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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, June 1915

The Fourteenth Annual Inter-University College Tournament

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The Fourteenth Annual Inter-University College Tournament.

Held at Auckland, Easter, 1915.

The misgivings entertained by many of us as to the advisability of proceeding with the Tournament under the circumstances existing this year have been entirely falsified by the event. All the contests, with the exception of the debate, were well up to standard, notwithstanding the fact that so many of the 'Varsity's best sports are away at the Front. On the whole it can fairly be said that the Tournament was a complete success, and, so far from any hostile criticism being raised at its being held, the Auckland Dailies went so far as to lend their editorial columns to support it!

En Route.

The teams and barrackers from the three Southern Colleges to the total number of ninety, of whom nearly half were from V.U.C., left Wellington by the two o'clock train on Thursday, April 1st. On the journey little need be said save that it was robbed of some of its usual tedium by our heroic efforts to amuse the aborigines on the way side stations—efforts which seriously perturbed the parish policeman of Taihape, and threatened to land some of our more venturesome spirits in difficulties. These same efforts also caused one of our quieter and more retiring members to seek refuge in the Canterbury confines, whence we were unable to entice him during the rest of the Tournament. Considerable consternation was caused at breakfast time when it was found that the Dining Car had been left behind during the night somewhere in the middle of nowhere, and that the train would not arrive in Auckland until ten in the morning—which it duly did. Shortly after our arrival there, the weather started to perform, and soon put up a record in rainfalls. Most of us spent the rest of Good Friday page 61 alternating between sleeping and waxing prayerful over the dam(p) state of the weather.

Civic Reception.

On Saturday morning the usual Civic Reception was held at the Remuera Tennis Courts, when the visitors were welcomed by the Deputy Mayor and other celebrities—quite up to the Luke-McLaren standard.


Play was to have started immediately after the Reception, but owing to the sodden state of the Courts (grass) had to be postponed until the afternoon. Even then the Courts were very heavy and the weather still cold and showery.

It was realised from an early stage of the play—in fact before it started—that the real struggle for the shield would be between Auckland and Canterbury, but it was far from easy to pick the winners of the individual championships; Duthie for instance, who was tipped as "dead certainty for the Men's Singles," went down in the first round to Hawley of Canterbury.

One of the first games played was that between Williams and Wright of ours and Duthie and Ohlson of Auckland. Two sets of 6-1, 6-0 soon showed our men that they had much to learn of play on slippery grass courts. So bad were the Courts that only a few games were played that afternoon, and the majority of the preliminary rounds were played on Monday; this was most unfortunate as most of the students (including the writer) naturally wanted to attend the sports.

By lunch time our hopes were raised by the news that Atmore and Henderson had beaten Johns and Jacobsen (A.U.C.) 7-5, 6-1. Miss E. Cook had somewhat hard luck in that she met Miss Garrard after the latter had had a game on the treacherous courts, and had got the lay of the land—no need to mention the score. Miss F. Cook and Miss Sievwright easily accounted for their game against Misses Garrard and Latimer (A.U.C.), and page 62 then proceeded to beat our second pair—Misses Daniell and Still—to the tune of 9-2, both sides slipping gracefully. About this time we were regaled with the wonderful sight of a young lady player frolicing about the Court in shoes of apparently abnormal size; on inspection, however (our manager did it) we found that she had taken the precaution of encasing her feet in a pair of men's heavy socks ok her shoes—a device which proved very serviceable; the only member of our team to try it was Atmore, who failed to find a pair of socks large enough to cover more than his toes. Misses Hare and Cook just succeeded in "breaking their duck" against Misses Bain and Black (C.U.C.)—9-1, and Miss F. Cooke had but little better fortune against Miss Latimer (A.U.C.), although in the later games of this set Miss Cooke put up a great fight.

Tuesday, the day of the finals, was a beautiful day, and the Courts were in much better older. The afternoon's play was witnessed by their Excellencies Lord and Lady Liverpool, who appeared to take the greatest interest in the results of the games.

The most interesting game was that for the Men's Championship, between Hawley (C.U.C.) and Laurenson (O.U.). Both were apparently determined to win every stroke, and the result was long steady ping-pong play. Both admitted afterwards that they were scared to let out; nevertheless it was a good exhibition of careful steady play. Laurenson won, 8-10, 7-5, 6-4. A game in which V.U.C. people were particularly interested was that between Atmore and Götz (C.U.C.). The Hun (this a term of endearment, Mr. Editor, not of reproach, so you need have no fear of a Baeyertzian action) had a great reputation, and soon showed that he knew more than our man did of play on grass courts. Atmore, however, from time to time had him sprinting over the Court in a way that brought joy to our hearts. The Hunny net smashes were more than Atmore could manage, and the score ended 6-4, 6-3.

Miss Cumming was in the best of form and won all her games in a brilliant style. Gotz and Hawley won the

page break
V. U. C. Easter Representatives.

V. U. C. Easter Representatives.

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only final for Canterbury, after a good willing go against Abernethey and Parsonson of the same College.

By winning the Ladies' Singles and Doubles and the Combined Doubles, Auckland won the Shield after an interesting and closely contested series of games. Of our own team, it may be said that truthfully they cannot at present be placed in the same class of players as the winners of the Championships, but they are all young players, and with more experience, to which Easter, 1915, must have contributed not a little, will make a strong team for future Tournaments.

The Debate.

The Debate was held in the Concert Chamber of the Town Hall, on Saturday evening. The Hon. F. W. Lang presided and the Judges were Dr McDowell, Rev. Jolly, and H. G. Cousins, Esq. It passes the comprehension of your scribe why these gentlemen, in times as stirring as these and fraught with such great problems as these are, should have chosen such a deadly dull and well-worn subject for Debate, viz., "Should the principle of an Elective Executive be substituted for the system of Party Government at present obtaining in New Zealand?" It was indeed surprising that so many people turned out on such a night to hear such a subject debated; true enough they did not exhibit any very great fervour or enthusiasm over the question.

As to the student element in the audience, it is pleasing to be able to record that this year's Debate was a welcome contrast to the idiotic and unsportsmanlike uproar that characterised last year's. The interruptions this year took the form of pithy and more or less witty interjections, which, while not seriously interfering with the speakers, served to entertain an otherwise bored audience, and to liven up proceedings generally.

Looked at from all aspects, the Debate was certainly below University standard. The speakers, with the exception of one or possibly two, delivered themselves of prepared speeches or recitations, and made page 64 little, or no attempt, to deal with the matter contained in the likewise prepared speeches of their opponents. Such a method, coupled as it was in the case of several of the speakers, with a toneless and lifeless delivery, cannot but fail to grip the attention of the audience.

The first Debate was between Canterbury in the affirmative and Auckland in the negative. Ponder and Bell, who spoke for the former College, should with more experience make good debaters; on this occasion they failed to arrange their matter logically, and seemed ignorant of the relative value of the various parts of their speeches, often stressing the commonplace while slurring the fundamentals. Of the Auckland team, Phillips, who is an old hand at the game, had as usual excellent matter (the best of the evening) and dealt destructively with his opponents' arguments. He is, however, handicapped by a poor voice and a weak delivery, which prevent his speeches getting the attention from the audience that they deserve. Kinlock, the other Auckland man, has much to learn ere he becomes a great debater. The Judges' final verdict that Auckland was the better team in this debate was probably correct, but there was little to choose between the two.

In the second debate, Victoria took the affirmative and Otago the negative. This was certainly brighter and more interesting than the earlier spasm—in fact Moss and Leary, who spoke for Victoria, were the only two who succeeded in rousing and maintaining the interest of the audience. Moss made a good solid debating speech, in which he fairly succeeded in concealing the amount of preparation put into it. He lacks, however, experience in these arts which constitute a speaker's stock-in-trade—gesture, repartee, and so forth. Moreover he allows his audience to take a rise out of him, as witness his immediate obedience to peremptory demands to take his hand out of his pocket. From the point of view of the elocutionist, Leary's was easily the finest speech of the evening; his enunciation and general Manner of delivery were a treat to listen to, and quite above criticism. Moreover he was quite unruffled by the sallies from the Gallery. On the other hand his speech page 65 reeked too much of the midnight oil, and was altogether too flowery in its language. Johnson for O.U. was a bright spot in the desert; intentionally or otherwise we know not, but he most certainly succeeded in amusing the audience. His gestures were a trifle ludicrous and somewhat reminiscent of the barnyard. So violent were "Johnny's" gymnastics that apprehension was felt for the safety of the Chairman. Bennett, the other speaker for O.U., seemed to be awed by his partner's effort, as he stood immovable as a rock while declaiming his piece.

At the conclusion of this Debate one could confidently anticipate the Judges' final verdict—that V.U.C. was the winner of the contest. Our speakers excelled over the others in all aspects, and no other verdict would have been possible. As to the other three Colleges, there was great diversity of opinion as to which was the worst, but the Judges finally placed them in the order 2, A.U.C.; 3, C.U.C.; 4, O.U.

Thus for the ninth time V.U.C. won the Joynt Challenge Scroll—a record to be proud of.


On Sunday afternoon a Students' Service was held at St. John's Theological College. Motor buses were provided to take the visitors out to the College at Tamaki (some miles beyond Remuera), but owing to their leaving Auckland at the barbarous hour (for Sunday) of a quarter past one in the afternoon, many missed the Bus—not to mention a fine run round the outskirts of Auckland—and incidentally the Service. The latter was conducted by the Bishop of Auckland, and (so your scribe is informed) was of a very impressive character. Of your scribe's own knowledge, however, the gardens and plantations round the College are well worth seeing, being very picturesque and filled with associations with the early history of New Zealand, St. John's having been one of the earliest Churches. After the service the visitors were the guests of the Warden at afternoon tea.

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Athletic Sports.

Although by Monday the weather had improved considerably, the running track on the Domain was still very heavy, and was, moreover, in rough condition. These two factors probably account for the fact that the times were slow, and (with the exception of the High Jump) no records were broken.

The attendance of the general public was as usual with Sports' Meetings in Auckland disappointingly small, and we fear that the Belgians will derive a minus quantity of help from this source. While on this topic one cannot help remarking the manner in which the various Tournament events were neglected by the rank and file of the Auckland students. With the exception of a few top notch enthusiasts who work like Trojans to keep things going, there seems to be a terrible indifference on the part of the majority to things sporting and social. Perhaps, however, glass-house dwellers should not throw stones, as there is a good percentage of drones in our own College hive.

With regard to V. U. C.'s performance, let it be said forthwith that in spite of winning our usual events—the long distances—we were unable to rid ourselves of the Wooden Spoon. In the sprint events our men met with no success, but showed promise of developing into useful men for next year. While there were in our team one or two obvious cases of lack of training, the more general fault (?) was that of lack of experience—ignorance of the arts of the game. Keenness will soon remedy this. The most obvious fault of all was the slowness with which our sprint men got off the mark; it is better to gain a foot off the mark than try to burst for a yard at the tape.

Taking the events seriatim, the Sports commenced with the Shot-putting; this was a pleasure to watch by reason of the number of splendidly built men it brought into the field. As usual in the field events, Otago scored an easy win both here and in the Hammer Throwing. Our men, Kay and Greville, with more practice page 67 and more vigour, should both be heard of in these events, as they have the weight and the length of reach required.

In the Mile Championship, Hudson was badly needed to make the pace a bit hotter. However, as Williams won easily from Richards, who in the following week won the Championship of Canterbury, our win was a meritorious one.

The 220 Championship was one of the best races of the day, and, like most of the sprints, proved to be a Canterbury win. The slowness of our men in getting away was very noticeable here.

The Hurdles events were of a somewhat "tired" nature; the heats and the finals were alike run off in a nice gentle quiet way, and with the possible exception of Bowden (C.U.C.), there was not a man in them with any great amount of dash. Bowden won the 120 and the 440 Hurdles. It was a pity that Strack and Stewart were absent from the Tournament, as many of us looked forward to their meeting again in these events. The wildest excitement was evoked by the 440 Hurdles, as it was the last race on the programme which counted for points for the Shield, and prior to it there was only half a point between Auckland and Canterbury.

The Three Mile dragged its weary twelve laps with but little competition, resulting in an easy win for Williams Greville, we fear, carries too much weight ever to make a long distance man.

The High Jump was the only record broken, Bowden, of Canterbury, being the winner with a jump of 5ft. 6 ¾ in. Forsdick, of Auckland, who came second, also gave a very fine exhibition of clean, graceful jumping. Bowden was a surprise packet of Canterbury's, scoring more wins than any other man on the ground. He has many more Tournaments for which he will be eligible, so will give Canterbury a lift along for some years.

The Mile Walk was a gift to Sievwright, with Thomas, of Auckland, second, and the rest nowhere. Thomas's arm action was most peculiar to watch.

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Intense excitement was caused by the Relay Race. Although this did not count for the Shield, the rivalry between the Colleges was very keen. We of V.U.C. almost shouted ourselves speechless, as it looked as if we were going to carry it off. Our last man, however, had had just a little too much ginger taken out of him in his earlier egorts.

The Tug-of-War also roused considerable excitement. The first tug, between V.U.C. and C.U.C., was one of the longest and strongest tugs the writer has seen on grass, V.U.C. proving the winner, thanks to the judicious direction of De La Mare and Quartley, two of our old Tournament men, who took great interest in the Tournament in general, and the Tug-of-War in particular. In the pull-off with Otago, the heavy-weight products of "parritch" were too much for us.

The Mufti Race was a bright little interlude, not conspicuous for a display of athletic prowess.

Summed up, this year's Sports contest, in spite of the individual performances being for the most part mediocre, was yet one of the closest contests held for years past. The joy of Canterbury in winning the Shield was only equalled by their annoyance when earlier in the afternoon the notorious Easter egg met with disaster at the hands of one of our partisans.


Although the spirit of the times demanded that there be no unnecessary or extravagant waste of money on festivities, the social side' of the Tournament was nevertheless well looked after in a quiet way.

On Monday evening the customary Moonlight Picnic was held, and proved to be a really enjoyable function—which is not customary for the Picnic. The night was beautifully fine, and the run across the Harbour and up to Takapuna revealed the full beauty of Auckland's harbour by moonlight. On arrival at the Mon Desir Kiosk, on Takapuna Beach, a judicious mixture of musical programme, delightful strolls through beautiful grounds, page 69 and good supper, provided all that man (or woman) could desire for an evening's entertainment.

The Dance was held on the Tuesday evening (not to mention the Wednesday morning). Owing to the aforesaid desire to avoid wasteful expenditure, only a small hall had been engaged, and the invitation list consequently restricted to the students and their immediate friends. Whether in spite of this or because of this we know not, but most certainly the Dance was a great success. During the evening the various Cups and Shields (except the Wooden Spoon, which had met with a mishap en route to the hall) were presented to the winners thereof. The only fault that one could possibly find was that, as is the case with most College entertainments, there was rather too much of a good thing—especially for those who were to spend the next night in the train.

In spite of this, however, there was a full muster at the Piccadilly Tea Rooms next morning for the farewell morning tea. We sadly fear that the sorrow of parting was somewhat forgotten when the discovery was made that a bridal party, the bridegroom of which was an old V.C. man, had selected the same time and place for their farewell flutter. Truly the students were most attentive to the bride, even making her a presentation, at short notice, of a dainty line in brooms, and generally endeavoured to cheer the bridegroom under trying circumstances.


After a wild scramble, most of the folks from the Southern Colleges succeeded in getting aboard the midday train on Wednesday. Of the journey down—'nuff sed. It has seldom been the privilege of the writer to see such a quiet and subdued crowd of students as that train carried. As the guard put it, "Not a kick in the lot of them." Nobody could honestly own to any great sorrow when Wellington was reached and a chance given us to rest in the blissful seclusion of the office or the class-room. The majority had recovered sufficiently by page 70 the afternoon to attend the tea drinking at Miss Tendall's rooms, when the V.U.C. Students' Association entertained (?) the reps. from the other Colleges. The farewells which were then taken were repeated more lustily on the wharf in the evening.


No record of the Tournament would be complete without a note of appreciation of the interest taken in it by Professor and Mrs. Adamson, who travelled with the team, and manifested the keenest interest in it and all its doings in all the different phases of the Tournament.

Mr. J. C. McDowall, the Manager of our team, as usual earned the thanks of all for the splendid manner in which his arrangements were made and carried out without any hitch. He will be greatly missed in future Tournaments, not only as our Manager, but as one of the most prominent and useful men attending Tournaments.

In conclusion, it can be said that the 1915 Tournament was as successful as its predecessors, and just as enjoyable and valuable to those who attended it, except in so far as it was shadowed by the realisation that so many of the best sports in the 'Varsity were then taking their part, not in the contests of sport, but in the great grim contest of nations.

Appended is a list of the official results.

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Official Results—Athletic Championships.

Event First (2 points). Second (1 point).
Shot J. M. Boyne, O.U. M. J. McKeefry, O.U.
Mile H. Williams. V.U.C. H. S. Richards, C.U.C.
220 Yards M. O. Barnett, C.U.C. J. Bowden, C.U.C.
Long Jump J. Finlay, O.U. C. J. Wily, A.U.C.
120 Hurdles J. Bowden, C.U.C. C. F. Forsdick, A.U.C.
880 Yards J. W. Olphert, A.U.C. H. S. Richards, C.U.C.
Hammer J. M. Boyne, O.U N. C. McLean, A. U.C.
100 Yards M. O. Barnett, C. U.C.
C. F. Forsdick, A.U.C.
Mile Walks A. B. Sievwright, V.U.C. N. R. Thomas, A.U.C.
High Jump J. Bowden, C.U.C. J. N. Waddell, O.U.
440 Yards D. L. Muir, O.U. F. J. Cox, A.U.C.
3-Mile H. Williams, V.U.C. J. Hogg, O.U.
440 Hurdles R. J Richards, C. U.C. C. Blundell, O.U.
Shield Points.
Canterbury University College 12 ½
Otago University 12
Auckland University College 8 ½
Victoria University College 6

Trevor Hull Memorial Shield (High Jump) H. Williams, V.U.C. de la Mare Challenge Cup (Mile Flat) J. Bowden, C.U.C.

Tennis Championships.

Men's Singles J. T. Laurenson, O.U,
Men's Doubles G. E. Götz & A. K. Hawley, C.U.C.
Ladies' Singles Miss E. Cumming, A.U.C.
Ladies' Doubles Misses Cumming & Moore, A.U. C.
Combined Doubles Miss Cumming & D. K. Duthie, A.U.C.

Debating Contest.

Joynt Challenge Scroll, L. M. Moss & L. P. Leary, V.U.C.

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Our Representatives.


  • Ladies' Singles: Misses M. Sievwright, F. Cooke, E. Cook.
  • Ladies' Doubles: Misses M. Sievwright and F. Cooke; Misses E. Hare and E. Cook; Misses M. Daniell and E. Still.
  • Men's Singles: C. F. Atmore, K A. Henderson.
  • Men's Doubles: C. F. Atmore and K. A. Henderson; H. Williams and N. L. Wright.
  • Combined Doubles: Miss. M. Sievwright and C. Atmore; Miss F. Cook t and K. A. Henderson.


  • 100 yards: L. D. O'Sullivan and I. C. Robinson.
  • 220 yards: L. D. O'Sullivan and E. H. Luke.
  • 440 yards: L. D. O'Sullivan and I. C. Robinson.
  • 88o yards: W. D. Maxwell and R. H. Greville.
  • Mile Flat: H. Williams and J. W. Lyes.
  • Three Mile: H. Williams and G. H. Seddon.
  • Mile Walk: A. B. Sievwright and N. L. Wright.
  • 120 Hurdles: K. Strack and R. V. Kay.
  • 440 Hurdles: K. Strack and R. V . Kay.
  • Long Jump: K. Strack and I. C. Robinsin.
  • High Jump: J. W. Lyes and R. V. Kay.
  • Putting the Shot: R. H. Greville and R. V. Kay.
  • Relay: Robinson, O'Sullivan, Luke and Maxwell.
  • Hammer: C. A. Rendle and R. H. Greville.

K. Strack, Maxwell, Seddon and Rendle were for various reasons unable to attend the tournament.


  • L. M. Moss and L. P. Leary.

Delegate to N.Z. U.T.C.—

  • G. G. Watson.

Manager of Team—

  • J. C. McDowall.