A tiny intruder named Winiki

May 18, 2022

The following excerpt, from the 1921 College Annual, tells the story of a little dog who captured the hearts of our students and became a much-loved mascot for the school community at St Patrick’s College a century ago.

Winiki, the adored College mascot at SPC in the 1920s.

“Winiki appeared at the College on the 10 of June 2021, when a comet appeared in the sky at the same time.

He was described as a little white ball, so soft, just able to run about. Soon the small boys came to hear of his arrival, and many were the remarks passed. “What a nice wee foxy!” “What silky hair!” “How small he is, and his tail so short!” What’s his name?” Our dog is called “Topsy.” Ours has a nicer name, “Rover.” So we determined to name our mascot with proper ceremonial.

Four small boys were chosen and commissioned to bring fruit, cake, lemonade, lollies, etc., to a large room. These were spread out in party fashion. Then the dog, decorated with College colours, was brought in and allowed to ramble around until his name was selected. This was done by the youngest student, who, blindfolded, picked Winiki (called after the troublesome comet) from the box containing the names of all the dogs known to our young friends.

With that, the pup was taken up, and having “the customary bottle of wine” broken over him as they do over ships, he was named Winiki with many a loud cheer, at which he marveled wondrously.

The young ones set to enjoy the feast and shared the good things with their associate, much to his delight. He has become a general favourite from that day, his presence giving a little touch of home life to the boys.

They make him run (and does he not run with speed!), teach him to jump, and entice him to swim in Lake Wendouree. They delight in bringing him for a row on that beautiful lake. He does enjoy their company, playing with one at the bow, biting an oarsman, barking at the black swans — no friends of his, surveying the scenery with two paws on the edge of the boat making a picture, biting the waves. When returning to the boathouse, he always gets a long swim.”

A dog, officially named as a College mascot, and even pet sheep, used to hang out with students in the 1920s.