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Encyclopedia > Victoria University of Wellington Debating Society
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Logo of Debsoc, 2007
Logo of the VUW Australs 2006
VUW Debsoc, Joynt Scroll 2006

The Victoria University of Wellington Debating Society (Inc.) or "Debsoc" as it is more commonly known, is a New Zealand University Debating Society. The society was formed in 1899, prior to the formation of Victoria University itself. VUW Debsoc is an Incorporated Society, run by a committee of eleven people who organise regular debating grades, tournaments, public debates and social events. For the community in Florida, see University, Florida. ... A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modelled after that of the United Kingdom. ... Debate is a formalized system of (usually) logical argument. ... The World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) is the largest debating tournament, and one of the largest annual international student events in the world. ... There are two major regional debating championships for universities in Asia. ... The Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships (known colloquially as Australs) is one of the worlds largest debating tournaments, second only in size to the World Universities Debating Championship, and one of the largest annual student events in the world. ... The European Universities Debating Championship (colloquially known as Euros or Europeans) is a regional equivalent to the World Universities Debating Championship (Worlds) held in British Parliamentary style. ... The John Smith Memorial Mace (known between 1954 and 1995 as the Observer Mace) is the foremost student debating competition in the British Isles and Ireland. ... The North American Debating Championship is the premier parliamentary debating championship in North America, sanctioned by the national university debating associations in the United States and Canada, the American Parliamentary Debating Association and the Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debate. ... The American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) is the oldest intercollegiate parliamentary debating association in the United States, and one of two in the nation overall, the other being the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA). ... CUSID Logo The Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debate (CUSID generally, and SUCDI in French) is the national organization which governs and represents university-level debating and public speaking in Canada. ... The English-Speaking Union is an international educational charity founded in 1918 to promote international understanding and friendship through the use of the English language. ... The National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) is one of the two national intercollegiate parliamentary debate organizations in the United States. ... Australia-Asia debate is a form of academic debate. ... British Parliamentary style debate is a common form of academic debate. ... This is a list of top-ranked university debaters from official international competitions, in any debating style. ... The coat of arms for the Cambridge Union Society, which shares much in common with the coat of arms for the University of Cambridge. ... The front aspect of Glasgow University Union Glasgow University Union (GUU) is one of the students unions operating at the University of Glasgow. ... The Otago University Debating Society (OUDS) was established in 1888 and is the oldest Otago University Dunedin, New Zealand society. ... The Oxford Union Society, commonly referred to simply as the Oxford Union, is a private debating society in the city of Oxford, England, whose membership is drawn primarily but not exclusively from the University of Oxford. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Logo of the UCC Philosoph The UCC Philosophical Society the Philosoph is the largest debating society at University College Cork, Ireland. ... The stage of Conron Hall at University College, the main debating chamber of the University of Western Ontario Debating Society Gallery at Conron Hall The University of Western Ontario Debating Society is the oldest student association at the University of Western Ontario, and is one of the largest and most... The College Historical Society (commonly known as The Hist) was founded in Trinity College in 1770 and traces its creation to the historical society founded by the philosopher Edmund Burke in Dublin in 1747. ... The University Philosophical Society (commonly known as The Phil or The Auto-Phil) is a student paper-reading and debating society in Trinity College, Dublin. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Web_logo_black. ... Image File history File links Web_logo_black. ... Image File history File links Joyntscroll26. ... Image File history File links Joyntscroll26. ... Victoria Universitys Kelburn Campus. ...


The Society meets each week during the university year on Wednesday nights in the Student Union Building, and attends tournaments during each of the mid-trimester and trimester breaks. The Society also organises the prestigious Plunket Medal Oratory Contest, the oldest prize for public speaking in New Zealand.


The 2007 Debating Society President is Christopher Bishop. Polly Higbee is the Vice-President. A list of former Presidents can be found below.

Contents

Debating Success

The VUW Debating Society is the most successful university debating society in New Zealand. It has won the Officers' Cup for impromptu debating at the New Zealand University Games sports tournament for the last nine years. It is the current holder of the prestigious Joynt Scroll for prepared debating, and it has won this trophy more than any other university. It is also the current holder of the "McLeod Trophy" for university debating at a novice level in the North Island ("Thropy").


Students from the Debating Society are also frequently selected for the New Zealand Universities Debating teams. The Impromptu team currently includes Polly Higbee, the Society's Vice-President. The Prepared team currently includes Joseph Connell.


In July 2007, Victoria were runners-up at the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships, with four speakers ranking in the top twenty at the tournament. Sayeqa Islam won the best speaker prize. The Society hosted the tournament in 2006. The VUW Debating Society is the only New Zealand Debating Society to have won Australs which it has done three times, in 1980, 1982, and 1998. The Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships (known colloquially as Australs) is one of the worlds largest debating tournaments, second only in size to the World Universities Debating Championship, and one of the largest annual student events in the world. ...


The 2007 Debating Year

2007 has continued in the same vein as 2006. The Society has so far recorded the following results:

  • 1st, 2nd, and 5th at the New Zealand Universities Impromptu Debating Champs ("Easters")
  • 2nd place at the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Champs ("Australs"), as well as the tournament's best speaker and best speaker in the Grand Final (Sayeqa Islam)
  • 1st and 3rd place at the North Island Novice University Debating Champs ("Thropy")
  • 1st and 3rd place at the New Zealand Universities Prepared Debating Champs ("Joynt Scroll")

In addition:

  • Polly Higbee was named as a member of the NZ Universities Impromptu Debating Team and Best Speaker at Easters;
  • Joe Connell was named as a member of the NZ Universities Prepared Debating Team and Best Speaker at Joynt Scroll;
  • Stephen Whittington and Clodagh O'Connor-McKenna were named as 1st and 2nd reserve respectively for the NZ Universities Prepared Debating Team.

The 2006 Debating Year

2006 was a year of unprecedented success for the VUW Debating Society. The Society recorded the following results:

  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd at the New Zealand Universities Impromptu Debating Champs ("Easters")
  • 5th place at the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Champs ("Australs")
  • 1st and 2nd at the North Island Novice University Debating Champs ("Thropy")
  • 1st, 3rd and 5th at the New Zealand Universities Prepared Debating Champs ("Joynt Scroll")
  • At the New Zealand British Parliamentary Open Debating Champs, 2 of the 4 teams in the final, and 6 of the 8 teams in the semi-finals were from Victoria.

In addition:

  • Two Victoria debaters (Josh Cameron and Joe Connell) were the NZ Universities Impromptu Debating Team;
  • Two (of three) debaters in the NZ Universities Prepared Team are from Victoria (Polly Higbee and Michael Mabbett);
  • The two recipients of the Centennial Cup for Best Adjudicator at a NZU tournament in 2006 were both from Victoria (Gareth Richards and Joe Connell);
  • The winners of the Sir David Beattie Cup (public speaking) and Bledisloe Award for Oratory in 2006 were both from Victoria (Josh Cameron and Lewis Holden, respectively).
  • Of the top ten speakers at the NZ British Parliamentary Open Debating Champs, 6 were from Victoria and the David Lange Cup for the best speaker of the tournament was shared by Kevin Moar and Sayeqa Islam, both of Victoria.

New Zealand British Parliamentary Open Debating Championships

Each year in December the Society organises a New Zealand invitational tournament, open to international teams and adjudicators. The tournament was first run in 2004 as the "Victoria IV". In 2006, the tournament became officially known as the "New Zealand British Parliamentary Open Debating Championships", following a decision of the Annual General Meeting of the New Zealand Universities' Debating Council.


Past winners from Victoria:

  • 2005: Christopher Bishop & Gareth Richards
  • 2004: Christopher Bishop & Gareth Richards

Past Best Speakers from Victoria:

  • 2006: Kevin Moar & Sayeqa Islam
  • 2005: Sayeqa Islam
  • 2004: Joe Connell

Winners of Joynt Scroll

The VUW Debating Society has won "Joynt Scroll", the New Zealand Universities Prepared Debating Championships, more often than any other Debating Society in New Zealand.

  • 2007: C.J.S Bishop, J.S Connell & S.A Whittington
  • 2006: H.A McCaffrey, P.H Higbee & L.J Holden
  • 2003: C.J.S. Bishop, R. Clouston & S. Islam
  • 2002: K.A.J. Moar, N.V Willis & D. Small
  • 2000: A. Livesey, C. Payne & D. Small
  • 1997: D.R Orange, H.M Finlay & B.J Gandy
  • 1994: Miss C.M Williams, N.C Miller & B. Cash
  • 1993: Miss C.M Williams, N.C Miller & Miss A.J Gillespie
  • 1988: A.M Crawley, A.E Howman & D. Capie
  • 1985: I.R Rennie, J.R King & D.I Stevens
  • 1984: N.J.A Sainsbury, J.R King & D.I Stevens
  • 1982: P.F Biggs, J.R Allen & D.I Stevens
  • 1981: N.J.A Sainsbury, Ms M.D McCallum & Miss B.D Golder
  • 1980: R.P Baker, P.M Ridley-Smith & R.K Stephenson
  • 1978: D. Linney, S. Kos & R.P Baker
  • 1977: C.D Falconer BA (Hons), D. Linney & R.P Baker
  • 1976: C.D Falconer BA (Hons), D. Linney & V. Goldblatt MA (Hons)
  • 1972: T.J Groser BA, P.F Boshier & R.A Campbell BA
  • 1971: H.P Stubbs, J.G Blincoe & E.R Fairbrother
  • 1970: H.S Hancock BA, H.P Stubbs & P.P Butler
  • 1969: Miss B.A Foot, H.P Stubbs & B.R Newell
  • 1966: J.C.M Rose BSc, G.P Curry & S.A Whitehouse
  • 1965: P.J.R Blizard BA (Hons), D.A Shand & A.H Ashenden BCom
  • 1964: P.J.R Blizard BA & J.B McKinley
  • 1961: T.A Roberts & F.A Hamlin
  • 1958: E.W Thomas LLB & J.M Whitta BCom
  • 1943: Miss H. O'Flynn & K.T Fowler
  • 1942: W. Wah & Miss B. Hutchinson
  • 1940: P.J Sheehan & H.C Bowyer
  • 1939: R.W Edgely & R.L Meek
  • 1937: A.R Perry LLM & S.G Andrews MA
  • 1932: H.R Bannister & Miss C.S Forde
  • 1931: W.J Mountjoy & H.R Bannister
  • 1928: J.F Platts-Mills & W.P Rollings
  • 1925: S.E Baume & R.M Campbell
  • 1923: J.W.C Davidson & F.H Haig
  • 1919: E. Evans & W.E Leicester
  • 1915: I.M Moss & L.P Leary
  • 1914: G.G.G Watson MA/LLB & A.B Sievwright
  • 1912: F.G Hall Jones BA & G.W Morice MA
  • 1911: C.H Taylor MA & M.H Oram MA
  • 1909: D.S Smith & G.H Gibb
  • 1908: J. Mason & H.E Evans
  • 1907: B.E Murphy BA & H.F O'Leary
  • 1906: E.J Fitzgibbon & F.P Kelly

Winners of Officers' Cup

Image:Easterscups2007.jpg
Easters trophies and cups, 2007
Image:StephenYogeshfinal2007.jpg
Stephen Whittington and Yogesh Patel in the Easters Grand Final, 2007

The VUW Debating Society has won the Officers' Cup, the New Zealand Universities Impromptu Debating Championships, for the last nine years.

  • 2007: Yogesh Patel & Stephen Whittington
  • 2006: Tom Fitzsimons & Stephen Whittington
  • 2005: Christopher Bishop & Joe Connell
  • 2004: Christopher Bishop & Gareth Richards
  • 2003: Ranald Clouston & Sayeqa Islam
  • 2002: Chelsea Payne & Nicola Willis
  • 2001: Kevin Moar & Nicola Willis
  • 2000: Chelsea Payne & Duncan Small
  • 1999: Matt Cuthell & Angela Ballantyne
  • 1996: Rob Salmond & Ryan Orange
  • 1997: Rob Salmond & Ryan Orange
  • 1990: M Hickey & Justine Munro

Winners of the Plunket Medal

  • 2007: R. Allan
  • 2006: J.S Connell
  • 2005: R.D Christie
  • 2004: C. King
  • 2003: M.F Mabbett
  • 2000: R. Clouston
  • 1999: M. Cuthell
  • 1998: G. Cameron
  • 1997: B.G.A Morris
  • 1996: D.R Orange
  • 1995: C. Holland
  • 1994: R. Salmond
  • 1993: Miss C.M Williams
  • 1992: Miss A.J Gillespie
  • 1991: N.C Miller
  • 1990: Miss M.V Myers
  • 1989: P. Diamond
  • 1988: M.J Hickey
  • 1987: N.D.J Coyle
  • 1986: C.F Ryder
  • 1985: J.M.R Fowler
  • 1984: R.P Baker
  • 1983: Miss J. Wilson
  • 1982: N.J Sainsbury
  • 1981: J.C Roseveare
  • 1980: P.R Biggs
  • 1979: D.R Cotterall
  • 1978: L. O'Connor
  • 1977: Miss H. Sinclair
  • 1976: J. Bishop
  • 1975: P. Greene
  • 1974: R. Fairbrother
  • 1973: Miss V. Mooney
  • 1972: B. Newell
  • 1971: D. L Hutchinson
  • 1970: H.S Hancock
  • 1969: Miss B.A Foot
  • 1968: S. Italio
  • 1967: P.P Butler
  • 1966: J.R Wareham
  • 1965: A.H Ashenden
  • 1964: P.J Blizard
  • 1963: A. Afeaki
  • 1962: T.A Roberts
  • 1961: F.A Hamlin
  • 1960: Miss M. Boyle
  • 1959: W. Waddell
  • 1958: J.M Whitta
  • 1957: W.D Dent
  • 1956: H.C MacNeil
  • 1955: G.N Cruden
  • 1954: B.M Brown
  • 1953: D.R Murray
  • 1952: C.V Bollinger
  • 1951: F.L Curtin
  • 1950: M.F McIntyre
  • 1949: H.J Brenda
  • 1948: A.J Williams
  • 1947: J.D Milburn
  • 1946: K.B O'Brien
  • 1945: K.L Neuberg
  • 1944: J.C.P Williams
  • 1943: H.M.B O'Leary
  • 1942: Miss M.C Crompton
  • 1941: L. Nathan
  • 1940: J.B Bergin
  • 1939: B.M O'Connor
  • 1938: W. Wah
  • 1937: A.H Scotney MA
  • 1936: J.B Aimers
  • 1935: K.J.T Tahiwi
  • 1934: R.J Larkin
  • 1933: A. Katz
  • 1932: Miss C.S Forde
  • 1931: Miss Z.R.M Henderson
  • 1930: A.E Hurley
  • 1929: A.D Priestley
  • 1928: W.J Mountjoy
  • 1927: W.P Pollinger
  • 1926: J.F Platts-Mills
  • 1925: S.E Baume
  • 1924: J.W Davidson
  • 1923: I.L Hjorring
  • 1922: P.J.G Smith
  • 1921: A.S Tonkin
  • 1920: W.E Leicester
  • 1919: C.G Kirk
  • 1918: P. Martin-Smith
  • 1917: Miss M. Neumann
  • 1916: E. Evans
  • 1913: Miss M.L Nicholls
  • 1912: O.C Mazengarb MA
  • 1911: F.G Hall Jones
  • 1910: M.H Oram MA
  • 1909: G.W Morice
  • 1908: D.S Smith
  • 1907: F.P Kelly
  • 1906: H.F O'Leary
  • 1905: E.J Fitzgibbon

Past Presidents

  • 2008: Christopher Bishop
  • 2007: Christopher Bishop
  • 2006: James Clark
  • 2005: Gareth Richards
  • 2004: Sayeqa Islam
  • 2003: Malcolm Birdling
  • 2002: Chelsea Payne
  • 2001: Chelsea Payne
  • 2000: Antonia Reid
  • 1999: Matthew Cuthell

[more to come]


Life Members

  • Kevin Moar
  • Neil Miller

Interesting information about the Society

The Society has adopted the song 'Victoria' by The Exponents as its unofficial anthem, sung on celebratory occasions like winning a tournament. At Joynt Scroll in 2003, each member of the Victoria contingent was presented with ownership of a line from the song that reflected their personality ("Reads Cosmopolitan and Alvin Toffler") or how the Society (jokingly) felt about them at the time ("Is he a customer that's really worth keeping?"). Each contingent member had their line printed on the back of the tournament t-shirts. It is rumoured that an updating of members' lines will occur at Joynt Scroll 2007, to be held in Wellington. The Exponents are a New Zealand rock group. ...


Prominent debaters from the Society often go on to become Rhodes Scholars. Victoria University's two most recent Rhodes Scholars, Malcolm Birdling and Chelsea Payne were both Presidents of the Society, as have been a number of Rhodes Scholars before them, such as Alexandra Gillespie, and John Platts-Mills. Rhodes House in Oxford Rhodes Scholarships were created by Cecil John Rhodes. ... Victoria Universitys Kelburn Campus. ...


The Society has honours boards (maintained by the University) in the bottom foyer of the historic Hunter Building at Victoria University. The original wooden honours boards were maintained and restored when the Hunter Building itself was restored and renovated in the early 1990s. The honours boards list (by year) Victoria students who have won the Joynt Scroll, the Bledisloe Medal for Oratory, the Plunket Medal, and the Union Prize.


Notable former members

Chris Finlayson is a New Zealand politician who successfully stood for the National Party in the 2005 elections. ... Russell Fairbrother is a New Zealand politician. ... Tim Groser is a New Zealand diplomat and political candidate. ... Simon William Bill English is a New Zealand politician, and former leader of the National Party from October 2001 to October 2003. ... The New Zealand National Party (National or the Nats) currently forms the second-largest (in terms of seats) political party represented in the New Zealand Parliament, and thus functions as the core of the parliamentary Opposition. ... Hamish Hancock (b. ... Raybon Kan is a Masterton, New Zealand-born Chinese comedian and newspaper columnist. ... The Sunday Star-Times is New Zealand newspaper published each weekend by the Fairfax group in Auckland. ... John Platts-Mills QC (4 October 1906 - 26 October 2001) was a British politician born in New Zealand. ... Russell McVeagh (formerly Russell McVeagh McKenzie Bartleet) is one of New Zealands leading law firms. ... Sir Matthew Henry Oram (1885 - 1969) was a New Zealand politician of the National Party. ... In New Zealand the Speaker of the House of Representatives is the individual who chairs the countrys legislative body, the New Zealand House of Representatives (often also referred to as Parliament). The Speaker fulfils a number of important functions in relation to the operation the House, which is based... Sir Humphrey Francis O’Leary (12 February 1886 – 16 October 1953) was the seventh Chief Justice of New Zealand, from 1946 to 1953. ... The Chief Justice of New Zealand is the senior judge of the High Court of New Zealand, and presides over the Supreme Court of New Zealand. ... Edmund Walter (Ted) Thomas, DCNZM QC, New Zealand judge. ... The Supreme Court of New Zealand is the highest court of appeal in New Zealand, having formally come into existence at the beginning of 2004, and sitting for the first time on 1 July 2004. ... New Zealands Chief Ombudsman is appointed by the Governor-General of New Zealand to oversee investigation of complaints against government departments, and report, with recommendations, to parliament. ... The High Court of New Zealand was established in 1841 and known as the Supreme Court until 1980. ... Victoria Universitys Kelburn Campus. ... The cover page of the report. ... Russell McVeagh (formerly Russell McVeagh McKenzie Bartleet) is one of New Zealands leading law firms. ... Mafart was a DGSE agent and deputy commander of the Navy Frogmen Training Centre in Corsica. ... Prieur was a DGSE controller in the intelligence-gathering and evaluation wing, acting as Christine Cabons controller. ...

External links

  • Society Website
  • Australs 2006 Website
  • NZUDC Website
  • OUDS website

 
 

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