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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 1. March 4, 1953

The Set-Up

The Set-Up

There are normally two sessions a day at Congress, a session being (in this context) an address followed by open discussion from the floor with sometimes group discussion sandwiched in between. This means that most of the mornings and evenings are occupied leaving the afternoons free. The location in the Sounds is ideal for swimming, hiking, boating, fishing and, at a small charge, even aquaplaning! Admittedly there were three days near the beginning of this year when many people went swimming, but we learned afterwards that most of the rest of N.Z. was under water at that time! On top of these natural facilities, the Physical Welfare Branch of the Internal Affairs Department generally supplies Congress with equipment for volley ball (a wonderful game, padderminton, tenniquoits and archery (another wonderful game. I'm told), and also with a chap to explain the finer points of the associated skills. And there is table-tennis indoors.

But of course not everybody likes active recreation all the time, so there would often be a group reading poetry, group playing records, and one fairly highly organised one singing madrigals under the enthusiastic baton of Nigel East gate. Most people got to know Nigel fairly well, for, being a new student, he found it not incongruous to struggle with a tricky piece of harmony one moment and remove a flake of skin from between someone's toes the next, justifying this schizophrenic activity with a deprecatory "My thesis, you know."

Indeed one of the main appeals of Congress is the diversity of people you meet there. As Prof. Hughes said in his address it is a sad day when the great god community is venerated so highly that the only result is a sterile uniformity. He put in a plea for the freedom, especially in the university, of those whose views and practices differ from those of the majority. And certainly there were one or two mild, but very kindly, cranks at Congress (the old Curious Cove pun is very templing). Roger (Harris, not Hughes) for example, who took the welfare of his fellows so much to heart that he felt impelled on the final nights of Congress to reassure the gently drowsing community that it was "three o'clock and all's well." Or sleepless Slocombe who remained awake, and to all appearances conscious, for fifty-four and a half consecutive hours.