OBA Newsletter July 2020

In this quarter's newsletter we remind you about the upcoming AGM and encourage you to submit any nominations for committee members and officers.  We also share news from the Old Boy's Association and the school. Meet the new Director of Boarding at Carruth. There is also information on the 2020 Ambrose Golf Day. Remember to forward this email on to any Old Boys that you think would be interested.

Welcome Message from the President

How the world has changed since our last newsletter.
While the disruption of Covid 19 may be about to wreak havoc with many people and business sectors within New Zealand, there have been those who have found that the enforced break has given time with immediate family and has initiated a change in priorities going forward. It is easy to be proud of the way that NZ has dealt with Covid. The ability to work together to achieve a common goal has never been more valuable. The point of difference between us and the rest of the world was illustrated perfectly, to me anyway, when the Prime Minister sent her personal condolences to the families of those lost to the virus.
Back to School matters. It is an exciting time with the school rebuild about to start. The OBA will be working with the school to ensure that the history of the Old Boys can be archived and kept on display. We are grateful to the School for its commitment to ensure this is possible.
The School has adopted a new emblem as you will be aware. The OBA has adopted the former emblem as its official crest.
Our invaluable administrator, Laureen True, continues to make progress with increasing the size of our database. This includes hours of phoning Old Boys, with various degrees of success. Many contact details held by the OBA are obsolete. It would be a major help if you could contact Laureen if you have details of any individuals not on the database currently.
Please email – communications@wbhsoba.co.nz
The AGM is to be held on the 6th July 2020. We are always looking for ‘new blood’ which will ensure that new ideas and enthusiasm will be bought into the OBA. Please come along.
Kind Regards,
Garry Whimp

AGM Notification

The Whangarei Boys’ High School Old Boys’ Association
Annual General Meeting
Will be held on Monday, 6th July 2020 at 5.30pm in the WBHS staffroom.
– Presentation of Financial Reports
– Endowment Trust Chairman’s Report
– Presidents Report
– Election of Officers
– General Business

These should be made in writing and emailed to communications@wbhsoba.co.nz by:
6pm, Friday 3rd July 2020.

School News

An outstanding achievement by the Year 11 student Shi-on Ko, who achieved Scholarship in Calculus in last year’s NCEA exams. He started studying calculus in Year 8 and by Year 10 was studying calculus with the senior students. He sat Level 3 Calculus in Year 10, so he said if he didn’t attempt the Scholarship exam in Year 11, then he wouldn’t be studying anything in Maths for the year. He said with hard work and the outstanding support from his maths teacher Adrian Kitson, he was able to attain this remarkable achievement.

On Wednesday 11th March 2020 signified the first breaking of the ground on the new school site. Richard Sheperd our Kaumatua, blessed the site, with staff, students and whanau attending the 6am ceremony. It was a very special morning, with Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai, Richard and Karen Gilbert-Smith all joining to open the ground.


Student volunteer week from 30 March 2020 acknowledged the groups of students from Whangarei Boys’ High School and Whangarei Girls’ High School who volunteer to support the fundraising efforts of North Haven Hospice. The students spend a few hours each week after school, helping at the processing centre where donated goods are sorted, prepared and priced for sale. Nathan Catton and Zeplynne Lee were awarded their Bronze Student Volunteer Army awards for exceeding 32 hours of Community Service during lockdown.

Observing ANZAC Day
Whangarei Boys’ High School Prefect and Bledisloe Whanau Captain Angus Trail, held firm to a long-held WBHS tradition that pays respect to our own fallen and reflects on the sacrifices made during times of war. On ANZAC Day at 11 am he played Amazing Grace followed by Flowers of the Forest lament (traditionally played when the wreaths are laid) at the Whangarei cenotaph. As the cenotaph is within 2km of his home he decided to commemorate these heroes this way.


Projects & Fundraising

WBHS OBA Database

We are urging you as an Old Boy to help us! By using your connections and networks with fellow Old Boys’ to further develop the current details on our database (being implemented by Murray Holdaway). You will be surprised how many Old Boys you still have some contact with. This is not a difficult task and I am here to help in any way you need, but we would like you to consider taking responsibility for a year (or decade) please contact Laureen:
So far we have the following “Year Managers” – but would love to see EVERY year covered:
1970 – Murray Holdaway
1995 – Jarrod Goodall
1971 – David Templeton

WW1 Soldier Memorial

We are still making progress in researching the WW1 Old boys but need one last push to get this project completed. If you have an hour or few spare to research a few heroes, please contact Josh Clark j.clark@wbhs.school.nz


If you have a special year to celebrate, please let us know so that we can facilitate the details of any reunions to the network of Old Boys. We can also help arrange tours of the School if that is of interest.

Upcoming Events


Friday 20 Nov, 2020 is going to be a special day!
Way back in May 2018 a few of us got together and agreed that we would kick start this annual Golf day again, and make it into an annual event. This year, more than ever, it is critical that we use the Golf Competition to regalvanise the Old Boys, focus on positives, and get them back doing things they really enjoy – having fun with old mates, a bit of exercise, and a few wonderful liquid refreshments.
This Golf Day would be the 3rd annual golf day in recent times and if this year’s event is as successful as the past two, all who attend will have a great time. The added bonus now, is that we have the services of Laureen to ensure reminders go out regularly to all Old Boys on the data base so we get as big of a turnout as possible.
It is also critical that Sponsors be found ($50 a hole) and that we get prizes donated – so that the whole day is not only an enjoyable catch up, but also it is financially successful as well. If you are keen to sponsor a hole, or donate prizes, please forward your name to Kevin Salmon at kevin.salmon@xtra.co.nz
As with previous years, the all-important BBQ will be in operation, and we will run a 3 person per team Ambrose – so please start thinking about who you can cajole into playing with you and get the teams sorted. For the last 2 years we have had a great turn out, but it would be wonderful, always, to have a few more Old Boys join in.
With the Covid19 virus dominating all the headlines at present, it is really important we look ahead to the future and look for something enjoyable and positive so we can all end the year on a high note.
Without doubt, camaraderie will, once again, be the winner of the day, followed by the BBQ sausages and onions – with golfing prowess a distant 3rd. Huge thanks in advance those who will make the day the success it will be, and to those who make the effort to travel to get here.
See you in November!
Al Kirk


Keep a look out for an email with details about the next ‘Mix and Mingle’ event. We will be hopefully hosting a few of these events over the year, once our daily living gets back to normal. It is a great opportunity to meet up with fellow Old Boys’ to share a few stories and get to know someone a little better.


WBHS Old Boy Henry Cooper who was named Northern Districts Cricketer of the Year. Henry was in the Class of 2011, school prefect and captain of the 1st XI cricket team. He also played rugby and hockey for the school (1st XV & 1st XI).

Another Old Boy who is seen in the media frequently is Brad Olson. He grew up in Whangarei and after attending WBHS he gained an internship at economic analysis firm Infometrics as part of a scholarship. At 23 years old Brad is now a senior economist. To read more about Brad click on this link to read an article published in The Spinoff – https://thespinoff.co.nz/business/06-06-2020/who-is-brad-olsen-boy-wonder-and-economist-extraordinaire/?fbclid=IwAR28tPOLD8aSqCEUpeGB5HUml-QqWyTymMYOztnE7ott–en7jdkogBjfic


Tēnā koutou
I am extremely proud and excited to be the new Director of Boarding at Carruth House. I am excited to work in an environment where our students feel safe, happy and are supported in every way to be themselves, and encouraged to make the most of the wonderful opportunities available to them here at Carruth House and Whangarei Boys’ High School.
My aim is to build on the positive reputation of boarding at Carruth House so we maintain and grow our position as a leading choice for boys’ boarding in Northland.
I believe great parents set the culture and tone of their family and foster a sense of belonging, protection, and direction.

We set the same intentions in our boarding family at Carruth. I am fortunate to lead a team
who deliver an incredibly high duty of care. Everything we do revolves around supporting the students’ number one objective for being here – to get an excellent education.
I also highly value building relationships with the boarders, and I am involved as much as possible getting to know everyone. This gives me a good understanding of what happens on a day-to-day basis in the boarding house.

I was born and breed in the sunny Hawkes Bay and I recently moved back to New Zealand after spending two years in Western Australia, where I was the College Manager at Broome Residential College.

2020 has already been an exciting year for Carruth House, with some new changes and plenty of work ahead for myself and the team. We will continue to develop, build and embed a culture of wellbeing throughout Carruth House.

Ngā mihi

Michael Gilmour
Director of Boarding – Carruth House

Before lockdown in Term 1 a revamp of the rooms was started and completed before the students returned to school in May. Here are some photos of the facelift: