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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 2. March 20, 1946

Debating Club Elect Officers—Hail Credit Balance

Debating Club Elect Officers—Hail Credit Balance

The well-attended Annual Meeting of the VUC Debating Society, held in the Gym on Wednesday, March 6, marked the opening of what promises to be a very successful debating year. The swiftness and harmony with which the business of the meeting was conducted even surprised the retiring chairman, Mr. S. Campbell.

Following his opening speech of welcome, Mr. Campbell asked secretary Marie Marshall to read the annual report. This showed that 1945 had been a very successful year for the society, highlights being debates with WTTC, Junior Chamber of Commerce, and SCM. Mr. Roy Jack had won the Union Prize 1945 convincingly, and the New Speaker's Prize had been awarded to Miss Jackie Patrick. The criticism of returned men and Miss Hilary Wilton's publicity had contributed in no small degree to the year's success.

Mr. O'Brien, with customary lightning speed, presented the balance sheet which showed a surplus of £1/19/0—the first for many years. The society could be proud that it had not had to ask for a grant from the overburdened Stud. Assn.

Officers for 1946 were then elected as follows:—
  • Patron: His Excellency the Governor-General.
  • President: Prof. Lipson.
  • Chairman: Mr. N. Taylor.
  • Vice-Chairman: Mr. D. Cohen.
  • Secretary: Miss L. Leicester.
  • Treasurer: Mr. K. O'Brien.
  • Committee: Mr. H. Dowrick, Mr. J. Ziman, Miss J. Priest, Miss J. Patrick.
The general business mainly centred around the proposal that the Plunket Medal judges should be asked to furnish their definitions of oratory so that intending speakers might have a guide in making their speeches. The spirited discussion which followed augurs well for the standard of debating this year. The main points made by speakers may be summarised thus:—
  • Mr. Dowrick: "There's a clue in English I Rhetoric." (Laughter.)
  • Mr. Saker: "Judgment is not made on principles but on emotional effect."
  • Mr. Ziman feared stereotyping of speeches.
  • Mr. Taylor, who had seconded the proposal, now withdrew his support.
  • Miss Patrick: The definitions are only a guide, not a standardisation.
  • Mr. O'Connor recommended Sir Harry Batterby's set of principles as a good definition.
  • Mr. Elby: There are two kinds of speakers—medal-hunters and those with genuine love of oratory.

The proposal, when put to the meeting, was rejected.

The evening was completed with a most interesting documentary film, "Battle of China."