Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol 7, No. 4 June 7, 1944
Sequel to Capping Ball — Rex Versus Jack Barf
Sequel to Capping Ball
Rex Versus Jack Barf
The case of Rex versus John Barr was heard in the Magistrate's Court before Robert Stout, S.M., on Friday, 26th May. Those who attended Capping Ball this year will recall that we were visited by the police, who took exception to our having liquor in the Majestic Cabaret. In order that we might finish the ball in peace Jack Barr, Treasurer to the V.U.C.S.A. and Ball Organiser, took on his shoulders the responsibility of allowing liquor into the Ball.
The public gallery of the Court was filling rapidly. Background to the hum of the case before the Magistrate was the sound of movement of students coming in. There were a few older members in the public section of the Court, either there out of interest in some other case before the court, or in search of cheap entertainment. We were there, you might say, for both.
The other case had finished and we heard "John Barr!" called. We looked and no John Barr did we see—only his counsel. However, the prestige of the University was at stake—after many years of proud affirmative to "could we hold our liquor?" came the question, should we have our liquor?
A policeman came to the stand and gave a gorgeous list of what he saw at Capping Ball. Black and White whisky, bottles of orange gin, wine, and I believe he mentioned beer. (I wish he had pointed out the black and white a little earlier). Anyhow, it all sounded very expensive and debauched.
His Honour was, however, in a good humour, and made some witticism on the unfortunate (?) name of our Treasurer. The counsel contended that the students had believed in all good faith that the Capping Ball could be classed as a private party. His Honour replied that there was a certain amount of legal talent available in the College, in the Students' Association, the Law Faculty, the Council, and indeed the Senate, and in his day they did their drinking legally. We resolved in the future to do our drinking legally too.
Unfortunately our story of a private party was theoretically quashed by the ticket, which was marked "Admission 15/-."
Counsel arose and suggested that as the ball had been conducted with propriety, and had led to no drunken brawls or similar disturbances the Court might perhaps consider that the police force that evening might well have turned a blind eye on the well-behaved, if well-oiled students, as he put it so ably, "relaxing after a hard year's work." The case was not so important, after all, might it not be dismissed?
The Magistrate, with tolerance and good humour, felt this would be rather too much, but fined Mr Barr £5 and costs.
Those of us who had intended to send him bars of chocolate while in penitentiary for us, now merely decide to pass him a vote of thanks for taking the rap, and keeping our Capping Ball peaceful.