The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, June 1910
"Brightest and Best."
The Rhodes Scholar.
To Auckland University College fell the honour of the year, in the selection of its candidate, K. Sisam, as Rhodes Scholar for New Zealand. Well done, Aurkland!
"So wise, so young."
Once more we greet those who have returned laurel-crowned from the November contests. Miss B. I. L. Reeve, S. T. C. Sprott, and R. H. Biggar won scholarships in Mathematics, Greek, and Latin respectively.
Of the Jacob Joseph Scholarships, one was awarded to R Kennedy; the other was offered to Miss E. Johnston, who unfortunately did not see her way to accept it. The Sir George Grey Scholarship fell to S. R. Lancaster. To these also our heartiest congratulations.
The Smoke Nuisance.
"This ambition to blow rings is the most ignoble known to man."
It is generally believed that the College Council confine its attention to appalling deficits, imminent bankruptcies, and occasional deputations to the Government. Ha! ha! Homer sometimes nods, and the Council occasionally has night off, and a merry jest. It was on an application that students be allowed to smoke in the Common Room, that Sir Robert Stout, with an exceedingly commendable desire to combat vice, rose in the majesty of his disapproval, and page 50 flung down the gauntlet before his abandoned colleagues. "The majority of smoking students never come to any good." The vicious ones hung fire: Sir Oracle had spoken. It was the moment for a master touch. Mr. E. D. Bell rose to the occasion: "Let's have a referendums" he gasped in delight; "if it's good enough for the House of Lords it is good enough for us." We understand that a keen struggle is expected. Sir Robert Stout will engage the Henry—Potts Mission for a "season"; an opposition "choir." under the baton of E. Waters, is being organised to rally the "Commoners." We are led to believe that the College is sharply divided into two parties. The one consists of those who will vote against abolition, because they want to smoke and the other consists of those who will vote against abolition, because they cannot agree with Sir Robt. Stout that the majority of our Professors have come to no good. Meanwhile, the Men's Common Club proposes to lay in a stock of best chocolate Havannas, so as to avoid disappointment on the part of the younger of its members
"O, Lucky Jim!"
One of our latest acquisitions is a much-needed canvas covering for the floor of the gymnasium. This building, which now compares favourably with the Town Hall, the Governor's residence, and other architectural masterpieces, has proved of inestimable service to the growing needs of the College. Every night of the week its floor space on both stories is in requisition by one or more of our innumerable College Clubs.
According to the Professorial Board, original research in New Zealand is rendered extremely difficult, and often impossible, by reason of our very ill-equipped libraries. We are glad to note, however, that owing to the generosity and enthusiasm of R. St. J. Beere, the library of Victoria College has been made complete in one important respect. Delvers into history, seekers after forgotten lore and ancient wisdom, will in future be able to consult the Spike from its beginnings for a complete set is now on the shelves of the library.
"He says it's not progression, and he wears a sad expression."
Professor Laby is young. Youth and newness, however, are no handicap to the truly great. It is therefore without surprise that we hear that the Rev. Morton Barnes, in collaboration with his friend, Prof. Laby, has discovered the "Elixir of life." We have it on no less an authority than the reverend gentleman himself. We believe that Prof. Laby will not be content to rest on his laurels, and we are credibly informed that, in conjunction with Prof. Hunter, he has already made important researches on the subject of "Perpetual motion."
Women's Fencing Club.
"I would make it death
For any male thing but to peep at us"
Aware of the existence of a Boxing Club, and actuated possibly by a healthy spirit of rivalry, some of our more enterprising women have formed a Fencing Club. So far the membership is limited to eight, but what is lacking in numbers is made up in enthusiasm. The objects of the Club are, we understand, peaceful, its motive being physical culture. Our lady informant mentions that its members are already developing great muscular strength, and by the end of next term should be easily recognisable in any crowd. Though we made the most searching inquiries, we were unable to elicit any information regarding the costume worn; we surmise that this is of utilitarian rather than of artistic effect.
Annual Art Exhibition.
On the top floor of the College the work of painting the scenery for the "Carnival" is proceeding apace. It is now some six, years since Miss Fanny Smith and Miss Sybil Johnson set about the task for the first time for "Munchums." Each succeeding year has seen Miss Johnson back among her buckets anti her brushes, manufacturing things in heaven, things in earth, and things under the earth, from sunsets to icebergs. She has entered so keenly into the spirit of all her enterprises, and it has been so much a labour of love to her, that we hope this will not be the last time her bold touch will form the background of our yearly festival.
Our very hearty congratulations to Miss Johnson on her recent engagement to Mr. J. A. Hannah.
When a vengeful world has done its worst for the man, or men, who fenced off the red bricks of the "shrine on the top floor," it is to be hoped that poetic justice will hand him over to the "Irish Orchestra" to be finished off. We not only loved the red bricks which we had so often seen in our happy dancing moments, but we found in them beauty and the possibility of beauty. A little finish and they would have been an adornment surpassing any polished plaster we have yet seen in Victoria College. But to cover these bricks with matchlining and paint! And Sir Robert Stout wonders why students take to smoking: it's the smell of the paint!
"Oh for the wings!"
—Book of Psalms.
During the vacation, considerable additions were made to the main building. We are now in possession of two more classrooms, a Women's Common Room, a new Men's Robing Room, and a more convenient tea-room. So we are gradually, if slowly, progressing, and we can sympathise with our long-suffering fellow students of Auckland. The Spike extends to them its best wishes in their present struggle with the civic authorities of Auckland for the Government House site.
We have to congratulate H. H. Ostler and T. Neave on their appointment to the staff of the Crown Law Office. Their appointment marks an important extension of the activities of the State.
"And does Skinner eat his dinner in the Library."
With regret we announce the approaching departure of H. D. Skinner and John Pope, who have both taken up positions oil the teaching staff of Nelson College. Karori, it is rumoured, is inconsolable.
"Too bright, too beautiful, to last."
During the vacation Mr. and Miss Barkas left Wellington to take up their residence in Timaru. In their departure the College sustains a real and regrettable loss, for page 53 they were both among those, alas! too few, who have taken a keen and active delight in every side of College life. We were pleased to see them both among the supporters of Victoria College at the Easter tournament. We sincerely hope that Fate may direct their footsteps to Wellington again. May they live long and prosper!
"A young Mall married is a young man marred."
A wedding of some interest to Victoria College was celebrated at St. Andrew's Church on the King's Birthday. Both of the "high contracting parties," Miss Flo Scott and W. C. Hewitt, are old students. It is said that the silk hat of A. E. Dobbie, one of the faithful groomsmen, was one of the features of the occasion. We believe that this is the first wedding of two Victoria students. It is anticipated, however, that it is only the first of a long series. Our blessings.
The suddenness of Hedley Jordan's death on Monday, 11th April, came as a shock to Victoria College. On Saturday he represented the College at football, and on Sunday appeared in his usual health. On the Monday morning he attended a parade of the Officers' Training Corps, and white engaged in signalling fainted. He was eventually taken to a private hospital, but all efforts were in vain. He died in the early part of the evening.
In the death of Mr. Houghton, the College has lost a valued friend. His interest in and sympathy with College affairs were appreciated by all who knew him.