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The Spike or Victoria College Review 1936

Debating Society

page 91

Debating Society

This year the Debating Society has sailed through troubled waters, but these are now completely past, and the Society is in a most prosperous condition. Following on some trouble in connection with last year's accounts, the Executive refused a grant, and after a stormy General Meeting the whole committee resigned with the exception of one member. But the committee was subsequently re-elected, almost in toto; and a number of successful functions conducted by the Society have so improved the finances of the Society that it is now in a position to make a grant to the Executive.

The interest shown in debates during the present session is a great improvement on that of last year, and the attendance at the Society's meetings has not slackened off even towards the end of the second term, as is usually the case.

The Plunket Medal Contest was held in the Concert Chamber of the Town Hall as usual. The audience filled the Chamber almost to capacity, and the standard of oratory was high. Mr. J. B. Aimers was awarded the Medal, and Mr. A. T. S. McGhie and Miss Dorothy Souter took the second and third places.

Mr. A. H. Scotney and Mr. McGhie represented the College at the Joynt Scroll Contest, which was held this year at Canterbury. Victoria came second, and Mr. McGhie was placed third among the individual speakers.

Last year's Union Prize was won by Mr. A. H. Scotney with a very big lead. This year, however, there are several competitors running very close.

For the Annual Visitors' Debate the Society was fortunate enough to have the Rt. Hon. Mr. J. G. Coates and the Hon. Mr. J. A. Lee as the leading speakers. The debate aroused enormous interest, with the result that the Gym. was packed, the best part of a hundred people having to stand during the whole of the evening. The meeting coincided with pay-day and this fact appeared to have had some effect on the spirits of the audience. The frequent interjections were commonly received with uproarious applause and the meeting was one of the most enjoyable V.U.C. has known for years.

The Society has recently embarked on two new ventures. It has taken part in two wireless debates with other University Colleges, losing to Otago and defeating Canterbury. These debates are both interesting and remunerative. The other new venture is to enter a team for the Impromptu Debates class in the forthcoming festival of the Wellington Competitions Society.