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The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review, June 1924

Twentieth Annual New Zealand University Tournament — Held at Wellington, Easter, 1924

page 14

Twentieth Annual New Zealand University Tournament

Held at Wellington, Easter, 1924

Our Team.


  • 100yds: L. A. Tracy, M. Leadbetter.
  • 220yds: L. A. Tracy, M. Leadbetter.
  • 440yds: L. A. Tracy, C. W. Davies.
  • 880yds: K. M. Griffin, C. W. Davies.
  • One Mile: A. D. Priestley, K.M. Griffin.
  • Three Miles: A. D. Priestley, C. B. Allen.
  • One-mile Walk: C. R. Lovatt, H. L. Richardson.
  • 120yds. Hurdles: R. I. M. Sutherland, J. O. J. Malfroy.
  • 440yds. Hurdles: J. O. J. Malfroy, R. I. M. Sutherland.
  • Long Jump: D. Barker, R. I. M. Sutherland.
  • High Jump: D. Barker, M. C. Amadio.
  • Putting-the-Shot: A. D. McRae, F. S. Hill.
  • Throwing-the-Hammer: A. D.McRae.


  • Men's Singles: R, R, T. Young, W. P. Hollings.
  • Men's Doubles: R. R. T. Young and M. A. Young; W. P.Hollings and F. H. Paul.
  • Ladies' Singles: Misses M. tracy, R. Gardener, and I. Thwaites.
  • Ladies' Doubles: Misses M.Tracy and R. Gardner; I.Thwaites and O. Sheppard;
  • Combined Doubles: W.P. Hollings and Miss M. Tracy; R.R.T. Young and Miss R. Gardener. Thwaites. Gardner.


  • Heavyweight: A. D, McRae.
  • Middleweight: E. C. Miller.
  • Lightweight: N. J. Lewis.
  • Featherweight: C. E. Ball.
  • Welterweight: V. F. Coning ham.


  • P. Martin-Smith
  • R. M. Campbell.

Tournament Delegates.

  • H. McCormick
  • R. R. T. Young

The Otago and Canterbury teams arrived by the ferry boat from Lyttelton on Friday morning, while the Aucklanders arrived by the mid-day express the same day. The visitors were met by our Tournament Delegates (Messrs. H. McCormick and R. R. T. Young) and a small but enthusiastic band of Wikitorians, and wore quickly dispatched to their respective billets.

In the afternoon most of them attended the unveiling of the Memorial Window at Victoria College, in connection with Victoria's Silver Jubilee celebrations.

On Saturday the real work of the Tournament commenced. A civic reception was given the visiting representatives in the Town page 15 Hall at 9 a.m., after which they adjourned to the Wellington Club's courts, where the tennis championships were commenced. In the afternoon the tennis championships were continued, while the boxing preliminaries were held in the Town Hall. A large crowd witnessed the finals of the boxing on Saturday night.

On Sunday morning the visitors were taken for a motor-drive up the Hutt Valley, some in private cars, others in char-a-bancs; while in the afternoon many took the opportunity of attending the Silver Jubilee church service at St. Paul's Pro-Cathedral, with afternoon tea at the Girls' College afterwards.

On Monday the athletic championships were held at Athletic-Park, while in the evening the debate took place in the Town Hall.

The tennis finals were decided on Tuesday, an interruption to the proceedings taking place when Canterbury's Easter Egg, neatly dressed and painted, appeared on the scene. The annual "scrap" took place, and the egg suffered much the same fate as Humpty-Dumpty.

The Otago bun hats proved an added bone of contention, and many of them came to the same end as Canterbury's egg.

The Tournament Ball was held in the Town Hall on Tuesday night. During the evening the various cups were presented to the winning teams, and hakas were given unstintingly. The ball was a great success, and brought to a close a Tournament which will for long be remembered. The visiting representatives described it as the "best yet," and letters of congratulation were received by our delegates from the other Universities. The thanks of all are due to that willing band of "Wikitorians who did all in their power to make the Tournament such a great success.


The athletic contest was held on Easter Monday at Athletic Park, under conditions that were practically perfect. The track was in excellent condition; Wellington weather rose to the occasion, and a large number of the public turned out to see an athletic meeting which proved to be little, if any, lower than New Zealand championship standard. The standard shown may be judged from the fact that three records were equalled and two broken.

Outstanding performers for Victoria were Priestley and Tracy, each of whom put up a splendid performance. Priestley started off in the morning by winning the One-mile Championship in the very fast time of 4 mins. 31 4-5 secs., breaking Athol Hudson's record, which has stood since 1914, by 1-5 sec. In this race both V.U.C.'s men ran well, Griffin finishing second only a few yards behind Priestley. In the afternoon Priestley annexed the Three-mile Championship and the Athol Hudson Challenge Cup, in a gloriously exciting race, in which he displayed sound judgment. He came away with a good sprint at the finish, to win from Vallance, of Auckland, by about fifteen yards.

The 220yds. Championship was won by Tracy (V.U.C.), with Morgan (O.U.) second. This race was run in heats, and the first heat, which was won by Tracy with Miller (A.U.C.) second, was run in 22 4-5 secs, equalling the record held jointly by Tracy and Porritt. The second heat was won by Morgan, with Leadbetter (V.U.C.) second.

The quarter-mile also went to Tracy, who again equalled the record, which has stood since 1903, by covering the distance in 51 page 16 2-5 secs. In this race Victoria scored another double, Davies running a very fine race to finish only a few yards behind Tracy. Finally, in the Relay Race, Tracy gave V.U.C. a commanding lead through his performance in the quarter. Tracy has been an outstanding performer for Victoria for several years, and he will be difficult to replace.

All Canterbury's points were scored by C. E. Low, who won the Ladies' Challenge Cup, with seven points, by winning the Long Jump, 440yds. Hurdles, and Putting-the-Shot Championships, and by gaining second place in the 120yds. Hurdles. His performance was a meritorious one, and did much to confirm the opinion held by some critics, that this athlete is the best Decathlon man in New Zealand.

H. D. Morgan, who gained firsts in the 100yds. and 120yds. Hurdles and seconds in the 220yds. and the 440yds. Hurdles, scored six points for Otago.

Others who performed well for Otago were J. G. Forbes, who won the Half in 2 mins. 1 2-5 secs., equalling Griffin's record; W. J. Scott, who raised the High Jump record by 3/8in.; and J. A. C. Mackenzie, who again won the Mile Walk Championship.

Once again the Relay Race fell to V.U.C, represented by C. W. Davies, L. A. Tracy, F. S. Hill, and M. Leadbetter.

As usual, the Tug-o'-war went to Otago, with Auckland runners-up.

The final points for the Athletic Challenge Shield were: Otago, 17; Victoria, 14; Canterbury, 7; and Auckland, 4.


The Tennis Championships were commenced on Saturday morning at the Wellington Club's courts, and play this year was up to the standard of previous years. Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Bates, the weather on both days was quite to order.

Victoria's team this year was stronger than for the past few years, but was too generous to its guests, with a result that we were in only one final—the Ladies' Singles. Perhaps part of our difficulty is that our players become overawed by the tennis record of their opponents. Certainly our representatives show more match fright than those of other Colleges. If we could only out-grow this deception, our team would not be handing round tea on the final day's play. Aim at experience in match play, then, all you aspirants for tennis honours next Easter.

The standard of play shown in the Men's Singles was good only in the opening rounds.

For Victoria, R. R. T. Young defeated Wilkinson (O.U.) after a long three-set game. W. P. Hollings, our second string, went down to Smyth (O.U.).

The semi-finals saw Fotheringham (A.U.C.) defeat Young after a close three-set match. Young took the first set at 8—6, but crumpled up under the Aucklander's steady bobbing in the next two sets. The set taken by Young was the only one dropped by Fotheringham during the Championship.

The lower half saw Smyth (O.U.), last year's runner-up, secure a comfortable win from Seay (C.U.C.), the holder. The Otago man was playing a hard game and made few mistakes. The final thus lay between Fotheringham and Smyth, and resulted in an unexpected victory for Auckland in straight sets. Fothering page 17 ham played a slow ball throughout, which seemed to break up the play of the hard-hitting Southerner. This game was not up to the standard of the earlier games.

The Men's Doubles saw Victoria retire in the opening round. Young Brothers went down to Otago's second pair.

Hollings and F. H. Paul, our second pair, put up a great match against Seay and Loughnan (C.U.C.), last year's champions, and were only defeated after a close and exciting game, the score being 6—3, 4—6, 9—7. In this match Paul made few mistakes, his work at the net being especially good.

The final, played on the Tuesday, between Seay—Loughnan (C.U.C.) and Smyth—Lusk (O.U.) produced some good tennis. Seay dominated this game and led Canterbury home in straight sets.

In the Combined Doubles, Victoria's hopes were not long lived. Playing with Miss Gardner, R. R. T, Young had a good win from Auckland's top pair—Fotheringham and Miss Mueller.

Our first string—Hollings and Miss Tracy—were disappointing in their display against Loughnan—Miss W. Partridge, Canterbury's second pair. Our pair were slow in starting, and did not take the match seriously. Thus was lost our well-founded hope of bringing the long-lost Shield, for at least part of the year, back to Victoria's unfurnished casement.

In the semi-finals, Loughnan—Miss W. Partridge (C.U.C.) beat Young—Miss Gardner, after a good three-set game.

The semi-final of the top half provided the best match of the Tournament, and play throughout this game was of a high order. Partnered by Miss E. Partridge, Seay (C.U.C.) defeated Smyth—Miss Ballantyne, Otago's top pair and last year's champions, in straight sets. In this match Seay gave a good exhibition of the combined game, and used his partner to great advantage. Miss Partridge's net work was brilliant, their team work aroused great enthusiasm, and they gained frequent applause from the large gallery present.

In the Ladies' Singles, Victoria secured her only win. In the first round Miss Gardner went out to Miss Saunders (C.U.C).

The second round saw Miss Thwaites lose to Miss Ballantyne (O.U.), and Miss Tracy had great difficulty in stalling off Miss Witherow (O.U.), only winning a long match at 11—9. In the semi-final Miss Tracy regained her form and secured a good win from Miss E. Partridge (C.U.C). The tennis in this match was very good, Miss Tracy's excursions to the net being well timed and effective. The final saw a long game between Miss Tracy and Miss Ballantyne (O.U.), last year's champion. In this match Miss Tracy held the edge throughout, but her attack was not successful until the ninth match-point had been called.

In the Ladies' Doubles, Misses Thwaites—Sheppard won through the first round, and in their next appearance had Canterbury's top pair in difficulties, not being beaten until 10—8 had been called.

Misses Madeley—Pigou, our third string, did not survive their first match.

Misses Tracy—Gardner, Victoria's leading pair, won their first match, but in the semi-final went out to Misses Sowden—Saunders (C.U.C). In this match Miss Sowden played very well at the net, developing a fast volley which continually beat our girls.

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This match showed us our weakness—we have only one girl who can play net, and the formation of one up and one back will never win a 'Varsity Doubles Championship.

The final in this event saw Canterbury's representatives fight it out on the Wednesday, and resulted in a win for their second pair. This victory was mainly due to Miss Sowden's sound net work, which troubled the local pairs who met the champions earlier in this event.

Thus the Tennis Shield went to Canterbury with three wins, with V.U.C. and A.U.C. each with one win. Otago were perhaps unfortunate in not securing a win, as they were in three of the finals. We congratulate Canterbury on their performance, and know that next year, on their own courts, they will be a tough proposition.


The Basket-ball matches were played on Easter Monday morning at Kelburn Park. Only three Colleges were represented, Canterbury not entering a team. They hope to be able to do so next year, when the Tournament will be held in their home town. As the result of the draw, Auckland and Otago met, Auckland being victorious. After a short rest, the winners played Victoria College, the latter winning after a hard and even game. The play was very fast, and very exciting for the large number of people who came to see the matches. The standard of play was excellent, and from this we augur well for the future of Basketball in connection with the Easter Tournament. As the result of the matches, Victoria College holds the Shield, which has hitherto been Auckland's property.


In accordance with the Tournament rules, the annual contest for the Haslam Shield was shot off in the respective centres before Easter. V.U.C. fired the match on April 5th, and put up rather a poor performance. "Tricky Trentham," in one of her characteristic moods, succeeded in dashing our expectations of annexing the Shield by staging a strong "fishtail" wind, which carried off many an otherwise well-aimed shot.

The V.U.C. team consisted of A. Ainslie, C. G. S. Ellis, A. W. Free, F. H. Jennings, H. V. Scott, K. E. Tolhurst, J. B. Yaldwyn, and R. R. T. Youna;, and put up a total score of 554.

Auckland, aided by perfect weather, put up a brilliant score of 654, and Canterbury came second with 642.


The preliminary bouts were fought on Saturday afternoon in the Town Hall, and the finals on Saturday night.

Otago easily annexed the Shield with three wins, Victoria, Canterbury, and Auckland having one each.

The bouts were, practically without exception, willing and interesting, the Varsity men delighting the public by their pluck and desire to "mix it."

In the Bantams, Patterson, of Otago, again proved the winner, defeating Martin (C.U.C.) in the preliminary and Stubbs (A.U.C.) in the final. He took more than his share of punishment, but there was no doubt as to the correctness of the decision in his favour.

Aitken (O.U.) won the Featherweight and incidentally the page 19 medal presented by the Wellington Centre for the most scientific display.

Ball (V.U.C.) fought gamely in the preliminary round, but Hughson (C.U.C.) had too much experience, and fought him to a standstill.

Aitken used a stiff straight left with great effect, and his exhibition in the final was that of a finished artist compared with the majority of the bouts.

Frean (A.U.C), who won the Liightweight [sic] title, is built on real pugilistic lines, but his work inclines to the spectacular and ineffective. He, however, carries a very respectable punch.

Lewis (V.U.C.) was defeated in the preliminary bout by Cotter (C.U.C).

Coningham (V.U.C.) in the Welters provided our only win, but it was a close thing. Sceates, of Auckland, put up a great fight, and, in the opinion of several, deserved the decision. Coningham makes good use of a short right to the jaw, but when excited he swings from the floor, thus failing to connect in the great majority of cases.

Sceats had an easy win in his preliminary round, Petre (C.U.C.) foolishly allowing himself to be counted out.

Burroughs (C.U.C.) won the Middleweight title, outpointing Fyfe (O.U.) in the final. Although not particularly fast on his feet, Burrows can punch with either hand, and has a fair knowledge of the ring game.

McRae (V.U.C.) was very disappointing in the Heavyweight, falling easily to Leckie (O.U.) in the preliminary round. McRae showed his usual faults, leaving himself far too open—a dangerous practice when facing a man with a punch like Leckie's.

The final between Craven (C.U.C.) and Leckie provided a great fight until Leckie got a chance with his deadly right swing. After that there was no room for any further argument.

When he learns a little more about ringcraft, Leckie will be a dangerous opponent for any amateur boxer in N.Z.

The Debate.

The contest for the Joynt Scroll took place in the Town Hall on the evening of Easter Monday. The Mayor, Mr. R. A. Wright, M.P., occupied the chair. The first debate was not so much a contest between Canterbury and Auckland as between the united speakers and the stage managers of the gladiatorial combat behind the scenes. These benevolent gentlemen seemed to labour under the impression that the fancy of the audience was more likely to be captivated by a pleasing-medley reminiscent of a lawn-mower descending the stairs rapidly into a glasshouse at the bottom than by the serious business of the evening, namely, a consideration of the merits and deemrits of modern journalism. This idea was unfortunately delusive. The audience began to regret a wasted evening. Finally, matters came to a head. A member of the audience rose and protested. The chairman, hitherto quiescent, was stung into activity at last, and Mr. A. B. Thompson, of Auckland, the last speaker of the debate, was the first to be audible. It is high time, one would think, that University students should learn the elements of fair play. As Mr. De la Mare has pointed out, it is not generally considered sportsmanlike for the spectators to interfere with an page 20 athletic contest. But in a debating contest tripping and obstruction is entirely legitimate.

What we did hear of Messrs. Brassington and Field above the smashing of glass and the crackling of thorns under a pot that went withal was not very specific. They breathed suspicion at every pore, but vented no specific grievance. The papers gave the public what it wanted at best and what monied interests decided it wanted at worst. In either case the standard was not high The Auckland men spoke better than they argued. Mr. Black, leading for Auckland, wandered away into the sixteenth century, and failed to extricate himself very successfully. The press had won its freedom toilsomely, and its freedom should be respected. If the press gave the public what it wanted and the wants of the public were not ideal, reform the people first. The press would follow in due course. Mr. A. B. Thompson spoke clearly and well. and did not allow a rowdy section of the audience to daunt him. The press was not controlled by moneyed interests in New Zealand. It reproduced the voice of the people faithfully and well.

The second debate touched higher flights than the first. Mr. Campbell alone of the speakers of the evening made a good debating speech. He was specific and pointed—perhaps, as it seems in retrospect, too pointed. His reference to Mr. De la Mare's exposure of the Auckland "Star" especially was a barb that drew blood. Otago's speakers were very weak. Mr. Barrowclough ascended again to Mephclococygia with a fresh flux of generalities. The press was an educational medium. His opponents obviously intended the demolition of the press. It was a vicious and ill-meaning attack on the cause of the furtherance of knowledge. Mr. Martin-Smith failed to correct Mr. Barrowclough. Had he shown that the need was for a purified press, and advocated some practicable measure of reform, Otago's arguments would have crumbled up like a pricked balloon. He quoted Dr. Johnson's "garrets full of soldiers who have learned to rob and journalists who have learned to lie" with enjoyment, handsomely exonerated the U.S.A., and sternly refused to perform a like service for the Press. For the rest he said that every true man loved a lie; the truth was usually unpalatable. And newspapers had to consider their public and their advertisers, and conceal the naked truth sedulously. Miss Todhunter's argument had not been anticipated and forestalled by Mr. Martin-Smith. She reiterated Mr. Barrowclough's plea, What would happen without the Press? Her opposers had not shown what they were going to do about it. Apparently they intended the demolition of the press. Miss Todliunter waved a "Dominion" genially at the audience, and read a matrimonial advertisement there from to the evident delight of the judges. Otago was placed first, and Mr. Martin-Smith was ad-judged the best speaker of the evening. Victoria was given second place, with Auckland and Canterbury third and fourth. The extra-ordinary nature of this placing was amazing, not alone to the supporters of Victoria, and we are quite at a loss to account for it, at least from the inherent merits of the debate.