Prepped for a battle of wits

15 Sep 2020

At the annual College vs St Margaret’s College showcase debate, the College team and seasoned debaters – Year 13 students John-Paul Lay, Jamie Yee and Angad Vraich – took to the floor to affirm the motion “This house would bring back duels to the death”.

The (perhaps) ironically named Christ’s College Alpha Males were sure that with their rapier wit and rapid fire delivery of some compelling arguments, the SMC team wouldn’t stand a chance.

“We’ve learned a lot from our MANifesto sessions and took this into the debate,” says Jamie. “Our plan was to fight toxic masculinity one duel at a time, as well as solve the problems of climate change and global conflict.”

They had even come up with some rules and regulations that could be used to frame the context of a modern duel, including anyone intending to fight a duel should first seek permission from the Minister for Sport and Recreation; duellers should pay for the privilege and anyone who couldn’t afford it could apply for a government subsidy to cover the costs involved; the venue (whether indoor or outdoor) should meet strict safety requirements; and there should always be an impartial referee and ambulance on hand to assist.

Despite all this – and Head Prefect Dominic Edmond resplendent in a top hat singing the national anthem and “Happy Birthday” to John-Paul at half-time – they couldn’t take the win. In the end, it was the SMC team that convinced the adjudicators that bringing back duels to the death is not a good idea – and the boys had to pack their duelling pistols and admit defeat.

The highly entertaining debate was hosted by SMC at lunchtime on Monday 14 September.