Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Spike or Victoria University College Review June 1925

The Procession

The Procession

An objective examination of the psychological basis of the time-honoured absurdities of Capping Day would make a thrilling thesis for Honours in Philosophy. There are persons in the community who believe the matter settled in a few terse words of rude (extremely rude) simplicity, but they are in an apparent minority, if we may judge by the eager crowds who gather and laugh immoderately. Why do we do it? Is it to make these crowds laugh, or is it to express something in ourselves? We carry on a tradition widespread among 'Varsities; but why the tradition? Perhaps there is some excusable working of destiny in this wild assault upon accepted notions of decorum, some vivid assertion of the rights of the mental freedom resulting (or at least obtainable) from a liberal education; perhaps it is merely an essay at experience; perhaps (we but hint it), a species of reversion. However—

After a couple of years of enforced waiting, the day broke bright and clear, and wonderfully continued so. The expectant public were, as usual, much more punctual than the procession. The circus reached town (in other words, the intersection of Ghuznee and Cuba Streets) about an hour behind time, and kept such order as was consistent with its character until well past a generous collection of photographers and cinema men. The turnout was equal to the best we have seen; we have listened to some very high praises of it. There were skits upon juvenile judges, bathing beauties, bowling-green litigation, prohibition, fire-fighters, racehorses, and numerous other respectabilities which, after the manner of the student, we cannot for the life of us remember at this late hour. The fire-brigadesmen particularly appealed to us. And the super-dignified and beautifully-dressed Governor-General—let him but send his name in to the "Spike," and we will see that he obtains the next appointment. He actually looked the part!

We witnessed the beginning of the affair and the end of it. To the best of our knowledge, obtainable firsthand and from rumours, there was no incident in between that should worry the Powers-that-Be into another curtailment of this Capping liberty. In our humble opinion, the costumes of the bathing page 11 beauties could, without any outrage upon health or decency, be replaced by those of Arctic explorers; but this is possibly a matter in which economic considerations prevail. A one-piece bathing suit is certainly easier to obtain than, say, a policeman's uniform.

The speeches in the Post Office Square we will not praise. They were of the earth—earthy. The best that can be said of them is by way of excuse, that they followed what appears to be a vogue among 'Varsities. The worst we will not say, beyond that the vogue is for us exhausted: the thing has been done here before. Let it now quietly relapse into the past, before it becomes a settled taint upon the 'Varsity humour. It is good to make the crowd laugh; it is not good to make it laugh according to Freud. We but encourage those who would like the procession to disappear entirely.

So passeth this Procession and the humour of it.