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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 16. September 8th 1971

The Bledisloe Medal for Oratory

The Bledisloe Medal for Oratory

The Bledisloe Medal for oratory was won by Daryll Hutchison, also from Victoria. The medal - cast in gold - was originally founded by Lord Bedisloe - then Governor General - in 1931. It is competed for triennially by representatives from the various universities on the subject of "a great man or woman connected with New Zealand or an outstanding incident in New Zealand history".

In his winning oration "The Christening of David Thomas Shand" Mr Hutchison took a very original approach. He addressed the audience as though they were present at the christening of a newly born child whose gradmother had died in the Wahine disaster. Using the disaster as a basis, he developed the idea of man's puniness before nature and used the christening as evidence of man's capacity for renewal and continuation.

Mr Hutchison also won Victoria's own Plunket Medal for oratory last July. He revealed at that time a similar brilliance in his use of the unexpected by orating on "Edward Alan Sanders", a President of the United States who was born the day of the contest - 23 July 1971.

Dear Sir,

I like reading your newspaper but I get tired of the way you always pull things to bits. Like the march on Friday [July 30]. That was a good show and it gets in the news and lots of people see it and that makes them think that this is for real and serious and that way something might get done about all this aggression. And there seems to be too much of this funny talk that no one can understand. Like the "2.drugs" man, with all this sense data and alienation stuff and things existing in one sentence but not existing in the next, its too much for the human bizz.

But what I want to tell you is that I think that Tony Simpson is a [unclear: twit]. He says he doesn't like the P.Y.M. but he's half inclined to agree with them. I don't know what that means. I think he's half inclined to agree with anything. I wonder if he does any real agreeing or disagreeing. I wonder if he does anything except tell everybody how much he's read and how good he is at using big words. But even when he uses little words he uses them in funny ways. I thought I knew what myths were, they were things like Thor making the thunder and all that, but from what he says it seems that when my boss pays me a dollar twenty an hour and charges two dollars fifty an hour for my time then that's a myth. And I thought I knew what fascism was. Like Hitler and Mussolini and them but he makes it seem like anybody who believes in something and tries to do something about it is a fascist. It gets the poor old swede piece spinning.

I think the PYM are good people and I believe in what Tony Simpson calls "the primacy of action" if you want to call it that. It seems to me that many things around here are not too good and that we ought to do something. Everybody ought to do something, and it doesn't much matter if I've heard of Zaroastra or not, the thing is to get out and do what you can as hard as you can about the things you think are wrong and people who write flashy stories saying that the people who do this are not good or fascists give me a big pain in the bum. In the words of the poet:

Asking you pardon as to the verse
'T would give you heartburn in the arse

(J. Joyce)

I'd be proud to have some of the PYM represent me, and I don't get laughed at at work. Tony Simpson hasn't met enough workers. Like his Bolsheviks maybe he hasn't met any, he's too busy word-mongering. Maybe the PYM does some things wrong but they do lots of things right too, and they do Do Things to try to fix this bloody shambles we try to live and work in which is a lot more that you can say for most people. From what I've met of these people he wouldn't hit you on the head with the piece of wood when you didn't see the ship, he'd help you build a raft because it would be doing something to fix things up.

Yours sincerely,

B. W. Moore.