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The Spike or Victoria University College Review Silver Jubilee 1924

Women at College

Women at College

Let the toast pass,
Drink to the lass

At such a time as this, as we glance back over twenty-five years of College records, there are many opportunities afforded of giving honour where honour is due, and when we bestow our praise, let us not forget the work of the Women Students—not only their work as students, scholars and players—but the unobtrusive "kitchen" work and sewing work that fell to their lot; the manifold jobs that had to be done quietly and efficiently before social functions could blossom into success, before extravaganzas could be staged, and Capping processions wend their glorious way.

From the days when the women of the "Students' Society" prepared the suppers in the tiny cloak rooms of the Girls' High School, or made Roman togas for half a dozen "chorus" for a play in the Sydney Street Schoolroom, to these days of huge parties and "extravs" staged in the Opera House, has this unobtrusive work gone on. Many of us can remember jolly parties in the "Gym" kitchen, while we cut up fruit salad, made sandwiches by the hundred and vigorously whipped cream. I have heard a tale of the very early days when a zinc-bath full of toothsome jellies was carried proudly by willing hands from the maker's home to the Sydney Street Schoolroom, there to delight the palates of the pioneer students.

And we can remember too, the "stitch, stitch, stitch" parties, sometimes in private houses, sometimes on the old "top-floor" where the scenery used to be painted, and capping costumes and huge paint-pots mingled in glorious confusion. The early extravaganzas owe much to the talent of Miss Fanny Smith, who designed posters and dresses with consummate skill. In later years, Miss Marie Richmond has clone yeoman service at capping after capping, in designing costumes, and what is more, seeing to their making. In speaking of social functions in the old days, we would like to put on record our gratitude to those ladies, who, on occasion after occasion, gave their time ungrudgingly to act as chaperones at our dances. Among them were the first professors' wives—Mrs. Brown, Mrs Mackenzie, Mrs. Easterfield, and in addition, Mrs. Batham, Mrs. W. Fell, Mrs. Holroyd Beere, Mrs. Eichelbaum, and Mrs. Hogben. In later years came more page 84 professors, and their wives have given us most kindly help, as also did Mrs. Thornton and Miss Wood, of the Women's Hostel. Some of those that we have mentioned not only gave us their help at College functions but were the kindly hostesses at many a little party given in their own homes, and long remembered by their fortunate and grateful guests.

In connection with the social life of the College, in sport, in energetic organising and committee work, there are many women's names that come into one's mind:—Miss M. C. Ross (Mrs. Price), Miss F. G. Roberts, Miss L. van Staveren (Tennis), Miss Larry McIntosh (Hockey), Miss Lena MacKellar (Mrs. Hope), Miss Fanny Smith, Miss Griffiths (Mrs. Ponsford), Miss G. F. Cooke, Miss M. E. H ales, Miss Tooman, Miss Clara Taylor, Miss E. Fell (Mrs. Wilson), Miss M. Gibbs (Mrs. D. S. Smith), Miss J. Friihauf (Mrs. Moses), Miss Reeve (Mrs. A. H. Bogle), Miss G. Saxon (Mrs. Davis), Miss Tennent (Mrs. G. Cleghorn, Miss (now Dr.) M. R. Barkas, Miss Crawford, Miss Davies (Mrs. H. G. Miller), and many others. These were all women who infused their work at College with the spirit of enthusiasm, who kept in mind high ideals in their University life, who "played the game" not only on the hockey grounds and tennis courts, but in the halls of College.