Of all the training schemes for skilled workers the most successful were the six Bailie schools established by Rewi. They were for co-operative apprentices, refugee boys and the sons of the local peasants, who spent half the day in academic studies the other half working in a co-operative factory. The school at Shuangshipu developed under George Hogg’s headmastership. Rewi laboured and found great satisfaction teaching there when his other projects permitted. In 1943 Rewi accompanied Dr Joseph Needham to North West China. A mechanical breakdown at Shandan, a town with space, raw materials and a derelict Buddhist temple, caught Rewi’s eye. It was to here that Rewi and George Hogg moved the Bailie school from Shuangshipu as the Japanese advance threatened its existence. George Hogg, whose inspiration made “many blades of grass grow in places where none grew before”, died in 1945 and Rewi took over as headmaster. Rewi’s efforts made sure that minds and hands worked together to achieve Hogg’s dream of a “University for the common man”.
An organising body formed from representatives of twelve organisations to highlight the work and legacy of Rewi Alley and to hold commemorations during 2017 for the 120th Anniversary of his birth on 2nd December