SUK EL GHARB Boys' BOARDING-SCHOOL
In the fall of 1883, this school was opened by Rev. T. S. Pond, who conducted it until June, 1889. It began with thirty-five boarders, and when Mr. Pond left Syria it had ninety-eight. During the six years it had about 250 pupils.
Rev. O. J. Hardin took charge of it November 9, 1889, and the whole number under instruction during these sixteen years (1905) has been 852, from all the Syrian sects, Protestant, Greek, Maronite, Catholic, Druse, Moslem and Jewish. Of the graduates, eighty-nine have been teachers; twelve have been preachers; five have been in the theological classes, and 133' have entered the Syrian Protestant College. Mr. Hardin aims not only to prepare boys for college, but to fit them for usefulness whether they become teachers or not. Arabic, English and French are well taught. Miss Effie Hardin has given her services gratuitously, and has been most successful in teaching English so that her pupils are well prepared for freshman year in the college.
It was proposed at one time to suspend the Suk school, or merge it in the boarding-school at Shweir, or in the Tripoli school. But it has a distinct vocation from its situation in Druse Lebanon. The climate is healthful, summer and winter.
The buildings of cut stone are the property of the Board of Missions, and the original structure was built under the auspices of the Scotch "Lebanon Schools," and dedicated in June, 1870, by the celebrated Dr. Alexander Duff, and his co-commissioner, Principal J. Lumsden, whose names were carved in the massive limestone blocks near the entrance on the west wall of the building. Previous to that visit, the schools had been under the control of a Syrian superintendent, but in 1872, Rev. John Rae was sent out from Scotland to take charge as superintendent. As the Syrian, who had assured Dr. Duff that the property was bought with Scotch funds, refused to surrender the keys to Mr. Rae, legal proceedings were entered upon and Mr. Rae removed to Shweir in 1 874, where he was succeeded by Dr. Carslaw in 1880. The Scotch Mission, having secured through the Lebanon court the possession of the Suk el Gharb buildings after litigation for fifteen years, sold them to the American Mission in March, 1889.
Dr. Carslaw had been a lay medical missionary in Madras, and was ordained by the mission presbytery in Beirut, December, 188 3, and in 1900 the Lebanon Schools Committee transferred all right and title to the Shweir property, consisting of a manse, a church and two school buildings, to the American Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. The United Free Chruch retain Dr. Carslaw as their missionary during his litetime.