There was a frame structure opposite where Rosse Chapel stands, on the east side of the Avenue, which was named by the students ‘The 74,’ from its likeness to frames put up to cover ships of war while building. The room below was used for church and school; the upper story was one large dormitory, well ventilated by windows above and below, where the boys had their cots, arranged in rows as in a hospital, the teacher in charge having a separate room, with glass windows, for observation at all times. In the public room, used for Sunday services, was an organ.
Out of school hours, the boys were encouraged to expend their energies in useful ways of improving the grounds. Then the groves which now adorn the sides of Gambier Hill were chiefly brushwood, and portions of these were marked off in square rods and each boy could choose his ‘claim’ to ‘grub’ up the superfluous young trees and save and trim up the rest, and he was paid a stipulated sum for doing this, which gave him pocket money if he chose to secure it. The fine trees which now overtop Ascension Hall were thus trimmed up by my own hands when a boy.
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