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The Spike or Victoria University College Review 1943

Mr W. S. Brook — An Appreciation

Mr W. S. Brook

An Appreciation

Visiting the College recently, a feeling of something absent came over me. I realised before long what has caused that feeling—"Brookie" was no longer in his accustomed place in the Hall. It was then I learned for the first time that the College had lost one of its most faithful friends, and one who will be greatly missed by students past and present.

Since 1906 the College had been served by a "Brook." It was in that year that Mr J. S. Brook was appointed caretaker and he and his wife became a tradition about the College. His successor was his son, Mr W. S. Brook, and he became equally a tradition and was equally loved by the students.

His duties far exceeded his title. He was the general traffic officer of the College and it was he who broke up the incipient romances which were blocking the traffic in the main hall. He was the telephone operator of the College, and Mr Brook it was who put a stop to "two-up" games, smoking and other misdemeanours which infringed the College regulations. His task required great tact and patience and so well did he succeed that he became one of the best loved identities of the College.

When the Library was enlarged following the Carnegie grant, Mr Brook did most of the carpentering work which was required, and this work was done splendidly.

No student activity passed unnoticed and he was a staunch supporter of all College Clubs. The football club was always one of Mr Brook's pets and he always bemoaned the fact that the great days of 1928 and 1929 did not come again. He annually kicked off in the Ruru Shield match and I think that this was his favourite football game of the season.

It is not often that the College is lucky enough to be served by one with so wholehearted an interest in it, and it is true to say that "Brookie" will be greatly missed. To all the generations of old students who after they had left College occasionally paid a passing visit to the College to renew acquaintance with the place, Mr Brook was the one person they always looked for to discuss past days and draw invidious comparisons with the present. In him they found a ready ally, and once again were able to recapture something of their student past. For Mr Brook had an encyclopedic knowledge of University affairs, incidents and history, and he was never tired of recounting the 'Varsity exploits of Victorians who have now made their mark in the wider world outside.

To his wife and family the College's sympathy is extended.

John Carrad.