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The Spike or Victoria College Review 1937

Debating Society

page 65

Debating Society

When this magazine went to press last year, the Debating Society was in a most prosperous condition. It is pleasing to note that this is still the case, interest in the Society's activities still being maintained by a large number of students. There have been good audiences at most of the debates, and even one in the vacation drew 50 members.

The debates themselves have generally been of a high standard and have brought forth much discussion. The subjects have been well varied and have catered for all views.

The Plunket Medal Contest was held in the Gymnasium this year, and was extremely well attended, many being turned away.

The holding of the contest in the Gymnasium was an unprecedented occurrence, made necessary by the fact that the Main Town Hall was engaged for a wrestling match on the night on which the contest was set down for the Concert Chamber. Rightly fearing that the noise of a wrestling bout would ruin the contest, the Committee decided upon this change of venue, rather than postpone it. This was done, and as recorded above, it was well attended in spite of the late change, there being about 330 people present. The accommodation was certainly somewhat cramped, but this was made the basis of some very useful propaganda for the Building Fund by the chairman (Mr. R. W. Edgley) and Mr. W. P. Rollings, one of the judges.

The Medal was awarded to Mr. Scotney for his oration on Miller, with Miss Shortall (Madame Curie) a close second. The standard generally was high, and both Mr. Scotney and Miss Shortall made extraordinarily good speeches.

The Joynt Scroll Contest was held this year on 4th August at Auckland, and Victoria's representatives, Messrs. A. R. Perry and S. G. Andrews, brought the Scroll back with them. Mr. Andrews further distinguished himself by gaining first place among the speakers.

Last year's Union Prize was won by Mr. A. T. S. McGhie, with Mr. Tahiwi a close second. The New Speakers Prize was won by Mr. A. R. Perry, with Miss I. Dickens second.

The Society has taken part in a wireless debate with Auckland University College, which was won by V.U.C., and fixtures have been arranged for debates with Canterbury and Otago later in the year, thus giving the Society a chance of trying its strength against all the other Colleges.

An indication of the increasing popularity in debating in the College is the attendances at the New Speakers' debates held so far this year. The attendances have been exceptionally good, and the talent shown by the various speakers is a happy augury for the continued prosperity of the Society, which now seems to be assured of success for the next few years at least.