THE SENIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY
At the beginning of the school year the Society underwent a thorough overhaul, both in committee and outlook. The name, too, was to be changed, but a really good one was not to be found easily and the hunt for a suitable title is still on. A larger, more representative, committee was elected, comprising W. Gray (Secretary), I. Muggridge, F. M. L. Smith, G. Jacobs, M. McColgan. A. J. K. Webb, N. J. I'ritchard, K. Wise. R. Marks and D. Tillyer. The membership, too, increased considerably (despite a fee of one shilling per term) and now stands at around fifty, excluding the "hangers-on".
Five meetings were arranged at School for the Autumn term, and the Society was invited to two away debates at neighbouring High Schools for girls. Our home programme was very varied, and though, at the time of writing, it has not been completed, the large attcndances reflected the approval of the members. The first debate was on the motion that "The Average Scientist is Both Illiterate and Uncultured". After a lively exchange of views the scientists, heads held high, walked out easy victors, nobody would vote for the motion. A fortnight later Mr. Miles introduced a discussion on "The Dangers, of Specialisation "; which proved very interesting. By far the most colourful and entertaining of the first three meetings held, however, was the third. This took the form of a "Tall Story Club" and was held in the evening. The senior girls of the two High Schools were invited, and by some strange twist of fate, when this was announced the Society's membership doubled within a week. Over fifty people attended this meeting, and nine of them told stories ranging from electrocuted blood-brothers to Italian opera, and back through ghost-stories to mountain climbing. P. R. Scott was adjudged the best story teller of the evening, his imagination having conjured up an uncle and black magic in the African jungle in a way that held us enthralled.
The other meetings planned included a Mock Parliament to be held one evening, and large increases in membership were expected in the week preceding this, as had happened in the case of the Tall Story Club.
An inter-house debating competition is being introduced, and should stir up enthusiasm both for debating and for house patriotism. It will be run on a knock-out basis, and we hope to obtain a well-known person to judge the finals, which will be held in school time.
In connection with our organisation and running we should like to express our thanks to Messrs. Couch, Purkis, and the Headmaster, for presiding over meetings, and to Mr. Ames and Mr. Wood for their help with our evening sessions.
THE JUNIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY
Attendance at the Society continues to remain at the high level attained last year, despite the fact that many members have entered the Senior School. Although only 16 members were present at the first meeting, numbers have risen very satisfactorily to in one case over 60, with general attendance about 35, apart from the usual apathy when a political debate was held.
The rowdiness that prevailed at some meetings last year has virtually disappeared, mainly owing to more stringent regulations that have been brought into force.
A committee was elected consisting of Robrtson and Wigston of the First Form; Smy and Pemblc of the Second Form; and Warbis and Marcovitch (Secretary) of the Third Form.
A wide range of subjects has come under discussion this term, as is indicated by the following list (the numbers in brackets are the attendance figures): A discussion on the " Goon Show" (61); a debate on the Cyprus problem (17); a discussion on Ghosts and Superstition (41); a debate on Guy Fawkes's failure to blow up Parliament (32); and a Hat Debate (38).
It is hoped that a joint discussion with the J.D.D.S. of Walthamstow C.H.S. will be held later this term.
The Society wishes to extend its gratitude to Mr. Bence for his able work in the chair at its meetings.