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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, June 1910

Social News

page 58

Social News.

". . . . juventus
Non tantum Veneris quantum studiosa culinae."


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"We live in a wale." The pessimistic words find an echo in the bosom of many a hopeless toiler, but can hardly be applicable to us; indeed, even inveterate valley-dwellers, who have climbed dancewards up Mount Street, feel that they have qualified at least as members of the Alpine Club. And such a spirit of exuberant optimism is engendered in all by the elevated position of the gymnasium, that neither landslides nor anti-smoking leagues can utterly depress. But yet, for some reason, the break-up dance of last year was hardly the overwhelming success of former times. Such a dance might well be the occasion when the merits of the girl who has failed in terms may even prevail over those of the prospective M.A., and when a new frock and a good waltz should be infinitely more important than all the degrees obtainable. But, as it was, a regrettable air of weariness pervaded the top floor, while the sawdust-like properties of the sandwiches failed to add to the cheerfulness of the supper room below. However, it is hardly likely that youth and beauty are for ever to be sacrificed on the altar of examination, or that real work must of necessity produce that blase attitude towards real play which is both unbecoming and undesirable. Jaded looks and lack of laughter, however, were certainly not the characteristics of the two functions held this year. At the welcome to new students, graduates put on the spirits, if not the garb, of their youth, and consorted with a host of juniors in most friendly fashion, "Simon says" providing a game for all, in the hands of an energetic commander. Then, too, the M.C.R.C. came forward to fill a dance-less term; so that, if we must condemn their choice of linoleums, we are yet ready on every occasion to dance to their piping, and to be grateful for the opportunity. A fretful critic might complain of the weakness of the coffee at one function, or of the leisurely progress of the waltzes at another; we are willing to let it pass, and to express our gratitude to the hard workers and good sports who make our social life the success it is.

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Marriages and Engagements.

"May the single all be married, and all the married be happy."

Since our last issue, the following marriages have taken place:—
  • Mr. A. C. Bretherton to Miss H. Kelly
  • Miss F. Scott to Mr. W. C. Hewitt
The following engagements have also been announced:—
  • Miss J. S. Tavendale to Mr. A. Patterson
  • Mr. H. E. Evans to Miss E. M. Harman (of West Acton, London W.)

The Bazaar.

Consternation reigned at the College when it became known that the secretary and treasurer of the Gymnasium Committee were in danger of having their liberty wrested from them. Rejoicing in the possession of a much-coveted gymnasium, we suddenly awoke to our bankrupt condition. Our misery increased when we heard that a summons had been issued. Visions of these popular officers adorned with broad, arrows well nigh broke our hearts. At all hazards must they be secured from their impending peril.

With reluctance we approached the Government, the Refuge for the Destitute; but in spite of "the buoyant state of the finances of this Dominion," we were turned empty away. Necessity is the mother of invention, and a bazaar was suggested. The Students' Association Committee, therefore—to use a Times phrase—"got busy," and the best piece of work that Committee ever did was to appoint Eric Lyon bazaar secretary; he bore the heat and burden of the day, and his energy will not soon be forgotten. "Tam" Duncan was associated with him as treasurer of the bazaar fund, and "Tam's" balance-sheet at the end of the proceedings was as pretty as a picture.

The week of the bazaar was a strenuous one. Students returned from the Easter tournament just in time to erect stalls and get things into something like order before the opening day, April 1st. The ground floor of the gymnasium page 60 building was reserved for the tea room, while on the top floor were erected eight stalls, all well supplied by the many gifts of friends, and by the work of students themselves. The wives of the Professors very generously took charge of the stalls, being assisted by several students. The following were the stall-holders:—
  • Flower Stoll—Mrs. von Zedlitz and Miss Everett.
  • Produce Stall— Mrs. Richmond and Miss. Fell.
  • Sweet Stoll—Mrs. Hunter and Miss. M. Fell.
  • Fancy Stall—Mrs. Adamson and Miss. L. McIntosh.
  • Plain Stall—Mrs. Mackenzie and Miss V. Saxon.
  • Art Stall—Mesdames Kirk and McPhail, and Miss Hales.
  • Doll Stall—Mrs. Easterfield and Miss Thornton.
  • Tea Room—Mesdames Wilson and Ward, and Miss Reeve.
  • Book Stall—Miss Myers, and Messrs. Skinner and Nicholls.

The men students took charge of the numerous sideshows. Fortune-telling, in all its branches was provided, and proved particularly attractive, though numbers of people found the "Tumbling, Tommies" the most "moving" spectacle. A novel form of entertainment was the scientific displays, under the rare of Professors Kirk and Laby.

Mrs. Newman performed the opening ceremony with a gracious speech, and the weather smiled on her good wishes during the two days on which the bazaar was open, and the building, was at all times, particularly in the evening, well filled.

Visitors spent their money generously, and consequently, every stall did excellent business. The book stall, however, with its bewildering collection of books, was the most profitable. There were new books, old books, ugly books, pretty books, solid books, frivolous books, all of which went to eager buyers. It was not edifying, though, to see purchasers—mostly men—turn up the backs of the books, presumably in search of 11w happy ending. Nor shall we forget our sorrow on perceiving one of Ye Learned shamefacedly lose himself in the crowd, with a bundle of Family Heralds, valued at 6d. the lot, tucked under his scholastic arm.

page 61

During the afternoon, the Vitetta Band discoursed pleasing music, and Miss Marjory Wilson, a clever pupil of Miss Beere, danced charmingly. Each evening, a short concert was held, Miss Hardinge-Maltby and Mr. Newton very kindly assisting.

The bazaar resulted in the handsome profit of £170, sufficient to discharge our liabilities, and leave a handsome surplus, most of which went in providing a canvas covering for the floor of the gymnasium.

The College heartily thanks all those who rendered such able and willing assistance, and we shall not easily forget the debt of gratitude which we owe the citizens of Wellington, who once more came so generously to our assistance.

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Examination system in India.

A Calcutta gentleman has recently made a searching report of the conditions which surround University life in that city. He points out that one of the chief reason for the large percentage of students who are to be found in the ranks of the Indian anarchists lies in the wretched system under which they are educated. First and foremost of many evils, he places the system of examinations. We would like to quote from his report because it gives a good example of how the "tabloid" lecture method is utilised. "He (the student) relies upon the "notes" provided by some Professor whose reputation stands high, and to secure two or three sets of these substitutes for text-books, boys from the same village will go to different colleges. They are thus able to exchange notes to their mutual benefit (?). To the task of committing these examination aids to memory, the student gives up all the time not spent in attending lectures." We know of one faculty at least at our own College in which these words would to a great extent apply. Of course, in New Zealand other circumstances prevent the consequences from seeming so serious, but that the result will be, in the long run, prejudicial to the national life, there can be no doubt.