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The Spike [: or, Victoria University College Review 1957]

Law Faculty Club

page 89

Law Faculty Club

To The Average student leisurely sauntering along the corridor which starts at the College Library, and ends in the dark recesses of a Physics Laboratory, the Law Notice-board is probably an insignificant milestone. Even those who do look at it, either because they read all notices on principle, or because they suddenly remember that, after all, ignorance of the law does not excuse, probably do not think that the Law Faculty Club is much more than a collective name for a disreputable band of part-timers who toil up the hill to lectures in dark suits and then wend their way wearily home.

But they are wrong. The Club is flourishing and the years 1954-57 have been marked by a spate of activity which we challenge any other faculty to match. Our publicity system operates through a series of lists furtively circulated amongst the members of a law class and signed by those who intend to come to our functions. This is the traditional manner in which have been inaugurated during the three years in review most of a number of highly successful activities"—luncheons to which guest speakers were invited and which we tried to hold about twice a term, the Law Ball (a fabulous gathering) and the Law Dinner (these two both annual functions), the odd cocktail party, the inevitable Annual General Meeting (we have also squeezed in a few special meetings on such important questions as the status of women students and to discuss "February specials"), and, last, but the least said the better, opportunities for excess which (it is believed) are known as Stein Evenings.

Our speakers at luncheons have been characterised by their diversity. Some experience of the law was considered desirable, but not an essential, qualification. Some were good and some were not so good. We have listened for example to Mr. A. A. McLachlan, S.M., on the Theory of Law; to a touring Judge from Tanganyika on how to enter the Colonial Judiciary and look bronzed and fit; to several well known local lawyers; to the present Attorney-General; to an American Consular officer on how to be a successful American Consular officer; to the present Minister of External Affairs; to members of the Faculty Staff (Professor Aikman spoke on his visit to the Cook Islands, his field of specialised study). They have been happy occasions and many times there was enough to eat.

Then there is the Annual Ball patronised in each case by many eminent members of the profession. But who could forget the invitations sent out beforehand? In 1954, for example, we received an Act of Parliament in miniature; in 1955 a writ of Mandamus Propter Latitandum and in 1956 a Certificate of Title under the Frustrated

page 91

Contacts Act complete with Proclamations, and a lease to the recipient (together of course with "such drainage rights, rights of ingress, egress and redress and all other appurtenant and incidental rights").

What can be said of the Law Dinner? It follows closely on Finals each year, and both optimists and pessimists unite in an evening's hilarity. Between the courses, we have heard some excellent addresses (first prize here, with respect, to Mr. Justice Gresson, who spoke in both 1955 and 1956). The dinner has its more solemn side, too, for many are finishing with exams and entering on larger responsibilities.

We have been fortunate to have a Patron His Honour the Chief Justice. The President of the Club has been Dean of the Faculty. The Chairman of the Club in the three years has been:

  • 1955: C. G. Hubbard.
  • 1956: B. M. Carran.
  • 1957: J. D. Bathgate.

They have been backed up by a band of devoted executive workers. Successive secretaries have dealt with a large volume of correspondence. It is touching to note from the files the number of graduates, many very prominent in legal circles, who so spontaneously contribute in about April of each year to our funds.

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of our activities has been the hearty co-operation (we hope it has been reciprocal) of the members of the Staff of the Faculty. Their attendance at our functions, the hospitality received at their homes and their friendliness outside lecture hours, have all been generously given.

We feel we are justified, therefore, in the complacency of this review and in our conviction that one of V.U.C.'s most thriving clubs will continue to be that of which each law student is as it is put ipso facto and ipso jure a member.