Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25. No. 13. 1962
Culture for the Vultures
Culture for the Vultures
The Literary Society is an institution of long-haired intellectuals who don't take the academic life of University too seriously—at least that is the impression of many non-literary students around the Varsity.
To find out what the Literary Society really does, "Salient" approached the secreary of the Vic. Society, Diana Holden.
"This really is a myth," she said. "The president of the club is an honours student and there are many other students who have passed all their units."
The general aim of the club is publish the works of student writers, to hold literary forums, and discuss writing and writers with outside experts. Diana pointed out that James K. Baxter was a frequent visitor to the University.
The Contemporary Arts Group has recently been formed at Victoria to promote all forms of culture-drama, painting, literature, music, classical, as well as modern. Out of this experiment came a new literary magazine "Argot." In a short time this has gained a considerable reputation as a literary magazine which publishes student writing and that of outsiders as well.
Contemporary Arts attempts to prevent the University from getting too artistically wrapped up in itself. Accordingly outsiders are invited to participate. Many of Wellington's actors and poets participate in its activities.
The Contemporary Arts Group is a kind of federative organization that has grown up around the University's cultural organizations. These include the Jazz Club, the Music Society, the Drama Club, and other similar organizations.
For instance, the Music Society has regular concerts in which students perform. The high-light of their activities is the Composers' Concert where student works are performed. This year professional musicians performed students' works and the concert was taped for broadcast.
One of the most outstanding members of the Music Society is Robin Maconie. As a pianist he has acquired a high reputation interpreting modem works. He studied with Bela Siki when he was in New Zealand. He is also one of New Zealand's foremost young composers, according to well-known Wellington music critic, Owen Jensen.
The International Club caters principally for overseas students who come to New Zealand. Students from all round the Pacific Basin come to New Zealand to study. Most of them are sponsored by the Colombo Plan. The International Club has regular evenings and this year they presented a concert featuring items from every country that sends students to New Zealand. The concert was an outstanding success, the Memorial Theatre was packed and few people who saw the concert will ever forget it.
The Maori students also have a club, and a very active one. This year they held a concert too. It was a new venture and proved a very successful one. All the proceeds went to the Maori Education Foundation.