Cork Examiner, 4 July 1877

     The season for relaxing, mental and physical, has come, and the great educational institutions of the country are preparing their students for the mid-summer vacation, and affording to them an their professors a period of rest after the year's intellectual laboure.  Herfore doing so they are as usual getting their friends about them--and their friends are or ought to be found in every class and grade of the community, for there is none who does not in some way share in the benefits of their operation--and before those friends they are setting feasts of intellectual pleasures, selected from the stores of knowledge which their year's cultivation of the youthful mind have gained for them.  Promininent amongst these feasts of reason which our Southern Colleges afford is the annual exhibition of St Colman's College, Fermoy.  This splendid institution, now more than twenty years in existence, continues to occupy a foremost place amongst our educational institutions, and year after year gives in many ways proof of its great public utility and of the efficiency of its work.  It serves at once as a high class preparatory seminary for the universities, for the Civil Service, and for various vocations of every-day life, professional, commercial and agricultural; besides furnishing a fruitful field for the development in our Catholic youth of the far higher vocation for the ecclesiastical state.  All these purposes it serves most effectively, and not only not the least so, but the more effectively, because its system of education, embodies the grand principle of union between secular and religious knowledge. Its alumni are to be found in various parts of the world, and everywhere we believe they reflect credit on their Alma Mater.  The number of pupils at the college has gone on increasing until it has outstripped the measure of the building's accommodation.  The total number attending the course of studies at St Colman's up to the present vacation was 130; and as the applications for admission continues to increase, the College authorities have determined upon making more additions to the establishment.  These evidences of prosperity prepared us for the display which took place in its examination hall yesterday, in the presence of the Most Rev., Dr. MacCarthy, Bishop of Cloyne, who, like his venerated predecessor in the See, takes a deep interest in its prosperity.  One of the sources of the College's success is this constant and watchful dare of its interests by the priests of the diocese, and next to that may be placed the zealous and learned conduct of its operation by President and professors.  St Colman's its then President, the Rev. Wm. Canon Fitzgerald, has been called to the discharge of an important trust in the church of the diocese, and he has been succeeded by the Rev. John Wigmore, L.L.D., who has shown every disposition to walk faithfully in the footsteps of the distinguished men who have gone before him in the conduct of the institution.  The first public display under his supervision gave a large measure of satisfaction to the numerous and intelligent body of visitors who attended, besides eliciting the unqualified commendation of his Lordship, the Bishop.  It took place, as stated, in the large examination hall, which, was very tastefully and skillfully decorated for this occasion, and was furnished at one end with one of the prettiest and best furnished stages we have seen outside the walls of a public theatre.  His Lordship, presiding, occupied a throne erected at the left of the hall, and amongst the visitors present we observed:-Very Rev Deaa O'Mahoney, PPVF, Michelstown; Ven Archdeacon O'Reagan, PPVG, Mallow; Rev Cannon Burton, PP, Castletownroche; Rev Wm Canon Fitzgerald, PP, Conna; Rev John M Canon Bucley, PP, Grenagh; Rev Professor Carr, Maynooth; Rev W Hickie, PP, Banteer; Rev Dean Browne, Maynooth; Rev J Fitzpatric, PP, Rev J Lynch, RCA; Rev A Aherne, RCA; Rev Thomas Ferris, RCC, Fermoy; Rev T O'Keeffe RCC; Rev D Burdon, RCC; Rev R Aherne, RCC, Conna; Rev C Buckley, RCC, Kanturk; Rev PJ O'Callaghan, CC, Fermoy; Rev Thomas Nerris, Boston, USA; Rev W M'Auliffe, CC, Glanworth; Rev Wm Coughlan, RCC; Rev M O'Connor, CC, Kilworth; Rev T O'Connell, CC, Mitchelstown; Rev James Green, CC, Conna; Rev J Sheehy, Fermoy; Rev J O'Donoghue, CC; Rev T Twomey, CC; Rev J Savage, CC; Fev Fr Lyons, Tralee; Rev W Coghlan, CC, Ballydangan; Mrs. Crowley; U Russel, JP, Dublin; G Grehan, JP; Monsieur Morell, Normandy, France; Rev Brother J Murphy, Superior Christian School, Fermoy; Rev Brother Sheedy, Mithclestown; Rev James Lenihan, CC, Kilworth; Rev RP Collins, Maynooth; Mr James J Carey, Carlow College; Captain Stewart, JP, Doneraile; Mr John Flynn, Cork; W O'Geron, JP, Kilworth; Mr Sutton and friends, Charlemont, Terrace, Cork; Dr and Miss Wigmore, Kanturk; Rev W Eluke , PP, Banteer; Mr P Brien, Churchtown; Mr Ahern, Cork; Messrs M O'Connor, and J O'Keeffe, Maynooth; Mr D Fitzgerald,  All Hallows College; JJ Carey, Cork; T Quinlan, Balinterry; James J O'Flanagan, BL and Mrs Flanagan; Dr and Mrs Roche, Fermoy; C Dennehy, Munster bank, and Mrs Dennehy, Fermoy; James Murrogh, National Bank, and Mrs Morrogh, Fermoy; MJ Magnier, Duntabin House; Mr and Miss Magnier; Mrs Gallagher, Mallow; Mrs Lammie and the masters Lammie, do; Mrs O'Cllaghan, do;  Miss Kearney, do;  Mr M Hickie, Castletownroche, and Mrs Hickie; Mrs Horgan, Larch Hill; Mrs O'Callaghan, Mallow; Mr J O'Sullivan, Fermoy;, and Miss O'Sullivan; Mrs O'Sullivan,  Powerstown, and the misses O'Sullivan; Miss Daly, Springville; Miss Kearney; Miss Hickie, Banteer; Mr W Hunt and Mrs Hunt, Fermoy; Mr Cotter and Mrs Cotter, Fermoy; the Misses Power, Conna; Mr P O'Brien, Ballyhea; Mr J Sisk, and Miss Sisk, Acres; Mr and Mrs Adams, Rathcormac; Mr J Walshe, Mountain Castle; the Misses Flemming, and Miss Barry, Youghal; Mrs Coleman, Kinsale; the Misses Coughlan, Cork; Mr O'Mullane, Glountane; Mrs O'Neil, Cork; Mrs  RYAN and Mr  Francis RYAN, Fermoy;  Mr J O'Sullivan, Mrs O'Sullivan, and Miss O'Sullivan, Queenstown; the Misses Buckley, Doneraile; Mr and Mrs Corcoran, Blarney; Mr and Mrs Henpby,  Doneraile; Mr Dinnen, Conna; Mrs Doyle, Mr D Hayes, Fermoy; Mr TW Barry, Queenstown; Miss Barry, Douglas Street, Cork; Mr Thomas Kearney, Efflin, Charleville, etc etc.  Many others of the clergy and laity were prevented by causes which could not have been anticipated, and the weather was not the least formidable of them, from enjoying the pleasures of the exhibition.
     The programme of the exercise extended over a wide range of subjects, but it was found necessary to curtail it considerable in the performance, in order to keep it within reasonable limits of time.  At half-past ten o'clock the sweet and lively strains of the College band, performing the "Exhibition March", and an operatic Pot Pourri, gathered the last stray visitors into the precincts of the hall.  All were comfortably seated wihen the College choir sang in good time, and with pleasing harmony, the baracole, "Behold how brightly breaks the Morning", from "Massaniello." Then was given the first recitation , "The Execution of Montrose", thoughtfully and effectively delivered by Master WR Bourke, a young gentleman from Brooklyn, USA.  He was deservedly applauded.  The Rev. President, next presented to the visitors a class of students whom he examined in History; dealing chiefly with the Ancient Britons, and giving an interesting resume of the early history and government of the sister kingdom.  The Irish melody, "Erin, the tear and the smile" was then sung by the College choir, and the stage was surrendered to Master R. O'Flannagan, who recited with admirable taste, accuracy, and grace of style, 'Madaulay's poem "Ivry", which won for him marked and well merited applause.  Master P Leahy performed the pianoforte solo "Just before this battle", in a manner that gave considerable promise of success as a pianist.  To this succeeded the examination by Profesoor RYAN, B.A., of a class in Mathematical Geography and Rudimentay Astronomy.  Master Philip Murphy's recitation, which followed, if not more absorbing in its interest, was at least better calculated to enkindle the enthusiasm of his audience, and he succeeded very decidedly in doing this with a fervid and dramatic rendering of Davis' poem, "Fontenoy".  He concluded amid very hearty applause.  A Greek dialogue followed between Masters D Browne and J Browne, selected from Sophocles.  It was delivered with remarkable readiness and apparent appreciation of the subject.  They were very deservedly applauded.  Masters MJ Fleming, the prize pianist of the College, played successfully the beautiful fantasia, "Sivery Waves".  A French dialogue from Mokier's comedy, "La Mariage Torce" was fluently and vivaciously spoken by Masters Edward O'Connor and Thomas Moore; and then the College choir gave effectively the sacred quartette, "Die Papelle: (Kreatzer).  To them succeeded, Master E O'Connor, who won loud applause by his recitation of Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade".  A very creditable and artistic cornet solo, "The heart bowed down", was next given by Master T. Moore. It was the best instrumental performance of the day and was correspondingly applauded.  Animal Physiology furnished the subject of examination for another of Professor RYAN's classes, and when the structure of the human body had been investigated far enough to negative Darwin's theory of the origin of  our species, the students cur the examination short, and the audience was treated to pleasanter matters in the performance of the "Conspirator's Chorus", from "Madame Angot".  The burlesque valse by Coote, for piano, two violins and cornet, was played successfully by Mesers, Fleming, Phillippe, Silvant and Moore; and the fine Latin chorus "Gaudeamas Igitur" (Mozart) was sung by the College choir.  An Italian dialogue was pronounced by Masters Thomas Moore and William Heaphy, and after the performance of a quadrille of Le Duc's composition and quartette already named Master D Lawlor contributed one of the most charming features of the exhibition by his graceful and facile recitation of Longfellow's "Wreck of the Hesperus".  Masters D Kelleher gave a German recitation, and the exercises were brought to a happy termination by the College choir singing the sacred chorus "Juno A Pio Nono", which elicited warm applause.
The distributions of premiums to the most successful students during the academic year was then proceeded with, the young competitors receiving their well earned rewards, accompanied by words of kindly commendation and encouragement from his Lordship the Bishop.  Amongst the special prizes may be mentioned those for good conduct, awarded by the unanimous vote  of the superiors to master Daniel Kepple, Mallow, and master E Kearney, Effin; Limerick, both senior students; and to Master Harry Horgan, Larch Hill, Cork and Master David Lawlor, Queenstown, junior students.  For the successful leadership of the College band special prizes were awarded to Masters E O'Connor, Mallow and Master  Moore, Rahtcormac.  Master Fleming, of Youghal, was awarded the only prize for piano playing.
     His Lordship then addressed the visitors.  He said he was sure he expressed their feelings as well as his own when he said that the exhibition they had witnessed today was in the highest degree creditable (hear, hear).  He had been at many exhibitions at St Colman's, and he could say that none were superior to the exhibition of today.  The banner of St Colman's appeared to have inscribed upon it as its motto, "Excelsior". It was advancing every year.  They noted each year an improvement upon the last-an improvement in the successful studies, in the conduct of the students, and in their number.  He was sure that the ladies and gentlemen present all joined heartily with him in wishing that might long continue. (hear).  It was a just ground for congratulations for the people of Fermoy, that they should have such institutions as that college and the Loretto Convent in their midst.  They were the future hope of the country (applause).  They had successfully solved the problem which was more than any other engaging the attention of men at the present day-the problem of education-whether education without religion, or education, combined with religion, was the preferable.  Now, St Colman's College in his opinion, had provided that education combined with and leavened by religion was equal, if not superior, to the education afforded by any secular institution in this country (hear, hear).  The exhibition of that day was a powerful testimony to that fact.  The programme was obliged to be shortened.  But, though curtailed, the programme embraced a large number of subjects including almost all and many of the ancient languages.  But he could not remark one omission.  One language was omitted which he hoped to see in the programme of their future exhibitions- he meant the grand old language of our native land (applause).  He would ask the President, Dr Wigmore, to have the omission supplied.
     Rev Dr Wigmore said he would be very glad to comply with his Lordship's request, especially as they had the advantage of having two eminent Professors of Irish in the neighborhood.  One of them was Father O'Leary, of  Rathcormac.
     His Lordship went on to observe that the number of subjects was so great, and the knowledge displayed by the students so extensive that they could not help sometimes wondering "How such small heads could carry all they know" (applause and laughter).  In every respect the exhibition was most creditable to the President, the professors and their students, and he was quite sure that all present would join him in thanking them hardily for the very agreeable treat that they had afforded them (hear, hear); and also in wishing a continued career of success and progress to the college of St Colman's (loud applause).
     The visitors then enjoyed for half-in-hour a very pleasant promenade upon the terrace in front of the college, from which a charming view was obtainable in the bright clear weather that had by that time succeeded to the gloom and moisture of the morning.  The college band performed on the terrace. At two o'clock the visitors were summoned to a splendid luncheon set forth with unsparing hospitality in the college refectory, and after proving in this way also how well St Colman's can entertain its friend's, they adjourned once more to the Examination Hall, now converted into an excellent theatre, and for the remainder of the afternoon were treated to a capital representation of "The Merchant of Venice", very creditably put upon the stage, with all the parts well-filled, especially those of "Shylock", in which Master Edward O'Connor distinguished himself honorably and of "Portia", who found a clever and graceful exponent in Master John O'Shea.  The farce of 'Handy Andy', brought the day's pleasure to a close.

Submitted by Nancy


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