OBA Newsletter June 2019

In this quarters newsletter we provide an update on many different aspects of the school and the Old Boys' Association. Highlights include an update from the Principal and the Head Boy, a request for interest in re-instating the Old Boys Sports Challenge, and a fantastic "Tale of the Old Days" Story from Don Goodall.

WBHS OBA Newsletter June 2019

Presidents Message


I am pleased to report that since the AGM last year the OBA has developed an excellent relationship with the school and the Endowment Trust. We were all delighted when Karen accepted the role of Patron when it was offered to her. As president I have been able to meet on a regular basis with the Principal and sit in on the Endowment Trust meetings.
On a personal note, it has been an interesting year and I would have to say that the highlights for me were attending the Prizegiving at the school and the Carruth House end of year dinner.

It is fair to say that the initial demand on the new OBA committee following the AGM on the 23rd May last year was to resolve a personal dispute which was thankfully settled. This would not have been possible without the support of the Endowment Trust. With this matter sorted it has allowed the OBA to concentrate on its objectives.

The financial state of the OBA was not what we would have liked it to be. However, due to the generosity of David & Corina Silich, the transfer of the golf facility to the school was made possible and this along with the surplus from the OBA golf day has improved our position. The OBA is indebted to Bill Mallett for tidying up the financial statements and for providing the detail required to complete the transfer and to comply with the tax considerations.

During the year we have had three Committee members resign – Murray Inder, Kevin Salmon and Paul Ahlers. Thanks to all of them for their contributions to the OBA and for their pledges to support future OBA projects. Paul has taken a position as a Trustee on the Endowment Trust. The development of the Communications Committee headed by Jarrod Goodall has enabled Old Boys correspondence to be dealt with in a timely and professional manner – Thank you Jarrod.

With the help of the Endowment Trust, the software development for the upgrade of the database is almost complete. This software will enable Old Boys to enter their own records and allow administrators to contact a huge number that are not currently members of the OBA. With the database platform going live within months we are looking forward to a positive and exciting year ahead.
Garry Whimp
WBHS OBA President

Introducing the New Executive

At the AGM on 5 June 2019 the following members were elected as part of the executive:
Garry Whimp – WBHS OBA President (WBHS 1976 – 1979)
Jarrod Goodall – WBHS OBA Vice President (WBHS 1995 – 1999)
Murray Batger – Secretary (WBHS 1977 – 1980)
Bill Mallett – Treasurer (WBHS BOT 1996 – 2000)
Hans Britts – Staff Representative (WBHS Teacher 2004 – Current)
John Barber (WBHS 1960 – 1964)
David Templeton (WBHS 1971 – 1973)
Steve Gillingham (WBHS 1976 – 1979)
Josh Clark (WBHS 2001 – 2002) (WBHS Teacher 2013 – Current)
Al Kirk (WBHS Headmaster 2000 – 2015)

News From The School

Update from the Principal

So much is happening around the school and in the community that is keeping our boys busy and it is only half way through the year! Having co-hosted the Te Tai Tokerau Festival at the end of term one, we were very proud of the boys who performed on the day, as well as the many boys who helped out at the event, making it an amazing couple of days for all those involved.

Winter sports are certainly reaching their peak now and boys are gearing up for tournament week. We have had some outstanding results over the last few weeks. Our 1st XV Rugby team handed Westlake Boys’ High their first loss of the season, (although they did exact revenge the following week) and it was great to have some of the boys watching and supporting on our home turf. The 1st X1 Hockey team are going from strength to strength, currently sitting 4th in the Premier men’s competition. The Academy Basketball team, who are also playing in the North Harbour competition are enjoying their first taste of competition at this level and their results certainly continue to show impressive improvement. Sadly our Football 1st X1 have been declined entry into the top secondary schools Lotto tournament – looks like they will have to go and win the Satellite Tournament for the second year in a row! It’s timely to mention the many and varied sponsors of our sports teams. We are committed to giving our boys the best possible opportunity to compete in weekly competitions that extend and challenge them. This for us, comes at a huge cost in terms of transportation and in many cases, some very generous Old Boys have stepped in to assist. Your support is much appreciated by the boys, their families and the school. It makes a huge difference to have our boys thriving on the National stage when it comes to sport.

On the building plan front, we have now locked down the masterplan pending Board of Trustees’ confirmation and the planning is on schedule to begin the build this time next year. We hope to share our plans at the upcoming Open Evening on Thursday 1 August, then at various other hui which will be confirmed shortly. We welcome all feedback, particularly where some of the historical artefacts are concerned. Our plan is to redevelop the existing Drama/Music department into a school museum where we will digitize all documents and photos to make them readily accessible. This is a massive undertaking as there are so many taonga around the school that must be preserved.
Next term we engage with a student group around the school rebuild to ensure we are hearing their voice and what is important moving ahead.
Our major win in the rebuild is that we have worked closely with the Ministry of Education to secure an assembly hall/auditorium that will seat the whole school. We are thrilled with this progress and can’t wait to have a space where we can celebrate all of our successes and events as a whole school. This has been an issue for some time now and the prospect of having our Senior Prizegiving in our own school hall is certainly one that we as a staff are very excited about.

On sadder news, we farewelled one of our past teachers, Roop Chand at the end of June. He retired from the school two years ago after a teaching career of 50 years – 15 of those at WBHS. Roop was brought into the quad one last time to be farewelled outside his old classroom. His family were most grateful for the love that was extended to them and the respect shown to Roop.

Ngā mihi nui
Karen Gilbert-Smith

Head Boy’s Report

With Term 2 coming to a close, I believe it’s safe to say it was a great success. From the large participation in all whanau events, including interwhanau badminton which was held earlier this week, with Marsden claiming the win. There was a great turn out from boys participating in our annual work day, it was a great thing to see. A Year 13/Prefect and Year 12 team participated in the ‘Relay for Life’ Cancer Society event held in March which was well attended.

A volunteer group has been set up with a number of students helping out at Hospice during the afternoons. It is their intention to branch out into other charitable organisations to help out in the community.

Another area of involvement from students has been the environmental clean ups around the Whangarei city area. Their focus is on caring for the environment both at school and in the community.

At the May board meeting we had some boys present a proposal to the Board to include a sulu/tupenu as part of the Boys’ High uniform. They did an outstanding job of conveying to the Board the importance of recognising their culture and as a result their proposal was accepted. You will appreciate that this was a big ask for boys to take the lead in this way. I applaud their initiative and confidence.

However with the good also comes the sad news, Mr Chand, retired Maths teacher who taught at Whangarei Boys High School for 15 years passed away at the end of June. Mr Chand was a legend and one of the most passionate teachers I had the joy to learn from, he will be sadly missed.

Harrison Higgins
Head Boy 2019

Sports News

It is always difficult to summarize the sports highlights when our students and teams dominate the Northland Secondary School tournaments and also perform so well on a regional and national stage.
The following gives you an example of our outstanding athletes over the last few months.

  • Tytan Semenoff has been selected in the New Zealand Colts wood chopping team to compete in Australia.
  • Xavier Mexted was selected in the NZ U18 AFL team to compete in Melbourne.
  • Daniel Hammond competed in four Australian tennis tournaments, making the final in three and winning an age-group title.
  • Mitchell Williams won gold at the national water-ski championship in his age group.
  • Riley-Jack Vette-Blomquist has been named in the NZ Secondary School squash team to compete in the World Junior squash championships in Kuala Lumpur.
  • Our Hillary Challenge team of Lochiel Espiner, Johnny Wilson,
  • Lucas Thompson, Blake Williamson finished 2nd in NZ in a very close contest.
  • Our basketball, rugby league, table tennis, squash, golf, touch rugby teams all won Northland Secondary
  • School titles in the term and our 1st XV rugby team is sitting 2nd in the North Harbour competition with three weeks to go to the play-offs.
  • Our 1st XI football team has won 7 from 7 in the Northland Secondary School competition and our 1st XI hockey team is third in the Northland Premier Men’s Competition.

An extremely busy sporting term with ten teams heading off to national tournaments in early September.

Mark Oldridge
Sports’ Coordinator

Endowment Trust Update

The Trust meets two to three times per annum or as required. Trustees do communicate on matters of urgency or importance when necessary.

The passing of Foundation Trustee David Silich last year was a very sad time and we will miss him lots. David was extremely passionate about WBHS and also provided funds for many School projects over the years. David also invested in the Endowment Trust to assist the Trusts aims and objectives. I cannot say enough about David. We both left WBHS in 1962 and our personal friendship was everlasting.

We are thrilled to have Jarrod Goodall & Paul Ahlers on board as Trustees to join Murray Holdaway, David Dent and myself. We are currently talking with another Old Boy with the hope of adding a sixth Trustee. We are looking forward to a successful outcome! I must also recognise our Trust Secretary, Accountant and fellow Old Boy Mark Wilson who continues to be the glue to keep everything correctly sorted and of course the Trustees! – thanks so much Mark.

We are excited about the current upgrading of the Old Boys data base thanks to Trustee Murray Holdaway, supported by Trustee Jarrod Goodall. It will be on an internet platform and we will keep you all up to date as to when it will be “going live” This will provide us with the information we so desperately need to focus on marketing the aims and objectives of the Old Boys Assn and the Endowment Trust – watch this space!….. We are also looking at updating our Information Pack which we will run pass the Old Boys Executive before completing.

At our recent Endowment Trust meeting, the Trustees passed the following motion – “That the Endowment Trust will provide a donation to the WBHS Old Boys Assn to administer, based on their objectives and criteria, of up to 50% of the net Investment income of the Trust. This will be considered annually. For the purpose of the 2018/2019 financial year this will be $4,000.00.”

We will be completing quarterly updates from the Trust for the Old Boys Executive in the Future.

Erc Angelo
Chairman WBHS Old Boys’ Association Endowment Trust

Projects & Fundraising

WW1 Soldier Memorial

We have made 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

David Templeton has been researching two of the soldiers, Henry Lee Rouse from a well-known local family from Hukerenui and Thomas Henry Story from Whangarei, David said it has been fascinating connecting with the both families and finding more about these amazing young men and how proud the families are of their war heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

He agrees that if you have time he would recommend this very exciting research project.

F.C. Baker F.L. Beasley R.P. Bedlington B.B. Bindon
A.N. Brown H.J. Cameron T. Cameron R. Carter
C.O.A. Cowan W.L. Clapson B.C. Drake J.C. Galbraith
C.H. Goodson C.E. Gribble H.F. Griffin C.H. Hill
A.D. Jack D.L. Jack O.P. Johnston M.A. McDonald
F.J. McKenzie R.W. McKenzie A. McLeod J.D. McLeod
C.J. Marshall C.M. Nightingale A.H. Pearce G. Potter
H.L. Rouse N. Steadman T.H. Storey A.M. White
H.A. Wilkinson F.R. Wooster

WBHS OBA Database

A huge thank you to Murray Holdaway for all of his efforts in upgrading the Database. Part of the vision is to have a cloud based record of all past students with the ability to access contact details if an Old Boy consents for their details to be made available. To help with updating the database, we are seeking Old Boys who will research a year of past students to get as many contact details as possible. If you would to take responsibility for a year (or decade) please contact Jarrod Goodall: communications@wbhsoba.co.nz

So far we have the following “Year Managers”:
1970 – Murray Holdaway
1995 – Jarrod Goodall
1971 – David Templeton


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.

Year of 1999 Reunion

It is 20 years since the year of 1999 graduated and they are arranging a reunion on the 23rd of November. This is an open invitation to anyone that was involved with the school during the years 1995 to 1999 so follow their Facebook page or contact Andrew Overton to keep in the loop:
Andrew Overton: drewskioverton@gmail.com

Carruth House Reunion – Northland Anniversary Weekend 2020

Carruthian David Templeton 1971-73 is keen to support a Carruth get together and is looking for other interested Carruthians to come together to arrange a reunion over the 2020 Northland Anniversary Weekend. If you are interested or keen to help out make contact with
David on 027 248 2164 or email communications@wbhsoba.co.nz

Upcoming Events

OBA Sports Challenge

We are in the early stages of arranging a WBHS OBA Sports Challenge day for a Saturday in September. So far we have organisers for Rugby and Basketball, if you would like to take charge of a sport, please contact the OBA via the email address:

If you are interested in playing or helping with the games, please contact the below Old Boys:
Rugby: Jason Hannah – jasonhsports@gmail.com
Basketball: Raymond Cameron – raym6nd@gmail.com

Annual Golf Day – Save the Date

The preliminary details for the Annual Golf Tournament have been set. Start to make plans for a team of three on Friday, 22 November at the Northland Golf Club. More details will follow in the coming months. Last year was a success but this it will be even bigger so get organised early. If you can help out please contact Kevin Salmon – kevin.salmon@xtra.co.nz


Request from Liam Barnsdale

I’m a postgraduate student at Victoria University of Wellington doing preliminary research for a PhD project on secondary school cadet training during the Second World War. I’ve gone through some government material at Archives NZ, and your school’s name (or its earlier name) appeared on a list of schools that had cadet units from this time.
I was wondering if you have any archived material from this time that would provide any information about the kind of training that went on. The research I have done so far indicates that cadet training was largely school-run, with the Defence Force merely providing material support, so the actual experience for the students involved is still something of a mystery to me! Anything you may have from written documents to photographs or trophies would be useful, and if you know of any ex-students who attended your school between 1939 and 1945, I would love to get in contact with them. Any help you could give me would be much appreciated!
Kind regards,
Liam Barnsdale

Speakers for School Assemblies:

My name is Lisa Ross and I am Acting Assistant Principal at WBHS until the end of Term 3 whilst Dr Mike Elliot is on study leave. Part of this roll is organising assemblies.

One of the things I would like to arrange is for some WBHS Old Boys to come and speak to our students about their journey and successes in life. I would really like to get representatives from each of the whanau groups to come in and speak to the current whanau members in assemblies during this coming term.

If this is something that you are able to assist with I would be very grateful. You can contact Lisa by emailing her: l.ross@wbhs.school.nz

Last Word

That is all for the June Quarter Newsletter. It would be incredibly helpful if you could please provide any suggestions, forward this newsletter to your mates and like our Facebook page:
If you aren’t already signed up to receive these newsletters as soon as they are published, you can sign up on the OBA Website:

Newsletter Signup

Until next quarter, keep up with achieving “Good Boys’ High Stuff!”
Don Goodall has kindly provided a Tale of the Old Days to close out this newsletter. If you have a story that you would like to share, please contact the Communications Committee.
Kind regards
Jarrod Goodall & David Templeton
Communications Sub Committee of the WBHS OBA.

Tales Of The Old Days

Henry Maxwell

Henry attended Maungatapere Primary school, then went on to Whangarei High School.

Henry’s dad was Maori, a roadman, and as the roads were all gravel, dad went out each day with his bicycle, shovel, spade and axe to fill in the pot holes, clear out the road side drains, and generally keep the roads in good repair. These guys were most important. A colleague used to stop traffic at Whatitiri and allow the kids to cross over the State Highway in safety. Not in the job description but they considered these things an important part of their life. The Maxwell dad no doubt carried on this tradition.
On the way home Henry’s dad dragged the shovel and spade behind the bike; it was the accepted way to sharpen the tools for tomorrow.

The Maxwell family started off at Maungatapere living in a one room, earth floor shack build from corrugated iron with no insulation. Cold in winter, hot in summer. This was on the property owned by Roger and Bill Maugham’s family. There was a dividing curtain for privacy. Henry was one of 4-5 kids in the family.

One morning early, Henry saw snow had fallen on Maungatapere Mountain – a very rare event. So he climbed the mountain, filled a fertiliser bag full and took in down to share with his school mates.
Of course he had no shoes.

Henry was the star of the Maungatapere school rugby team. He was a formidable runner, a big powerful lad, and had very hard feet. [In those days no junior players wore boots.]
Another ex-pupil Neil Stevens remembers the Maungatapere School rugby ground had a blackberry patch in one corner. It was kept mown [by cattle], but the berry runners stretched a long way.
The tactics were simple. Kick the ball to Henry’s wing, into the black berry patch, and Henry never felt a thing while scoring try after try.
Neil reckoned Maungatapere was 30 points in the lead by half time, playing against Maunu School. Maunu were soundly thrashed.
The opposition moaned and grizzled but “thems the breaks”.

A couple of years later, each morning Henry would cycle to the Maungatapere Dairy Factory where he left his bike, and caught the bus to WHS. If, on the way, he was passing a younger Roger Maugham he would scoop him up with one hand and drop him on the bar of the bicycle, without stopping at all.

Henry Maxwell played rugby at Whangarei High School. He went on to represent New Zealand at Rugby League, in those days League was a very tough, brutally hard sport for real men.
Sister Jane Maxwell was also a very prominent sporting girl. She represented NZ in three sports, hockey, netball [then called basketball] and softball.

Henry and Jane achieved wonders when one contemplates their back ground. This was never considered an excuse.
Life in the 1950s could be tough. Money was tight. But the Maxwell family showed what one could achieve, and reach for heights they aspired to. They never cried foul about their backgrounds.
They simply got stuck in.

Cheers Don Goodall

Source: True Tales of Mountains and Memories – It contains a series of stories written by those who lived in the general district.
[ie Maunu, Maungatapere, Poroti, Whatitiri, Kara, Kokopu and Kaigoose]

The people mentioned all attended Whangarei Boys High School, as did the Book Editor Mac Stevenson.
I (Don Goodall) was also a past pupil at Whangarei BHS.

The book is obtainable from Evon at the Book Inn Kamo, opposite the