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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 15. July 13, 1938



A brief note in the report of the last Executive records the passing of the Free Discussions Club. The patient had been ailing, in fact, bedridden, for nearly twelve months, following a sudden collapse, which was due to a severe shock received last year in the normal course of his duties consequent upon the visit and departure of the German Consul. A little over two weeks ago life was officially pronounced extinct, thus terminating what might have been a long and successful career. It would be unfitting for the Free Discussions Club to pass beyond the shades, unwept, unhonoured, or unsung.

Prior to his unfortunate collapse the deceased had enjoyed robust health, there being many who can remember the time when Discussion was not merely Free, but good and hearty.

The passing of this attractive personality represents a loss which the College can ill afford, and one feels justified in asking whether those responsible for his welfare did all that was possible to ensure his continued existence. On the evidence available, the coroner, who in this case is to be the students, will no doubt find that death was due to criminal negligence on the part of those from whom support might legitimately have been expected.

To freshers the deceased is merely a name, which, for a short time, will exist no more; but to many others who remember him in his prime, he was one of the most unique characters in the life of Victoria College.

Save for one memorable occasion, he maintained, amid the clash of conflicting opinions weekly heard within the walls of his abode, an attitude of rigid impartiality, deriving his pleasure "solely from listening to the views of others, and enabling any who so wished to do the same. No question was ever so large that he could not accommodate it, no matter so contentious that it could not be reasonably discussed in his presence. Subjects for which his colleagues could find no place were readily accepted by him. No man was ever turned from his doors, be he Jew, Aryan, Christian, heretic, infidel or unbeliever, and many were the pleasant evenings spent in his society by eager seekers after Truth. His was a personality so distinctive of the true University life and education that we cannot afford to be long without it.

Let this be both the justification for his existence and the reason for his speedy resurrection.