James Murray Gosper P070
James Murray Gosper was born in Sydney on 23 September 1903. He was
educated at Sydney Grammar School, from where he matriculated in November
1923. He enrolled in engineering at Sydney University in 1924 and was
awarded his Bachelor of Engineering degree in 1932.
Gosper was active in the sporting field, representing his college, St. Andrew's, and the University in both rifle shooting, for which he was awarded a 'blue', and athletics. He was also heavily involved in student affairs, and very popular with the undergraduate body. Gosper was on the Committee of the Undergraduates Association, forerunner to the SRC, from 1925 to 1929. He was also on the Union Board of Directors from 1929 to 1932, and active in the Engineering Students Association. In addition, he was, for some time, the Sydney Morning Herald's University correspondent.
When 'Honi Soit' began publication in 1929 Gosper was sports editor and chief of staff under the editor, Arthur Crouch. These two men, along with P. T. Millard, were actively involved in campaigning for the establishment of a properly representative undergraduate body, following an incident during Commemoration Week that year. The proposed constitution of the new body made membership compulsory and it was approved by a meeting of under-graduates on 8 November 1929. The constitution and the proposal for compulsory membership were both approved by the Senate on 9 December 1929, and the Students' Representative Council came into being, with 'Honi Soit' as its official newspaper. Gosper was elected as first President of the SRC, with A.B. Edwards and Evanne Wood as vice-presidents.
Gosper was also active in the re-structuring of the Appointments Board in 1934, and in the formation of the Graduates Association during the period 1935-38. When a standing committee of Convocation was established in 1939 as a result of the moves to establish a Graduates Association, Gosper was elected its first Honorary Secretary. He is the only student to have a University road named after him: Gosper Lane, which runs between the old Geology and Macleay buildings.
Series and Item Listing of the Papers of James Murray GOSPER
Series 1: Songbooks and Commemoration Programmes, 1920-1932
Printed copies of song-books and programmes for Commemoration Day and students Festivals. Also included is an Engineering Year Book, and a copy of the University's War Memorial Hymn.
Item Description Dates No. 1 Printed copy of 'The Song of the Bells', the Sydney 1925 University War Memorial Hymn, written by Professor F.A.Todd. 2 Student's Song Book. 1925 3 Commemoration Programme and Songbook produced by the 1925 Undergraduates Association. 4 Engineering Year Book. 1931 5 "Quack Quack": 'song book and miscellany' for the 1931 1931 Students Festival. 6 "Shick Shock": 'song book and miscellany' for the 1932 1932 Students Festival. 7 Programme and Songbook for students Commemoration 1921 Carnival. 8 Programme of songs for the students' festival. 1920 9 The Songbook of the Undergraduates Association. 1924 10 Programme and Songbook for the student Commemoration 1928 Festival.
Back to top
Series 2: Papers relating to the formation of the Graduates' Association, 1935-1944
A group of male graduates of the University decided, in 1935, to work towards the establishment of a Graduates Association which, they believed, could play an important role in university government. Accordingly, a committee, headed by Percy Spender, was set up to draft a constitution for the new Association. A general meeting of graduates was called at which the draft constitution was to be presented. The meeting, of about 100 graduates, held on 24 July 1935, agreed to form an Association with a number of objectives, but which was intended to only represent male graduates.
As a result of the discriminatory nature of the objectives there was widespread dissent to this constitution. Eventually a meeting of Convocation was summoned for 12 September 1935. This meeting, which was attended by 1,100 graduates, passed a motion to form a more representative association and also established a provisional committee to draft a constitution for the new association. The committee members were: R.C. Teece, H.G. Carter, P.C. Spender, Kevin Ellis, Dr R.A.M. Allen, Dr A.M. Davidson, Dr I. Clunies Ross, Jessie Street, and Monica Flower.
On 10 June 1936 a further meeting of Convocation as held which adopted the recommendations of the provisional committee and established the Graduates Association as consisting of all members of Convocation. The meeting passed resolutions providing for the election of a standing committee of Convocation, with at least a quarter of its members being female, and requesting Senate to make the necessary by-laws and regulations to bring into effect the decisions of Convocation.
After lengthy delays, caused in part by opposition to the Graduates Association from staff and the Senate, Convocation was again summoned to meet on 7 October 1938. This meeting, attended by 105 graduates plus some Fellows of Senate, adopted the draft constitution drawn up by the provisional committee and passed a resolution requesting the Senate make the necessary changes to accept the Constitution by adopting the draft by-laws of the provisional committee. At its meeting of 7 November 1938 Senate reaffirmed its earlier decision that acceptance of the Constitution of the Graduates Association would be by resolution of Senate, and not by changes to the by-laws. However in December 1938 Senate found it necessary to rescind this decision and adopted new by-laws for establishing Convocation.
The first standing committee of Convocation was elected in November 1939, with J.P. Tivey as President, Dr R.A.M. Allen as deputy President, J.M. Gosper as Honorary Secretary, and 5 other members. Perhaps because of the war little was achieved by the Standing Committee, and little use was made of it by either the Senate or graduates. The Graduates Association never came into existence.
This series consists of a large number of papers concerning the formation of the Graduates Association, including notices of meetings, minutes of both the provisional committees, clippings from 'Honi Soit', a report of Senate, and correspondence.
Back to top
Item Description Dates No. 1 Notice of meeting of Convocation to be held on 7 October 1938. 1938 2 Report of the sub-committee of the Sydney University 1938 Engineering Club appointed to consider the draft constitution of the Sydney University Undergraduates Association. 3 'Honi Soit' vol. X no. 21, 15 September 1938. 1938 4 'Honi Soit' vol. X no. 20, 11 August 1938. 1938 5 History of the formation of the Sydney University Graduates 1935-8 Association, compiled by Gosper, consisting of handwritten notes and clippings from 'Honi Soit' pasted onto loose pages (30 pages). 6 First Report of the Standing Committee of Convocation on 1944 proceedings of Convocation from 1939-1944 (printed, two copies). 7 'Honi Soit', vol. VII no. 16, 24 July 1935. 1935 8 Newsletter of SU Graduates Association concerning a meeting of 1935 Convocation to be held on 12 September 1935. 9 Petition calling for meeting of Convocation and notice of n.d. meeting of Convocation. 10 Carbon copy of letter to an engineering graduate ('Keith') as 1935 a senior officer of the Main Roads Board and a prominent member of the profession concerning the Graduates Association, dated 4 July 1935. [7 pages] 11 'Honi Soit', vol. VII no. 20, 18 September 1935. 1935 12 'Honi Soit', vol. X no. 20, 11 August 1938. 1938 13 Minutes of meetings of the Provisional Committee of the 1935-8 Graduates Association, from 20 September 1935 to 12 August 1938 (typescript). 14 Minutes of a meeting of the drafting Committee of the Graduates 1936 Association, for 2 April 1936 (typescript). 15 Printed notice to Convocation members concerning a meeting of 1936 Convocation to be held on 22 May 1936. 16 Printed sheet of resolutions for the Convocation meeting to be 1936 held on 10 June 1936. 17 Report of Senate on matters arising from resolution passed by 1936 Convocation on 22 May 1936. 18 Minutes of a meeting of the Sydney University Graduates 1936 Association held on 3 December 1936. 19 Typescript copy of draft by-laws of Convocation, with ?1936 handwritten annotations and corrections.
Back to top
20 Letter from the Secretary of the Provisional Committee of the 1937 Graduates Association to Gosper as Secretary of the Engineering Club re report of Club on the draft constitution of the Association. Original letter from club and report are included. 21 Letter from W.A. Prestcott to R.C. Teece concerning the 1937 constitution of Convocation, dated 3 November 1937. 22 Letter from Registrar, W.A. Selle, dated 9 December 1937, to 1937 Carter, Secretary of Provisional Committee of the Graduates Association, forwarding minutes of a joint Committee meeting. 23 Letter from Donoghue and Carter to Teece, dated 11 February 1938 1938, re Graduates Association. 24 Letter from Percy Spender to Teece, dated 1 July 1938, re 1938 Graduates Association. 25 Letter from Provisional Secretary of Graduates Association to 1938 the Registrar, dated 9 September 1938, concerning an amendment to the draft constitution of Convocation. 26 Letter from Carter to the Registrar, dated 9 September 1938, 1938 concerning amendments to the draft constitution of Convocation. 27 Letter from the Registrar to Carter, dated 13 September 1938, 1938 concerning amendments to the draft constitution of Convocation.
Back to top
28 'Honi Soit', vol. X no. 21, 15 September 1938. 1938- 1938 29 Letter from Secretary of the Committee of Convocation to the 1938 Registrar, dated 7 October 1938, forwarding the report of the Committee on the resolutions of the meeting of Convocation held on 10 June 1936. 30 Clipping from 'Honi Soit' of 13 October 1938, of article on 1938 Convocation meeting. 31 Letter from Registrar to Carter, dated 20 December 1938, 1938 containing a printed copy of the proposed new by-laws of Convocation, and a report of the Committee of legal members of Senate on the resolutions. 32 Letter from Registrar to Carter, dated 7 December 1938, 1938 containing three copies of the draft by-laws of Convocation. 33 Printed copy of the draft amended By-Laws of Convocation. 1938 34 Cutting from Sydney Morning Herald of 14 October 1939, of 1939 Public Notices column giving information about elections for the University Senate and the Standing Committee of Convocation. 35 Circular notice listing the standing orders of Convocation. n.d. 36 First Annual Report of the Standing Committee of Convocation. 1940 37 Loose leaf 'scrapbook' kept by Gosper about the formation of 1935-9 the Graduates Association. The 'scrapbook' contains press cuttings, correspondence, printed circulars, memoranda, etc.
Back to top
Series 3: Papers relating to the restructuring of the Sydney University Appointments Board, 1934-35.
After the resignation of the Director of the Appointments Board, Brigadier-General Iven Mackay, in late 1932, the Senate decided to restructure the Board. A meeting of a number of graduates and undergraduates formed a committee to obtain information about appointments boards at other universities around the world. A number of universities were surveyed and some documents collected, and the committee submitted a report to the Senate in April 1935. As a result of this report the Senate agreed to restructure the Appointments Board and amended its by-laws to bring this about. The Appointments Board was to consist of six members appointed annually by Senate and four members representing business, the professions, and recent graduates, in addition to a number of ex-officio members. In 1936 a full-time Secretary was appointed.
This series contains copies of the survey questionnaire, a summary of the information gathered by the committee, some documents from overseas universities, the committee's report to Senate, and some correspondence.
Back to top
Item Description Dates No. 1 Confidential information booklet on candidates from the Bureau n.d. of Appointments of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 2 Candidates application form from the Bureau of Appointments of n.d. the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 3 Rating sheet [i.e. referees' statements] for candidates from n.d. the Bureau of Appointments of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 4 Information circular from the Bureau of Appointments of the n.d. University of Tennessee, Knoxville. [4 pages] 5 Letter from Vice-Chancellor, R. S. Wallace, dated 4 December 1934 1934, enclosing a letter from the University of Cambridge re student appointments. 6 Typed and handwritten summary of information concerning the n.d. operation of appointments boards at a number of universities around the world. 7 Copy of address to Senate by Kevin Ellis, a member of the 1935 Senate' Committee, concerning the Sydney University Appointments Board, dated 18 April 1935. 8 Typescript letter and questionnaire sent to overseas 1934 universities concerning activities of appointments boards. 9 Press clipping (perhaps from 'Honi Soit') of an article n.d. concerning the new secretary of the Sydney University Appointments Board.
Back to top
Series 4: Papers relating to the accounts of the Union's 1931 Commemoration week activities, "Festival Follies", 1931.
The 1931 commemoration week activities run by the Students' Representative 1931-1931 Council, were called "Festival Follies". J.M. Gosper was chairman of the Revue sub-committee. In the accounts of the sub-committee published in 'Honi Soit' on 5 August 1931 Gosper made some criticisms of the Union's charges. Gosper considered that a rebuttal article published in 'The Union Recorder' on 13 August 1931, entitled "Defamation of the Union", defamed him and he sued the Union Board. The Union retracted its allegations in an apology printed in 'The Union Recorder' on 10 September 1931, and the matter was settled. This series contains clippings from 'Honi Soit' and 'The Union Recorder', and correspondence.
Item Description Dates No. 1 Press clipping from 'Honi Soit' of 5 August 1931 containing 1931 an article by Gosper entitled "Festival Follies" which gives the details of the accounts of the Union's Commemoration week activities of the same name. 2 Letter from Gosper to the Secretary of the Union, dated 13 1931 August 1931,concerning the accounts of "Festival Follies". 3 Letter to Gosper from the Secretary of the Union, dated 12 1931 August 1931, concerning the accounts of "Festival Follies". 4 Page 214 from 'Union Recorder' of 13 August 1931, containing 1931 article entitled "Defamation of the Union" (4 copies). 5 Letter to Gosper from the Registrar, dated 14 August 1931, 1931 concerning Gosper's request for a Proctorial Board meeting. 6 Page 228 of 'Union Recorder' of 10 September 1931, containing 1931 article entitled "Festival Follies Account" apologising to Gosper for any imputations of "malice, untruthfulness, inefficiency, or want of good faith" in their article of 13 August 1931. 7 Pages 3 and 4 of 'Honi Soit' of 5 August 1931, containing 1931 Gosper's article on the Festival Follies accounts (2 copies).
Back to top
Series 5: Papers concerning Commemoration Day, 1929
During the 1929 Commemoration activities, and following some rowdy behaviour at the Tivoli Theatre, two University Students were arrested and charged with desecrating the Cenotaph. A subsequent University investigation exonerated the two students of any wrong-doing, although at least one of them appeared in Court and was fined. Nevertheless the Sydney newspapers had a field day, whipping up an almost hysterical reaction against the University and its students. Commemoration Day was banned by the Vice-Chancellor every year for the following 8 years.
This series consists of correspondence received by Gosper, who was President of the Students' Representative Council at the time, and press clippings from the Sydney newspapers describing the incident.
Item Description Dates No. 1 Letter from ? (illegible), dated 23 May 1929, concerning 1929 the Commemoration Day incident. 2 Letter from ? (illegible), dated 23 May 1929, concerning 1929 the Commemoration Day incident. 3 Letter from R.M. Allen, dated 23 May 1929, concerning the 1929 Commemoration Day incident. 4 Letter from K. McClymont, dated 23 May 1929, concerning the 1929 Commemoration Day incident. 5 Letter from H. R. Murray, dated 24 May 1929, concerning the 1929 Commemoration Day incident. 6 Letter from A. Cohen, dated 23 May 1929, concerning the 1929 Commemoration Day incident. 7 Letter from H.M. Wragge, dated 24 May 1929, concerning the 1929 Commemoration Day incident. 8 Letter from E. Le Gay Brereton, dated 23 May 1929, concerning 1929 the Commemoration Day incident. 9 Letter from ? (illegible), dated 24 May 1929, concerning the 1929 Commemoration Day incident. 10 Letter from E.G. Boyd, dated 25 May 1929, concerning the 1929 Commemoration Day incident. 11 Letter from A. Charlton, dated 30 May 1929, concerning the 1929 Commemoration Day incident. 12 Letter from Gosper to a newspaper concerning its article on1 ?1929 the Commemoration Day celebrations, typescript, undated. 13 Collection of press cuttings concerning the incidents at the 1929 Tivoli Theatre and the Cenotaph on Commemoration Day 1929.
Series 6: Miscellaneous documents, 1930-32
Miscellaneous papers of Gosper, consisting of two copies of 'Honi Soit', and 1930-1932 material relating to the Engineering Students Association.
Item Description Dates No. 1 'Honi Soit', vol. II no. 6, 30 April 1930. 1930 2 Typescript copy of speech given by Gosper to an Engineering 1932 students' function in the P. N. Russell building (now Woolley). 3 Evening Students Association balance of accounts as at 1 May 1932 1932. The reverse of the sheet contains handwritten notes on the accounts. 4 Two pages of handwritten notes giving page numbers for n.d. information in University Calendars 1924-34.
Back to top
Series 7: Photographs, 1926-c.1958
This series mainly contains official photographs of student bodies and sporting teams of which Gosper was a member. The first few items are more informal photographs of the University.
Item Description Dates No. 1 Five photographs of the cast of "No, No, Nanette" during a 1926 visit they made to the University in May(?) 1926. 2 Unidentified group photograph which includes Gosper, K.A. n.d. Flavelle, C.R. Wallace, R. Le Gay Brereton, A.G. Smith, and W. Hugh Smith. The photograph is undated but probably dates from the late 1920s or early 1930s. 3 View of front facade of the Great Hall and the Quadrangle from n.d. the north-east. Possibly late 1920s. 4 Gosper investing Dr F.W. Bayldon with stole of office as n.d. President of the Students Representative Council. 5 View of front facade of Great Hall and Quadrangle from n.d. approximately east-north-east. The photograph possibly dates from the late 1920s. 6 Commemoration day student prank: visit of Arab Party. c.1958 7 Union Board of Directors, 1931-32. 1931 8 Students Representative Council, 1929. 1929 9 Committee of the Undergraduates Association, 1926 1926 10 University Athletic Team, 1926. 1926 11 University Rifle Team, 1929. 1929 12 University Rifle Team, 1928. 1928 13 Committee of the Undergraduates Association, 1929. 1929 14 Committee of the Undergraduates Association, 1925. 1925 15 University Team for the 1929 Intervarsity Shooting Competition. 1929 16 Union Board of Directors, 1926-27. 1926 17 Committee of the Undergraduates Association, 1927. 1927 18 Committee of the Undergraduates Association, 1928. 1928 19 St. Andrew's College Rifle Team, 1928. 1928 20 Union Board of Directors, 1927-28. 1927 21 Union Board of Directors, 1928-29. 1928 22 Committee of the Undergraduates Association, 1930-31. 1930
Back to top