The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, October 1913
The University Christian Social Service League
The University Christian Social Service League.
During the year the League has followed up the lines of activity opened last year. The Women's Branch has now entered into possession of its own rooms in Jacob's Place, off Tory Street, and with the rooms has come a fresh and fairly complete equipment. The rent for the rooms is us per week, but the League was obliged to lit in the gas supply (including a gas cooker), the water supply, and to provide all other fittings necessary, such as linoleums, cupboards, curtains, tables, forms, games, crockery, and a piano. The Library is at present of meagre proportions, and gifts of books by standard authors will be much appreciated. In its nature, the work done by the Women's Branch comprises educational, gymnastic, and domestic instruction. The rooms are open on two evenings a week, and definite classes are held for drill, sewing, and cooking. At the close of the evening the cooking class serves up the results of its labours for supper. No fatal consequences have as yet ensued. After the singing of a hymn, the children disperse. The girls influenced by this work are those of the Tory Street district, though some come from Newtown. The average attendance is 20. A picnic was held on Saturday, 13th September last, at Wilton's Bush, and was an unqualified successpage 50
The men's work has again been confined to the religious and educational work of the Boys' Institute. The Sunday evening service for boys has passed through various phases in the endeavour to make it as useful and as attractive as possible. In its present form it consists of a class for short talks on topics that affect the life of a boy.
In the educational classes, some seven boys are being prepared for the sixth standard proficiency examination. Most of these boys are telegraph messengers, and their promition to good permanent positions in the Government service depends on their success in passing this examination. At the commencement of the year there were twenty boys in the class. The diminution in numbers is due to the fact that it is very difficult for these boys to persevere at unpleasant tasks and to resist the whim of the moment. Most of those who have attended regularly, however, have done good work, and should reap their reward at the hands of the Inspector. The ultimate aim of the practical work undertaken by the League is in all cases the building up in the children of a good character—a power of self-control and an attitude of thoughtfulness for others. These seem to furnish a good groundwork for sound citizenship.
During this year the League had aimed at establishing Study Circles on social questions, but the lack of time on the part of members has prevented much thorough combined study. The Women's Branch has formed a Social Study Class, and it meets once every fortnight for the discussion of the problems raised by Barclay Baron's book, "The Growing Generation." This study class has been led by Mrs. A. R. Atkinson, and the League tenders to her its best thanks for the invaluable help she has given.
On the 4th of September last a meeting was held under the auspices of the League at the Wellington Training College, during the reunion of old students from all parts of the country. There were about fifty present. The speakers explained that social service issued from a conception of life, gave an account of the work done in Wellington, and indicated lines of social service for teachers who dwelt in the country.
At the Student Movement Conference, to be held at Woodville at the end of the year, the definite establishment of Social Service Leagues in all of the Colleges will be under consideration, and further development of the work may be expected next year.
The League is indebted to those citizens of Wellington who have helped it to meet heavy initial expenses by their generous contributions.