Literary and Debating Society

1907 The annual meeting of the Kingscote Literary Society was held in the Kingscote council hall on March 19. There was a large attendance of members, and the following officers were elected for the present year: - President: Mr. R.L. Barrett; vice-president, Messrs. J. Davidge. W. W. Cook; Hon. secretary, Mr. P. T. Martin: treasurer. Mr. H. F. Mitchell; committee, Miss Porter, Messrs. Tucker, L. Ayliffe, H. Partridge. A large programme was drawn up, and keen interest is being taken in the society's work.

THE COUNTRY. (1907, March 29). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 7.

Kingscote Literary Society.

The usual monthly meeting of the above was held on Tuesday evening last there being a good attendance. The President (Mr H. Flinders Mitchell presided. The programme of entertainment and instruction for the evening took the form of a Model Parliament, Mr Mitchell in charge, positions being allotted as follows : Speaker, Mr Mitchell, Government Bench— Mr R. L. Barrett (Premier and Minister of Works and Education), Mr G. A. Nicholls (Chief Secretary and Minister of Crown Lands), Mr V. H. F. Cook (Minister of Agriculture), Front Opposition Benches—Mr W. Cook (Leader), Mr E. F. Lockyer, Mr Meredyth-Wyly. The Government brought in a Bill called 'The Early Closing Bill,' which consisted of 13 clauses and, after passing through the first and second stages the House went into committee on the third reading. The Government, after much opposition, eventually carried the Bill through the House, subject to a few minor amendments. The proceedings occasioned a considerable amount of interest, interspersed with amusement when hon. members engaged in an occasional "passage of arm." At the conclusion a hearty vote of thanks was passed to Mr Mitchell for the able manner in which he had conducted and worked up the programme. Mr Mitchell, in responding, thanked those who had assisted him, and proceedings terminated.

Kingscote Literary Society. (1909, July 10). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4.  

Kingscote Literary and Debating Society's Mock Banquet.


On Tuesday evening last an enjoyable social gathering took place in the Kingscote Council Hall, when members of the Literary and Debating Society and visitors assembled to take part in a mock banquet. Mr R. L. Barrett (the President) presided, having on his right hand Mr T. R. Caust (President of the Penneshaw Mutual Improvement Society) and on his left Mr Walker (a Vice-President of the Semaphore Literary and Debating Society). Ranged along the table, which was arrayed with a tasteful collection of good things kindly provided by the ladies, were two rows of people who appeared, judging by the expression of their faces, to have made up their minds that they intended having an enjoyable time. The loyal toast having been dealt with, the chairman remarked that he felt highly honored in presiding over such a happy gathering of people. This was the last evening that would be spent by the members of the Kingscote Literary and Debating Society, as they were about to go into recess for a term. He was pleased to be able to state that the members had attended well during the session ; no matter how wet the nights happened to be some of them were always on hand. In fact they had experienced a most enjoyable and successful time. He had to apologise for the unavoidable absence of Mr and Mrs Lockyer who were unavoidably precluded from attending. They had with them that night representatives of kindred societies who would probably be able to speak for themselves before the evening was over. In conclusion he heartily thanked the ladies of the Society for the interest they had shown through-out. Mr C. Main proposed the toast of " The Commonwealth." In doing so he expressed the pleasure he felt at being called upon to propose the toast of a country so full of glorious possibilities. The toast was heartily honored. Mr W. Cook responded. He felt it an honor to speak to the toast of "The Commonwealth of Australia"— the finest country in the world—a country where one had freedom of speech and action. 

Mr H. W. L. Tucker proposed "The Army and Navy," in a characteristic speech. In doing so he deprecated the ridiculous idea which seemed to be prevalent in certain quarters that Australia could be, if so desired, independent of the Mother Country. (Hear, hear and Applause.) We would be in a very forlorn state if England were to leave us to shift for ourselves. There was no standing army on Kangaroo Island as yet, but there was a Rifle Club and that was a fine thing to start with. Mr Partridge, in responding to the toast, which was enthusiastically honored, expressed his belief that Australia was destined to play a very important part in the world's history. Song, Mr Nicholls. Mr J. Davidge proposed the toast of "The Kingscote Literary and Debating Society, Kindred Societies and Visitors." One of the most notable things about the society was the keen interest taken in it by the lady members, and he had been pleased to note the chairman's appreciative remarks in connection therewith. He touched on the subject of kindred societies remarking that there were two representatives present with them that evening. To the visitors he was safe in saying they all extended a most cordial welcome. Mr Waller (as Vice-President of the Semaphore Literary and Debating Society) responded, and expressed the pleasure he felt at being present. He was pleased to see so many young people interested in literary and debating matters, and as a veteran, he advised the young men not to lose any opportunity presented of learn-ing to speak with confidence in a public gathering.

Mr T. R. Caust, President of the Penneshaw Mutual Improvement Society, also spoke, and expressed his appreciation of the pleasant evening it was his privilege to spend. Literary and Debating and Mutual Improvement Societies were splendid institutions, and the meetings were well worth attending. He might say that, as evidencing the interest taken by the members of the Penneshaw Mutual Improvement Society, for the past eight months there had been an average attendance of 40. (Hear, hear, and Applause). Recitation, Miss Edwards. Mr V. H. F. Cook proposed "The Island" which, in his opinion, was the toast of the evening. Kangaroo Island was noted the wide world over, especially for its famous barley. It was also successful as an oat and wheat-growing island—and could also grow flowers, fruit and vegetables second to none. In fact, if he went any further on the subject of the resources of K.I. he would be talking all night, and as time was limited he would conclude with an expression of opinion that Kangaroo Island had a great future ahead of it. (Hear, hear, and Applause). Mr Gerald W. Davidge responded. He could endorse all Mr Cook's remarks, and would like to point out what fine views there were on the Island, and what a fine field there was for the artist or the man with the camera. There was also plenty of scope for the followers of Nimrod or the disciples of Walton. K.I. was favored in many respects and he believed that in time to come it would be the queen isle of the Southern Seas. Song, Miss Cook. Mr Emery proposed "The Ladies" in a few well-chosen remarks, and Miss Edwards responded. Vocal quartette, Miss Davidge, Mr Nicholls, and Messrs J. and Gerald W. Davidge. Pianoforte selection, Miss Lamprey. The toast of " The Press" (coupled with the name of the " K.I. Courier") was proposed by the chairman and heartily honored, the singing of "Auld Lang Syne" concluding a most enjoyable programme. Afterwards the hall was cleared and a short programme of dances was indulged in.

Kingscote Literary and Debating Society's Mock Banquet. (1907, December 14). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 3.

Kingscote Literary Society.

The usual fortnightly meeting of the above was held in the Council Hall on Tuesday evening last, the President (Mr R, L. Barrett) presiding over a good attendance. Two new members (Mr Geo. Keley and Miss F. Barnes) were proposed and admitted. Correspondence having been read and usual ordinary business dealt with the President announced that the programme of entertainment for the evening would be provided by Dr Stevenson. The doctor, who was warmly applauded on his first appearance before a Kingscote audience, gave a very interesting address on the Hare Spence system of voting. After his initial explanation he called for names of candidates and, these having been forthcoming, the speaker illustrated the working of the system per medium of chalk and blackboard. The working out of the figures placed Messrs Tucker, Thorpe, Davidge, Lockyer, Strawbridge and Nicholls, at the head of the mock Federal poll. The system was freely criticised by members present and, having answered the shower of questions which rained upon him, the doctor was accorded a hearty vote of thanks for his interesting address. Before the gathering dispersed, the President referred, in terms of regret, to the impending departure of Mr H. L. Tucker, who had been a most useful member of the Society since its birth. He wished him all success in his next sphere of action. Mr G. A. Nicholls moved that the keen regret felt by the members of the Society in connection with Mr Tucker's departure be placed on record. 'Mr Tucker had proved himself a public-spirited townsman in every sense of the word. Mr Leo Ayliffe, in seconding the motion, heartily endorsed the remarks of the previous speaker. Mr V. H. T. Cook, in supporting, expressed the regret he felt at losing a promising Commissioner of Crown Lands who would have been a tower of strength in connection with an impending Mock Parliament. (Hear, hear.) Mr Tucker responded in a characteristic manner and wished all his friends all the good fortune they could possibly wish him. Proceedings then terminated.

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 23 May 1908, page 3

Kingscote Literary and Debating Society.

1930. The first meeting of the newly formed Literary and Debating Society was held in the Kingscote District Hall on Tuesday evening last [10 June 1930], when the President (Mr M. Smith) presided over an attendance of about thirty members and other interested residents. The subject for the even ing was a debate, " Should there be a water scheme for Kingscote." Messrs L. A. Marks and J. Young took the affirmative, Messrs P. Leopold and P H. W Cook the negative. The debaters were complimented by Messrs M. Smith, J. H. Carter and V. Cook, on the manner in which they dealt with the subject. A vote was taken as to which side had put forward the best case and the negative side won. The meetings will be held every alternate Tuesday, the next meeting's subject will be a debate, " Prohibition." For, Rev. M. Robinson and Mr M. Smith. Against, Dr. E. A. Lermitte and Mr J.  J. Osterstock. All members will be allowed in future to speak on the Subject which is being debated.

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 14 June 1930, page 2

The second meeting of the above was held on Tuesday evening last [24 June 1930]. There were about twenty-five present The President (Mr M. Smith) presided until the business was concluded, and at his request Mr V. H. F. Cook occupied the chair for the remainder of the evening. The subject dealt with was ' Prohibition.' Mr M. Smith and the Rev. M. Robinson for the affirmative and Dr. Lermitte and Mr J. J. Osterstock for the negative. 

Mr M. Smith in opening put his case well, and Dr. Lermitte in opening for the negative side put forward his case with very effective arguments. The other two speakers gave their leaders strong support, and the matter brought forward showed that both sides had gone to a lot of trouble working up their case. The vote of the meeting went to the affirmative side. Others who spoke or asked questions on the subject, were Mrs G. G. Ayliffe, Messrs J. H. Carter, J. Young and V. H. F. Cook. The next evening will be devoted to impromptu speeches.

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 28 June 1930, page 2

An Imprompture evening was held on Tuesday the 8th. inst., [July 1930] which proved to be very interesting, instructive and amusing. It was a very successful evening, every one present taking part, some of whom made their first public speech. Such subjects as " Should there be an open season for Wallaby al the year found." "Is naval disarmament possible or desirable." " Is sport over-done in Australia." " Has the Island advanced or declined during the past twenty years" and several orators were debated, the subjects being drawn from a hat and the names of tbe speakers drawn from another, the first one taking the affirmative and the second the negative. All the ladies as well as the gentlemen showed a willingness to take part and the fair sex were not found wanting for words or thoughts, whilst some of the men although speaking against their own convictions, put forward their side of the question with most convincing arguments. The next meeting will be held on the 22nd. inst., the sub jects being a debate, " Is the White Australia policy in the interests of Australia."

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 12 July 1930, page 3

The Kingscote Literary and Debating Society met in the District Hall on Tuesday evening July 15th [1930]. The attendance was the largest since the opening of the session. The subject was a debate, " Is the White Australia Policy beneficial to Australia." Mr W. W. Cook took the affirmative and he had as his supporter, Mr G.H. Ayliffe. Dr. E. A. Lermitte led for the negative side, being supported by Mr M. Leopold. 

After the four speakers had given their views the ballot was taken, but the result was not disclosed until after an interesting discussion had taken place. The speakers were complimented on the subject matter placed before the members. Mr G. G. Ayliffe who presided announced that the vote strongly favored the negative side. The subject for next Tuesday evening is a ' Mock Trial,' and the members will be selected by the chairman for the various parts of judge, lawyers etc. A very good evenings enjoyment is anticipated. 

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 2 August 1930, page 2

The fortnightly meeting of the above was held in the District Hall on Tuesday evening [5 Aug 1930], when Mr Geo. H. Ayliffe presided over an attendance of over thirty members and visitors. The subject for the evening was a ' Mock Court.' Mr V. H. F. Cook was Judge, M. Smith, Prosecutor, M. Robinson, Counsel for Defence, P. Cook, Constable. The jury, prisoners, and witnesses were picked from the members. Much amusement was caused by some of the answers given by some of the witnesses. A confirmed bachelor was charged with having being in possession of a pair of ladies silk stockings. Several other charges were laid. The ladies will have charge of the next evening on August 19tb and a ' Mock Parliament' will be held on September 2nd.

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 9 August 1930, page 2

A most enjoyable and instructive debate was held on Tuesday evening 26th August [1930] in the District Hall. The subject debated was 'Is it in the best interests of the Community for Women to enter the Commercial World,' and was in the hands of the following ladies; Mesdames G. G. Ayliffe and C. V. Carter spoke in the Affirmative; and the Negative side by Mesdames M. Smith and J. Young. These four ladies handled the subject in a masterly way, and in many ways it was considered one of the best evenings the Society has held. The arguments brought for ward were most convincing and the humorous side was by no means for gotten. The result of the voting was nineteen for the Positive side and 10 for the Negative. 

The next meeting will be a Mock Parliament and will be held next Tuesday 2nd September at 8 p m. Mr L A. Marks who is in charge of the evening has formed a Ministry comprising of Messrs T. Young,  J.  J. Osterstock, W. J. Neighbour, P. Leopold, W. L. S. Story and R. Cowan. Mr M. Smith will lead the opposition and he will be supported by Messrs P. H. W. Cook, M. Leopold, G. G. Ayliffe, W. W. Cook E. Wheaton and others. The Government will also have supporters. Mr V. H. F. Cook will be the Speaker. Two Bills will be introduced. One will be the 'Compulsory Wheat Pool' and to give the evening a local interest, the other will be a Bill to build a rail way from Kingscote to Salt Lake.

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 30 August 1930, page 2

On Tuesday evening last [2 Sep 1930], about forty residents and several visitors attended the meeting of the Kingscote Literary and Debating Society in the District Hall. The evening was devoted to a ' Mock Parliament' Mr V. H. F. Cook carrying out the duties of Speaker in a very dignified and satisfactory manner. At the conclusion of the evening a vote of thanks to him was proposed by Mr L. Marks, and supported by Mr J. H. Carter. 

Many interesting questions were put to the Government which was led by Mr L. Marks, (the other members being Messrs W. L. S. Story, W. J. Neighbour,  J. Osterstock and J. Young). The members showed a quick grasp of the questions and they were answered in a true parliamentary manner. 

Mr P. Leopold (Minister of Agriculture) opened the debate on the second reading of the ' Compulsory Wheat Pool Bill.' He was followed by Messrs M. Smith, leader of the Opposition, W. Story (Treasurer), R. Wheaton (Opposition), J. Young (Minister of Immigration), J. H. Carter and G. G. Ayliffe (Opposition), the latter causing a good deal of amusement by his remarks in the denouncing of the Bill. Most of the speakers spoke from 6 to 10 minutes and the mass of figures given for and against the Bill, showed that a good deal of preparation had been made and much interesting information was placed before the House. 

The lighter side of the evening consisted of the introduction by the Premier (Mr L. Marks) of a Bill, to build a railway from Kingscote to Muston, and the imagination of the speakers was freely used. The Premier put forward his case in a very persuasive manner, Mr P. Cook (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) followed and ridiculed the Bill, suggesting that it would be a better plan to build a railway between Anderson's and the Ozone. This suggestion was received with great applause. Messrs W. J Neighbour (Minister of Railways), J. J. Osterstock (Minister of Labor), W. W. Cook and M. Leopold (Opposition) were the other speakers, all of whom brought forward some novel suggestions. 

Mr M. Smith then moved a motion of no confidence which was carried and the Premier and his Government resigned. Apart from the humorous portions of the evening, the listeners received a good deal of instruction, besides the information gained in reference to the marketing of wheat. The next evening will be held on Tuesday September 16th. It will be will be in charge of Mr J. Young.

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 6 September 1930, page 2

Although the weather on Tuesday [16 Sep 1930] was wet and stormy, over twenty members and visitors attended the meeting of the Literary and Debating Society at the District Hall in the evening. The President, (Mr M. Smith) presided.

The subjects for the evening was a debate :— ' The Abolition of State Parliaments.' The affirmative side were, Messrs P. H W. Cook, (Leader), W. W. Cook and G. H. Ayliffe. Messrs L. A. Marks (Leader), P. Leopold and J. Young took the negative side. Although the speakers had very little opportunity of obtaining material for the debate, both sides put their views forward in a persuasive style. A good deal of history, ancient and modern was referred to, and the listeners as well as the debaters spent a very enjoyable evening. A vote was taken and the affirmative won. Quite a number of questions were asked by the audience, after which Mr J. J. Osterstock moved a vote of thanks to the speakers and Mr G. G. Ayliffe seconded the motion. The other speakers were the Rev. Robinson and Dr. Lermitte. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday evening September 30th and the subject will be ' Short papers.'

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 20 September 1930, page 2

The fortnightly meeting of the Kingscote Literary and Debating Society was held in the District Hall on Tuesday evening last [30 Sept 1930]. The President, (Mr M. Smith) presided over a good attendance of members and visitors. 

The first paper which was written by Mr G. H. Ayliffe was entitled 'Machinery and the future.' Although this paper was only discussed by Messrs J. J. Osterstock and M. Robinson, it caused a good deal of discussion after the close of the meeting when a number of the members assembled together and argued the points raised. 

Mr M. Leopold read a paper dealing with the experiences of boarders at Scotch College, and gave his listeners an insight into the system of imparting education, the rules governing boarders and a few of the amusing incidents which happen at the school. 

Miss A. Ayliffe read a paper on ' The Value of Shows.' This paper caused a fair amount of discussion, one of the speakers suggesting doing away with the prize money and supplying certificates of merit instead. The matter of obtaining judges was also mentioned, and it was pointed out that in some cases it was necessary to obtain judges from the city, but it would he rather a costly proceeding to bring judges from the mainland for every class. 

The next meeting will be held on October 14th when the subject will be 'Speeches after a Wedding Breakfast.'

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 4 October 1930, page 2

The Value of Shows.

Paper read before the Kingscote Literary and Debating Society by Miss A. Ayliffe. 

Shows properly conducted are of a great value to a community for they tend not only to improve the various products exhibited but they also help or at least they should, to cultivate sportsmanship. Exhibitors know that it is quite useless to enter in any class unless their exhibit is a really good one. Therefore they get to work and pick out the very best they have and work at it until it is in proper show condition. 

Even if they do not win a prize they will, by the mere striving to win, have gained quite a lot of knowledge which will be very helpful to them. Their stock or what ever it may be that they showed will be improved by the work which was bestowed on it. It is not only the exhibitors who gain when they win a prize but the whole community, for in the case of livestock, flowers etc. people may buy the improved stock and so the general standard in the district is raised. In the case of cooking and fancy work quite a lot may be learnt by examining the prize articles. 

The trouble is, specially with country shows, that the judges are often quite unqualified to judge with the result that many unworthy exhibits receive prizes. Now I am sure you will all agree with me that this is quite wrong and that nothing should be given a prize unless it is really worthy, even if it is the only exhibit in the class, for if it is, the standard will be lowered and the show becomes more harmful than useful. 

As I have already pointed out a properly conducted show is educative, but it is quite useless in this respect unless the standard set is the highest possible. It is the duty of everyone to try and and make their show a success in every way. 

If you don't win a prize do not get huffy, and say the judging wasn't fair but show that you possess the proper show spirit, take your licking, and like Bruce, try again next year. 

Even if you are convinced that the judging was a fault it is no use going about saying it was because of favouritism that the other person won. That only earns for you the reputation of being a bad sport. Lay your case before the committee and they will do their best to see the fault is remedied next year. 

A great many people are far too fond of blaming the unfortunate committee for every thing and saying how badly the show is run but are too tired to lift a finger to better it. Often those who complain the most do not often exhibit.

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 4 October 1930, page 2

The Kingscote Literary and Debating Society held their meeting on Tuesday evening  [14 Oct 1930] when Mr M. Smith presided over a good attendance. A request was made by some of the members that the session should be extended, and on a vote being taken, it was decided to bold two more meetings before going into recess. 

The subject for the evening was ' Wedding Breakfast Speeches.' The evening was not quite the success which was anticipated owing to one of the principal speakers withdrawing a few days previous to the meeting. Mr M. Leopold took the vacant position at a moments notice and did not have time to prepare his speech. 

Those who took part were Mr J. Young, Master of Ceremonies; Mr P. Cook who proposed the Bride and Bridegroom ; Responder, Mr M. Leo pold ; Mr G. H. Ayliffe proposed the Brides maids, Responder, Mr E. Cook. Rev. M. Robinson proposed the Brides mother; Mr M. Smith pro posed the Parents; Responder, Mr R. J. Cock. 

As the whole evening was not taken up, it was decided to have a few impromptu speeches, and the following subjects were discussed : 'Should Capital punishment be abolished.' ' Is it possible to do away with Capital.' ' Which is the best State Capital in the Commonwealth.' Among those who spoke were Mesdames J. Young, C. Carter, W. J. Neighbour, Dr. E. A. Lermitte, Messrs J. Young, J. Osterstock, P. Leopold, G. G. Ayliffe, and W, W. Cook. The next evening will be devoted to impromptu debates.

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 18 October 1930, page 2

The final evening of this years session took place on Tuesday 14th., November [1930]. There was a good attendance. Mr M. Smith as Premier had formed a Ministry in a Model Parliament. Besides the Premier, the following held portfolios in the Ministry.— Education, Mr G. H, Ayliffe ; Works, Mr J. Osterstock; Agriculture, Mr W. Cook, Chief Secretary, Rev. M. Robinson. The leader of the Opposition was Mr J. Young, who was assisted by Messrs P. Cook, G. G. Ayliffe, L. Marks, P. Leopold and J. H. Carter. Dr. Lermitte occupied the Speaker's Chair. After various questions had been asked, the business of the day was proceeded with. A Bill for Scripture Reading in State Schools was introduced and after a lively debate passed its first reading. The Premier (Mr Smith) introduced a Bill for the ' Secession of Kangaroo Island from the State of South Australia.' A keen debate followed, which was at the same time very amusing. No decision was reached on the motion of ' no confidence' which followed.

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 22 November 1930, page