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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review June 1902


We be wayfarers together, O Students, treading the same thorny paths of Studentdom, laughing at the same professorial jokes, grieving in common over the same unpalatable "swot," playing the same games, reading the same indigestible books. Let us also pause for a few moments together and stretch out a hand of welcome to a small white stranger, that has come amongst us with little preliminary under the name of The Spike. Hast thou The Spike, fellow-student? If not, I pray thee make all haste to procure it, less worse things befall thee, and thou art impaled on its venomous point.

Much time and trouble was taken in choosing an eligible name for this venture. The idea was to hit on one that would cling in the elusive student memory, and at the same time, would suggest the idea that our magazine is to be run as a free lance, dealing out to each and all their just meed of blame or praise without fear, prejudice, or favour. We would have it said of us in the words of Kipling (again slightly adapted)—

"To criticize all is our portion,
The college at large is our share,
There was never a skirmish to windward
But The Spike was aprobing there.
Yes, somehow and somewhere and always
We were there when the trouble arose,
From the last Annual Students' Meeting
To the earthquake when Beere blew his nose."

We humbly advance our opinion that The Spike fulfils these qualifications. We hope to be able so to point it that it will stick, not only in the most indiarubber-like memory, but also in anything and everything else against which it is turned.

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But we do no wish our pricks to penetrate more than skin deep. We should be sorry indeed to write anything that had not the saving grace of good humour in it, or, in the exhilaration of the skirmish, to wound, however slightly, the feelings of a single soul. Remember then, all ye at whose expense we have presumed to joke, that we laugh with you in goodfellowship rather than at you, and therefore we pray you join your smile with ours if perchance you should recognize yourselves in the these pages.

Our aims re threefold. Firstly, to make The Spike an official record of the doings of the College, and of all clubs and institutions in connection with it. Secondly, to bring out the dormant talent, perhaps even genius, in both art and literature, that cannot help but exist, and too often lie hidden, amongst two hundred University students. In so doing it is our ambition to attain to as high a standard of literary excellence as possible. Thirdly, and perhaps our chiefest ideal, to strengthen the bonds of union and goodfellowship amongst us, to help us to take more interest in the social life of the College and our fellow-students, to foster that brotherly comradeship which, to our mind, is the chief charm of studentdom. In doing this we humbly advance the suggestion that the presence of The Spike will, in some measure, compensate for the absence of a home of our own.

In pursuanee of our first object weextend a very hearty welcome to our new professor, and earnestly hope that the pleasure with which we hail his arrival will be mutual now that he has bad time to take stock of the winning ways of New Zealand students. Professor von Zedlitz arrived when he was most needed, not, indeed, by the students, for we were especially fortunate in having the services of Professor Brown and Mr. Joynt as French and German lecturers respectively but on account of these two gentlemen themselves who, for more than two years, have been doing, without sparing themselves, the work of three men, and indeed, all the Professors are still bearing the double burden of two subjects unflinchingly.

We, in common with every loyal son of the British Empire, have this month been stirred to our souls by the glad pealings of the peace-bells, and though these good tidings affect us no more than any other of the five million "sons of the blood" of Australasia, yet, so great an event it is in our life times, that we cannot let the occasion go by in silence, we, who long for the day when swords shall be beaten into plowshares, when we, or our successors, shall come, not to bring The Spike, but a meeker, less virulent periodical; and when we can say, in the words of one even greater than Virgil:—

"Tu regere imperio populous Britanne memento
Hac tibi erunt artes pacisque imponere morem
Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos."