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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, October 1902


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[Published Twice in the Session.]

The Editorial Committee invite contributions, either in prose or verse, on any subject of general interest, from students or officials in connection with the College. All literary communications should be addressed to The Editor, Victoria College, Wellington.

Subscriptions are now due, and are payable to Mr. D. Matheson, Financial Secretary, Victoria College.

Vol. No. 2
"Me quoque pectoris tentavit in dulci juventa fervor et in celeres iambos misit furentem. Nunc ego mitibus mutare quaero tristia.

We offer the second number of "The Spike" to fellow students and subscribers with every confidence that it will meet with as ready acceptance as the first-born. Our financial condition, unlike that of most young periodicals, us sound; so far we have paid our way; we owe no debts; and so great has been the demand for the first number of our Magazine that it was found necessary to order a second edition. Criticisms we have had, many and of varying degrees of scathingness, some honest and able, and in so far as they were so, valuable and profitable. But to our critics we would reply that of the two tasks of doing work and of picking holes in the work of others, infinitely the easier is the hole-picking, and we would ask them to remember this when they are moved to cast the next stone. If the feelings of any were inadvertently hurt by anything appearing in our first issue, no one has taken it more to hurt than have the editors themselves, whom experience, that unerring professor, has yet to teach many lessons, and who, amongst other valuable hints in "journalistic etiquette," have learnt how easy it is to transgress the law of libel in all innocence, and to wound tender skins where no injury was intended.

There is on point in the criticism which seems to us to deserve notice. It was suggested that the "Victoria College Record" was not a record of the whole College work, but of only a part of it. Our critics said with truth that besides the Art Section there is also a Science Section, and that the "Spike" page 4 was silent about it. We think it very necessary that this blemish should be washed away—even if it is at the cost of adding to "spikiness" the unpleasant flavour of SH2 said to flourish at the Technical School. We cannot, however, hold ourselves responsible for the fault. It will disappear when we join hands and hearts under one roof. But in the meantime we invite—nay, even beg—the co-operation of those who, foregathering in the land of test tubes and perfumes, can discover humour or wisdom in or about the arid desert of chemical analysis.

The main subject of College interest since our last issue is without doubt the site and building question. We do not apologise for devoting so much space in this number to it, because we feel that this "housing question" can be more easily "underdone" than "overdone.' Much of the future of our alma mater depends upon it. We learn with pain that the Government proposes to devote only £15,000 to the building. We have every confidence that the authorities will spent the money wisely, and will not attempt to cover many acres on the Drill-shed principle. At the same time, we hope soon to see an effort made by public subscription to show the Government that there are some citizens in Wellington and some students at our college who will do r what they can to keep the torch of knowledge trimmed and burning.

During the present session we have lost two students who have been associated with the College since its inception and who have throughout taken a prominent part in its social life. We are over-young for "regrets," that saddening and chastening influence so powerfully felt by "ten-year men," and we love the brighter if thornier vein. But we sincerely regret to see thinned the ranks of those who, now nearly four years ago, began their University career with the opening of Victoria College. We wish our departing friends every success, aril trust that their energy and good-fellowship will be handed down to enrich the lives of those who are following in their footsteps.

We regret that, owing to the lack of general support from exempted students, we have been unable to carry out our original intention of devoting some pages of this number to examination hints for the benefit of those who are unable to attend the year's course of lectures at Wellington. To do anything like justice to the idea at least half the Magazine would have to be given up to it, and considering that we have only the names of some fifteen or twenty exempted students on our subscribers' list, whereas at the College itself we have some two hundred, we think that we are justified in our decision to abandon this scheme for the present.

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For a two-fold reason this number will not be quite as long as our last. The first reason is one of economy, which prudently urges us not to give the reins to our too exuberrant fancy, lest our credit balance at the end of the session be itself weighed in the balance and found non-existent. The second and more weighty reason is the lateness of the hour. November examinations are hanging over us like a threatening ununder-cloud. Cold fear with clammy hands is clutching at the editorial throat. Every moment is precious—"Dum loquimur fugerit invidia aetas." We therefore briefly offer to you, our fellow-students, this our attempt to fix in black and white the events of the some few months that years hence will be looked back on as the best and brightest in our lives, and, wishing to all of you a happy issue out of all your afflictions, meaning thereby every success at the coming examinations, we ask you to accept with charity (that quality so rare) this our second number of "The Spike."

Graphic border with frog and reeds