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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 13. September 24, 1947

NZ Delegate Reports on WFDY Festival

NZ Delegate Reports on WFDY Festival

Total number of Individual participants from abroad was 15,000. Total Czech participants 62,000. Countries represented 72 (95% direct from home countries). Voluntary working weeks on reconstruction 3,100 with 24 countries participating. Festival has paid for itself.

Programme.—300 different artistic programmes, 75 sports events, 32 educational events, 37 film evenings, 12 dance evenings. In mass weekend events up to two hundred thousand participated.

Groups consisted of 44 folklore groups, 18 choirs, 12 theatre groups, 7 orchestras, 5 ballet troupes, 13 diverse groups. In the competitions there were 98 groups and teams and 108 soloists.

Sports.—Total number of events 75 in 20 sports. Twenty-seven countries took part, with total of 1,237 competitors (1,013 men and 224 women).

Exhibition.—35 countries supplied sections plus a section by UNESCO. 200,000 people visited the exhibition.

The Festival was such a success that the WFDY Council meeting charged the Executive with exploring the possibilities of holding another such Festival in two years' time (1949).

Final Festival publicity is on the way to New Zealand, including an illustrated book and an International Song Book (compiled by the International Union of Students). Order your copies now.

Note.—Four New Zealanders took part in the Festival, Rona Bailey, Marie Pasatich, Merrin McCulloch and Doug. Luckens. They were the most distant delegates to reach Prague. The New Zealand section of the exhibition was small, having been arranged without official assistance contrary to most other sections). It included photos of youth activities, social work, education and recreation, pamphlets, a woollen rug and Maori skirts and pois. Marie Pasalich and Merrin McCulloch put on a 15-minute item of Maori songs and stick games during the open-air theatre performances, and were given an excellent reception.

World Federation of Democractic Youth logo

The Council Meeting of the WFDY—(from the report of the NZ delegate, Mrs. Rona Bailey).

The Council meeting opened at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 21. Nearly all Council members were housed in Tito College as it was felt that it was much better if possible to have members living in. This meeting was the largest yet held by the WFDY, including a very big number of observers.

I put up for all Council members to see the photos of the Indonesian demonstration—nice going—the copies of leaflets were delivered to Viet-Nam, Malaya, Indonesia, India, Great Britain and Holland. The photos are going to be used for World Youth. I received congratulatory messages from the Youth organisations of Greece, India. Communist China and Malaya.

Presenting the Memorial Shield to the People of Lidice—(from a letter received from Doug. Luckens).

On Saturday the 16th of August I made the presentation. We arrived about 10 a.m. at the place that was Lidice, but one would never have guessed it. Where there was once a town of brick and stone, of houses, of shops, and a church, there was now nothing but grass. Before us was a bare valley. If you looked carefully you could see vague signs of the foundations of the houses, but you would not be sure. The only real indication of what once was, were small notices placed where the main buildings had stood.

Is the name of the NZ Federation of Young People's Clubs and of the students of Victoria University College I presented the shield to the people of Lidice. On the shield were the badges of the two organisations and in a short speech I stressed that we stood behind the WFDY with the free youth of the world determined that Fascism and War would never again darken the face of the world.

The ceremony was completed by presentation of badges to the International work brigades who had completed a term at Lidice.

* *

I give you now Professor Twist.
A conscientious scientist.
Trustees exclaimed. "He never bungles!"
And sent him off to distant jungles.
Camped on a tropic riverside.
One day he missed his loving bride.
She had, the guide informed him later.
Been eaten by an alligator.
Professor Twist could not but smile.
"You mean," he said, "a crocodile."