5 years ago

Newman - University of Melbourne

Newman - University of Melbourne


18 MICHAEL MULCAHY. THIS year we have to record the death of Michael Mulcahy, who died on the 26th of August, at St. Evin's Hospital, after a short illness. His age was twenty-seven, and he was in the fourth year of his medical course. In writing of Michael, it is, as yet, too soon to grasp fully the true worth of his character. We in Newman, who were privileged to spend our years together with him, have suffered a personal bereavement. To each of us he was a sincere friend, a valued companion, and a wise counsellor. In 1929, Michael came to Newman from Xavier College, and began a medical course. At school his record had been brilliant. A member of the first XVIII, and a prefect, he secured in his final year, high honours in classics. At that time, people predicted that he would achieve many successes in life, for, even as a school boy, he revealed qualities which were destined to win for him universal respect and affection. His choice of a medical course was admirably suited to his character, with its blend of common sense and deep interest in his fellows. His first year was passed without difficulty, and he proceeded upon his second, fired with ambition. He did not finish his year, however, for, shortly before the examinations, he was taken seriously ill, and the next three years were spent at Hillside Station, Marble Bar, in an endeavour to regain his health. Despite many set backs, he achieved the apparently impossible, and in 1935 returned to Newman to resume his course with renewed energy. His years in the country were not without influence upon his character. To his natural love of simplicity and truth, there were added an independence of spirit and a democratic outlook, which enriched his personality. His fight to regain health was magnificent, and his return to Newman was really a triumph. Obituary NEWMAN Michael successfully completed his second year, and third year was passed without mishap. Fourth year came, and with the final goal in sight, he redoubled his efforts, and was progressing splendidly when the sudden last illness cut short the career begun so auspiciously and so full of promise. The news of his death was a personal sorrow to all who knew him. To each of us Michael had been a true friend. A fine companion, aglow with gaiety, his ready sympathy and understanding won him universal affection. His work for the College will never be fully known, but if there was a difficult and thankless task to be done, Michael was the man who did it, quietly and efficiently as was his way. Despite his devotion to medicine, his outlook never tended to become narrow. His was a broad culture in which a love of music and literature leavened the practical common sense of the scientist. His opinions were mature, and well balanced, and many of us owe a great deal to his wise advice. His influence for good was very great, for he lead by example. As a member of the College, his modesty kept him from accepting official positions of responsibility. Public approbation did not please him. We in Newman early recognised that his inspiration came from a soul truly noble and spiritual. And so Michael has gone from amongst us. To his mother and family we offer our sincerest sympathy. Somehow, we all know that his tragically early death did not f orestall the possibility of great achievement. His tremendous influence for all that is worthy in life will continue to bear fruit many a year hence. Few men have entered Newman, who were better loved, or more respected. He died as he had lived, a cultured Catholic gentleman. May his soul rest in peace. —E.R.

N E W M A N Albert Power Debating Society THE history of the Albert Power Debating Society this year was a dismal fulfilment of the prophecies made by so many on this page in recent years, that, unless a more general interest in debating was shown in the College, the society would be in danger of disappearing, at least for a time. For the past few years the Society has been kept together each year by a small band of enthusiasts who strove to rouse the general body of the students to action, and to inspire the freshmen with zeal for the cause. On these few members has fallen all the burden of arranging and participating in internal and Intercollegiate contests, and they have done very well considering the disabilities under which they were labouring. This year, however, even the small group of enthusiasts was lacking, and the Society suffered accordingly. The approaching depression was not at first obvious, as the Freshers' Debate went off quite well. Some promising talent was revealed among the newcomers, and—which was more important—there was some excellent and entertaining speaking from the House. There seemed every reason to be hopeful for a successful year, but unfortunately it rapidly became apparent that the committee was not as energetic and enthusiastic as it might have been, and the result was that no further debates were held during first term. As the weeks of second term went by the same apathy was noticeable, and it seemed that, for the first time since the inception of the contests, Newman would be unable to field a team in the Intercollegiate debates. This disaster was happily averted by a timely burst of energy which resulted in a Journey by Messrs. Aird, Mortensen, and Westmore to Trinity on the night of July 28. Their object was to deny "that the ideals of democracy were incompatible with modern capitalism," but the inherent difficulties of the subject, coupled with a certain lack of practise and shortness of preparation, proved too great a difficulty for the team to overcome. The adjudicators, Messrs. Burton and Wilson had no hesitation in hailing the Trinity speakers as victorious by a comfortable margin. A week later, in the presence of Professors Scutt and Crawford, and the Rev. Fr. Hackett, S.J., the Society was again represented by Messrs. Aird, Mortensen, and Westmore, who sought on this occasion, to prove that "the future of the world centres in the Pacific." The opposition was provided by the William Quick Society of Queen's College, whose presentation of the case won the unanimous approval of the adjudicators. This debate closed the activities of the Society for the year. It is not a record on which we can dwell with any pride. It is not the fact that both Intercollegiate contests were lost that gives cause for sorrow, for that misfortune happened to the club even in the days of its greatness. It is the manner in which they were lost. In a college of nearly record numbers in which there are many who are proved speakers of ability, it was only with the greatest difficulty that a team could be got together. It was at best a scratch team, because the absence of any internal debating gave no opportunity for the essential practice. In the circumstances the men selected performed creditably, but those circumstances should never have arisen. It is regrettable that this can be said with truth of a Society, which, a few short years ago, was famed in the University, and far beyond, and whose members took a regular and prominent part in University and Intervarsity debating. It is, of course, obvious that we can not always be blessed with speakers of Intervarsity class, but it should not be too much to expect of a University college that a reasonable number of its members will be at least speakers of average merit. The Debating Society this year suffered not because of lack of ability among those who should have spoken, but because of their disinclination, for reasons best known to themselves, to make the necessary effort. 19

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