No. 31 Spring 1936
Readers of this issue of the Monovian will notice that there are no Debating Society Notes. Although we do not wish to detract in any way from their several values, we cannot but feel that the decrease in support given to this Society is to a degree attributable to the recent introduction of many other out of schooI activities. The root of the trouble does not lie so much in the fact that boys are over-estimating the importance of, sav, the Art Club, the Hobbies Club, or the Dramatic Society, but rather in the fact that they are underrating the value of the practice in public speaking obtained in the Debating Society. This fault would be remedied if only boys would realise that in the course of their lives as ordinary citizens they will be frequently called upon to express their views, and that they cannot do so to their own satisfaction unless they have had some practice whilst at school. This experience the Debating Society can supply, and for this reason alone it should be well supported. Moreover, the Debating Society has a. long and distinguished record. Such names as those of A. E. Holdsworth, who afterwards became President of the Cambridge Union, K. K Robinson, D. Thompson, S.O. Speakman. G. A. Barnard, and P. A. Timberlake, our predecessor, are still fresh in the memories of most of us. This record is not one built up by presidents or chairmen, as such, but one which all members have established over a long period of years. The torch as been set well and truly ablaze. Woe betide us, if we allow it to flicker and die out! The Monovian has also gained for itself no small reputation. To the achievement of the high standard it has reached the whole School has contributed in so far as it has realised at last the fact that the magazine exists for its benefit as well as its amusement. The School as a whole then must take upon itself the responsibility of maintaining the reputation it has helped to build.
No. 32. Summer, 1936
"William Morris was . . one violently moved by hatred of the sordid, aimless, ugly confusion' which the nineteenth century took for civilization." C. Delisle Burns. Since the days when Morris started his life-long struggle against the industrial and commercial interests which, in their race for wealth and power, threatened to crush the life and imagination of craftsmen and artisans, the world has realised, to an extent, its obligations to those whose labour creates wealth. The problems of working conditions, of housing, of education and facilities for physical and mental development or recreation, have all received considerable attention. Nevertheless, although the validity of Morris's protest is generally accepted and his example followed by greater numbers of thinking people, the evils of industrialism still remain; man still continues to be a drudge, a human ant. In face of this, education cannot do better than to inspire its charges with the ideal of WaIthamstow's greatest citizen, " the Ideal of a busily beautiful and happy life for everybody" a life that is beautiful because it is lived to a high and useful purpose, a life that is beautiful because it realises that human progress, the happiness of the individual, and the welfare of the community are closely intertwined. One of the ways in which individuals may combat the stereotyping tendency of modern industrialism is the free exercise of the imaginative and reasoning faculties, the development of our sense of enjoyment of things which are natural and beautiful. The speed of modern existence may be counteracted by the striving after mental and physical health. The Monovian exists to record for the benefit of its readers the imaginative efforts of the more energetic members of the School in an attempt to demonstrate that "the artist is not a special kind of man" as industrialism would have us believe, but that "every man is a special kind of artist." We therefore commend the magazine to the School, trusting that by the unstinted co-operation of all it may fulfil its purpose.
No. 33 Autumn, 1936
Editors: J. F. Salmon and J. 3. Hampton
In an article written by one of our predecessors (may we prove worthy of them!) it was commented that the House System was not irreplaceable; its main fault was held to be, we recollect, the disproportionate manner in which it encouraged sport rather than work. Undoubtedly sport holds a far greater attraction for the majority of schoolboys than lessons, which, however interesting, are essentially a form of work. It is the object of all boys to be successful in at least one important examination. Hence work resolves itself into a purely personal matter, to be endured for the good of the individual. In this respect the two main activities of the School, namely work and play, tended to neutralise the good effects of each other. Work which necessitated entirely personal effort acted against the co-operative spirit of sport fostered by the House System. At the time when our predecessor indignantly disclosed to the world the weaknessses of the House System, and indeed until quite recently, there was just cause for complaint. Today, however, conditions have changed. Esprit de corps is now equally manifest in both spheres of activity. At the end of last term the usual long faces were conspicuously absent. Boys could be seen interestedly, nay, even eagerly, scanning their reports to ascertain the number of A's and B's inscribed thereon; for every one of these obtains points for the boy's House in an entirely original competition. This innovation is the award of an exceedingly handsome cup to the House most proficient in scholastic attainments. The trophy has been presented by Mr. W. A. Workman, an Old Monovian, to whom the School is very grateful. At long last the spirit of rivalry has been brought to bear equally on work and sport. A further cause for lament was a tendency towards the giving of more moral than physical support in games. Such criticism was undoubtedly well merited at the time, when a handful of boys would be seen competing strenuously on Sports Days, while the remainder of the School indulged in vociferous cheering from the side. Such was the team-spirit of the Houses then. Now, all boys are exhorted to enter for the heats and, even if they are eliminated, to run in Losers' Relays. This system seems for the most part popular, and is certainly successful. Having thus disposed of the plaints of a former era, we now reluctantly assume the role of Mr. Grouser. Our cry for articles fell mainly on deaf ears. That this complaint is not original we fully realise, for almost every Monovian Editor, has, at least once in his career, found himself compelled to voice this appeal. It is against the unwonted lethargy of the Lower School that our indignation is in the main directed. It should not be the lot of the hard-worked Upper Forms to supply the bulk of a magazine which should be representative of the whole of the School. Let us hope that next term's response will prove conclusively that this tirade has not been fruitless.