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The Spike or Victoria University College Review 1934

A Word in Season

A Word in Season

The Editor.

Dear Sir,—As requested, I gladly enclose further lists—in continuation of those published in the 1932 and 1933 issues of The Spike—giving names, etc., of students who entered Victoria University College in its earliest years.

In view of the wider circulation which (thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor), this special feature number of The Spike is to have, I agree with you as to the appropriateness of republishing the previous lists, especially as in that way a few errors and omissions therein can be rectified.

Some readers may wonder just why and how these lists have been compiled and why it is considered necessary to put them on permanent record in this way.

Early in 1923, when preparing to organise the celebration of the Silver Jubilee of V.U.C., I discovered that the College did not possess a complete roll of students who had attended lectures prior to 1916. As this was essential I made myself a list by taking out, term by term and year by year, from 1899 to 1913, the names of all who, according to the Registrar's books, had paid fees to attend lectures at some time during that period. Having rejected the names of no fewer than 240 whose attendance at lectures was limited to less than one year, I typed the others out in rough alphabetical order, with full names where known and actual years of attendance. It page 48 has since been a simple matter to note such addresses, deaths, marriages, etc., as have come under notice; and, finally, by a more intensive "Sherlock Holmesing," I have succeeded in bringing the lists for the years 1899 to 1907 as far as practicable up-to-date.

There are still, unfortunately, a few whom it has not been possible to trace. In some cases this is due to names being incorrectly spelt in the Registrar's books and also in the College calendars for the respective years. Sometimes initials only appear instead of full Christian names, making the search more difficult and at times hopeless; but by dint of reference to contemporary students, directories, electoral rolls, etc., and either telephonic or written enquiries from probable or possible relatives with similar surnames, the number of "unidentifieds" and "untraceables," has been narrowed to quite small proportions.

To all those personal friends and others who have generously tolerated these enquiries and who, without exception, have most courteously and readily co-operated in perfecting the lists, I gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness and tender my thanks accordingly.

Later, I hope to have similar lists for 1908 and 1913, inclusive, published in The Spike; but, alas, the records for 1914 and 1915 can never be accurately compiled as certain essential records were unfortunately destroyed some years ago.

Since 1916 a card index system has been kept by the Registrar and so there is available a record of those who have attended lectures at V.U.C. from 1916 onwards.

In view of the great importance of keeping accurate and complete records I should like to suggest that the Students' Association, or even the College Council itself, might do worse than consider the making of some special annual award to the Club, Society or other College institution whose records of its activities and personnel during that year are adjudged the best by reason of:—

(b)Completeness combined with conciseness.
(c)Neatness, and method of setting out the same.
(d)Evidence of preservation of documents, photographs, correspondence connected with its affairs, etc., likely to prove of historic value.

In this connection, Weir House is entitled to commendation on its foresight in instituting a special Record Book in which important events connected with the life of the House are being systematically entered. Such a record cannot fail to have great historical interest and value, and those who become residents in later years will assuredly be doing good service if they zealously and jealously make this an outstanding tradition in Weir House. Yours, etc.,

G. F. Dixon.