University anniversaries

Jubilee celebrations 1902

'The Union Book of 1902'

On September 29th 1902 "The Union Book of 1902" was published, the other chief contribution of the Union towards the celebration of the Jubilee.

Read "The Union Book of 1902", courtesy of the Cornell University Library.

"The Union Book of 1902"

"The Union Book of 1902", photo of the book's cover, courtesy Cornell University Library.

With the aid of a grant from the Senate of the University, and the ready support of a large number of subscribers, the Union Committee was able to collect from its records a substantial volume of much historical and permanent interest.

It consists of Presidential Addresses, Lectures and Essays, composed for the Union at various times in the thirty years or so of its existence, from the discourse of the First President (Dr. Badham) upon the relations of such a society to academic study and the life of the community, to the retrospective review of the aims and hopes of those who did most to establish the University as a teaching institution, by the last retiring President (Dr. Wilson).

Among the other selections are a paper by Professor Scott upon the " Use and Abuse of Examinations," and an address by Professor MacCallum maintaining the old teaching function as against recent proposals that degrees in Arts should be granted without attendance at lectures and upon examination alone; literary and philosophical studies of Burke, by Professor Butler, T. H. Green by Professor Anderson, and Ibsen by Mr. N. J. Gough; together with entertaining accounts of the Oxford Union by the State Attorney-General, Mr. B. R. Wise, K.C., and of older Sydney University days by His Honor Judge Backhouse, who took a leading part in the foundation of the Union itself.

The book concludes with a piece taken from the shortlived Sydney University Review and dealing, over the date of 1882, with the need for the institution of that Biological Department which now has its own large building and its own important place in the scientific curricula of various faculties. The writer, Professor Stephens, reveals a great literary erudition and taste appropriate in one who served the University equally well as Acting-Professor of Classics and Professor of Natural History.

Comment by the Sydney Morning Herald, 4 October 1902

It would have been well if the original design, as indicated in the preface, had been adhered to and a historical account of the Union itself had been included. The Union is now nearly 30 years old, and it would have been interesting to know something more of the orators who addressed it on various topics during this first generation of its history. As it is, the efforts of the editors have been mainly confined to the selection from the arohives of the Union of some of the addresses delivered by prominent persons. Amongst those we notice addresses by Charles Badham, and by Professors MacCallum and Wilson. In the list of lecturers are to be found the names of Judge Backhouse, Mr. B. R. Wise, Mr. N. J. Gough, and Professors W. J. Stephens, W. Scott, T. Butler, and J. Anderson.