Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 35 Number 6. April 11, 1972

Victoria Wins — ...Debating

Victoria Wins


Those of you who didn't get to see Victoria win the 'Joynt Scroll' for the fourth successive year missed one of the most brilliant debating coups for many years. There is an old legal maxim, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse." It is a saying that Otago will not readily forget.

The final of the Joynt Scroll' debates was held on Monday afternoon in the first floor common rooms. Victoria was arguing the affirmative of the motion "That we are poorer for the passing of the fairies end the goblins." Negating were the Otago team. For Victoria - Tim Groser, Peter Boshier end Rob Campbell, undertook a thorough search of the New Zealand Statute Books end in doing so unearthed The Abolition of Fairies end Goblins Act of 1936'. Armed with this act end its subsequent amendments they set about to so bamboozle the Otago team that from the outset it was apparent which team deserved to win. In fairness to the Otago teem, which consisted of Christopher de Hemel, Richerd Stubbs, end Gregory Moore, they lost the debate because none of them knew enough law to deny the existence of the Victoria team's spurious 1936 Act. It was this act more than anything else that threw the Otago team into confusion.

As a tactic it would almost certainly have failed against the more astute Canterbury teem. Obviously Victoria planned the campaign well and played against the weakness of their opponents. But this wasn't their only strength. Messrs Groser, Boshier and Campbell set out to revitalise 'Joynt Scroll'. This they did by injecting it with a combination of excellent wit, bizarre dress, and a degree of informality that Mr Joynt would have considered sacreligious back in 1902 when he donated the scroll.

The Victoria team arrived on the scene dressed in an assortable array of very fine pixie and fairy garb - Rob Campbell was dressed as an Arab and argued the case from the point of view of a Landscapeologist who had lost a considerable fortune when real fairies end goblins were abolished in 1936.

The Otago teem at no stage gave up the fight. They did all that is traditionally expected of a negative team - they cast doubt on the case of the affirmative. As a teem they lacked the technical polish that would allow them to out-manoueverre the Vic debators and they were not extrovert enough to match the wit and frivolity of Tim Groser and his colleagues.

On a serious topic one wonders if Victoria would have won. Otago are competent as anybody when it comes to the formal presentation of an arguement and they would have undoubtedly given Victoria a run for their money. But far too long now 'Joynt Scroll' has been too stiff and stodgy with little in the way of appeal to the audience.

In breaking down the rigid formality of 'Joynt Scroll' Victoria may not be paving the way for first class debating but it is not destroying good debating end at the same stroke it is giving the audience something to enjoy and remember.

Tournament participants emptied 10,000 cans.

Tournament participants emptied 10,000 cans.