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A plaque commemorates William Frederick Bassett (1824 -1910), medical practitioner and educationalist, who was the founder of technical education classes in Bathurst.

Bassett went to Bathurst in 1865, and took a great interest in many public movements. His love of science led him to form public classes in chemistry and geology at the school of arts. Mr. James Rutherford and several prominent citizens, went to his assistance financially, and under Dr. Bassett's charge the classes grew rapidly, and required more time than he could spare. This led to the appointment of Mr. John Clunies Ross, B.Sc. (Lond.), as lecturer, in 1882. It was this movement which first led to technical schools being formed in country districts.

It was very largely due to his exertions that Machattie Park was dedicated as a recreation ground instead of being used as the Public school site, as was originally intended. He was appointed one of the trustees, acting in conjunction with the late Mr. John N. McIntosh and Mr. Benjamin Lee. He was long connected with the Bathurst District Hospital and the School of Arts, and for many years was a member of the Licensing Bench. He was also one of the original trustees of All Saints' College in conjunction with Bishop Marsden and the late Mr. T. M. Sloman; and he was for 43 years Government Medical Officer and Visiting Surgeon to the Bathurst Gaol.

Yesterday afternoon in connection with the Bathurst celebrations, the memory of the man who did probably more than any other to have the technical education system extended from Sydney to inland Australia— Dr. W. F. Bassett was honored by a ceremony at the tablet to Dr. Bassett in the Bathurst Technical School, which he was instrumental in founding. Addresses were given by the Mayor. Ald. M. J. Griflin, and the District Inspector of Schools, Mr. W. G. Lee. M.A. The Bassett family was represented by Miss Bassett who performed the ceremony of unveiling the tablet. The Bathurst District Band assisted at the ceremony. 

Introducing Ald. Griffin who gave a brief history of the late Dr. Bassett, Mr. Lee said that Dr. Bassett would ever be remembered in Bathurst for the many evidences of his public spirit, but perhaps none of his great works would make more appeal than his contribution to technical education. It was only to be expected that Dr. Bassett a very distinguished pupil of the world's greatest scientific philosopher, Michael Faraday, would be so enthused by contact with such a personality as to endeavor to pass on to others the benefits of such teachings. For this purpose he commenced, without reward, classes in the School of Arts. These classes grew in importance and in popularity till eventually a Technical College had to be built. This college in Bathurst was probably the first outside Sydney. 

National Advocate (Bathurst), 21 March 1938.



Address:79 - 81 William Street, Old Bathurst Technical College, Bathurst, 2795
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.417426
Long: 149.581274
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 20th March, 1938
Front Inscription

                  In Memory Of 
William Frederick Bassett, M.R.C.S. (Eng.), L.S.A.
                    1824 - 1910
Founder Of Technical Classes in Bathurst,
                 One Time Pupil
              Of Michael Faraday.

Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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