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The Spike Golden Jubilee Number May 1949

The First Years of the Students' Society

The First Years of the Students' Society

The victoria college students' society is the students' representative body, which acts in all negotiations between the students and the professors, College Councils, etc. To the Society all the athletic and social clubs are affiliated. The business is carried on by an Executive Committee appointed at the Annual General Meeting,

The following is a short history of the Society:

On Saturday, 6th May, 1899, a meeting of the students of Victoria College was held at the Girls' High School, Professor Maclaurin in the chair. At this meeting it was decided to form a Students' Society in connection with the College, and a Committee was set up to draft a set of rules, and report to a general meeting of the students, to be held within the next fortnight. This meeting was held on the 16th May, and at it the first Committee of the Students' Society was elected as follows:—
President: Mr J. Prenderville
Vice-Presidents: Miss M. A. Blair
Mr S. W. Fitzherbert
Secretary: Mr J. E. Patrick
Treasurers: Miss M, Fleming
Mr K. Kirkcaldie
Committee: Misses Ross, Greenfield, and Reid, Messrs Hutchinson, Stout, Logan, and Charters.

It was decided that the Patron of the Society each year should be the Chairman of the Professorial Board, and for 1899 Professor Maclaurin was elected to that position.

It was decided at the same meeting that the newly elected Committee should frame rules for a Debating Society. On the 3rd June, 1899, the maiden debate was held, and the first Debating Society Committee was elected the same evening.

On the 24th May the Society entertained the students at a concert and dance, which was such a success that a ball was held in the Sydney Street Schoolroom on the 18th July.

At a meeting held soon after, a resolution was passed to the effect that the students strongly protest against the Ministerial residence in Tinakori Road as a site for the College, and a copy of this resolution was forwarded to the Victoria College Council.

At a Committee meeting held on the 14th September it was decided that a Sub-Committee should wait on Mr Hogg, M.H.R., to obtain through him an introduction to the Government, from whom it might ask permission to use the Parliamentary tennis courts. Permission was ob-tained, and the Committee elected the first College Tennis Committee. On April 24th, 1900, at the second annual meeting, a motion was carried that the Tennis Club be constituted a separate body.

In this second year the students were entertained by the Society at several social functions.

The College colours were fixed as brown and yellow, but they have since been changed to the present maroon and pale blue.

Last year, 1901, a great deal of work was done. Undoubtedly the most important undertaking was the successful carrying out of the arrangements for the Inter-College Tournament, an account of which appears on another page.

The students were entertained at the usual dance at the beginning of the year, at a dance on Diploma Day and later on in the year at a euchre party and dance.

On the day of the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, the students marched to the stand given them by the Reception Committee, wearing cap and gown, and carrying a banner on which, in bold letters, was inscribed, "We have eyes, but no site."

This year, for the first time, the Committee was photographed. It is a matter for regret that this was not done in the two previous years, as the array of photographs of each year's Committee would be of the greatest interest to the students of future generations.

For the first time, too, an effort was made to suitably celebrate Diploma Day of 1902; the Committee offering a prize of half a guinea for the best poem suitable for the occasion.

In March, 1902, "Horace at Athens" was acted at the College to raise funds for the Easter Tournament, and a substantial credit balance was one of its results.

This year we have commenced to publish a College magazine, which we expect to meet with the support it deserves.

Various minor matters have also been undertaken successfully for the benefit of the students by the Society during the three and a half years of its infancy.

(Reprinted from The Spike, Vol. I, No. I, June, 1902.)