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The Spike or Victoria University College Review 1934

The New Zealand University Tournament 1902-1934

page 72

The New Zealand University Tournament 1902-1934

"Throughout the University of New Zealand there is now a bond of friendship and respect, which will tighten as years go by, and which will stand as long as the Tournament lasts, a safeguard against a system of mere University cram"—The Spike, June, 1902.

The bond has tightened and the New Zealand University Tournament stands to-day as the strongest bond of friendship between the students of the four Centres. Every year at Easter over two hundred students gather at one or other of the Centres and meet in seven different athletic sports. They come from all parts of New Zealand and from all classes of the community but they are drawn together in this, the greatest of all gatherings of students in the Dominion.

The first suggestion of a Tournament seems to have been a letter from Canterbury College in 1900, inviting the University Colleges of New Zealand to meet at Christchurch in the Easter of 1901 and hold a Tournament in Athletics, Tennis and Debating. Owing apparently to lack of enthusiasm this suggestion was allowed to drop, but with V.U.C.'s solid support the invitation was renewed the following year and this time the other Colleges were in earnest, and adequate repre-sentation was guaranteed immediately. The original ideas apparently arose out of conversations between H. P. Richmond of V.U.C. and W. L. Scott of C.U.C. at a tennis contest between these Colleges in 1900. Later the interest of Mr. G. F. Dixon was gained and in 1901 he solicited election to the Executive of the V.U.C. Students' Association and with willing helpers formulated plans for a contest in 1902. The plans were unfolded to C.U.C. authorities and out of them grew the New Zealand University College Tournament.

The Committee appointed by the V.U.C. Students' Association to make full arrangements for Victoria's representation at the first Tournament consisted of R. St. J. Beere, G. F. Dixon, P. S. Foley, H. H. Ostler, J. Stout, G. M. Henderson, D. Matheson and F. A. de la Mare. The Committee did its work well, and considering her position as the youngest of the University Colleges, V.U.C. had reason to be proud of the results of this Tournament, being third in Athletics, second to C.U.C. in Tennis, and placed second equal with A.U.C. in the Debate. The first Tournament was voted a huge success, thanks mainly due to the energy displayed by the C.U.C. delegates, Messrs. F. T. M. Kissel and E. D. Rice, and the co-operation of the leaders of the visiting teams, Messrs. F. C. Long (A.U.C.), W. M. Thomson (O.U.) and G. F. Dixon (V.U.C.).

Since 1902 the Tournament has continued up to the present day with only one interruption—the contest was not held during the War years, 1916, '17 and '18. The present financial depression very nearly caused another stoppage in 1932, when Canterbury College and Otago University were in favour of a postponement, but V.U.C., the hosts for the year, were so persistent with their invitation that finally a full Tournament was held.

The original Tournament programme, however, has been radically altered by the inclusion of new events. Very few amendments were made up to 1915, but since Tournament was resumed after the War, Boxing, Shooting, Basketball, Swimming and Rowing have all been added to the programme and Debating has been removed. In 1919 it was decided to institute an Inter-Island Cricket Match "as a permanent fixture to be played in conjunction with the Easter Tournament" Only one such match was played, how page 73 ever (in 1920, won by the South Island), and the event was withdrawn the following year. A scheme to hold a North v. South Football Match was also put forward by Auckland in 1921, but the proposal met with no support.

In its method of organisation the Tournament has remained unchanged. The present Tournament Committe is composed of two delegates from each of the four University Centres, just as the 1902 Committee was. The Committee meets only at Easter, all business during the rest of the year being carried on by correspondence. The original rules, however, have proved quite inadequate, and in addition to the minor amendments of each year, general overhauls have been made in 1908, 1928 and 1933. Possibly because V.U.C. is the Law School, these overhauls have always fallen to her lot.

In 1915 a V.U.C. Sub-committee submitted a scheme for the award of New Zealand University Blues by the Tournament Committee. After having been allowed to drop during the War years the scheme was again taken up in 1919, and with various amendments, was put into force a year or two later. Although the actual award of Blues will be taken over by the New Zealand University Students' Association in the near future, the Tournament Committee will still continue to act as the recommending body in the sports which it controls.

It would be impossible in the space available in this publication to consider in any detail the history of Tournament from year to year, although such a history, if ever written, would be of absorbing interest to past and present students of the College. A brief account of each sport is the best that can be done, and this follows.

. . . .


Athletics was an event in the first Tournament, and few changes have been made in the programme since then. In the majority of events V.U.C. has had more than a fair share of wins, the field events being the glaring weakness. (O.U. have had 23 wins out of 27 contests in throwing the hammer!) Up to the last few years Victoria had held the Athletics Shield on more occasions than any of the other Colleges, but C.U.C. has now drawn ahead to lead by 11 wins to V.U.C.' 10, with O.U. having won the Shield nine times and A.U.C. as yet without a win. Auckland teams have never had much success in this branch of Tournament, their best performance being in 1914, the only occasion in which they have been runners up.

The standard in the Athletic events in Tournament has always been high and athletes of high calibre are needed to score points for their College. Many such men have represented V.U.C. on the track and individual mention here would require so much space that it has been necessary to tabulate the results. Outstanding as far as collecting points for the Shield is concerned have been F. W. B. Goodbehere, L. A. Tracy, M. Lead-better, F. H. Stephenson, E. B. Smith, C. B. Allan, A. D. Priestley, T. Rigg, A. Hudson, A. B. Sievwright, A. G. Bogle, G. S. Strack, A. Jackson, F. S. Ramson, D. Barker and G. J. Sceats. V.U.C. has no complaint of the performance of her athletes, and the keenness of the present Athletic Club augurs well for the future.

V.U.C. Winners-Athletics.

100 yards.

1905— T. E. Y. Seddon, 11 1-5 secs. (dead heat).

1907— F. W. B. Goodbehere, 10 4-5 sees

1908— F. W. B. Goodbehere, 10 4-5 secs.

1911— A.T. Duncan, 10 4-5 secs.

1912— F.W. B. Goodbehere, 11 secs.

1919— N.A. J. Barker, 10 1-5 secs.

1920— L.A. Tracy, 10 4-5 secs.

1921— L.A. Tracy, 10 1-5 secs.

1925— M. Leadbetter, 10 2-5 secs.

1926— M. Leadbetter, 10 secs. (equal record).

1930— C. H. Jenkins, 10 2-5 secs.

1932— F.H. Stephenson, 10 secs. (not passed as record).

1933— F.H. Stephenson, 10 1-5 secs. 12½ wins out of 30 contests.

220 yards.

1907— F.W. B. Goodbehere, 24 2-5 secs.

1908— F.W. B. Goodbehere, 25 2-5 secs.

1911— A.T. Duncan, 24 2-5 secs.

1912— F.W. B. Goodbehere, 24 4-5 secs.

1920— L.A. Tracy, 23 3-5 secs.

1921— L.A. Tracy, 22 4-5 secs. (record).

1922— L.A. Tracy, 23 secs.

1924— L.A. Tracy, 23 secs.

1925— M. Leadbetter, 23 3-5 secs.

1926— M. Leadbetter, 23 1-5 secs.

1929— E.K. Eastwood, 23 2-5 secs.

1930— C.H. Jenkins, 22 4-5 secs.

1932— F.H. Stephenson, 23 1-5 secs.

1933— F.H. Stephenson, 22 3-5 secs. (record). 14 wins out of 30 contests.

page 74

440 yards.

1906—H. W. King, 54 1-5 secs.

1907—F. W. B. Goodbehere, 54 1-5 secs.

1912—F. W. B. Goodbehere, 54 2-5 secs.

1921—L. A. Tracy, 52 secs.

1922—L. A. Tracy, 51 3-5 secs.

1924—L. A. Tracy, 51 2-5 secs. (equal record).

1926—E. B. Smith, 54 secs.

1927—C. B. Allan, 53 secs.

1928—E. B. Smith, 52 3-5 secs.

1929—E. K. Eastwood, 52 secs.

1932—J. B. Stephenson, 50 2-5 secs. (record). 11 wins out of 30 contests.

880 yards.

1902—A. S. Henderson, 2 mins. 3 1-5 secs.

1919—G. H. Lusk, 2 mins. 17 2-5 secs.

1920—J. L. Dighton, 2 mins. 11 2-5 secs.

1921—M. R. Grierson, 2 mins. 3 secs.

1922—K. M. Griffin, 2 mins. 1 2-5 secs.

1923—K. M. Griffin, 2 mins. 5 3-5 secs.

1926—C. B. Allan, 2 mins. 5 1-5 secs.

1927—C. B. Allan, 2 mins. 2 4-5 secs.

1928—E. B. Smith, 2 mins. 3 1-5 secs. (dead heat). 8½ wins out of 30 contests.

Mile Flat.

1905—F. A. de la Mare, 4 mins. 55 secs.

1906—F. A. de la Mare, 4 mins. 47 secs.

1912—F. F. Reid, 4 mins. 52 1-5 secs.

1913—H. Williams, 4 mins. 52 4-5 secs.

1914—A. Hudson, 4 mins. 32 secs.

1915—H. Williams, 4 mins. 44 secs.

1919—S. A. Wiren, 5 mins. 20 4-5 secs.

1923—K. M. Griffin, 4 mins. 42 4-5 secs.

1924—A. D. Priestley, 4 mins. 31 4-5 secs.

1927—A. D. Priestley, 4 mins. 26 4-5 secs. (record).

10 wins out of 30 contests.

Three Miles Flat.

(First run in 1907.)

1908—T. Rigg, 16 mins. 13 4-5 secs.

1909—T. Rigg, 15 mins. 56 secs.

1910—T. Rigg, 16 mins. 13 secs.

1911—T. Rigg, 16 mins. 8 secs.

1912—H. Williams, 16 mins. 52 secs.

1913—A. Hudson, 15 mins. 38 3-5 secs.

1914—A. Hudson, 15 mins. 24 secs. (record).

1915—H. Williams, 16 mins. 10 3-5 secs.

1919—H. Williams, 17 mins. 27 secs.

1924—A. D. Priestley, 15 mins. 33 secs.

10 wins out of 25 contests.

Mile Walk.

1902—A. Quartley, 8 mins. 29 2-5 secs.

1913—A. B. Sievwright, 7 mins. 11 secs.

1914—A. B. Sievwright, 7 mins. 6 secs.

1915—A. B. Sievwright, 7 mins. 13 2-5 secs.

1926—D. Jackson, 6 mins. 46 2-5 secs.

1934—S. G. Eade, 7 mins. 3 4-5 secs. (dead heat).

5½ wins out of 30 contests.

120 yards Hurdles

1907—T. N. Holmden, 17 1-5 secs.

1908—A. H. Bogle, 18 1-5 secs.

1909—A. H. Bogle, 17 1-5 secs.

1911—G. S. Strack, 17 3-5 secs.

1912—G. S. Strack, 17 2-5 secs.

1913—G. S. Strack, 16 4-5 secs.

1920—A. Jackson, 17 1-5 secs.

1921—A. Jackson,——.

1927—W. G. Kalaugher, 16 2-5 secs.

1928—F. S. Ramson, 16 3-5 secs.

1929—F. S. Ramson, 16 3-5 secs.

1930—F. S. Ramson, 16 secs.

12 wins out of 30 contests.

440 yards Hurdles.

(First run in 1903. Changed to 3 ft. hurdles in 1922.)

1903—A. S. Henderson, 62 2-5 secs.

1908—A. H. Bogle, 66 4-5 secs.

1909—A. H. Bogie, 66 1-5 secs.

1912—G. S. Strack, 66 1-5 secs.

1913—C. H. E. Strack, 65 secs.

1919—G. G. Aitken, 68 1-5 secs.

1920—A. Jackson, 63 2-5 secs.

1921—A. Jackson, 60 1-5 secs.

1928—F. S. Ramson, 61 3-5 secs.

1929—F. S. Ramson, 59 2-5 secs.

1930—F. S. Ramson, 59 3-5 secs.

1931—F. S. Ramson, 59 secs.

12 wins out of 29 contests.

Putting the 16 lb. Weight.

1931—F. S. Ramson, 32 ft. 8½ ins.

1 win out of 30 contests.

Throwing the 16 lb. Hammer.

(First held in 1903.)

1910—J. Wilson, 98 ft. 3 ins.

1 win out of 29 contests.

High Jump.

1912—F. G. Hall-Jones, 5 ft. 3 ins.

1913—F. G. Hall-Jones, 5 ft. 4 ins.

1926—G. J. Sceats, 5 ft. 7½ ins.

1927—G. J. Sceats, 5 ft. 11 ins. (record).

1929—F. S. Ramson, 5 ft. 5½ ins. (dead heat).

4½ wins out of 30 contests.

Long Jump.

1908—F. W. B. Goodbehere, 20 ft. 9 ins.

1913—B. Egley, 21 ft.

1919—P. K. Bryan, 18 ft. 9½ ins.

1927—W. G. Kalaugher, 21 ft. 9¼ ins.

1929—F. S. Ramson, 22 ft.

1930—D. Barker, 21 ft. 6½ ins.

1931—D. Barker, 21 ft. 4½ ins.

1932—D. Barker, 21 ft. 7¾ ins.

8 wins out of 28 contests.

Javelin Throwing Championship.

(First held in 1930.)
No wins out of 5 contests.

page 75

Relay Race.

Won in 1907, '08, '22, '23, '24, '25, '28, '29, '30, '33. 10 wins out of 30 contests.

Winners of Ladies' Cup.

(Held by Athlete or Athletes scoring the greatest number of points in the Tournament.)

1907—F. W. B. Goodbehere.

1908—F. W. B. Goodbehere.

1912—F. W. B. Goodbehere (equal with another).

1919—A. Jackson (equal with another).

1920—L. A. Tracy (equal with another).

1921—L. A. Tracy.

1927—W. G. Kalaugher.

1928—F. S. Ramson (equal with two others).

1929—F. S. Ramson.

1930—F. S. Ramson and C. H. Jenkins (equal with another).

1931—F. S. Ramson (equal with two others).

1932—F. H. Stephenson.

1933—F. H. Stephenson (equal with another).

9 1/3 wins out of 31 contests.

Winners of Athletic Shield.

V.U.C., 10 wins (1908, '12, '13, '19, '20, '21, '26, '27, '28, '29); C.U.C., 11 wins; O.U., 9 wins;

A.U.C., no wins.

Athletic Wooden Spoon.

Held by V.U.C. 5 times (1903, '04, '14, '15, '34);

A.U.C., 18 times; C.U.C., 5 times; O.U., twice.

. . . .


Our efforts in Tennis have not met with the same success as in Athletics, and apart from wins in 1905, '06 and '07, and a tie with C.U.C. in 1932, the Tennis Cup has not come this way. Contrary to popular opinion, an analysis of the results shows that our women have been more successful than our men!

No change in the programme for Tennis has been made since 1902, except that the system of scoring for the Tennis Cup was amended to permit points to be scored for each match won in the early rounds as well as the finals. It is of interest to note that the winner of the Men's Singles and Doubles in 1902 was the late Anthony F. Wilding, probably the greatest tennis player New Zealand has produced.

V.U.C. Winners-Lawn Tennis.

Men's Singles.

1906—G. S. Prouse.

1907—G. S. Prouse.

1929—C. E. Malfroy.

3 wins out of 30 contests.

Men's Doubles.

1906—R. St. J. Beere and F. A. de la Mare.

1907—G. S. Prouse and C. V. Bogle.

1928—R. McL. Ferkins and G. N. T. Goldie.

3 wins out of 30 contests.

Women's Singles.

1902—Mrs. C. V. Longton.

1904—Miss A. Batham.

1905—Miss L. Van Staveren.

1906—Miss F. G. Roberts.

1907—Miss J. Scott.

1908—Miss J. Scott.

1909—Miss B. I. L. Reeve.

1910—Miss B. I. L. Reeve.

1924—Miss M. Tracy.

9 wins out of 30 contests

Women's Doubles.

1902—Miss L. Van Staveren and Mrs. C. V. Longton.

1905—Misses A. Batham and L. Van Staveren.

1907—Misses J. Scott and M. E. Cox.

1908—Misses J. Scott and Mcintosh.

1911—Mrs. A. H. Bogle and Miss I. Tennant.

1932—Misses M. H. Line and L. C. Longmore.

1933—Misses M. H. Line and L. C. Longmore. 7 wins out of 30 contests.

Combined Doubles.

1905—Miss A. Batham and R. St. J. Beere.

1906—Miss F. G. Roberts and F. A. de la Mare.

1907—Miss J. Scott and G. S. Prouse.

1910—Mrs. A. H. Bogle and G. M. Cleghorn.

1919—Miss E. G. Waldie and C. F. Atmore.

5 wins out of 30 contests.

Holders of Tennis Cup.

V.U.C, 3½ wins (1905, '06, '07, tie with C.U.C., 1932), out of 30 contests; A.U.C., 10; C.U.C., 14½; O.U., 2.

. . . .


In the days when the Debating Contest for the Joynt Scroll was a Tournament event, V.U.C., as might be expected from the Law School, were able to carry home the Scroll more often than any of the others. With twelve wins to Otago's six, Canterbury's five and Auckland's two wins, we page 76 certainly led the field. Unfortunately, however, serious debating in association with the general hilarity prevailing at Tournament time was found to be impossible. By 1928 matters had reached such a condition that the Debate was discontinued as a Tournament event, and it is now held more sedately at some other time.

V.U.C. Winners—Debating.

1906—E. J. Fitzgibbon and F. P. Kelly.

1907—H. F. O Leary and B. E. Murphy.

1908—J. Mason and H. E. Evans.

1909—D. S. Smith and G. H. Gibb.

1911—C. H. Taylor and M. H. Oram.

1912—F. G. Hall-Jones and G. W. Morice.

1914—A. B. Sievwright and G. G. G. Watson.

1915—L. P. Leary and L. M. Moss.

1919—E. Evans and W. E. Leicester.

1923—F. H. Haig and J. W. G. Davidson.

1925—S. E. Baume and R. M. Campbell.

1928—W. P. Rollings and J. F. Platts-Mills.

(Contest removed from Tournament programme after 1929.)

12 wins out of 25 contests.

. . . .


The inclusion of Boxing was suggested in 1913, by Otago delegates, but all the other delegates voted against the proposal. Early in 1914 it was again suggested by Otago but there was still no enthusiasm, and it was not until Tournament was resumed after the War, in 1919, that approval was given. The first contest was held in 1920 and the event has since become one of the most popular in Tournament.

Average success only has come our way in Boxing. A strong team brought back the Shield in 1930 and we have tied with the other Centres on two occasions.

V.U.C. Winners-Boxing.


1920—A. D. McRae.

1930—L. F. Sowry.

2 wins out of 15 contests.


(First contest in 1930.)
No wins out of 5 contests.


1920—J. D. Hutchison.

1921—J. D. Hutchison.

1926—G. J. Sceats.

1930—M. E. Mahoney.

4 wins out of 15 contests.


1923—V. F. Coningham.

1924—V. F. Coningham.

1928—G. B. Richardson.

1929—M. E. Mahoney.

4 wins out of 15 contests.


1932—J. B. Kent.

1 win out of 15 contests.


1922—R. R. T. Young.

1923—R. R. T. Young.

1929—D. Edwards.

1931—W. C. Hart.

4 wins out of 15 contests.


(First contest in 1923.)

1930—J. K. Logan.

1 win out of 11 contests.

Boxing Shield.

1923—Tied with C.U.C. and O.U.

1929—Tied with O.U.

1930—Won outright.

3 wins out of 15 contests.

(A.U.C., 2 wins; C.U.C., 5 wins; O.U., 9 wins.)

. . . .


The first official shooting match was held in 1919, although matches for the Haslam Shield were commenced in 1909. As it would be quite impossible to billet three shooting teams in addition to the present large number of representatives it is necessary for Colleges to shoot on their own ranges. This arrangement has been rather unsatisfactory in many ways, but it just cannot be helped.

During the first few years of the contest V.U.C. did not enter a team, and only two wins have been recorded (1931-32). A.U.C. lead in the contest with seven wins, with C.U.C. four, and O.U. three. The only V.U.C. man to score highest points in the match has been P. H. Meakin (1931).

page 77


Victoria College has played little part in Swim, ming up to the present time. When Debating was withdrawn from the list of Tournament events in 1929 a spare evening was left during the Easter period and the inclusion of Swimming as a Tournament event was made possible, the first contest being held in 1930. So far the only V.U.C. representative to win an event has been Miss Nancy Webber, who won the 66 2-3 yds. women's breaststroke in the record time of 59 sees, in 1932. The Swimming Shield has not yet come anywhere near V.U.C., but our Swimming Club is growing in strength year by year and should make its presence felt in the near future.

. . . .


Early in 1914 the inclusion of Rowing in the Tournament was suggested by Otago, but the idea was received without enthusiasm. From time to time the question was again raised and several unofficial races were held up to 1932, when the first race under Tournament rules was held at Wellington. The only official race in which V.U.C. entered a crew was that of 1932, won by C.U.C.

Due to the generosity of the Misses Heberley, students of V.U.C., a handsome shield carved in the Maori tradition by their father, Mr. Heberley, was presented in 1930 for competition in the Inter-University College Eight-oared Boat Race.

In 1933 and 1934 it was impossible to borrow a boat, but a boat has now been purchased and V.U.C. will again be represented in the race at Dunedin next Easter.

. . . .


Basketball was first held as a Tournament event in 1927, although matches for the Basketball Shield had been held apart from Tournament for four or five years. Since 1927 A.U.C. has had an almost unbroken record of successes, their only loss being to V.U.C. by a very narrow margin in 1933.

Tournament Shield.

Until 1923, points for the various contests were all counted separately and no record is available of the winners of the whole Tournament up to this date. In that year, however, the Committee invested in a Tournament Shield, and a system was adopted of scoring points for the Shield on what was considered to be the relative importance of the different sports. The Shield has been won only once by V.U.C. (1929), A.U.C. and C.U.C. having held it four years each and O.U. three years.

. . . .

Wooden Spoon.

The V.U.C. Students' Association presented a Wooden Spoon in 1932, to be held by the College scoring the lowest number of points for the Tournament Shield. In the twelve contests for the Shield since 1923, the lowest scores have been recorded four times by A.U.C., three times each by V.U.C. and O.U., and twice by C.U.C. Since the commencement of formal competition for the Spoon A.U.C., O.U. and V.U.C. have each held it once, and at the present time it reposes in the glass case in the Hall at V.U.C. But in the past V.U.C. has taken her place at the top and she will do so again—soon.

But whatever success may attend our representatives at future Tournaments, all will surely endorse Seaforth Mackenzie's lines in the 1904 issue of Spike, reprinted in the 1920 edition of 'The Old Clay Patch":—

My Lord, I did attend the Olympic games—
Maid Modesty for fend I tell my deeds—
But such a goodly show of fellowship,
Such turn for speed, such thews, such sleight of hand,
Such honied tongues for golden oratory,—
I trust I may bear witness to again.

—D. M. Burns.