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The Spike or Victoria University College Review 1934

The Haeremai Club

page 87

The Haeremai Club

We are the nobs and not: the snobs,
The aristocracy.
We want cigars and hotel-bars
Up here at V.U.C.
Come all you gay young fellows,
And let us have a spree,
For we are the Club, the Haeremai Club,
The pride of the 'Varsity.

In submitting to our readers a history of the Haeremai Club we are under a handicap as this Club is of a totally different nature from the other 'Varsity Clubs insofar as it has no records to mark its progress each year and the outstanding performances of its members do not bear repeating here. Some of the deeds of now staid business men, rising barristers, respected schoolteachers and others would cause much surprise if reported but we are bound to respect their feelings so they can rest assured that their reputations will not suffer through us.

The Haeremai Club was founded about twenty years ago with the object of fostering a true interest amongst the men students in the various activities of the College. As Victoria is largely composed of part-time students the aim was to afford an opportunity for students of the different faculties to meet one another and to foster corporate College spirit. The Club flourished for a few years and various functions were held until interest in it gradually evaporated and the Club died at the early age of six years.

In 1927 there was a movement on foot amongst the students sponsored mainly by Mr. G. A. Nicholls to resurrect the old Haeremai Club. As a result a meeting of students was convened and the Club was revived in order, as they put it, "to put some life into the College activities and to promote a proper College spirit." The Club owes a great debt of gratitude to Messrs. G. A. Nicholls and W. D. Goodwin for putting the Club on its feet, and the great success it turned out to be was due to the efforts of these two men. The Club ran several socials and Gods Parties and the presence of the newly formed Club was felt both within the College and in the City generally. During the year 1928 we were prominent in the Tournament held in Wellington and the new haka was responsible for much of the noise made on various occasions. It is during the Tournament that the Club can really excel itself and can make all the difference between the show going with a swing or falling flat. Another very popular function was the Club's dinner and Smoke Concetr which was attended by about one hundred students, most of whom partook not wisely but too well and any one who chanced to be in the vicinity of Lambton Quay in the early hours of the morning would have been entertained by a magnificent exhibition of football; but we understand that several prominent Seniors were not up to form. Apart from these two functions the Club also turned on "bob hops," saveloy evenings and Gods Parties, and also had been given charge of the Capping Procession.

We now come to the year 1929, in which year the Club lost the services of many of its older members, but others were quickly found to take their place. The Haeremai Club successfully ran the Capping Processions for the next two years and although they came up against the authorities on numerous occasions they were always the very essence of tact and usually persuaded grey beards that such episodes as totally disorganising several large shops and adjusting the Post Office clock were all for the benefit of the general public. Gods Parties, very popular affairs, were held quite often but with the advent of the Talkies opportunities were less frequent. Many companies have to thank the Club for the success of their performances and the crowd would be there in hundreds when it was known that the Club would be there even though it may possibly have been rather embarrassing for the gentleman with the bald head in the circle or the student who was so misguided as to choose that night for giving his lady friend a treat. Saveloy evenings were very popular, as was the Smoke Concert, but the dinner during Capping Week had to be cancelled owing to the fact that the bill for breakages made a rather page 88 heavy call on the Club's finances. The men who were responsible for the Club's activities during this period include Messrs. Bishop, Fabian, East and Whitcombe, and all these to mention a few did sterling work for the Club.

The Club has, the last two years, been less active than in previous years and we consider this due to the fact that the Capping Processions had been disallowed, there were not the opportunities to hold theatre evenings and also to the opening of Weir House. The latter took over to a large extent the aim of the Club, namely, providing a true University spirit in the College. However, it would be a great pity if the Club should die out but it can only carry on with the whole-hearted support of the men students, by whom we mean both the older students and the freshers.

G. S. Sainsbury.