Election Time! Article from 1914 Yearbook and Some EngSoc History

Posted on Posted in Archivist, History, Records

Our new EngSoc officers are in! Now is the time for discipline club chairs, project directors, and BoDs to be elected!

A little history on EngSoc (now 130 years old)…

Back then, the Engineering Society was more heavily technical/academic in nature.

… the fortnightly meetings were used for the presentation and discussion of technical papers, occasionally given by notable guest speakers, many of which were then printed in a pamphlet for distribution.Galbraith gave the society his full support, and even allowed student papers presented at the meetings to be considered in awarding honour standing. The society played an important part in life at the school; the annual compilation of published papers read before the society was, by the 1890s, sometimes over 200 pages long.

(from The Skule Story by Richard White)

The School had grown to such an extent that by 1906 it was difficult to hold meetings of the entire Society. In order to facilitate smaller meetings, the Society divided itself into three clubs: Civil & Architectural, Mechanical & Electrical, and Chemical & Mining. Eventually there were clubs for all of the different departments, but these evolved into social organizations as the technical nature of the Society declined.

(from A Century of Skill and Vigour by Barry Levine)

Here is a piece about EngSoc elections back in 1914 (101 years ago).
It’s interesting that they refer to Monday, March 9th, which makes the days from this month match up!
This particular article I’m sharing is important as it marks a shift in EngSoc structure (though we do see restructuring throughout history).
(I am still not used to html coding, so I’m sorry for that random “1” that is there… but the (c), (d), (c) in the listing is actually what is printed!)

This is the first year (if I’m correct) where structure included the distinct and formal formation of discipline clubs, at least recorded in the yearbook . Thus, you can appreciate that some of your discipline clubs are over 100 years old!

The Engineering Society Elections

March 13th, 1914
Owing to the tendency toward the formation of the clubs throughout the “School” for the purpose of increasing the value of their University course, it has been felt for some time that the Engineering Society was not supplying the members with what they really wanted and needed. Several clubs had been formed throughout the various departments for the purpose of arranging suitable excursions and encouraging public speaking and debate among the members. Since the membership of the Engineering Society has increased to its present number the three sections into which it was divided proved to be too large to reach effectively the members, especially in view of the fact that members of widely different departments were grouped in the one sub-section of the Engineering Society. Consequently the need was felt for a change which would affiliate the various clubs under one central governing body, the Engineering Society, which is the medium through which the students may present their desires or grievances before the University authorities.

According to the amendments to the meeting on Monday, March 9th, the executive will in the future consist of 15 officers, as follows:–

  1. 1. Presidents–a member of the IV year – elected by the entire electorate.
  2. Five chairmen of the various clubs, each a member of the IV year, as follows:–
    (a) Chairman of the Civil Club–elected by the undergraduate members of the department of Civil Engineers.
    (b) Chairman of the Mining Club–elected by the undergraduate members in the departments of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering.
    (c) Chairman of the Mechanical and Electrical Club-elected by the undergraduate members in the departments of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.
    (d) Chairman of the Architectural Club–elected by the undergraduate members in the department of Architecture.
    (c) Chairman of the Chemical Club–elected by the undergraduate members in the departments of Analytical and Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
  3. Vice-President–a member if the III year-elected by all the undergraduate members.
  4. Corresponding secretary–a member of the III year-elected by all the undergraduate members.
  5. Treasurer–a member of the III year-elected by all the undergraduate members.
  6. Recording secretary–a member of the II year-elected by all the undergraduate members.
  7. Curator–a member of the II year-elected by all the undergraduate members.
  8. Four year representatives as at present–each elected by the members of his own year, and each to be president of his year.

Each chairman of the club shall preside over the meetings of his club.
He shall have power to call meetings of his club for the election of an executive or for the transaction of any other business pertaining to the interests of his club.

The elections on March 13th were conducted in accordance with the new constitution as amended at the meeting on March 9th. Owing to the pending proposed changes many candidates for some of the offices did not enter the field until March 10th, but once this matter had been cleared up there was an unusual number if contestants, as many as six candidates being nominated for one office. After a strenuous contest for the presidency, in which four candidates viz., R. D. Galbraith, E. D. Gray, L. T. Higgins, and R. E. Laidlaw were contestants, Mr. E. D. Gray was returned the winner.

The elections included all the features of the previous years, except the Brute Force Committee , which had to be dispensed with on account of the programme being conducted in the drafting room behind Convocation Hall, where the same conveniences for the “milling” process are not furnished as were enjoyed in the old gymnasium. However, the drafting room offers many advantages which offset the lack of the above mentioned convenience, and it is doubtful if a more enjoyable evening was ever spent on election night.

Tobacco, pipes and fruit were very much in evidence, the buffet service causing a good deal of turmoil and general mixing. The programme consisted of a hockey game in which roller-skates, brooms and a foot-ball constituted the implements of warfare, chariot races of various kinds, boxing, wrestling, blindfold boxing, fly-swatting, tangoing of all kinds, and many other impromptu innovations too numerous to mention and too new to name. The “ Toikeoikestra ” under the capable leadership of Mr. G. W. F. Johnston, furnished music throughout the evening, and so lent considerable toward the success of this, the last social function of the season.

When the smoke had cleared away and President Mechin was able to make himself heard above the din which reigned during the whole evening, the executive was announced to have been elected as follows:-President, E.D. Gray; vice-president, F.T. McPherson; chairman of the Civil Club, C.R. McCort; chairman of the Mining Club, J.M. Muir; chairman of the Mechanical and Electrical Club, K.A. Jefferson; chairman of the Architectural Club, T.S. Graham; chairman of the Chemical Club, W. Uffelman; corresponding secretary, R.W. Downie; treasurer, H.A. Babcock; recording secretary, R.W. Downie; treasurer, H.A. Babcock; recording secretary, H.L. McClelland; curator, R.S. Bothwell; fourth year representative, W.R. McCaffery; third year representative, J.H. Eastwood; second year representative, A.B. Honeywell; first year representative, to be elected.

Lastly, did you know that the Toike Oike way back when was a serious (and “the”) newspaper for the students of Skule/School of Practical Science (S.P.S.)?

They were especially important during election time (with their “elections” issues) where a large portion of the issue would be covered in student elections ads. See here and here .

Good luck to future candidates!