John Williams' account of Geology social functions


John Williams' account of Geology social functions





Regular geology social functions from the late 60s or early 70s, which is as far back as current corporate memory allows, have centred on the annual Xmas party and annual dinner. The former is organised by the general staff and latter by fourth year student mostly with some help and prodding from Adrien Xmas parties are family friendly and formulaic, always involving strawberries and ice cream and held in the common room. Annual dinners on the other hand are usually held around July/August, have been at venues all over town and can be slightly more anarchic. In recent years tongue-in- cheek certificate have been awarded to staff and less often students, for significant achievements.
Dinner highlights have included a roast pig at the Manhattan in Morey Place (early 1970s) organised by Alan Goding, later fired for financial malfeasance and subsequently awarded an MBE for services to sea cadets. At a dinner in the New Dynasty in George St a member of an unrelated group fell out of a window and broke a leg. At least one of the dinners held in the Logan Park grandstand was a potluck which included possum stew thoughtfully provided by Dave Craw, Jeff Robinson and his wife Shelagh sang some songs about the department to Jeff’s guitar accompaniment at one dinner in the Travel Lodge by the Botanical Gardens. A run of successful dinners at The Asian Restaurant in more recent years was terminated by management after some of the third year class had a little too much to drink. We had too bodily stuff one large guy into a taxi afterward to get rid of him and call an ambulance for another while several of the female were vomiting all over the toilets. Other venues have included The Shoreline, Philadelphios, Parsha and Eltrusco where Adrien had to run down Morey Place afterwards to flee the amorous intentions of the then photographer.
Sports events have been more sporadic. Several rugby games were played around 1970 against Mineral Technology and possibly geography. Richard Norris and Tony Reay were banned from future games by their wives after sustaining injuries. Soccer was selected as a more suitable winter sport for most people and staff-student games were played on an intermittent basis thereafter. The staff team always revolved around the strength and brilliance of Alan Cooper and incompetent enthusiasm of John Williams. As the years went by the staff content of the team dwindled. Cricket was also played though less often as it was more complicated to organise and play and also more time consuming.

Original Format




John Williams, “John Williams' account of Geology social functions,” Otago Geology Archive, accessed September 28, 2021,