Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 8. June 13, 1957
Delegates from the four main centres gathered in Wellington recently for the Annual Conference of the university catholic Society of New Zealand. The conference took place on Saturday and Sunday of Queen Birthday weekend at st Patrick's College, Cambridge Tee.
The atmosphere of the Conference was one of pleasant informality. This was maintained from the opening meeting on Saturday afternoon until the final function on Sunday evening.
A variety of matters came under discussion; much of the business done was the usual matter which occupies such annual gatherings, but upon several [unclear: issues] there was lively discussion, and some interesting motions were carried.
The meetings were presided over by Mr. R. Cotter all, LL.B. who, by his competent and witty direction, did a great deal to assist in the swift and smooth passage of a heavy programme of business. Miss Nan O'Shea, B.A., was Vice-President, and in the Secretary's chair was Mr. C. Bowley.
Apart from the meeting on both days, the arrangements included two social evenings. On Saturday evening the visiting delegates were the guests of the local C atholic Student's Guild at a film-show in the city, and on Sunday evening a gathering was arranged at his home by the secretary of the host organisation (C.S.G.), Mr. P. V. O'Brien.
It had been requested at last year's Conference that a report be prepared concerning the relations of the various Catholic groups with World University Service (W.U.S.) This report was submitted on Saturday afternoon, wherein it was shown that relations generally were quite cordial. The C.S.G. at Vic. is the only Catholic body with official representation on the committee of W.U.S.; but the report stated that individual members of the corresponding bodies were active on the committees in other centres, and that good relations in any event did not depend upon official representation. It added by way of conclusion that the greates the interest of local Catholic and other religious bodies, the more active is the W.U.S. committee. The President informed the Conference that U.C.. now had official representation on the Dominion committee of W.U.S. and that Miss loan Thompson of O.U. had been appointed to this position.
A long but refreshing Annual Report was read by the President, who summed up the year's activity by saying that The Society's year has been one of quiet development.
After the reading of reports by delegates from the constituent societies, a motion was introduced by the executive to the effect that "The Society should send an observer to the African Seminar of University Catholic Societies. 1957." The purpose of the Seminar is to bring together representatives of the University Catholic bodies of South Africa to overcome the feelings of disunity by which all are beset there, to teach the Catholics there how to or ganise themselves and to help them understand their position in the University set-up. There was a fruitful discussion resulting in the defeat of the motion. A rather different motion was afterward proposed and carried, to the effect that a letter of regret be [unclear: cvnt] to the Government of South Africa, concerning its policy of segregation in the Universities. Copies are to be sent also to the chancellors of the Universities concerned, as well as to the national and Catholic Student Associations.
It was decided, on a motion of the Executive. that a "Lay Forum become an annual fixture at Catholic Congress. The purpose of this is to let ordinary members of the U.C.S. air their views on matters concerning U.C.S., either directly or otherwise. This innovation should prove lively, interesting and fruitful. (Congress, incidentally, is this year the concern of C.S.G. at Vic., and is to be held at Raumati.)
The President (Mr. R. Cotterall. LL. B.) reported on behalf of the board of trustees of the Asian Scholarship Fund. It is hoped, he said, that sufficient funds will be collected this year to enable the board to advertise for a new student in 1958. The present holder of the scholarship. Mr. V. J. Augustine, will complete his studies this year.
Rev. Father F. During. S.M.. M.A., the National Chaplain, addressed the assembled delegates on Sunday morning. He congratulated the C.S.G. for standing on its own feet. Speaking eloquently on the apostolate of Catholic students, he mentioned the interest in Catholicism displayed by non-Catholics during a lecture series he presented at the College last year. He praised also the success of the newly-formed Catholic Graduates' group.
An observer from the Catholic Graduates group. Dr. D. Hurley, detailed the work of the group. He made mention of the fact that there were few Catholic graduates in Science and it was subsequently decided that each of the constituent societies should conduct its own investigation into the staffing ratios and qualifications in Catholic schools.
In the election of officers for next conference. Mr. M. O'Connor. Ph.D., was chosen President. Mr. P. Neazor, Vice-President, and Mr. C. Bowley was returned as Secretary.
The final meeting finished late on Sunday afternoon. Later on, the delegates re-assembled at the home of Mr. P. V. O'Brien, where a we Unorganised social evening was enjoyed by everybody. All agreed that it was a pleasant conclusion to Conference, 1957.—D.F.