Issue 9: 23 May 2008

This column is taken from the Governor, Sir William Jervois’s address at the opening ceremony of Auckland University College held in Choral Hall on 21 May 1883 (New Zealand Herald, 22 May 1883, p. 5).

There are hundreds of young men and women in this city and neighbourhood who go straight from school to the business of life with their education but half completed, or rather little more than begun, who could not afford the time necessary for residence at a university college either elsewhere in the colony or in Europe. (Applause.) There are others whose occupations in life makes the study of some particular science - such as mechanics, or chemistry, or botany - of special advantage; and here they will have the opportunity of attending any one course of lectures they may desire…. For the students of law, however, a city in possession of a Supreme Court and an excellent law library, and where so many of members of the profession reside, ought to offer special advantages. I trust that steps will ere long be taken to establish in this college lectureships similar to those in Canterbury and Otago. With regard to medicine, I see no reason why medical education should not be given to Auckland which would, equally to that of Dunedin, be recognised by the University of Edinburgh. (Applause.) The musical talent, which undoubtedly exists among the people of Auckland in no ordinary degree - (cheers) - might derive great assistance from regular instruction in the science of music, in which I am glad to see that the University of New Zealand is empowered to grant degrees - (applause) - and I trust that there will be many students of general literature who will be able to profit by the use of the splendid and interesting library which Sir George Grey has so munificently presented to the city. (Cheers.) But, whatever branch of study be followed, let it not be supposed that this college is founding only for the acquisition of professional training. Its object is wider, higher, nobler. I trust that the ambition of all who enter it will be the true philosophy, the pursuit of learning valued for its own sake, not merely as a means to some other end.