The Rev C F Rogers was appointed to the parish of Mithian in 1898.
On acquainting himself with the people of the Parish he considered
that one of his priorities was to supplement in some way the education
given in the Board and other day schools. He said that it was a great
pity that the education of young people ended when they left school
and that there was nowhere, especially in rural communities, where
they could use the assets they had acquired.
therefore set out to establish a reading room or institute where he
could get more to know his parishioners as they organised and attended
lectures and meetings and made use of what books they could acquire.
Initially, he rented a small two roomed cottage and collected together
a number of books. It was then that Mr W S Hooper and Mr W Symons
spoke to him about Passmore Edwards and the assistance he had given
to a number of local institutes and the fact that he funded an annual
get together and meal for the old people of Blackwater. Rev Rogers
wrote to Passmore Edwards for assistance in purchasing books for the
institute and was surprised to receive a swift and positive response
from him. Edwards said that if the Institute was to be managed by
the people for the public good, and was not to be in any way sectarian,
he would not only help, but would build an institute at his own expense.
This was entirely in keeping with the Reverends views, although some
parishioners did not agree with him on the criteria relating to religion,
and he set about realising this generous offer