Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 18, No. 11. August 12, 1954
Plunket Medal . . . — Standard Higher
Plunket Medal . . .
Bruce Brown, speaking on Harry Holland deserved to win the Plunket Medal this year, so, for once, there were no grounds for complaint when the judges (Mrs. Z. Graham and Messrs. Leicester and Scott) awarded him the medal. It was a good sound speech, delivered in a forthright manner. Denny Garrett ran into second place with a mature but restrained speech on Oppenheimer. I thought that Denny was much more effective this year than when he last entered for the contest; at least in the sense that his delivery had a greater emotional impact than his brilliant dissection of Buckman in 1951. Melda O'Reilly in third place showed much improvement in her delivery, but her overattention to minor details of Father Damien's life, activities, and surroundings, must have counted against her.
Of the other speakers. I preferred Graeme Hubbard and Marjorle Munroe. The former, speaking on Godley rather overplayed his subject whose difficulties with the Canterbury Association seemed scarcely sufficient to warrant such lavish treatment. His delivery, though good, tended to be a little exaggerated at times. Marjorie on the subject of Georgi Dimltroy had an excellent delivery, but she destroyed the effect by reading her speech.
John Whitta on James Busby did not know his speech and his style was a little strained. He had some excellent material and ought to have done more with it. Brian Elwood wasted an excellent voice on an immature approach. He is quite capable of winning the contest, but to do so he must treat the audience as adults and not as adolescents. His subject. Baden-Powell, was worthy of less trite expressions than those uttered in his praise.
John McLean, after his effort last year, was disappointing. His treatment of Viscount Simon did not give the audience more than a fragmentary picture of the man.
The standard overall wan high this year, Judging was good, and the weather foul. Those who braved the elements found their evening well spent.