[from A Hundred Years of Education]
by His Excellency THE LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR, K.C.S.I.,
Chairman of the Trustees.
This little book will fill a long felt want. It is a curious fact that, apart from the ordinary registers and statistics, no attempt has heretofore been made to record the circumstances attending the foundation and the progress of King Williams College. The fact is the more curious in view of the very prominent influence which the School has had, and still has, in the scheme of Education 1n the Isle of Man, and of its high standing in England.
Canon Owens timely researches have brought to light, and show in proper perspective, the close relationship of the College to the progress of Education here, and make clear the very important place which the only Public School must occupy in the whole sphere of Insular development. The hook, however, does more than this. While recalling in permanent form the purposes which actuated the founders, it brings out most strikingly their breadth of view and their foresight. They projected a scheme which was not only to enable Manxmen to grow and compete on equal terms educationally with inhabitants of other portions of the British Isles, but was to be the nucleus of even higher ambitions.
While the hopes of the founders in respect of these ulterior aspirations have not been fulfilled, and were probably never susceptible of complete realization, the School has justified itself in no uncertain manner. By attracting scholars from across the water it has mitigated the isolation which otherwise might have been a handicap to Island boys. It has, through the untiring zeal of a long line of distinguished Heads, maintained a high and worthy tradition. It has been an important factor in the progressive development of the educational policy of the land. It has been the means, especially of recent years, of opening up to Manx boys opportunities of honourable service and distinguished careers in the world, both within and without the Empire, which would otherwise have been hopelessly closed to them.
That Canon Owen, not the least distinguished of the Heads of King Williams College, should have found time, within a few months of his regretted retirement, to collate and set forth in such interesting shape the salient features of the history of the School and of its links with the educational growth of the Island, is a testimony to his devotion to the institution to which he has so unstintedly given 17 years. As one of the Trustees, I am glad to express the keen gratitude we feel to him for his labours in the cause, labours which fittingly culminate in a publication which will not only be of inestimable value to his successors, but will be read with interest and profit by a large body of Barrovians, past, present and to come. Manxmen, too, will at last have a concise and entertaining history of an establishment of which they have every reason to be proud.
CLAUDE H. HILL.
Government House, July, 1930.