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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 8, No. 12. September 19, 1945

[The Arthur's Pass Intelligence Masthead]

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The Arthur's Pass Intelligence Masthead

The Arthur's Pass Intelligence

Vol. 8, No. 12


Date: September 3rd, 1945

(A party of more than thirsty students has been staying at the Pass for the last few days, and the Intelligence has assigned its large reportorial staff to cover the event. His report appears below.)

The students have all been sleeping, cooking, eating, etc.. together in the old schoolroom. Naturally things have been cramped up; in fact, there isn't room to swing a brass monkey. I thought at first sight I had struck something out of Hell when I saw the room, as with skis, wet garments, cooking, stores, clothes, and so on, you don't know whose sleeping bag you are getting into. Some of the more sybaritic of the students have brought lilos, lolas, camp beds—one, indeed, bringing sheets!—but mostly it's the hard floor. Roger Chorlton, in a fit of despair, poked a ski stick through his lilo, which caused a great laugh.

The opinion of the visitors is that the trip has been grand, with lots of luvly snow. They are unanimous in acclaiming Midge as the ideal trip-leader; the worry and work that goes into the organising of such an affair is very considerable. The local store-keeper, Mr. Brake, is I hear, grateful to the party, who dropped everything and rushed over to his store at the slightest excuse. Eyes bulged at the sight of marmite, honey, and other delicacies not seen in Wellington for some time; and Brake was also useful in providing transport for the weary to the snowfields.

Personal Column

Gib. Bogle has taken up a new trade—hairdressing. One Saturday morning he anointed John Ziman with hot custard. John assures us that from the reaction of the Canterbury girls that evening, it acted just like Brylcream—though that wasn't what he called it at the time.

The cooks were slightly taken aback on the last morning when Keith Dudson said ominously, "If you'd seen that bowl used for all the things I've seen it used for, you wouldn't be poaching eggs in it!"

The industry and energy of some of the trip members was remarkable. Allan Forrester rose, on his day as cook, at 3.30 a.m. Barney Butchers showed great assiduity in wiping dishes, but assured us that Pauline hadn't asked him to get into practice.

A small party of students left Arthur's Pass at dead of night and absconded with the rest of the sausage meat to Greymouth. They took with them the casualty mentioned elsewhere. They spent the day studying the wharves and dredges, and were mentioned in our sister journal the "Greymouth Argus." As accommodation was not available, they returned in penitence, waking the rest of the party with the fantastic tale that they had seen the original "machine."

Science students spent many hours calculating the beat, note produced by the varying frequencies of the s'norous breathing of Dr. Dan. and Barney Butchers.

Totalitarian tendencies were shown by the trip leader, who exercised his discretionary powers in attempting to terminate a discussion on the infinite nature 01 the universe. On being defied, he enforced his authority by squirting the mutineers with an explosively effervescent Centennial Shandy.

At the local hall, Dr. Dan. adopted a fraternisation policy in respect to the local publican's wife. He announced that his interest was purely "spiritual."

Arthur's Pass Social Whirl

Really, everybody, there have been so many thrilling things happening lately in the social world that I have not been able to sit down. It is the height of The Season down here, you know, and literally everybody has been down. I saw Esther Duigan and Moira Wicks in the Main Street yesterday looking simply glowing in red, with a pair of pyjamas underneath, and Jean Priest looking rather lively smoking a pipe (the very latest up in Wellington, I hear), and that well-known socialite (I nearly said socialist!) John Ziman looking simply awful with ten days' growth of beard. Such a crowd of the younger set and they are here with one of their teachers, Dr. Danilov.

Highlight of the visit, though, was the Coming Out of Jacky Patrick at the Railway Ball last Saturday. The hall was tastefully decorated with the streamers and balloons of two or three Christmases ago and all the local and visiting society and gentry were there. The blushing deb. wore a long blue gown with buttons to match, cut rather on the dressing gown pattern, the ensemble being completed with a pair of ski boots and a pair of socks borrowed from Mr. Gib Bogle. Jacky, who was attended by that charming young matron, Mrs. Morris (wearing a delightful two-piece creation of tartan shirt and brown skirt cut to resemble trousers, and escorted by flying Officer Frank Evision) made her curtsey to Mr. McLaughlin and the local stationmaster. Mrs. Morris, by the way is chaperone of the party. That attractive blonde Lola Benge was wearing a particularly charming though rather indescribable garment.

Skiing "Angles"

On the first day of the stay we Walked up to the Pass, plus skis, food and other paraphernalia. It is a very pleasant walk on the first day, but we were very pleased to hear that Midge had arranged for Mr. Brake, the local storekeeper, to take us up in his van on the other days, D.(and petrol) V.

The skiing, with the exception of Dr. Dan's, was remarkable more for the variety of peculiar positions into which we fell than for anything else. Dr. Dan came to our aid with some instructions on how to turn, etc., and we progressed a little, much to our evident surprise and due entirely to Dr. Dan's patience and skill.

The sight of Midge descending at express train speed from terrific heights to end in a flurry of snow at the hut put fear into some and ambition into others.

We have a very serious grudge against the driver of the grader (or whoever sends him out on his destructive missions) because on the first day we were able to ski as far as McGrath's River (which, according to the notice there, was erected by the local Automobile Association—If you don't believe this, go and take a look yourself some Sunday afternoon), but the grader, in a way that only graders have, came along and maliciously removed the snow iron) the road and piled it into unsightly inartistic and obstructive masses at the side of the road.

When gliding gracefully down the slopes we more often than not landed in slightly inelegant but very complicated positions, with grinning maniacs, armed with cameras, waiting to "shoot" but, Wot the 'ill!!! As Mahomet said, in one of his more profound moments, he who laughs last laughs last, and revenge was very sweet.

From our vast experience of skiing as she is did we would recommend anyone, with a sense of humour, and who likes to be outside in the fresh air with many other people similarly equipped, to try it sometime; it's without doubt the best type of holiday we're likely to get this side of Shangri La.

Embarrassing Accident

A highly embarrassing accident took place at the Dobson Memorial last week when one of a party of visiting students injured himself on a submerged rock. The victim was breaking a new trail down a steep slope when he slipped and skidded for several yards at high speed in a sitting posture. The concealed rock caused severe damage to his person, and he was carried out in an unconscious condition. Subsequently admitted to the Greymouth Hospital he later returned mumbling something about a beautiful nurse. His sojourn seems to have been attended by a series of peculiar adventures which win only be divulged upon application.

Otira Excursion

One day the whole party decided to go to Otira to have a look at the Gorge, which is well worth making a special trip to Arthur's Pass for; to have a bath; and to get away, for one meal, from the eternal sausage (unfortunately, due to VJ day, other stores were two days late in arriving, hence the ubiquitous sausage which was taken from Christchurch). About half of the party set off at an early hour to get in some skiing at the Pass before proceeding. Unfortunately a large lorry was going in the same direction and starting at the same time as the party from the hut. Therefore, sad to relate, all weakened and climbed onto the back of said lorry. Everyone had a good, though not as leisurely as the scenery warrants, look at the passing panorama. The Pass people were duly picked up en route and all arrived at Otira where baths were had and everything was going swimmingly until they were frozen in their chairs by the waitress asking, in dulcet terms, if we would like SAUSAGES for dinner. Coupons were hastily routed out and surprisingly enough the whole party had Roast Beef. Before dinner, and partly it is suspected because VJ Day had done surprising things to the Hostelry, a tour of the City of Otira and environs was made.

Feeling replete and surprisingly clean the party returned per special coach (guard's van) through the tunnel to Home, Sweet Home.

Cooking Notes

Well, readers, after having spent a few days with the Varsity party at the Pass, I can tell you that I didn't know such things could be done with food, especially sausages. Many are the cooking hints I have learnt when watching the hungry mountaineers, whipping up a meal.

But first, news about rissoles. On the first day it was necessary to tempt some of the appetites, and Mr-Hartley endeavoured to do this by making rissoles in fantastic shapes. He made an individual shape to suit the personality of every member or the party, and I can recommend it for your next dinner party. A picture of Mr. Hartley's rissole appears. I understand, in another column.

I'm sorry to say that the students don't seem to have mastered the art of cooking porridge; it was almost invariably burnt. One of the staple items of diet was, it appears, the humble prune. A young student whose name is withheld broke the college prune record by eating 75 of the things. Just hold that out as an example to your children, readers all.

B'Limit Again

The fact that last year several of the club members very nearly met untimely ends did not deter two mad rook-climbers, who set off, suitably equipped for an Everest expedition, to tackle this aptly named peak. The spelling above is no mistake but the correct name. The attempt was highly unsuccessful,.the snow being up to Mike's neck, and the other member having lost a glove they returned to the hut, driven thence, so they assured us, by a dreadful B' Lizard.