had received from Mrs. Foss. As a public servant, continued Mr. Foss, he had en­deavoured to serve two masters. Legally and morally he had been responsible for the children placed in his charge, and thus it was that he had had to give effect to the wishes of parents and guardians. On the other hand the wishes of his Department had to be adhered to, and it had been his constant task to effect a compromise between two often conflicting interests without the sacri­fice of principal.

The attendance of such a large gathering of citizens upon the occasion, said Mr. Foss, was an indication that the policy of the School had been ap­proved of, and in handing over the reins of office to a younger man it would not lie without qualms, in that anything done to affect the School would affect him equally as it had in the past. Education in Levin had now reached it transition stage, and while there was no doubt as to the wisdom of the changes about to be made, he would follow these changes with the same activity and keenness as in the past. It was particularly satisfying, Mr. Foss said, to know that he was retiring without any feelings of bitterness, and that no ill-will would be felt amongst those from whom he had had to make exacting demands. He had no doubt that the shortcomings of his successor would be met with the same generosity as had been accorded him. The best proof he could offer for the regard which he and Mrs. Foss had held for this spirit of friendliness, he said in conclusion, was that they had decided to remain residents of Levin following upon his retirement from office.

 

Clipping from Dick denton.

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Retiring Headmaster, Mr Foss, honoured 1936


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Creation date:9 December 1936
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Retiring Headmaster, Mr Foss, honoured 1936 by Pippa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License