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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 7. May 1, 1952

Old Extravite Protests "Drastic Action Heeded"

page 5

Old Extravite Protests "Drastic Action Heeded"

Sir,—It has come to my notice that the management of the Opera House has refused to allow Extravaganza to be held there this year, and that it is highly unlikely that the association will get the Opera House in future years. Although I cannot claim to be fully conversant with all the facts I gather that in view of the practice extending over many years of holding Extravaganzas in the Opera House this action constitutes a grave discourtesy towards the association and possibly a breach of good faith.

It seems that the management of the Opera House has been largely motivated by the prospects of greater pecuniary gala to be obtained from other shows than the Extravaganza. I would therefore suggest for the considercation of the executive that it might be advisable for the asaociation to take appropriate steps to minimise sock gain. I would further suggest that this might be done by endeavouring to enlist the sympathy of as many members of the public as possible so as to dissuade them from attending the Opera House during the period when the Extravaganza would normally be staged.

There are two courses which might be taken simultaneously: Firstly, the publication in the popular press of carefully worded letters or notices, Inter alia, setting out the true facts and the objects of the proposed action, and pointing out now inconvenient It will be for the members of the public to have to tramp up the hill to the Little Theatre when they wish to see an Extravaganza; and, secondly, the organisation and maintenance during the above-mentioned period of peaceful pickets in front of the Opera House to remonstrate with and endeavour to dissuade persons who attempt to purchase tickets or attend performances. Such pickets might kill two birds with one stone by selling tickets for the alternative show which I understand Is to be held In the Little Theatre.

I am inclined to think that the course which I have outlined may, if carried into execution, achieve some measure of success, from my experience in selling Cappicades last year when many of the persons who bought them Indicated that they would not have done so if it had not been for the sympathy aroused in them by hearing of the police ban on the procession. The present situation Is in many respects similar, and it seems probable that by its skilful handling a large degree of public sympathy may be engendered.

I would point out that the worst possible result of following my seggestiond is that students will be banned from using all the theatres in the city forever, which seems to be not mock worse than the probable outcome of doing nothing, while there is at least some possibility of inducing the management of the Opera House to act in a less obnoxious manner In future.

If the association requires volunteers to act as pickets I am willing to offer my services. I can act alone if necessary provided I have the authority of the association behind me, but I would prefer to have some company.—Yours faithfully,

J. F. D. Patterson.

Mr. Patterson, who was one of the principals in last year's Extrav, has given us permission to print this letter to the Executive. While we do not agree with Mr. Patterson's proposals, we must admire the resurgence of the crusading spirit which caused it