Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 14 July 6, 1938
Plunket Medal — Arousing Interest
Passing through the crowds in the vestibule, smoking in the Common Rooms, standing on the steps to read "Salient," wherever you go you will hear people in loud-voiced discussion. It would seem that at last students are out of the rut of apathy. Attendance at debates lately has been enthusiastic; interest in the Le Moyne debaters is so keen that many almost know their itinerary by heart; political arguments are the most featured topic of conversation.
And now attention is focussed on the speakers in the forthcoming Plunket Medal contest. An unusually good and experienced group of speaker s indicates that the oratory will be of a high standard and the wide range of subjects promises variety in treatment.
With a tendency to strike away from the more hackneyed "Hero" subject Mr. Freeman has chosen John Cornford, who died last year in Spain, and Mr. Perry, speaking on The Young Marshall will probably give a new saint to current Chinese politics. Mr. Meek will express some of his enthusiasm for Beethoven—"because Beethoven as the only artist who succeeded in transcending what we call the human to any great extent and because his music is the greatest ever written," said Mr. Meek when asked for the reason behind his choice.
Mr. Myers subject may be old but his treatment aims at the new. After being inspired to speak on Garibaldi by reading a reference to the Garibaldi Battalion of the International Brigade in Spain, Mr. Myers decided to deal, not with his biography, but with his inspiration to modern liberals. He will in particular contrast the work of Garibaldi with that of Mussolini.
After trying everything, rogues, thieves, crooks and politicians. Miss Shortall has decided to speak about Kemal Pasha. Undoubtedly she will find something new to say about this enterprising figure and undoubtedly she will be amusing.
Making his second appearance in the lists is Mr. McCulloch, who thinks that Rajah Brooke's place in history is a place of importance. He will deal with his adventures as a leader among the Dyak tribes of Borneo and attempt to show how a country can be given a beneficent administration by a few officers without possession by a foreign power.
Mr. Edgley, an experienced speaker and a well-established member of debating teams, has a personal admiration for Benjamin Disraeli, whom he considers the right man in the right place as Prime Minister to Queen Victoria. He will paint a picture of a typical product of the Victorian age.
Wiremu Tamihana is fast becoming a figure of romance. Recently he was the subject of the winning speech at the Bledisloe contest and for years he has been a favorite subject for high school orators. Mr. Wah came from the South with a high reputation as a speaker and debates in the gym have proved his abilities. He should be able to make a rousing speech with perhaps a new attitude of approach to this figure of New Zealand history.
Undoubtedly there will be further food for argument in the speeches, scope for laying bets on the probable winner, opportunity to disagree with the judges in placings, but withal there will be entertainment of interest to everyone at the Town Hall next Saturday night.