Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 9 June 01, 1938
Before Capping 1938 takes its final bow, it must be labelled "Successful." Viewed collectively, or as a series of events, it does not warrant the use of superlatives, but is deserving of favourable comment.
The Extravaganza is reviewed elsewhere in this issue and needs no additional comment here. The fact that the "House Full" sign had to be put up on three of the four nights indicates an achievement of no small order. It is estimated that a profit of £185 was made, which represents a notable addition to the Building fund. The thanks of all students are due to the casts and producers of all the shows.
It would appear also that the entertainments provided after Extrav. each night, which covered a remarkably wide range of human activity, were thoroughly enjoyed by the large numbers of people who attended them.
At Undergrade Supper we were pleased to hear from Prof. Hunter for the first time in his new capacity of College Principal. Most heartening of all was the indication he gave that he fully appreciated the need for a new Students Union Building; a need the urgency of which was fully demonstrated by the fact that two stout supports had to be erected on the ground floor in order to make it possible to hold the supper in the Gym.
The brevity of nearly all the speeches was a feature subsequent generations should note and emulate.
What we saw of the Ball seemed to indicate that all was going well. The difficulty of balancing the finances of this event, occa sioned by the large number of complimentary tickets, was success fully met by our Executive without undue parsimony, and a profit was made. This was by no means the smallest achievement of the week.
It was pleasing to hear a more robust singing of the songs at the Capping Ceremony. There is much room for further progress in this direction.
There are one or two observations one would like to make on the Ceremony. One doubts the value of singing once a year, in Latin, only vaguely understood by most of us. "The Song of Victoria College." to the tune of the Austrian National Anthem. 'Tis not anti-classical academic sentiment, nor anti-royalist political bias which prompts these remarks, but a feeling that the substitution of a song with original words and music, suitable for this and other occasions, which could be heartily sung and appreciated by all would do much to brighten the Ceremony. Unless I am mistaken, such a song was the object of an unfruitful search some years ago It is time this search was either commenced or recommenced with the idea of producing something neither as learnedly remote as the present College Song, nor as free in measure and thought as "Anchors Aweigh," but situated midway between the two. Is it too much to hope that the Executive or the Prof. Board may inaugurate a competition with this end in view?
Although there was no procession again this year, it would be a mistake were it allowed to be forgotten. In view of the decline in the quality and quantity of the humour displayed in the proces sions for the two years preceding the imposition of the ban, few will doubt the wisdom of the Prof. Board's decree; but perhaps the salutary effect of that decree has now had time to be felt and next year we may see a procession which will equal in quality those whose characters and speeches have in times past completely filled the Post Office Square with hundreds of appreciative Wellingtonians. This is an objective which the Men's Social Club, whose presence we were glad to observe at the Capping Ceremony (even if they were wrapped in newspaper) should keep in view.
Last in order, but far removed from that position in merit, comes "Cappicade." It was an excellent production, and its enormous sale must in some measure have compensated the Editor (Mr. A. T. Fussell) for the many hours of work, he put into it. That its contents were not representative of the efforts of V.U.C. students is no fault of his. Frequent appeals in "Salient" and on the notice board produced a response which was to put it far too mildly, disappointing to him. In this, as in far too many student activities, the initiative was left to a few, in this case mainly to one, who perforce had reluctantly to call in outside help. One would like to use heavy type, underlinings, and exclamation marks to impress on students that collective failure to respond to such appeals, whether they be for "Cappicade," "Salient," or "Spike," entails the moral loss of the most valuable privilege of criticism in connection with these publications. That is only fair, is it not? Surely no one wishes such a lifeless state of affairs to eventuate?
So now that the second term is beginning and this has been pointed out, let us hope to see a greater interest in "Spike" than we saw in "Cappicade." It's up to you to do something about it.