Contraceptives and chocolate

Jeff Miller had a post a couple of days ago called Contraception and Chocolate. It tells of a campaign to hand out Hershey Bars with condoms on college campuses. Depressing though it is, the story headline reminded me of an amusing incident from my days at Oxford.

The Corpus Christi College JCR had a motion posted "That a machine for the purveyance of contraceptives be installed in the Plummer."
(Translations - JCR = Junior Common Room, i.e. undergraduate members of the College. Plummer = basement area with washing machines etc.)

Paul Haffner (left) was there at the time so it must have been my first year (1977-8). He lobbied the Catholics at the College to turn out to support an amendment he was intending to propose. There were not all that many of us but a couple of hearties from the Officer Training Corps ensured that we were not entirely overwhelmed.

Paul's moment came and he announced with his very careful and laboured enunciation "I should like to propose an amendment." This was duly noted and he was invited to make his proposition. With similar dramatic effect, he said "That the motion should be amended by replacing the word 'contraceptives' with the word 'chocolate'." This brought the house down and his amendment (and the amended motion) were carried on a wave of enthusiasm.

I subsequently joined Paul at the English College in Rome, together with another contemporary Corpuscle, Paul Hendricks. Paul Haffner is now teaching theology in Rome and Paul Hendricks is now auxiliary Bishop in Southwark.

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