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The Spike or Victoria University College Review June 1925

Twenty-First Annual Inter-Varsity Tournament held at Christchurch, Easter, 1925

page 17

Twenty-First Annual Inter-Varsity Tournament held at Christchurch, Easter, 1925

Our Team—Athletics.

100 yds. Leadbetter, F. S. Hill.
220 yds. M. Leadbetter, F. S. Hill.
440 yds. C. B. Allen, C. W. Davies.
880 yds. C. B. Allen, C. W. Davies.
One Mile A. D. Priestley, C. M. Smith.
Three Miles A. D. Priestley, C. M. Smith.
One Mile Walk C. R. Lovatt.
120 yds. Hurdles R. W. Lander, R. I. M. Sutherland.
440 yds. Hurdles R. W. Lander, R. I. M. Sutherland.
Long Jump A. E. Gilliver, R. I. M. Sutherland.
High Jump M. C. Amadeo.
Putting the Shot No representative.
Throwing the Hammer No representative.


Men's Singles: R. R. T. Young, F. H. Paul.

Men's Doubles: R. R. T. Young and F. H. Paul, C. G. S. Ellis and B. R. O'Brien.

Ladies' Singles: Misses M. A. Tracy, O. M. Sheppard.

Ladies' Doubles: Misses Tracy and E. Madeley, O. M. Sheppard and I. Thwaites.

Combined Doubles: Miss Tracy and R. R. T. Young, Miss Sheppard and F. H. Paul.


Middleweight A. R. Cooper
Welterweight I. A. Hart
Lightweight P. B. Marshall
Featherweight W. E. Wilson


  • R. M. Campbell
  • S. E. Baume

Tournament Delegates.

  • R. R. T. Young
  • F. H. Paul

The Aucklanders arrived in Wellington at mid-day on Thursday, and were carried per medium of the Bell buses to a sumptuous (we hope) repast at the Y.M.C.A. The majority of our team went south with the Aucklanders on Thursday night. The weather behaved itself, the noble ship breasted the waves in splendid fashion and the team reached Christchurch intact. On the station of that fair city the arduous task of assigning billetees to billeters was carried out more or less expeditiously, in spite of interference on the part of the police.

The visitors were allowed Friday to acclimatise themselves, and to see the sights, while those of our tennis representatives who so desired were given permission to use the Avonside Club Courts.

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On Saturday the real business of the tournament commenced, or at least part of the scheduled programme was entered upon. According to the programme we were to be accorded a reception at 9.30 at the Canterbury College Courts, Hagley Park, and at 10 a.m. the Tennis Championships were to be commenced. The gods, however, decreed otherwise, and although the reception took place, the commencement of the tennis had to be postponed until the following Monday morning. All things have their compensations, however, and in this case some tennis representatives were able to see the boxing preliminaries, who would not, otherwise, have been able to do so. On the other hand, the necessity of playing tennis on the Monday prevented many enthusiasts from being spectators of the athletic contests. Alas for "Wikitoria," the preliminary rounds of the Boxing Championships were the only ones in which our representatives took any active interest.

On Sunday there was a special service in the Cathedral, conducted by the Archbishop of New Zealand, and during the afternoon the visiting teams were taken for a motor drive through Sumner, Lyttelton, Governor's Bay, and so home by way of Dyer's Pass Road.

Monday was a busy day. Tennis and Athletics filled the daylight hours, while in the evening the debate is supposed to have taken place. As usual, this contest was subjected to several interruptions. The interjections may have been witty—we cannot say, as they were so numerous as to make it impossible to distinguish any particular one, while the gramophone "stunt" was distinctly overworked.

Tuesday saw the conclusion of most of the Tennis Championships, and in the evening came the Ball, which beggared description. And so, on Wednesday—sad farewells, and the return journey commenced, culminating on Thursday morning when we arrived in Wellington to be welcomed in tearful fashion by the weather, no doubt on account of our lowly position in the race for the Tournament Shield.

Athletic Club.

The sports were held on Easter Monday, as usual, at Lancaster Park when the track, although having been well soaked with heavy rains during the preceding days, was drying rapidly. The weather was well-nigh perfect for an athletic contest— plenty of sunshine, with little if any wind.

Our team was not successful, the main reason being that after a strenuous season here in Wellington, the runners were beginning to get stale. Some of our runners always seem to go off a bit about Easter time. These men should never worry over their events, and should remember that the College only expects them to do their best. It expects no more.

Otago, as usual, distinguished themselves by their all-round good showing, their most outstanding performer being H. D. Morgan, who, in winning both events, equalled the 120 yards hurdles record and established new figures for the 440 yards hurdles.

The most successful competitor for us was that ever-smiling Malcolm Leadbetter. Previous to these sports, Lead-better had shown that he was head and shoulders, better in the page 19 100 yards than the next sprinter in New Zealand. In the Furlong he had another very easy win, winning by several yards; while F. S. Hill excelled himself in obtaining second place.

The middle distance events proved surprises for us. It was hoped that Wellington would get first and second in the 440 yards, and at least a first in the half mile. We were doomed to disappointment, because C. B. Allen and C. W. Davies were both off colour.

Ridgen (Canterbury) ran a well-judged race in the former event, while Forbes (Otago) used his head in the latter.

Both R. Lander (120 yards Hurdles), and A. Amadeo (High Jump) gave good performances and obtained points for the College in their respective events.

In the two distance events we expected some points, but A D. Priestley, who had injured his ankle a few days before leaving for Christchurch, found it too weak for much exertion. After the one mile, the ankle was so bad that he did not start in the three miles. This left the event open for Vallance.

In the Hammer, Otago easily gained 1st and 2nd place, while C. E. Low won both the Long Jump and Putting the Shot, in the latter event establishing a new record.

McKenzie (Otago), winner of the One Mile Walk, as usual came in for a lot of criticism. The judge passed him and he also created a new record.

W. G. Kalaugher (Auckland) gave a fine performance in the High Jump, clearing 5ft. 7¼|in., breaking the then standing' record. Kalaugher now belongs to us, and the writer can only say that he will have many wins in this line of sport. W.G. will be a decided asset to our Club, as he is good in hop-step-and-jump, hurdles, high-jump and javelin.

In the relay race our team, consisting of Davies (880 yds.), Allan (440yds.), Hill and Leadbetter (220yds. each), ran a race of which they can be proud. Each man used his head and this was one of the reasons why they won. Special mention, in this race, should be made of Leadbetter. He ran the best furlong of his career, running home a winner by a clear yard. Otago thought they had the relay in the bag, until Leadbetter got busy. The spectators were not slow to show their appreciation of his sterling performance.

Boxing Championships.

The preliminary bouts of the boxing were held in the King-Edward Barracks on Saturday morning. Victoria College had only four representatives, the team containing neither of the extreme weights, bantam and heavy.

In the Featherweight, W. F. Wilson (V.U.C.). put up a very good showing against Hughson (C.U.C.). Hughson was the more experienced boxer, but Wilson scored repeatedly with straight lefts, and at all times had his opponent thinking. Hughson won on points by a narrow margin.

In the Lightweight, P. B. Marshall (V.U.C.) met Frank (A.U.C.). Frank is a very pretty boxer and a delight to watch. Marshall boxed forcefully, but at times missed badly and did not reproduce the form shown in the College try-outs. Frank won a good fight.

page 20

I. A. Hart (V.U.C.) had the better of the first, round against Petre (C.U.C.) in the Welterweight preliminary. By the third round, however, Hart's condition had given out, perhaps due to the fact that he had had some difficulty in making the weight. His opponent had things much his own way in the fourth round and was awarded the verdict.

In the Middleweight, Drader (C.U.C.) had too long a reach for A. R. Cooper (V.U.C.). Cooper possesses a good solid punch, but did not get many opportunities of landing it. He would have done better to have mixed the fighting more and got in closer to his opponent; four two-minute rounds were rather more than he could stand.

The Finals of the boxing were held the same night and produced some good bouts. The biggest surprise was the defeat of J. C. Leckie (O.U.), New Zealand light-heavyweight champion, by J. T. Burrows (C.U.C.) in the heavyweight division.


The contest for the Joynt Scroll was held at Canterbury College on Monday evening. Christchurch has not yet permitted herself the luxury of a Town Hall, regarding, we understand, the River as a sufficient monument to the munificence of her citizens. This is rather unfortunate, for even if the audience had exhibited the utmost tranquillity, which it didn't, the hall would have left everything to be desired.

The motion was: "That the influence of Euro-American civilisation on Native cultures is to be regretted." Otago and Canterbury affirmed, Victoria and Auckland denied, Professor Shelley filled the chair, Archdeacon Haggitt and Messrs. E. J. Howard, M.P., and A. T. Donnelly judged, and several people sitting near the front of the hall heard fairly considerable portions of a number of speeches.

In the first debate Otago opened with Mr. McClintock, who announced his intention of dealing with general principles. He conversed in an inoffensive monotone regarding the excellence of native cultures, and indicated disapproval of the degradation that followed in the wake of our Christian civilisation; he also examined in some detail the increased mortality amongst the Esquimaux, and gravely doubted whether the Congo atrocities were an unmixed blessing to the natives. Mr. Baume, who was in excellent form and serious mood, allowed that native cultures had sometimes been destroyed, but he was proud to be able to report that something better had invariably been substituted in lieu thereof. Both India and China were reaping to an ever-increasing degree the benefits of contact with the West; freed from their abject dependence on the whims of Nature, the people were surely guiding themselves into a state of greater excellence than they had ever known. Miss Todhunter was Otago's second speaker. She pointed to the declining numbers in some native populations, an excellent point once you concede, as is almost universally and enthusiastically conceded in this age and generation, that a numerous population is to be desired for its own sake. Her "secondly" referred to the ennui that must surely overtake us all, blacks as well as whites, when the way of life has been made easy (she did not refer to the Congo page 21 to illustrate); and, thirdly, she deplored the loss of native art. Her speech was undoubtedly amongst the best half-dozen of the evening. Mr. Campbell, the final speaker, was understood to say that not-with-standing all the removable wrongs that disfigure Western civilisation, and despite the good that is in Eastern cultures, yet the East to-day profits by contact with the West (and vice versa). He did not share the illusion that the primitive savage enjoyed a life of unalloyed bliss. As for the atrocities of the Congo, these belonged to the dead past and were not relevant to the debate. Culturally, he averred, the world was a unity, and contact between its widely different people was as desirable as it was inevitable.

In the second debate, Canterbury versus Auckland, the first speaker (Mr. Haslam, Canterbury), was fortunate in being able to say his piece with hardly any interruption. In carefully-rehearsed and excellently-rounded periods he contrasted the happiness of the native yesterday with his misery to-day; amongst other mishaps, "his ancient aptitudes have atrophied" (no sensation). Auckland's Mr. Black devoted practically the whole of his fifteen minutes to a vindication of the influence of civilisation on the Maori, incidentally scouting the idea that the natives' sole occupation nowadays consists of diving for pennies. Mr Brassington declared that the Maori of the pre-Captain-Cook era was more in harmony with his surroundings than is his dusky descendant in our midst. Mr. Thompson, for Auckland, concluded this debate and the evening's entertainment with what appealed to us as the best speech of the contest. But he, too, confined his attention almost exclusively to the race problem of New Zealand, which, after all, was only a small part of the subject embraced by the motion.

While the judges deliberated, we scanned the list of mighty men whose names are inscribed indelibly on the Scroll of Joynt, and, subject to correction, we calculated that Victoria had annexed the shield in precisely fifty per cent. of the twenty contests, Otago and Canterbury each having four wins, and Auckland two. Further research was unhappily interrupted by the welcome reappearance of the judges, who adjudged Victoria the winner of the twenty-first contest, and Miss Todhunter's the best speech of the evening.


Owing to rain setting in on the Saturday, the preliminary rounds of the tennis tournament were not commenced until the Monday morning.

The standard of play shown this year was not quite up to that of former years, largely owing to the conditions under which the matches were played. Partly to the wind and partly to the damp courts, the players could not settle down and produce their best efforts. The weather could not be avoided, but another cause of disconcertment to players and one which could have been remedied, was the crowding of the side lines during the more important games. This was especially noticeable in the final of the men's singles, the court being crowded to the side line, a condition under which the players could hardly be expected to do themselves justice.

Victoria's team this year was slightly stronger than *hat of the past few years, but only succeeded in filling second place in two of the events. Had Miss Tracy, our first lady and holder of the singles title, been able to strike her usual form, we would have made a more definite bid for the singles and combine'1 events. Russell Young played well during the championship, and put in a very strong claim to the title in the final of the singles. It is with great pleasure that we note that Victoria's men are again up to the standard of the other colleges.

The standard of play in the men's singles was good right through. page 22 Young, our top man, in the first round beat Hunter, Canterbury's second string, and in the semi-final defeated Turner, Auckland's second player, who had won a great match from Smyth (Otago), the runner-up of the singles for the past few years.

Young's score against Turner was 6—4, 4—6, 6—3. In the last set the Victorian made very few mistakes and played finished tennis. In the top half F. H. Paul went down to Entwhistle, of Auckland. Robinson (Canterbury), by defeating Entwhistle 7—9, 6—2. 6—2. in the top half, thus became the other finalist. The final between Robinson and Young was a good game, both players hitting hard and accurately. Although Robinson secured the match in straight sets the result was often in doubt. The players were frequently crowded for playing room, and many side-line shots were thus spoiled.

In the Men's Doubles, R. R. T. Young and F. H. Paul, our first pair, after defeating Otago's seconds went out to Fish and Hunter, Canterbury's second pair. C. G. S. Ellis and B. R. O'Brien, our second pair, struck Otago's top double in the first round and went down 6—2. 7—5. Smyth and Fulton (Otago) were successful in this event, losing only eight games in the semi-final and final. Smyth, who holds the New Zealand Doubles Championship, was very ably backed up by his partner, Fulton, the possessor of a clever and fast volley.

In the Combineds we were perhaps a little unfortunate in that the finals were played off after the Tournament Ball—alas! In the top half the finalists were. Smyth and Miss Ballantyne (Otago), who had beaten F. H. Paul and Miss O. Sheppard, our second pair, in the opening round.

In the lower half, R. Young and Miss Tracy, Victoria's first string, had defeated in the first round Entwhistle and Miss Asser (Auckland's seconds), and in the semi-final had played very well against Robinson and Miss E. Partridge, Canterbury's top pair, whom they had beaten 3—6. 6—4, 6—3. In the final played on the Wednesday morning, our first pair had slackened considerably, and Smyth and Miss Ballantyne romped home in straight sets, the score being only 6—3, 6—1.

In the Ladies' Singles, Victorians had hoped to see this event fall to the Green and Gold, but it was not to be. In the opening round Miss Tracy, our top lady, was drawn against Miss Winnie Partridge (Canterbury), and Victoria won a very close and hard game at 6—5, 6—5. Miss O. Sheppard, our second string, went out to Miss E. Partridge, Canterbury's top player, who, in turn, was beaten by Miss E. Miller, the young Aucklander.

Miss Tracy in the top semi-final succumbed to Miss Ballantyne, the score being 6—2, 2—6, 6—2. Miss Tracy played clean, brilliant stroke tennis, but was beaten by the southern girl's consistency. It was then thought that Miss Ballantyne would avenge Smyth's defeat in the men's singles and carry off the ladies' event, but in the final Miss Miller (Auckland) proved even more steady than Miss Ballantyne and won in straight but very long sets. It was a great achievement of Miss Miller's, as she is still a very young player. To annex the Singles Championship on her first appearance—and against players of the Misses Tracy, Ballantyne, Partridge type is a record of which she may well be proud. We heartily congratulate her. By the way, this victory gave rise to one of the nicest unofficial episodes of the whole tourney, the Auckland team making a presentation to Miss Miller in the train as we were being hurried on our return to the "Wahine."

The Ladies' Doubles was won by Otago's top pair. Misses E. Ballantyne and I. Romans. Miss R. Gardner, who, with Miss Tracy was our first string, was at the last minute unable to accompany the team and was replaced by Miss E. Madeley. Misses O. Sheppard and I. Thwaites comprised our other pair, but both pairs failed to outlive the opening round.

Thus Otago carried off the Shield, by claiming all three Double events, with Auckland and Canterbury annexing a single championship each. Our congratulations to Otago on their win, as we remember their ill-luck of last year when they fought out three finals without success.

Next year should see some very keen competition for places in the Easter team. All the four men of this year's team will be playing hard to retain their places, and we have some good players who will endeavour to dislodge them, including Rowland Ferkins, the present holder of the New Zealand Junior Singles. With the ladies there should be very keen competition, as only one or two of this year's representatives will be competing again for selection.

Otago hold the Shield, and on their own courts down in the Exhibition City they will no doubt take some beating.