Issue 0, Volume 19
Here we see another news-style report in a 1968 edition of De Minimis. Considering the class of 2018 will be having their Valedictory dinner in the very near future (covid restrictions pending) we thought we’d share some...insights into the Valedictory of 1968.
VALEDICTORY DINNER 1968
This dinner was undoubtedly the best function run by the L.S.S. during the year - 168 professors, lecturers, judges and other assorted student dregs were unanimous in praise of the speeches, food and spiritus fluids (red, white and amber plonk). Special thanks must go to Brian Slattery, Ed Larkin, Ian McEachern and John Clements for efficient organisation of the occasion. The food was followed by a short break during which everyone socked down a few beers in the usual way.
Mr Justice Starke commenced his address by asking what he was going to say since it was already ten minutes to ten? Rank students - “Ten minutes to closing time.” Starke remarked that he was conscious of the dignity, conservatism and sedateness of the office he held and that he would stick to these principles during his speech, especially since he had to travel home with his fellow justices. He then related a story of Sir Eugene Gorman, who in a certain case, had the task of discrediting a beer-tasting expert. This was accomplished by giving the witness an unmarked bottle of beer to taste, which he promptly spat out in court. It was rumoured that Sir Eugene was carrying out urine tests on racehorses at the time.
On students Mr Justice Starke said they were just as rebellious in his day as they were now, but now gain more publicity. In his era, on the last day of term they tramped down into town and tore the place apart. Interjection by Professor Dereham - “That’s why they can’t now.” Collections were made on street corners but, unlike today, the money was not used for some noble purpose such as Biafra, but went into the consolidated drinking fund.
On the High Courts — “Judges must keep in mind that they were not appointed to their position by Divine Right: Most get there because they know Arthur Rylah’s sister or someone like that.” Latham C.J. once remarked that four judges of the bench of the High Court were in the habit of preparing alternative judgements to see which side Mr. Justice X came down upon and then jumped onto the bandwagon. Starke noted that Professor Brett had sometimes rubbished the judges of the Supreme Court. Mr Justice Starke and his fellow colleagues were in full agreement, that is, as long as he was talking about the other fourteen.
Starke tried to impress upon the Valedictees that they must never lose their spirit of adventure in the process of becoming wise and successful men, offered his congratulations to them, and concluded at 10.45pm. When the cheers and clapping had subsided Sir Eugene Gorman presented the International Commission of Jurists Prize to Graham Anderson, and then gave a brief but entertaining speech (the content of which no-one has been able to relate to the Editors owing to the high blood-alcohol level of all those present at the time.) Ron Cahill, last year’s President, thanked all and sundry, the dinner broke up, and everyone got down to some solid drinking, especially Slats, Ed, Anne, Jacinta, Ian and Jack, who had to remain reasonably sober because they were on the official table. A large crew, mostly smashed to the eyeballs, carried on the festivities at Newman in Allan Myer’s room, some went over to Ormond, and others have not been seen since.
Mr. Phillips was a great help in compiling guest lists, table placements etc. Thanks also to Danny Marash for the Barbeque he gave at which the L.S.S held their vacation committee meeting, on the Sunday night, which kicked on till 2.30am. Thanks also to Jacinta and Anne for pushing my car to get it started.