The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review October, 1920
This year has seen the republishing of the "Old Clay Patch." This fact alone is sufficient to mark it as a special year in the history of the College. Apart from the literary value of the collection—and the standard is remarkably high for a small College in a new country—there is the value, more important to us, of a link with the past, of a work infused with the true College spirit. There has been much talk of College spirit this year. Those of the "Old Brigade," whose songs and poems are here collected, did not talk of College spirit—they formed it. A very fine tradition was left us—one which makes great demands on our time and energy if we are to live up to it. These students of an older day toiled round their Colleges and for their College as well as in their College. They constructed their own tennis courts and paid for their own gymnasium. If there were some who failed to pass their yearly examinations, or even ultimately to obtain degrees, they gained a true all-round University education—an education not of ill-digested book learning, or of a succession of dances and athletics; co-operation for the common good, self-sacrifice, and "an infinite capacity for taking pains" are qualities going far further to the making of a citizen than the mere acquiring of knowledge or the selfish quest of pleasure which seem to actuate the students of to-day ..... This new edition of "The Old Clay Patch" numbered some three hundred copies—a disappointing total when it is considered that many of the subscribers were old students and that we have nearly six hundred students attending lectures. We seem to have lost the desire as well as the time to serve our College— page 16 nor have we even five shillings for the heritage of song which was one of the finest of the many treasures bequeathed us by the pioneers.
"My distant friends I think of still
(A sentimental thing, I know)
And underrate the present skill—
Oh! for the days of long ago!"
So M.L.N. in the "Ballade of Past Students." Not without reason either! For we feel with Philip Grey in his sonnet on "Victoria College":
"Thy children, sons and daughters, shall bequeath
A priceless dower of Honour nobly won.
And those who sought thy glory—yea, each one
Thy loud-voiced later children shall acclaim."