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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 6. April 24, 1952

International Club Formation Proposed

International Club Formation Proposed

How many people at varsity are interested in providing some sort of social life for the many people from overseas in the city? Are You interested in an organisation that is being formed by a group with city and university connections? Read on if you are interested—you are going to hear a lot about this in any case so you should take this opportunity of learning now what exactly is going on.

Some brief time ago four individuals, amongst them our President, Dave Horsley, became perturbed about the lack of facilities offering in Wellington to people who were without friends or contacts, who had nowhere to go and who had nothing to do in the weekends, and so ended up with very false ideas of Wellington and of New, Zealand hospitality. We who have homes here and know how handy they are in various ways during our tedious and inconvenient weekends can imagine how lonely a person could be in Wellington. Mr. Horsley and his friends envisaged obtaining some club-rooms in the city where the members could drop in during the weekends for a meal, an occasional cup of tea, and to chat with the various others around the place. The basic idea is to provide a place where overseas students, immigrants and visitors, having few friends in Wellington, could meet New Zealanders and be invited into New Zealand homes, and generally make friends with the people of our country.

Two Groups

It is coincidental but certainly providential that there is in Wellington a group separate from that of Mr. Horsley's. This group under the leadership of Mrs. Celia Manson has been operating on a quiet friendly basis for some time, doing good work by entertaining overseas people in their homes and in general doing a great deal to make overseas people feel at ease with N.Z. people and customs. But Mrs. Manson's group has a distinguished history behind it. Mrs. Manson herself has been associated with the Cosmopolitan Club in London—which she helped to found—and with the International Clubs in U.S.A., so when she returned to N.Z. after an absence of over 12 years it seemed natural for her to continue with her good work. The New York International House is an imposing building on Riverside Drive made possible through the generosity of John D. Rockefeller, Jnr. It accommodates about seven hundred people with full board and the range of activity must cater for a very large number of people, both overseas and American. Further information on the American clubs will be to hand soon. It is sufficient to say that a similar type of residential club (there are magnificent buildings in Berkeley, California, and at Chicago) is the ultimate aim of the proposed New Zealand organisation.

Action Pending

Although at present it is far too early to call the movement organised, certain preliminary steps have been taken. Firstly, it was obvious that as the two different groups could not keep on each one dissipating to some extent the resources and energies of the other, that the two must be integrated. Representatives of the two groups met at a meeting recently when an interim committee was formed to study ways and means and to report back to the combined groups. It must be made clear from the start that this movement is not drawn from a restricted section of the community. Naturally all are enthusiasts, and we have representatives from the; various foreign embassies and legations (who are very enthusiastic over the whole idea), there are students, professors, writers, entertainers, businessmen, representatives of religious groups (the Rev. Harry Squires is interested)—in fact the whole community is represented.

Things and beginning to move—this is the beginning of a great and worthy organisation which will most likely be based in its infant stages on the college. If you are interested in any way leave a note in the men's or executive room or letter rack addressed to "International," c/o Salient and we will supply more detailed and comprehensive information.