The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review October, 1920
The Capping ceremony this year might be summed up in one word—disgraceful. The function was held at 3.30 p.m. on the same day as the Capping procession. Thus we treated "Wellington to two disgraceful exhibitions in one day.
The Concert Chamber of the Town Hall was well filled with the friends of the graduates and the College. Some undergraduates were also present, and it is rumoured that one of them made an interjection during the performance. At the appointed hour the graduates of the year (some of them) trooped in in single file, much after the style of the Haeremai Club when painting the town red. The spectacle was not marred by uniformity in the manner of wearing the hoods; this was done purposely by the responsible members of the Graduates' Association and the Professorial Board, who so keenly helped the new graduates with their make-up. Most shocking of all was the singing. While we may not be able to reach a high pitch of enthusiasm over the quality of our College songs, we must not show our dreadful secret by refusing to learn them. The attempts at harmony displayed on this occasion were simply appalling. Why had there been no practice? Everybody was too busy with the Extravaganza, that colossal undertaking which this year has strangled all College spirit and substituted the spirit of the Banking House.
The Chairman of the College Council (Mr. Watson), in one of his usual endless speeches, told of the high percentage of casualties amongst University men in the great war. Then one by one the graduates of the year wended their way towards the stage, carefully wriggling through a barrage of chairs and skilfully avoiding page 49 the piano, till at last they spied a small flight of steps. A hurried ascent to the stage, an exchange of handgrips with the Bishop of Wellington, a hurried descent, another scramble towards oblivion, and the presentation was over. The Bishop acknowledged it a great honour to be shown to the graduates, whom he congratulated. He then gave an address on imagination, which well served to show that impromptu speakers never err on the score of brevity. Following the practise of the local vaudeville the event of the day was placed last. A striking contrast to all that had preceded it was the rare treat given by Professor Newton, Rhodes Professor of History at the University of London. As an example of eloquence and force his speech must have inspired even the members of our Debating Society.
Now it is quite evident that our Capping ceremony has degenerated into a nuisance. The graduates do not want it, the undergraduates are quite indifferent, and the Professorial Board does not seem exactly enthusiastic. Let us therefore remember the motto of Wellington—Follow Auckland.