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The Spike or Victoria University College Review 1935

Debating Society

page 85

Debating Society

Learning from last year's experience, the Committee started activities directly the first term began, and so, despite a break of over a month between April 5th and May 10th for Tournament and Capping, has been able to complete this year's syllabus without recourse to vacation debates.

An uneventful Annual General Meeting was held on March 8th, followed by the traditional short humorous debate.

The eight subjects chosen for debate during the year were extremely varied, ranging from the current Abyssinian question to the delightful vagueness of "That the World is Really Progressing." Other subjects included 'The British Rule in India," "The Importance of Convention in English Society," "The Consistency of Opposing International War and Supporting Revolution." Something novel for V.U. was the motion, 'That New Zealand should become Fascist."

Mr. Scotney has won the Union Prize this year in convincing fashion with a total of 24 points and one debate to go. Max Brown is at present second. Mr. Scotney's winning of this prize is all the more pleasant because, with three successive second placings, he has had the hardest luck of any competitor in the Plunket Medal Contest.

The Plunket Medal Contest this year was remarkable for the diversity between the eight orations. Kingi Tahiwi was judged the winner with an oration on Henry VIII. McGhie, who lent colour to his subject, Robert Burns, by adopting a very pleasant Scottish accent, was placed second, and Margaret Shortall, with Michael Collins, was third.

Perhaps the most important event of the year was the Bledisloe Medal Contest held in Duncdin. After a preliminary contest Misses Forde and Souter were chosen as our two representatives to compete against the representatives of the other colleges. Heartiest congratulations are extended to Miss Forde who won this coveted medal in this, the second contest for it. She is the first V.U.C. debater and the first woman to win this contest. Miss Forde has already won the Union Prize and the Plunket Medal (both in 1932).

An innovation this year was a team debate against the League of Nations Union in which V.U.C. was represented by K. Tahiwi, A. Katz and Miss Souter.

Our Joynt Scroll debaters this year are Margaret Shortall and Max Brown. The contest had not been held at the time of writing.

There have been four New Speakers' Debates. The interest shown both by the speakers and by the audience of twenty or thirty, who on each occasion have attended, has been most satisfactory. Miss Joy Stock and Roy Jack have been the outstanding speakers.