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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, September 1926



Looking through the forty-ninth number of the "Spike," I am astonished at the vigour of my former puny child. Its birth was humble and somewhat laborious, but it has grown into a sturdy manhood of marked independence of character. In turning over the pages I am glad to see that the clever little woodcuts at the head of each article are still retained. These were the work of Miss F. Smith, one of the most brilliant and versatile students we have ever had. She and Mr. F. A. de la Mare were my coadjutors in the work of organising and publishing the first number. We recognised that it could only be accomplished with the aid of advertisements. Mr. de la Mare and I spent a wet Saturday afternoon on Lambton Quay procuring these, and in two hours we obtained £20 worth of advertisements, which made the thing possible. As the first editor I can claim the merit of realising my limitations as a writer. The editorials were all that I attempted. A good deal of the writing in the first numbers was done by Mr. de la Mare and Miss Smith, both of them writers with a sparkled students which we then had. It was surprising how much we and it was also our aim to search for talent among the 250 found—among them one genius, Seaforth Mackenzie. The College must have some five times the number of students to-day, and there must, among so many, be much latent talent. You seem to have quite a number of poets. Even in the first number we had more material than we could use, and the work of elimination was often difficult. What I like best about your forty-ninth number is the spirit of daring freedom of thought and opinion which pervades its pages. This is exactly the outlook on life which I should have wished to encourage in all my children. It is the spirit which should pervade every University worthy the name. It is not only the right but the duty of every thinking human being to dig his own well and find truth for himself. I am glad to think the "Spike" has done something towards fostering this spirit. I am afraid that it has sometimes shocked the minds of a section of our community, particularly during the war, when reason was more obscured than usual, and Hell had no fury like the non-combatant. But it is the spirit which every University needs, and which every country needs which has the ideal before it of making it a better and happier place for our children and successors.

—H. H. Ostler.