Is Pooh-Soc Arrogantly Exclusive?

Speech given at formal trough, 6pm 7/2/01 as part of the Elevation Program.

Well, the short answer to this question is 'not really' but the long answer is much more informative, and, I hope, interesting.

Are we exclusive? In that we read exclusively from the extant corpus of A.A. Milne, yes we are. However, as the characters learn in Chapter 7 of the Old Testament 'Winnie-the-Pooh', entitled 'In which Kanga and Baby Roo come to the Forest and Piglet has a bath' intolerance towards new comers can have Negative Consekwenses, up to and including Bathing.

So, the society is open to all members of Pembroke College and applications for membership are invited from all those living within 5 miles of Greater St. Marys.

We do, in fact, have daughter chapters much further afield. Recently one of our members read Pooh to people he was teaching English to in Siberia. Our website, which can be accessed from the Pembroke page is visited from as far away as Brazil, Canada, where the original Pooh bear was from and Girton. We even have one current member from that college.

Claire is not with us today so I can't resist making a reference to the fact that one of our Committee is from Homerton and for a Cambridge Society that certainly cannot be regarded as exclusive.

Which moves us swiftly on to the topic of Arrogance. Arrogance, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which must be very uncomfortable for Mr. B. Holder, the Cyclops. The Testaments gently mock those who behave arrogantly, including it must be said Rabbit.

I'd now like to look in detail at some short passages from Chapter 7 of the New Testament 'The House at Pooh Corner' 'In which Tigger is Unbounced'

To set the Seen let me tell you that Rabbit, egged on by Piglet has taken it upon himself to get Tigger lost in order to subdue him and he is explaining this to Pooh.

If you would like to follow please turn to page 259 in the Authorised edition.

'Well, I've got...
... see you Tigger . That's why.'

Gratius Agimus A.A. Milne, which, for those of you who aren't Latin scholars means 'thanks be to A.A. Milne'.

However Rabbit's plan doesn't turn out like that. It is in fact Rabbit that gets lost and Tigger rescues him, as you will see if you now turn to page 270.

'Tigger was...
...cried Rabbit'.

Gratius Agimus A.A. Milne.

Now I don't think I can add a lot to that except to say that in Pooh-Soc we try to follow the teachings of A.A. Milne and consekwintly avoid being arrogantly exclusive as much as possible.

On behalf of the Society I'd like to thank you all for your attention and invite you to come along to the next elevation event which will be at, 3pm on Saturday 'Elevating ...the Poohstick' a game of Poohsticks on the cam, please meet at the porters lodge followed at 4pm in Q9 by an elevenses meeting with tea and cake, I hope to see you there.

Jennifer Davies.
Rabbit, and President, Pembroke College Winnie-the-Pooh Society.

Elevation -

Return To Papers And Speeches