The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review, October 1918
Club Report — Students' Association
Success treads on the heels of every right-effort."—Smiles.
The year 1918 has been very much as other war years have been. At the Presentation of Graduates Mr. Watson pointed out that the number of students had increased considerably. The men are of course, in the minority; and most of them are comparatively youthful. We notice a fair proportion of "returned" men attending lectures. Constantly men are leaving as they reach military age; they go very quietly, and it is often a long time before we discover that So-and-so "has gone to Camp." The C1 Camp had caused a good deal of unnecessary inconvenience; numbers of our men have left their studies only to return after a lapse of a few weeks. New faces about the corridors are numerous. The year's "haul" of fresher seems to be up to the usual standard. Among the newcomers, as usual, we notice a few who are out to improve our manners, minds and morals and generally to get into the limelight. We would not have it otherwise. Anything to relieve the tedium of our daily grind. As usual also, the notice-board pest has reappeard. The "callow youth" with a fountain-pen and a sense of the incongruous seems to be inevitable.
A new club has made its appearance in the College. The Women's Club (referred to in the men's common room as the "She-club") is for the women students what the Haeremai Club is for the men. It is understood to take the place once filled by the Common-room Club. The two clubs have quite a useful function to perform in the College. Although at the time of the annual Stud. Assn. meeting dark rumours were aboard as to the intention of the women students, it appears that there will be no rivalry between the two clubs. The Haeremal Club performed a real service in enlivening the Capping Ceremony; and its recent dance has received very favorable mention. In keeping alive the College spirit these clubs will do a necessary work.
During the term several Social Teas have been held. The attendances have been good; and the Debating Society's meetings have profited accordingly.
Occupation has been found on Saturday afternoons for idle males. A landslip behind the Gym. was the occasion of some strenuous pick-an-shovel work. Headed by the Chairman of the College Council, working bees have done a little more to improve the Mount Street approach to the College.
The Memorial Service in the Gymnasium on August 5th was attended by a very large number of students. Professor Adamson gave a short address. He referred to the conditions under which we met for a fourth time-conditions unprecedented in the annals of our history. Many of those who had fallen were in a peculiar sense dear to us—they were our school mates and college chums. We were not ruthlessly to avenge them, but to carry on the banner under which they fell in order that right might conquer might and "justice reign unhindered." The absorbing topic of to-day was whether international law was to be maintained—whether military despotism was to trample civil liberty under its heel. He hoped and believed that the human race would not stand for ever condemned to undergo periodic lapses into barbarism. The question was: how was a lasting peace to be maintained? He then traced through history the strivings would not be in vain, and international peace in which the juridicial order of the word would be secured.
In conclusion, he expressed the hope that the names which were about to be read over would endure for ever, not merely chiselled on pillars of stone, or engraven on tablets of brass which the teeth of time might eat away, but inscribed in the indelible, if invisible characters of human affection so that generations of students yet unborn might know for what it was that they who bore those names had fought and had died.
Finally the Roll of Honour was read by the President of the Students' Association.page 51
A glance at the balance-sheet or a trial of the instrument would reveal the fact that the Gymnasium piano is mostly "depreciation" and very little else but "case," It is felt that unless a new one is obtained very soon we will not be able to ask people to contribute musical items at our concerts—and accordingly a fund has been started for this purpose.
On Saturday, July 26th, the T.C. Pierrot Party gave us an entertainment in aid of this fund. The stage with its green hangings had the appropriate drawing-room touch about it, and formed an effective background for the pierrots in their green and gold costumes. The singing was excellent, and encores were numerous. Much appreciated, too, was a pianoforte solo by Miss E. Dorrington, and an amusing and audacious little turn in which Pierrot Vernon, as a phrenologist and brain expert, performed upon his defenceless victims a series of particularly gruesome operations with swords, hammers and various laboratory appliances, evidently borrowed from the science building. Our thanks are due to the Pierrots for their assistance, and we hope that when the new piano does arrive, they will be amongst those to benefit by it.
At a special meeting of the Students' Assn., held on 24th July, the proposal to revive the annual Tournament was discussed. After some discussion it was decided to write to the other Colleges seeking an expression of opinion on the matter.
The following letter, embodying the reasons given by our Tournament Delegate for reviving the Tournament, was sent out:
Hon. Sec. Stud Assn.
Dear Sir,—Recently our Executive received a letter from our Tournament delegates, Mr. G. G. G. Watson, M.A,. LL.B., and Sgt. A. E. Canddick, re Annual Tournament, In that letter the delegates suggested that the tournament be revived next Easter.
The Executive decided to have these recommendations discussed at a general meeting of the Association. On 24th July this meeting was held. After a good deal of discussion the following resolution was passed:—
That a letter be sent to the three Colleges of the University asking for an opinion as to the advisability of holding tournament next Easter.
You are accordingly asked to bring the matter before your Executive and obtain an opinion.
The reasons given by our delegates were as follows:—
There are many men in our College ineligible for military service. Many of these are keen sportsmen and suffer a real hardship in being prevented from attaining tournaments honours.
Further, the holding of a tournament would do much to encourage athletics, etc., in the Colleges. At a time when physical fitness is desired as much as it is now something should be done to help sport, to help men to keep fit. Even men in civil life, it is pointed out, are bearing an unusual mental strain.
Again, it is needless to point out the benefits not only of the contests but also of the intercourse among students. Something should be done to keep alive university traditions and the university spirit.
Military service is now universal and obligatory, and no patriotic reasons can be urged against the proposal. The delegates believe (and one of them has recently returned from France) that the men at the Front would not do other than approve the suggestion.
Replies have so far been received from Auckland and Canterbury. Auckland were non-committal, but agreed that, if other colleges were in favour of the proposal, they would do their share. Canterbury were heartily in favour of the proposal. And at the present time this is where the matter stands. The attitude of Otage will be awaited with a good deal of interest.
On Friday, August 30th, the women students exposed for sale in the Hall a fine collection of flowers. Passers by in their turn were exposed to the urgent solicitations of a group of energetic flower-sellers. The proceeds amounting to£6) are to be used for patriotic purposes.