Monday 24 September 2018

"Our Little Muriel," - Muriel Smyth - 23/12/1893-9/9/1894.

A year or so ago, not long after I had discovered the resource of "Papers Past" and its potential for uncovering the stories that lie behind cemetery inscriptions, I was walking the lines of my "local" - the Southern Cemetery, Dunedin - when I found the saddest inscription that I have so far seen.

As part of the process of finding and telling the stories that are inspired by words in cemeteries I had begun, I suppose, to "internalise" them.  To think of what emotions lay behind the decision to define a life and a death in a permanent inscription in stone.  

On the day I found the grave of Mary Muriel Smyth, I had spent some time walking around the graves, reading the inscriptions and trying to imagine what lay behind them.  Perhaps, being in the early stages of what has become a project which is as large as I want it to be, I was more susceptible than now to the long-gone emotions of the next of kin, now themselves gone, for some poor person whose loss was felt to be unbearable.  As it was, when I read on Muriel's stone "Thou art with the angels, Muriel, and we are left alone" my cup of borrowed emotion overflowed.  I could take no more for that day and I went home.

Searching online for Muriel proved fruitless.  Searching for "Professor John and Emma Smith" likewise.  It was only when I took a second and harder look at the inscription and realised that the missing "I" was a missing "Y" that I began to find something.

There are numerous references to Professor John Smyth's career in New Zealand and Australia.  I found him in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.  ("On Christmas Day 1891 at Christchurch he married Emma Strack; they were to have two sons.")  I was sure that the Professor John Smyth, who married Emma Strack in 1892, was the father of Muriel - or Mary Muriel, according to the local council's cemetery records.  But mention of Muriel herself there was none.

Another piece of the mystery was in the inscription itself.  The title "Professor" and the place name "Melbourne."  The title was conferred on John Smyth long after little Muriel died.  The first reference I have found to "Professor John Smyth" is in 1916 - there is a reference (see below) to him visiting Dunedin in 1925.  Would that be the time he arranged for the headstone to be erected?  If so, the persistence of the depth of sorrow through 30 years makes the epitaph all the more remarkable.  Perhaps the arrival and death of a first child imprinted itself indelibly on John and Emma Smyth.

Southern Cemetery, Dunedin.  Allan Steel photo.  This photo, from a few years ago, shows the spelling of "Smyth" more clearly than can be discerned today.

Mr John Smyth, of the Waikaka Valley School, left the district yesterday. He opens the school at Waihopai this morning, where it is to be hoped that his services will be as highly appreciated as they were in the Waikaka Valley. While in that district, Mr Smyth, in addition to his duties in the school room, preached along with Mr Dickie every alternate Sunday in the Church. Mr Symth's presence will therefore be missed in the church also, for his addresses were characterised by a freshness of thought and utterance which aroused every hearer. On Sunday he bade his hearers farewell, saying that he left the district where he spent a few happy months not without a sense of disappointment.  -Mataura Ensign, 22/3/1887.

Whatever John Smyth did in the teaching line after the above, it seems he also went to the University of Otago where he gained a 1st Class in Mental Science (psychology), in 1888.

Smyth — Strack — On Christmas Day, at Christchurch, by the Rev L. M. IsittJohn Smyth, of Gladstone, Invercargill, to Emma, youngest daughter of J. H. Strack Esq; late of Daylsford, Victoria. 
Southland Times, 27/1/1892.

University Honours. — Among those who were declared at the recent meeting of the New Zealand University Senate entitled to the degree of B. A. in virtue of success in the November examinations are two esteemed Southlanders — the Rev. Hugh Kelly, of Woodlands, and Mr John Smyth, headmaster of the Waihopai school. To Mr Smith also falls the highly prized honour of a New Zealand University senior scholarship. His subject, is perhaps the most difficult of all to obtain high honours in — mental and moral science, and Mr Smyth deserves heartiest congratulations.  -Southland Times, 19/5/1892.

It is with great satisfaction we ('News') learn that the honorable distinction of winning the N.Z. University scholarship has fallen to Mr John Smyth. It is very creditable to Mr Smyth as well as encouraging to all our young teachers and students that he was able to conduct a large public school with thorough efficiency and at the same time to carry on his private studios as to equip him for gaining the senior scholarship in mental science — a subject, as every student who has tried it knows, of immense difficulty. It is pleasing to know that Mr Smyth is teaching that subject in connection with the collegiate classes. Of course the B.A. degree goes with the scholarship.  -Mataura Ensign, 20/5/1892.

A special meeting of the committee of the above school was held on Tuesday evening. Present —Messrs W. Storey (chairman), A. Russell, C Bates, T. F. Hooper, A. W. Surridge, G. Levens, and J. W. Salmond.
The chairman, in stating the business of the meeting, viz., the appointment of first and second masters, drew attention to the importance of a good selection being made. During some fourteen years that he had sat on the school committee there never had been such an important occasion. He trusted that the committee in considering the applications before them would throw aside all outside prejudices, and vote in an unbiassed way. He regretted that both at the distribution of prizes and also about the district generally, attempts had been made to dictate, or at all events bias, the committee as to their choice. He felt confident the committee needed in no way to be dictated to, and he personally resented such action as unwarrantable and ungentlemanly.
Some little conversation then ensued as to the order in which applications should be taken, after which those for the appointment of second master were considered. For this position there were six applicants, and, on the motion of Mr Bates, seconded by Mr T. F. Hooper, it was resolved to recommend Mr B. H. Low for the appointment. For the position of first teacher there were ten applications, all of which were considered apart from the inspector's recommendation. Mr Russell moved — "That Mr John Smyth, B.A., be recommended to the board for the position of head master, and, failing his acceptance of the same, that the board be asked to appoint Mr D. Ferguson, M.A., of Pukeuri." The motion was carried.
Mr Smyth is at present head master of the Gladstone school, Invercargill, a position he has held for nearly six years.  -Temuka Leader, 5/1/1893.

We learn from the Waimate Times that Mr John Smyth, of Invercargill, has been recommended by the Waimate School Committee for appointment as headmaster of the school, and that Mr Daniel Ferguson, of Pukeuri, is their second choice. This is precisely the same decision as was arrived at by the Temuka School Committee; and it is understood that Mr Smyth will accept the position at Waimate, whilst we are able to state that Mr Ferguson has now been definitely offered and has accepted the Temuka Headmastership. We shall all be sorry to lose so excellent a man and teacher; but his career at Pukeuri proves that he is fairly entitled to promotion to the position he has secured.  -Oamaru Mail, 7/1/1893.

The Gladstone schoolhouse was the scene of a pleasing ceremony yesterday, when Mr John Smyth, who has been master of the school for nearly six years, bade farewell to the teachers and scholars. When it became known that Mr Smyth had accepted the head mastership of the Waimate District High School, his fellow teachers and pupils determined that he should not leave without some token of the good feeling that existed between them. Accordingly yesterday afternoon Mr T. S. Royds (chairman of committee) after a few appropriate remarks, speaking highly of Mr Smyth's abilities as a teacher, and of the good relations existing between him and the school committee, presented him with a very handsome tea and coffee service. Mr Smyth, in replying to Mr Royds' remarks seemed to feel very much the severing of his connection with the school, and said he would always remember the happy time he had spent with the girls and boys of Waihopai school. Three hearty cheers (such as only children can give) were then given for Mr and Mrs Smyth and the scholars allowed to disperse for the rest of the day. Several members of the committee were present. 
A social gathering was held in the hall of the First Church yesterday evening, the occasion being to bid farewell to Mr and Mrs Smyth. The meeting was, at once, of an enjoyable and at the same time regrettable nature — enjoyable, because of Mr Smyth's promotion, and tinged with regret at losing so estimable a gentleman. During the evening Mr Smyth was presented with a handsome family Bible, suitably inscribed, this being the form in which his friends and co-workers in church affairs expressed their admiration and friendship for the recipient. Mr J. E. Watson, who presided, in warm and complimentary terms set forth the feelings of the meeting to Mr Smyth, and that gentleman suitably responded, paying a high tribute of praise to the institutions, minister, and workers in the church, and thanking them on behalf of Mrs Smyth and himself for their very handsome present. Speeches, — humourous and eulogistic — capital songs and readings were given and a plentiful supply of choice fruit was handed round, These made up what was pronounced by all to have been a thoroughly enjoyable evening, and the memory of which, Mr Smyth stated, he would treasure up so long as he lived. The gathering dispersed after heartily singing Auld Lang Syne and warmly snaking hands with Mr and Mrs Smyth and wishing them God speed.  -Southland Times, 9/2/1893.

Our Waimate correspondent sends us the following: — The annual harvest festival in connection with the Waimate Salvation Army was held on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday last, but owing to the wet weather of Sunday the attendance was not so largo as usual. The services throughout were conducted by Staff Captain and Mrs Alderton On Monday the tea meeting and sale goods took place, and again the weather was boisterous and prevented many from attending. At the tea about 100 were present, and when that important part of the proceedings was concluded, addresses were delivered by Staff Captain and Mrs Alderton, Mr John Smyth, and Mrs Captain Burton. The sale of goods then took place, and the articles which had been given were speedily disposed of at fair prices. The hall was tastefully decorated, and reflected great credit on those who had assisted in the work, the large supply of vegetables and grain showing up well amidst the evergreens and flowers which surrounded the walls and stage of the barracks.  -Oamaru Mail, 25/4/1894.

Mr John Smyth, headmaster of the Waimate school, has resigned his position, owing to his leaving the colony for a time. The committee have not accepted the resignation. -South Canterbury Times, 8/3/1895.

During the furlough of Professor Salmond the mental science classes will be conducted by Mr John Smyth, M.A., who happened fortunately to be available for the purpose. Mr Smyth is a distinguished graduate of the university, was facile princeps his year in mental science, and gained the senior scholarship in that subject. Giving himself to teaching, he rapidly rose in his profession, and became head master of the Waimate High School. It has often been made a matter of reflection and reproach that so few of our graduates prosecute their studies in later life, or show any enthusiasm for the higher branches of knowledge for their own sake. Mr Smyth is not exposed to this charge; for, never having abated his interest in philosophy, he resigned his office at Waimate (to the surprise of many) for no reason but to proceed to Germany and devote himself entirely to its study. He has been absent from the colony for the last year and a half prosecuting his studies at Heidelberg under the celebrated Kuno Fischer; and therefore now enters on his temporary duties in a condition of thorough equipment and proficiency. Mr Smyth's case may be taken as a happy premonition that the colony will soon be able to supply its own professors.  -Otago Daily Times, 8/4/1897.

The Waimate Knox Church Sunday School was crowded last evening, when Mr John Smyth, M. A., gave a lecture entitled "Some Reminiscences of my stay in Germany." The Rev. H. Kelly occupied the chair, and Mr Smyth spoke for two hours, giving a graphic and pleasing description of lift) and habits in Germany. The speaker was listened to with the upmost attention, and his humorous sketches of incidents in Germany were greeted with rounds of applause. Mrs Smyth also contributed some vocal items in very good style. At the close a hearty vote of thanks was passed to Mr and Mrs Smyth for their pleasing entertainment.   -Oamaru Mail, 29/7/1897.

The friends of Mr John Smyth, M.A., formerly headmaster of Waimate High School, will be glad to hear of his welfare at Home. The Outlook learns from a private letter that he was duly admitted a research student in connection with Edinburgh University. He has chosen for his thesis for his D Ph. degree “Psychology of the Religious Consciousness,” and is busy now working up his subject. He is allowed two years, if he pleases, to prepare it. Among other points Mr Smyth will deal with the difficult but profoundly important one, “The Criterion of Certainty in Religious Knowledge.” -South Canterbury Times, 8/12/1898.

Advices by the last San Francisco mail state that Mr John Smyth, M.A., has been recommended to the Senate of the Edinburgh University for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Mr Smyth is well known in Otago scholastic circles. Some twelve years ago he was head-master of the Gladstone School, Invercargill, and during this period attended the winter sessions of the Otago University qualifying for his B.A. degree. His favorite study was mental science, and he easily swept the board in a large class of over thirty students, coming out first in each examination, and being prize-man for the year. Later he took the £60 scholarship in this subject, and also gained first class honors therein for his M.A. degree. He left Gladstone School to assume the head-mastership of the Waimate High School, where he gained much repute and popularity. But the true student spirit was strong within him, and one day he surprised his friends — that is, those who did not know him — by resigning £400 a year and a home, selling up his household goods, and departing with his young wife and child for Germany with absolutely no means beyond what he had saved. He studied for nearly two years at Heidelberg under the most renowned professor, and then returned to Dunedin to take the place of Professor Salmond during the absence of the latter in Europe, in the session of 1897. The work for the year was barely over ere he was once more on his way to Edinburgh to continue his studies, travelling by the Nord Deutscher Lloyd in order to keep up his German. After two years in the modern Athens he presented his thesis, consisting of some 400 pages, to the Faculty of his University, with the above result.
His subject, he informs a correspondent, was 'Truth and Reality, with Special Reference to Religion,' and therein he endeavored to get at such a view of Reason as would enable him to understand human progress, the relation between thought and action, and reconcile the views of truth held by Natural Science, Art, Morality, and Religion. The forms of truth in the three latter vary. Is this true of Science also? If it be true of all theories which endeavor to give man a comprehension of the nature of things, wherein does the permanence of Truth manifest itself? Or, putting it more simply, if a movement or belief has sprung from man's mind for centuries; if it has been submitted to criticism both from within and without; if throughout it has shown a progressive movement towards an ideal in whose light alone it can be understood; can such a belief be called extra rational, or is it not an offspring of reason itself, and in its root as truly objectively real and enduring as is the institution of mind or matter? My work is over for the meantime. The special examiner's report was very good. I shall give you an extract: 'Mr Smyth has read much and reflected more. His handling of his theme — more especially, when he expounds his personal views, is marked by real freshness and insight, there are passages which reach a very considerable level of power and impressiveness; and the whole is pervaded by a philosophic interest both enlightened and sincere. I consider the thesis an independent, careful, and meritorious one, entitling its writer to the distinction he seeks. The thesis cost me some thought, and I used up much of the experience life has taught me. For after all life is not an abstract philosophical formula or barren religious creed, but each person is a living spirit having wants and needs, and these, in my opinion, can he satisfied only in accordance with the constitution of that spirit, and through a living communion with God. Our mission here, if we read life aright, is to achieve a character to form ourselves according to Absolute ends. As we grow we have to shake off the worn-out and scanty beliefs we once held, and reshape for ourselves a new form and dress of belief in which to think and to act. But what was true in the past still survive - nay, will ever survive. We are one with all the heroes of the past when we strive for the same ideals as they strove. We are to link ourselves to every holy influence and every thing that makes for good, assured that at bottom prophesy and truth are one. But no more philophosising. I am now studying Theology, Christian Ethics, and Advanced Political Economy. After the session is over I shall probably visit some of the schools here and then return to New Zealand."  -Evening Star, 20/3/1900.

The Interviewer.
Mr John Smyth, formerly master of the Waihopai school, and afterwards rector of the Waimate High School, returned to Invercargill a few weeks ago after a very successful scholastic career in Germany and Scotland, ending in his gaining the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh. He is, we believe, the first New Zealand student to gain that distinction. In the course of conversation, Dr John Smyth, for so we must now call him, mentioned that he had been struck by the changes noticeable in Glasgow and Edinburgh since his departure for New Zealand in 1882, and with characteristic geniality he gave some of his impressions and experiences on being assured that they would be of interest to readers of the Southern Cross.  -Southern Cross, 17/11/1900.

At a meeting of the Wanganui Education Board this morning John Smyth, M.A. (New Zealand), D.P. (Edinburgh), was appointed chief inspector in place of Mr Bindon, resigned. Dr Smyth is thirty-six years of age, and was trained as a teacher in the North Island. He began his teaching career in Southland, New Zealand, in 1882. In 1886-88 he was prizeman in mathematics and mental science in the Otago University, second in English and political economy, and fourth in Latin. In 1891 he gained his B. A. degree and the senior scholarship in mental science. In 1892 he gained his M.A. degree with honors in mental science. In February, 1893, he was appointed rector of the Waimate District High School, with 500 scholars. In 1895 he resigned to pursue his studies in Germany, and returned to the colony in 1897 to conduct Professor Salmond's classes at the Otago University. In 1900 he gained his doctorship of philosophy at Edinburgh, and in the same year spent some time at the University of Jena, in Germany, and both in Scotland and Germany studied their educational systems. Last month he returned to the colony.  -Evening Star, 18/12/1900.

Southland News Notes
Dr John Smyth, M.A., Ph.D.. inspector of schools at Wanganui, who has been appointed principal of the Training College for teachers, Melbourne, entered the service of the Southland Education Board over 20 years ago at Longbush. He was head master of the Gladstone School from 1887 to 1893, when he became rector of the Waimate High School. Subsequently he studied in English and German universities, and became chief inspector under the Wanganui Education Board. His present appointment is worth about £600 a year.   -Otago Witness, 9/7/1902.

SMYTH.—By cable: At the Training College, Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria, on Saturday, the 6th December, 1902, the wife of Dr. John Smyth, of a son. Both well.

The Right Man in the Right Place — Dr John Smyth (recently chief inspector of schools at Wanganui) has just been appointed lecturer on pedagogy at Melbourne University.  -Evening Star, 9/1/1903.

Dr. John Smyth, formerly of the Gladstone school and now head of the Melbourne Teachers’ Training Institute, with Mrs Smyth and children were passengers by the Wimmera on Monday for a holiday tour among their New Zealand friends.  -Southland Times, 27/12/1906.

Second Edition. GENERAL WAR NEWS.
Dr John Smyth's opinion of the Victorian State School teachers and children. Over £47,000 for the War Funds. — Dr John Smyth, Principal of. the Victorian Teachers' Training College, who is a New Zealander, serving the State here (New Zealand), first as a teacher, then as Inspector in the Wanganui district, leaving in the interim for English University training, then spending three periods of his life in Germany, finishing with an extended course at the University of Jena, has been appointed the first Professor of Education to the Melbourne University. 
It is poetic justice that Mr Frank Tate, M.A., I.S.O, the Victorian Director of Education, who was the prime mover in stealing Dr. Smyth from New Zealand, should now, as a member of the University Council, aid in robbing his own department of one of its most distinguished ornaments, in order that the doctor, as one of the leading educationists of the age, may wield an even greater influence on Australian life. Having studied Germany first hand, and being a trained observer, Dr. Smyth has been able to warn Australians of the enormous proposition which the Empire had to face, and of the necessity for each individual straining every possible nerve to assure ultimate victory. 
The Work of the Children, and Teachers. — Dr. Smyth was particularly pleased with the action of the teachers in voluntarily surrendering portion of their salaries for the period of the war and was delighted with the self-denying patriotism of the children. School children and their organisers pour money and warm clothing into the Department's depot at Montague for soldier boys in trench or hospital. Speaking of this wonderful success, Dr. Smyth said to one of the organisers "what a pity it is that there should be wrangles and disputes between parties, and between masters and men at the present time, and what a pity it is that the parties cannot sink their differences for the present, and unite in one solid phalanx with one determination, viz., to bring this great war to a successful issue at the earliest possible moment." After stressing the point that among children there are neither Liberals nor Conservatives, neither Laborites, nor Socialist, nor Socialists, nor antiSocialists, the Doctor continued, "All are sons and daughters of the same great Empire, whose elder brothers are holding the trenches, and giving their lives for the safety of the Empire."

A Lesson from our Despised Enemy, Germany. — "I think we might," proceeded the doctor, "at the present juncture learn a lesson with great profit, from our despised Germany. All the trades of that country and all the manufactories are organised under one central committee, and all the men and women have willingly agreed to a coarser kind of bread in order that the flour will be shared by all, and will last the longer. The whole country from top to bottom, through all classes, is organised and knit together, so that victory to her arms may be the result. Surely, we who claim a higher freedom than the Germans have known and who believe we have a more righteous cause, should be able to manifest a greater unity, and a finer organisation than the Germans possess. In the meantime the children's department of the work is not troubled with any differences. May the work continue to grow, and may it achieve all the objects, which all the workers have in view."  -Stratford Evening Post, 13/1/1916.

The Wanganui Chronicle announces that Dr John Smyth, principal of the Victorian Teachers' Training College, has been appointed the first professor of education to the Melbourne University. Dr Smyth is a New Zealander, and a distinguished Otago University graduate. He served the State in New Zealand, first as a teacher, then as inspector in the Wanganui district, leaving in the interim for English university training. He spent three periods of his life in Germany, finishing with an extended course at the University of Jena. Dr Smyth was, at an early stage in his career, headmaster of the Waihopai school, Invercargill, and for a time acted as Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy at Otago University.   -Southland Times, 26/1/1916.

A distinguished and most interesting visitor to Dunedin at the present time is Dr Smyth, an old student of Otago University, who now holds the two onerous positions of Principal of the Teachers’ College in Melbourne and professor of education in Melbourne University. Dr Smyth is spending a vacation in New Zealand visiting friends and relatives, and is at present residing with his brother-in-law, Mr C. A. Strack, of 10 Falcon street, Roslyn. Many old students of Otago University will remember that Dr Smyth carried on Professor Salmond’s duties while the professor was away from New Zealand in 1897. He afterwards studied philosophy, history, and education in Germany at the Universities of Heidelberg and Jena, and studied in Edinburgh, where he took the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Returning to New Zealand he became senior inspector of the Wanganui district, and was appointed to be principal of the Teachers’ College in Melbourne in 1902. Immediately afterwards he was made lecturer in education for Melbourne University, and when the School of Education in the University developed, partly owing to the operation of the Registration of Schools and Teachers Act, he was made professor of education. He is still principal of the Teachers’ College, in entire charge of its work, though he has the assistance of vice-principals. The Victorian education system, Dr Smyth informed an Otago Daily Times interviewer yesterday, is very highly centralised, and consequently reforms can be much more quickly effected there than under some other British systems. All matters relating to curricula, training of teachers, inspection, and so on are entirely in the hands of the director of education, and he, if he is a vigorous man of initiative and keeping abreast of modern development, can very quickly bring about any reform he chooses. During the 22 years Dr Smyth has been in Victoria he has seen a great many developments in education, partly due to the initiative and vision and knowledge of the director of education, Mr Frank Tate. Mr Tate, it may be mentioned, is expected in New Zealand early next month to act on the Commission on Education. -Otago Daily Times, 14/1/1925. (excerpt)

News has reached New Zealand from Tokio of the death of Dr John Smyth, M.A., which occurred in Japan a short time ago. He was born in Scotland in 1864, received his education as a teacher in Ireland, and came to New Zealand in 1882, and taught in primary schools. In his University days he won the senior scholarship in mental science. He was headmaster of Waimate District High School, South Canterbury, for some time, took his degree as doctor of philosophy at Edinburgh University, and travelled extensively in Europe to study educational problems. At one time he was tutor to the mental science class at Otago University, and in 1906 was chief inspector of schools in Wanganui district. He was then appointed lecturer in pedagogy at Melbourne University. That lectureship expanded into a chair of education, and Dr Smyth became Professor of Education. It was owing to the ill-health of his wife that Dr and Mrs Smyth made the trip to Japan, where he himself was taken ill and passed away as stated.  -Northern Advocate, 13/9/1927.

Miss Janet Graham (Havelock North) is travelling with her aunt, Mrs. John Smyth (widow of Dr. John Smyth, of Melbourne), and her two cousins — Miss Isobel Macalister (Napier) and Miss Lila Malloch (Perth), states our London correspondent. They have returned to London after a month spent in Germany. They found everything very quiet and peaceful in that country, where the people seem to be quickly adopting Hitler's standard. He has a marvellous influence over them, and is quickly welding them into one strong party. Some time was spent in Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Homburg and Wiesbaden. Miss Graham visited several kindergartens, intermediate and high schools, where she spoke. Some of the schools have renamed "Adolph Hitler School." In one place she saw a group of tiny kindergarten children being taken for a walk, and as she passed she waved and smiled to them, and each tiny child hold up her hand, giving the Hitler salute with a smile. From Mainz the New Zealanders took a Dutch steamer on the Rhino and sailed down the 450 German miles to Rotterdam.  -NZ Herald, 18/7/1933.

Liberal Education 
"The Strife of Tongues" (Melbourne University Press, ls 6d) is the title of the tenth John Smyth memorial lecture, which was delivered at the Melbourne Town Hall by Dr I. L. Kandel, professor of education in the Teachers' College of Columbia University. Dr Kandel pays tribute to Smyth's influence in Australian education, and then proceeds to expound the necessity for maintaining a liberal policy in educational matters. Education, he declares, cannot thrive amid the "strife of tongues" of the totalitarian State, and it is for the free societies of the world to meet the challenge in common agreement, common social faith, and common values as a foundation for that freedom upon which true education is based.  -Otago Daily Times, 6/11/1937.


  1. I'm not sure if you found Mary Murial [sic] Smyth in NZ Births Deaths and Marriages - birth 1894/950, born 22 December 1893 to Emma and John Smyth, death 1894/4991 died 9 September 1894 aged 8 months. Her death is registered as Mary Muriel, so the Murial at birth may be an error. But she does exist officially.

  2. Fascinating reading: thanks for your care in compiling this tribute. I am a great grand daughter of C.A. Strack, the brother of Emma Smyth nee Strack. I am trying to find out if John and Emma spoke German. Emma's parents were naturalised British subjects, originally from Hesse.