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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 8, No. 7. June 13, 1945


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It is with great sorrow that we learn of the deaths in action of two of Victoria College's most gifted sons, Gordon Watson and Roy Diederich. It would be hard to find two men more opposed—Roy a grand footballer, Gordon all brain—yet in their contrast they typified Victoria. Together with Aimers, Sellars, Corkill, and many others, they bear witness to the sacrifices made by our students that this college may continue free.

Photo of Roy Diederich

Roy Diederich

Roy Diederich was one of the most promising men the College has produced and he had achieved at his early death far more than most men. Roy was a true student whilst at Victoria College. He was interested in all student activities and in 1932 became President of the Students' Association; tactful, courteous, courageous and efficient.

His main sporting interest at University was rugby football, which game he himself played superbly. He played for the College First XV in its championship winning years, and as well as a fine player he was an excellent Club man.

He graduated with the degree of L.L.B. and after several years in the Public Trust Office went to Fiji, where he later became Acting Magistrate. Whilst he was in Fiji the war broke out. He was more ' than keen to serve overseas and although older than most of the soldiers being sent away he finally succeeded in getting to Italy as a gunner. There he gave his life.

Gordon Watson

Gordon Watson's was one of the most brilliant political minds to come to maturity in Victoria College. In the days of his editorship of "Smad," that journal enjoyed a popularity never since equalled by any of our student publications. After graduating from the College he forsook the certainty of a conventionally brilliant career to work for the New Zealand Communist Party, and when he left for Italy it was with a full understanding of the enemy ho faced, and the necessity for destroying him. Together with most of his platoon, he died in a successful defence against counter-attack by greatly superior forces.

Gordon showed his rare ability not only as a political leader, but also in the field of creative literature. As a most fitting memorial to him, a group of personal friends has undertaken the publishing, in book form, of a collection of his literary works. In order to achieve this end, a Memorial Fund has been established. Any students or friends desirous of contributing are asked to send their donations to Mrs. M. C. Marks, 29 North Terrace, Wellington, W.I.

We print photographs of Gordon Watson (above), immediately prior to his sailing for Italy, and Roy Diederich (below), as President of the 1932 Executive.

Photo of Gordon Watson