Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 11. 1961
Nostalgia Strikes Again!
Nostalgia Strikes Again!
Inside" Account of Little Congress No. 2
I've been asked to write about the "social aspects" of Little Congress—fortunately; since they so completely submerged me, that I didn't really notice any other aspect; at least, I believed there were some lectures (but you've got to sleep some time) and there was —well, food, I suppose you'd call it, and I believe beds wore provided—but I'm not really qualified to mention these (they were unmentionable anyway).
Fri., 7 p.m.: artic. truck scheduled to leave, so it left 7.45. Uneventful journey. Uneventful people went to bed (very few). Then ... Liz dug the garden. Party in Hut 24 began with a one man show by Tony K. weaving round trying unsuccessfully to locate his cutlery and volubly orating on world affairs. The "intellectuals" read poetry.
Sat., 9 a.m.: Everybody breakfasted in pyjamas and rugs. Plunket medal enthusiasts arrived late. Slept through some lectures and discussions and followed the crowd to the pub till six. That night after a spirited discussion 30-odd people packed into an 8ft. × 6ft. pink hut for a party with Dr. G. at one end and Hector at the other, quibbling over definition of terms; and the very "happy" trio, Mitch, Steve and Tony. (Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil?) Certain dissipated individuals spent the night in the kitchen drinking tea, interrupted by the hot-water bottle fiasco (several die-hards waited an hour or so for the water to boil then were told to "clear out of my cookhouse by an irate chef, who then tipped all the water down the sink) and by a rather doubtful ouija-board demonstration. Meanwhile in the social room, David L. valiantly accompanied a few feeble voices in a traditional Vic. song festival while Mitch and Jenny conspired to stop Steve going home.
Sun., 10 a.m.: Dr. G. drove the six R.C's to Mass (he "volunteered".) They tried the first two churches they came to but no luck. Dr. G.: "Too respectable for you? You're all clothed but nothing's hidden—is that what's worrying you?" (All six were female and clad perforce, in slacks. L.D.A. and Dr. G. ought to condole with each other).
a good Christian to give you a lift, ring a good Heathen and I'll came and get you. And when we meet in hell, I'll let you join my harem!" They thanked him profusely and assured him they'd pray for him. and after church, enlisted the aid of a young man called Kevin with a truck.
Sunday afternoon, Mel conducted a forum, "let's make it informal" for the few remaining crusaders. Later he announced that he'd found a face-cloth. Now Mel isn't used to face-cloths and couldn't envisage any possible use for it. So he tried in vain to sell it, raffle it, or donate it to some worthy cause (I could have suggested several!) Then he officially closed Little Congress by organising a ground-clearing squad. They laboured enthusiastically while he demolished the last flagon with a few stalwarts in Hut 19. Hut 19 and Hut 24 sure had their share that weekend.
When Victoria does get the New Building we have Awaited so Eagerly, so long, Chances Are it is Going to be Worth Having Waited For.
Its 10 storeys (two below the level shown here) are primarily to house the library which is expected to have expanded to about half a million books in 40 years time. Expansion is provided for by six classrooms, one double classroom, nine seminar rooms, 140 staff studies. The Psychology department will have a floor of its own. and also half the fifth floor will be occupied by the Applied Mathematics Laboratory of the D.S.I.R. Dr. Culliford, speaking of the presence of the D.S.I.R., said that he anticipated that its presence would be of inestimable value to our own Maths Department.
It is in the library that the most significant changes will be made. Apart from the immense improvements in space—there are six reading rooms of various functions, together providing space for 1,000 students—several new features have been added, such as typing rooms, sound-proof cubicles equipped with gramophones for use in conjunction with a recreational record library, and a bag and coat check room.
The major reading rooms are on the lowest level shown here. Directly below are the Law reading rooms and some classrooms, and below that are the main stack rooms, surrounded by dozens of small carrels for individuals engaged in research or advanced study. On the roof terrace level is the periodicals room, and also a big staff common room and library staff rooms. Next one up is another, more specialised reading floor, and above that there are two floors of staff studies. Level five is for Mathematics, level six the Psychology Department (who won't know themselves in the luxury of having a reasonable amount of space at last), and right on top is another roof terrace and more staff studies.
The situation is, of course, superb: in case you haven't already identified it. it's to go in that big clay hole on the harbour side of Easterfield, and will rise to about the same height. The harbour view ought to be even better than the present one from Easterfield. although the staff have cunningly appropriated most of this for their studies, etc.
The building has been designed by an Auckland firm, Kingston. Reynolds and Thorn. The structure proposed incorporates the widespread use of pre-cast concrete elements, which should not only reduce the building time by about a year, but also, in combination with the techniques of prestressing, produce a structure which will comfortably carry the heavy load of book stacks. The total cost of the building alone is estimated at £650,700—or it was, last October.
The name of the building will be the Rankine-Brown Block, after the late Sir John Rankine-Brown, a foundation Professor of Classics who was known and respected by thousands of students until his death recently.