The Spike or Victoria College Review June 1914
The Thirteenth Inter-University — College Tournament
The Thirteenth Inter-University
Held at Christchurch, Easter, 1914.
Let fate do her worst: there are relics of joy, Bright dreams of the past which she cannot destroy.
Easter 1914! These words call up happy memories, memories of one of the most successful tournaments ever held in New Zealand. Our hosts were most hospitable, keen competition and good comradeship abounded, weather conditions were perfect; and if there is regret, it is that many of our undergraduates were not present to share in the pleasures of the tournament and to feel that they belong not only to a College, but also to a University. We have returned with one championship, and— the wooden spoon.
And such a yell was there
Of sudden and portentious birth
As if men fought upon the earth
And fiends in upper air.
Amid hakas and cries of encouragement, a party of some sixty "Victorians," together with the representatives of Auckland, departed on S.S. Moeraki, en route to Christchurch. Many incidents (amusing or otherwise) served to make the time pass quickly, though everyone turned in at an early hour. A feature of the rising was the "washing" of the night attire of one of our debaters. Rumour hath it that the manager was experimenting with a new type of alkali. Friday morning broke clear and fine, and prepared us for the enthusiastic welcome by the Canterbury students.
"Give me thy hand. I'm glad to find thee here!"
—The Lover's Melancholy.
On Saturday morning his Worship, the Mayor of Christchurch, gave a civic reception for the visiting students. His Worship, Mr Holland, welcomed the students on behalf of the citizens, and, in a short speech expressed his appreciation of the objects of the tournament, and his hope that it would be in every way successful. Brief speeches of welcome were also delivered by the Chairman of the Canterbury College Board of Governors, and by the Chairman of the Professional Board, Professor Wall. The welcome was duly acknowledged by the managers of the visiting teams, and cheers were given for the Mayor.
As soon as the reception was over all repaired to the Hagley Park Tennis Courts, and the opening matches began.
"What treasure, Uncle?
Tennis balls, my liege."
Canterbury University College is to be congratulated on having obtained a long lease of four such excellent courts as they have at Hagley Park; we further wish to express appreciation of the way in which the Tennis Tournament of 1914 was arranged.
Interest at first centred in the match between Duthie (A.U.C), the holder of the Men's Single Championship, and Andreae (O.U.). The first set went to Andreae, 6-2, Duthie being somewhat off colour after the long trip from the north. He fought pluckily, however, and was within an ace of winning the second set, which finally went to Andreae, 9-7. And now Victoria thought she "had some chances." Alas for her hopes! Butcher played well in his game, but was somewhat handicapped by the soft tan at the edge of the court. He succumbed to Laurenson, the present champion, to the tune of 9-7, 6-4. Of our other representatives little need be said. They fought page 30 clean and hard, but met better players. Canterbury surprised even itself by getting into all the finals, and the meeting with opposition only in the combined doubles. which ultimately it won, thus securing all five champion ships.
"Your looks are pale and wild, and do import some misadventure."
Ichabod! The glory has departed. For the first time since the beginning of the Easter Tournaments, the wooden spoon was brought home by the wearers of the gold and green. And yet the three wins registered by the Victoria University College were remarkable for this fact—each established a new record. So despite the fact of our position we can with reason feel proud of the efforts of our competitors.
The first event (putting the shot) was won by J. Boyne, of Otago. Our first success was scored in the mile flat, which was won by A. Hudson in the record time of 4 minutes 32 seconds. Hudson was "out" to break the record, and ran a well-judged race. The 220 yards was won by Mansell of Canterbury, in 24 seconds. Christie of Otago might easily have been first, but he was obviously untrained, and faded away badly at the finish of the race. The Long Jump was won by Harston of Auckland, with a splendid leap of 21 feet 5 inches. Young (C.U.C.), persistently jumped from about a foot behind the taking-off board.
The first race after the adjournment was the 120 hurdles. The two heats were hotly contested. Unfortunately for us, K. Strack fell at the fifth leap, and our chances of scoring in this event were gone. Stewart of Auckland won the final in 16 seconds, a time which many, including the winner himself, are inclined to doubt. Th 880 yards flat proved one of the most exciting events oi the clay. Bishop of Otago judged his race well, and sprinting at the finish gained a well-deserved first place. In the hammer-throwing event, Boyne of Otago, established a new record—131 feet 8 inches—an excellent per page 31 formance, and one which will take some beating. R. L. Christie (O.U.), won the 100 yards in 10 seconds. This seems almost too good to be true, although the race was run with the wind.
Our second win was secured by A. B. Sievwright in the Mile Walk. Our representative broke his own record of 1913 by completing the distance in 7 minutes 6 seconds. Ross of Otago went ahead at the start, but Sievwright gradually drew ahead; and though the Otago man stuck doggedly to his task, he finished 10 yards behind the winner. In the High Jump, Otago scored three points. Fisher, the winner, jumped particularly well. The 440 yards resulted in a win for W. J. Mansell (C.U.C.) The Three mile, as expected, proved an easy win for Hudson (V.U.C.), with Williams (V.U.C.) second. Hudson went well to the front at the start, and gradually increased his lead, winning in 15 minutes 24 seconds—a record. Luck, however, seemed to be against us to the end. In the 440 hurdles Stewart of Auckland (who was hurdling very well), and K. Strack of "ours," in the lead, were taking the last hurdle together when Strack fell, and Young of Canterbury and Fisher of Otago "tied" for second place, leaving us with the wooden spoon. Stewart's time (64 seconds) was the last of seven records broken during the day.
"Pronunciato est vocis, et vultus est Gestus moderatio cum venustate"
"How now, my sweet creature of bombast?"
The debate for the Joynt Challenge Scroll was held in a dreadful barn, called by courtesy, the King's Theatre. A goodly number had assembled before the appointed hour, and weird sounds made by members of a "band" gladdened the hearts of the waiting audience. The band retired, and, as Scott should have said,
With that straight up the aisle there strode
Some students, out for gore;
And in their arms a helpless load,
An Easter egg they bore.
A short, sharp, and deadly struggle for possession ensued, and after mangling several chairs and damaging their own clothes the combatants retired to seats in the hall.
The subject for debate was "That Democracy as Typified by the Labour Movement is Detrimental to National Character." In the first debate, F. D. McLiver and L. Phillips (A.U.C.) took the affirmative, and were opposed by G. G. G. Watson and A. B. Sievwright (V.U.C.) The Aucklanders argued that democracy was but a despotism of a new kind, and that under such a system individuality would be crushed. Cultured men would shrink from entering public life, and the country would not be governed by its "brains." The Wellington men argued that democracy improved environment and gave all men a chance in life. As it is by environment that man's character is improved, then as democracy tends to improve environment, so it tends to improve national character, which is but the sum total of the character of the individual.
W. P. Gordon and R. Cuthbert (O.U.) affirmed the motion in the second debate, and R. Lawry and J. V. Wilson opposed it. The Otago debaters made the mistake of making the debate, to some extent, "local," instead of keeping to the broad principles as laid down in the judges' letter. Cuthbert's references to "Red Fedism" carried no weight at all. The Canterbury speakers were not successful in their combined treatment; but Lawry made a telling speech. Wilson had a bad time for the noisy section of the audience.
The debate was rather vaguely worded, and the result was that some of the speeches were merely so much "hot air." One of the best speeches from the point of view of matter was that of McLiver. The combined treatment of the Wellington representatives was easily the best of the evening. Their platform style was also better than that of the others, and they were not so handicapped vocally as the other competitors by the fearful acoustics of the hall.
The win of the V.U.C. representatives was well deserved. Sievwright's speech was well delivered and page 33 sounded convincing; and Watson, though at first seemingly nervous owing to interruptions, settled down in a few minutes, and scored neatly off one of his interrupters. His was a good fighting speech.
Once again, with weariness, we wish to protest against the senseless interruptions that come from students in the hall. This year was no exception. It is true that owing to the barn-like nature of the hall the voices of some of the speakers did not carry very far, but that was no excuse for the foolish interruptions that came freely from some of the audience, throwing the speakers out of their stride. The last speakers were particularly unfortunate in this respect, Wilson being subjected to a continuous flow of noise and alleged witticisms. The general hilarity and fun is all very well in the intervals, but decency demands that the speakers should be given a fair hearing.
"Good beginning maketh good endyng"
—Proverbs of Hendyng.
The first inter-island 'Varsity Cricket Match was played on Hagley Park on the Tuesday and Wednesday. Batting first the South Island team scored 278 (A. P. Alloo 75. Tweedy 76, A. W. Alloo 24, Walker 24, Young 23, Luttrell 22). The North Island total was 279 (Dempsey 96 not out, Atmore 47, Broad 31, Gray 25, Airey 24). In their second innings, the South declared "closed" with 1 wicket down for 218 (Luttrell 123 not out, Tweedy 59). North made 129 for 3 wickets (Airey 62, Broad 30 not out, Atmore 13).
"I was there from College"
Though so much business was crowded into five days, there was time, as usual, for the less strenuous and more social side of the Tournament. A casual observer might have been excused for overlooking the business and thinking it all pleasure. The weather was so beautiful. Christchurch so pretty in her autumn tints, the Avon so page 34 alluring (and wet.—Editor.) and the Christchurch people so hospitable, that nothing more could be desired.
Monday evening saw the crowded cars travelling out to Brighton Pier where an impromptu concert was held. This, with supper and a dance, made the moments fly all too quickly.
"Tanta est quaerendi euro, decoris."
On Tuesday night the University Ball was held in the Alexandra Hall. The committee had calculated to a nicety the dancing capacity of a flow that was in its kindliest mood. As usual, every one was astonished to find time pass so quickly and regretted that dances must end.
"Adieu! These foolish drops do somewhat drown my manly spirit"
A farewell morning tea and a really lovely passage home concluded a most successful tournament.
"Tarry a little, there is something else."
A word of praise is due to the manager, J. C. McDowall, for his untiring enthusiasm in all matters connected with the trip. To his successful work is due the comfort of the V.C. representatives throughout the tournament.
Appended is a list of the Official Results.
Official Results. —Athletic Championships.
- Ladies' Singles: Misses G. M. Lawry, M. H. Sievwright, and G. F. Cooke.
- Ladies' Doubles: Misses G. M. Lawry and M. H. Sievwright; Misses E. Hare and E. H. Cook.
- Men's Singles: W. L. G. Butcher and K. A. Henderson,
- Men's Doubles: W. L. G. Butcher and W. H. Stainton; K.
- A. Henderson and C. F. Atmore. Combined Doubles: Miss Sievwright and W. Butcher; Miss F. W. Cooke and K. Henderson.
- Mile Flat: A. Hudson, L. J. Shaw.
- 220 Yards: C. Wynyard, I. C. Robinson.
- 120 Yards Hurdles: K. J. Strack, R. V. Kay.
- 880 Yards: L. J. Shaw, H. Williams.
- 100 Yards: C. Wynyard, I. C. Robinson.
- Mile Walk: A. B. Sievwright, P. Grey.
- High Jump: H. Buckley, A. East.
- 440 Yards: A. F. East, G. H. Seddon.
- Three Miles Flat: A. Hudson, H. Williams.
- 440 Yards Hurdles: K. J. Strack, R. V. Kay.
- Relay: G. H. Seddon, A. F. East, I. C. Robinson, C Wynyard.
- A. B. Sievwright and G. G. G. Watson.
- Delegates to N.Z. U.T.C.: G. S. Strack and J.C. McDowall.
- Manager of Team: J. C. McDowall.