Senior Circle - 1964




Chairman :I. Wright.
Secretary :P. D. Stewart.
Following the decision taken at the beginning of the Autumn Term to hold meetings on as wide a range of topics as possible, the Committee set about satisfying the desires of the members.
The decision was also taken, that in order to vary the opinions at meetings, and give a more social atmosphere, the members of other schools should be invited to meetings. As a result of this decision, the most notable fact about the meetings of the last six months has been the large number of visitors present at the meetings.
The first meeting of the Term was a balloon debate in which the members of Woodford County High School Debating Society were invited to participate. The Debate took on a humorous form with Winnie the Pooh being declared the winner over his rivals: Miss Caroline Maudling, Mrs. Bessie Braddock, Lassie, Spike Milligan and a member of C.N.D.
The first formal debate of the year turned out to be not so formal in practice, with the motion "This house believes the Beatles are out of date" being carried. This somewhat surprising result was undoubtedly due to the metaphysical nature of the motion. The first outside speaker to the "Circle" was Mr.N.Lyon, a graduate of Selwyn College, Cambridge, and a research student at the London School of Economics, who gave a talk on the effect of the Grammar School on modern society. The talk stimulated a vigorous discussion with varied views being put forward.
In accordance with the decision taken at the beginning of Term, a theatre outing was organised to see "The Bed Sitting Room" at the Comedy Theatre. All those who went thoroughly enjoyed themselves and it was proposed to organise a similar outing next year.
At this point of the year's programme, the "Circle" was to lose its chairman, Jennings, who left school. The "Circle" extends its thanks to Jennings for all the hard work he put into the running of the "Circle". Wright took over as Chairman with Stewart being elected to fill the vacant position of Secretary. The new term began with an invitation from Woodford County High School Debating Society to take part in a Debate. The controversial motion that "Freedom of Speech should not be restricted", was carried by a narrow majority. The next meeting of the Term was the perennial Staff Brains Trust with Messrs. Groom, Pollard, Starkings and Sutton facing questions fired with rapidity from the floor. The questions were a mixture of the humorous and the serious, with the final question of "Does the team agree?" revealing some interesting facts about relations in the staff-room.
The highlight of the year was undoubtedly the talk on "Apartheid" by Mr. R.F.J. Gruber. Mr. Gruber is himself a South African and was expected to put forward the arguments for his government's policy amid the hostility of the audience. Such was the situation, and Mr. Gruber must be congratulated on putting forward a logical and unemotional argument on the situation in South Africa. However, emotion cannot be completely lacking about such a situation and while his logical arguments may have sounded convincing, they were unable to move the hearts of the majority.
On the whole the year's programme has been enjoyable, though while membership of the "Circle" has been at the maximum of thirty-five, the attendance at meetings has not been all that could be desired. In conclusion, 1 would like to thank all those members of the Staff who have helped in the year's programme, especially Mr. Couch, together with Mr. Tomlin and Mrs. Lee for making available the library and the dining hall.
P. D. Stewart.

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