Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1936. Volume 7. Number 12.

Adjudicators Acclaim Aimers's

Adjudicators Acclaim Aimers's

The contest for the Plunket Medal last Saturday evening went the full eight rounds. From a rigside seat, "Smad" brings you an eyewitness's impressions of the epic conflict, for which fans had packed the Concert Chamber to the doors. Jack Aimers secured the winning fall in the fourth round.

Jack's Poor Marie.

"A victim to levity": such was Marie Antoinette, the lady so sharmingly introduced to the audiance by the winning speaker. This unhappy Queen had been made the symbol for all the depreavity of the French Court, but Jack wasn't going to let that pass. We had to examine the influences that led her from the nursery to the marriage, and thence, step by step, to the guillotine, When we had discarded the exaggerated accusations of infamy made against her, we would find a very human woman. A victim of the poison of flattery in her early life, she was yet able, on the threshold of the scaffold, to stand alone and face with equanimity the fate of the guilotine. Jack dealt with the elegant lady with appropriate artistry, while his direct and forceful style was full equal to the underlying grimness of his theme. The tempo was sustanined throughout, right up to the final picture of the Stuatue of Libery in the Place de is Revolution: "She sees not, nor wishes to see, she knows not, nor wishes to know, the acts committed in her name."

The Twa Macs.

Wha wadna gae wi' the McGhie up tae Bonnie Scotland amang the men wi' knobbly knees and lean and hungry look, amang the scent o' the heather and a'? Last year, ye ken, 'twere w' Last year, ye ken, 'twere w' Rabbie Burns; but no matter, ye may as well gae agn wi' McG. and MacD.

Ramsay MacDonald was an idealist Ramsay accordingly followed his ideals, Mr. McGhie followed Ramsay, but Mr. Justice Blair couldn't follow Mr. McGhie. "Was he a traitor?" asked the orator. "Aye," shouted a voice (an entirely unsolicited testimonial). Through the haze of a Killicrankie mist we could hardly expect to see much of the man we were looking for, but Mr. McGhie himself made up for that by his unrivalled ease on the stage and his charm of manner. Mac was placed second in the contest, but "a Scotsman knows he's never beaten."

Miss Souter and Anaesthetics.

Third in the placing of the Judges was Miss D. C. Souter, speaking on Sir James Simpson. Beginning with his burial, Miss Souter traced his life back to the time when he was son of a the time when he was son of a baker. Sir James had a curious facility for dreaming first and sleeping afterwards. In 1847, for example, he first sniffed chloroforn. This was the fulfilment of a dream, and a deep sleep ensued. Miss Souter then gave us oratory on obstetrics, statistics, and anaesthetics, and the most powerful of these was anaesthetics.

Try Again. Bonk!

Bonk's Liberator for 1936 was Henri Christophe, who hadn't been told about the 40-hour week. This was a vigorous speech, and many fans thought it should at least have been placed. The Tourist Department ought to get down on his description of Haiti and all that tropical moonshine. (If too late, try "Tattoo" advertisement.)

"Night! A m'bongo bird twittered on the outskirs of M'bongo-M'bongo" (Has this got punch? I'll say!) "Crashed the ceaseless cudgelling of clubs, and droned indeed the deathless dirge of drums." Thus descended the Perryration, in which Peter Chanel persistenly proselytised the primeval pagans of the perilous Pacific.

Marg Shortall, introducing a well-known Crusader for armaments and for "things more precious than gold—oil, for example," sketched Sir Basil Zaharoff through troubled times to a final, well-earned haven at Monte Carlo. But Marg misjudged the judges. Although with elegant wit she carved Sir Basil into small pieces, she failed to treat him with proper respect. As unforgivable was the crime of the savage who ate a missionary during Lent! Judged solely by the effect on the audience this speech would have ranked high.

"Rosa talked, Rosa fumed, and the crowd listened; Rosa talked, Rosa fumed, and the crowd got ear-ache." For once, the thorny path of revolution was a bed of Rosas. Ken brought a new style a new formula, to the Plunket oration. But it must be before its time. It recalled the work of Gertrude Stein; but audiences are still Philistine.

The last heroine of the evening was Jane Addams, remembered to the world as the woman who talked about her activities even at meal-times. Miss Stock bewailed the fact that Jane had been branded at anarchist and vilified as a pacifist, but the show of heavy indignation hardly went across.

In the long retirment of the judges we were convinced of the urgent need for some elimination contest for would-be interval stopgaps. Is it any wonder if judges go out and stay out?


H. R. C. Wild.

Women's Vice-President:

Miss N. M. McLaren.

Men's Vice-President:

J. C. White.

Hon. Secretary:

D. R. Currie.

Hon. Treasurer:

E. G. Budge.

Women's Executive Members:

Miss P. M. P. Edwards

Miss S. M. Sanders.

Miss J. Stock.

Men's Executive Members:

E. Blacker.

R. W. Edgley.