2nd week. It’s an uninspiring sort of concept. On the other hand, (although I suppose it was technically 1st week) the freshers had their first real taste of anachronistic Oxford absurdity with their matriculation ceremony. I loved matriculation – an excuse to pose for daft photos of launched hats forbidden to be worn, a pub crawl in pseudo-white-tie, and a useful lesson to never, ever go to Clems again. A Mr. John Moynihan, of Balliol College, felt differently in 1969, when Cherwell reported ‘A colourful anti-matriculation ceremony will take place on Tuesday, 21st October.’ Mr Moynihan first made his name in Oxford last year by going through the matriculation ceremony in drag. [He said]; ‘Our intention is to disrupt seriously, in the funniest and jolliest way possible, what we consider to be an anachronistic ceremony, that long ago outlived its usefulness.’
On the topic of sartorial peculiarity, we have an Evelyn report from 1980 of a character known to us all for his Tory-blue tie – William Hague. Poor Will gets stood up by his ‘frunions’ as ‘Thompson… has been twice persuaded to break blood pacts with cuddly northerner William Hague.’First, he agreed not to stand as Secretary; then, again, he agreed not to stand as President this time round. Hague is so worried by Thompson’s steamroller campaign that he has taken up a deliberate policy of wearing bomber jackets, training shoes, etc. in preference to the traditional Pelling-style 8-piece suits.’ Ten points to the next person who shows up at P&P in a bomber jacket and air force ones.
In more recent news, 2003 saw Pembroke buying a new feline friend after their old moggie was purportedly hurled from Christ Church’s Tom Tower. Cherwell reported ‘when a Christ Church cow was painted Pembroke pink and died two years ago, rumour has it that Christ Church retaliated by hurling Pembroke’s beloved cat, Molly, off Tom Tower. If you’d like a further clarification of the absurdity of painted animals, I suggest you take some time to watch the pets episode of Russell Brand’s Ponderland. Keep an open mind – I didn’t ever think a video of a man hiring a boy to dunk birds in coloured dye would ever be of any use, but I just filled the rest of this article with it.