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Old Collegians Newsletter

Tuesday 1 August 2023

I hope this email finds you well, wherever in the world you are! It has been a particularly cold and wet end to July here in Christchurch but the sun in now shining and it is encouraging to see the odd brave little daffodil poking its head out of the muddy ground.

We have had a busy start to Term 3, with the first weekend of term seeing 135 guests gather here for the OCA Annual Dinner. It was a super night and we were thrilled to have our three award recipients in-house to receive their much-deserved recognition for arts and culture, service and sport. Congratulations again to Tainui Stephens (OC 1975), Blair Stockwell (OC 1967 and Dr Hugh Wilson (OC 1962). 

The following day we held the 1st XV Rugby reunions, celebrating those players who represented the College in 1953, 1963, 1973, 1983, 1993, 2003 and 2013. Once again, this was a great turn out of 80 Old Collegians, on an exceptionally freezing day. The highlight was watching our 2023 boys hard fought battle against Christ's College, retaining the Deans-Anderson Shield with a 1210 win. Below are links to photos of both the OCA Annual Dinner and the Rugby Reunion.

Coming up we have our London Reunion at The Caledonian Club, Belgravia and Rector, Christine Leighton, would love to see you if you are in the area.

Our OCA AGM is on Wednesday 9 August, and you are all welcome to attend. More information below.

On Friday 13 October we have our Gentlemen's Luncheon combined with the 70 Years On (Class of 1953) and the 65 Years On (Class of 1958) which is always a highlight!

On Thursday 10 November we welcome our 10 Years On, Class of 2009.

For more information about these events, please click here.

I look forward to seeing some of you in the upcoming weeks and months.

Warm regards,

Lisa Clark
Alumni and Community Relations Co-ordinator

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From the Rector

Thank you to all who have engaged with Old Collegians events this year. Your continued interest in St Andrew’s is appreciated. It is always gratifying to see so many Old Collegians reconnecting after life’s twists and turns have led you to many varied destinations and experiences. 

In 2023 St Andrew's is in good heart with our students continuing to work hard to achieve their desired results in academic, sporting and cultural pursuits. Our brand of education is in high demand with over 250 students unable to gain a place at the Year 9 entry for 2024. The reputation of our College results from the hard work and commitment of many to a shared purpose and vision of “Together, Building Better People, for Life”. I am very grateful to teachers and staff who focus on delivering quality experiences for all. 

As I write this, I am about to head over to Scotland to support the Pipe Band at the World Championships in Glasgow. 32 students and nine staff have worked hard to be in top form to compete and possibly regain their world champion title, won in 2013. 

I am also very much looking forward to hosting the OCA London Reunion at the Caledonian Club, Belgravia, London on 22 August. The last London reunion was held in January 2017 at New Zealand House – a memorable event, with over 45 attendees currently signed up for this month’s event. I am sure it will be another to remember! 

Best wishes to all and thank you for your continued support. 

Warm regards,


CLT 2023

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50 Years On (Classes of 1972–1976 and 1973–1977), Friday 23 June–Saturday 24 June


40 Years On (Class of 1983–1987), Friday 23 June–Saturday 24 June


OCA Annual Dinner, Friday 21 July 2023


1st XV Rugby Reunion, Saturday 22 July 2023



Every year St Andrew's College has a visit from The Otaki Scholar, a student from Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen. This scholarship rewards an outstanding pupil at the end of their final year with a seven-week trip to travel throughout New Zealand, visiting nine schools. Last week, we hosted the 2022 and 2023 recipients at the College, Anish Subramaniam and Matthew Cranfield.

The history of this scholarship goes back to Aberdeen in 1749. Robert Gordon, a wealthy citizen of the city, had no family and so put all his wealth into founding a school for poor boys, Robert Gordon’s College, which is still educating the boys of Aberdeen today.

Move forward to World War 1, March 10, 1917. The New Zealand Shipping Company’s merchant ship, the Otaki, was crossing a stormy North Atlantic enroute to New York. The captain, Archibald Bisset Smith, who attended Robert Gordon’s College from 1893 to 1895, was the ships master.

The Otaki, which carried only one 4.7-inch gun, encountered a German raider, the fully armed Moewe. This ship was camouflaged to look like a “dirty old tramp”, and very quickly opened fire on the Otaki. A very uneven battle ensued, during which the Otaki was able to inflict considerable damage on the Moewe, at the same time receiving fatal damage to itself. The full-scale battle lasted just 20 minutes. Unknown to the Otaki’s gun crew, the Moewe was carrying 442 Allied seamen, prisoners taken off Allied ships the Moewe had sunk. The Otaki’s solitary gun was silenced and the ship on fire.

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Captain Bisset Smith ordered his men to take to the lifeboats, but remained with his ship as it sank, less than an hour later. Her crews’ lifeboats were picked up by the Moewe. Only six members of Otaki’s crew, including the captain, died during the historic battle.

The badly holed and fire stricken Moewe eventually made its way back to its port at Kiel, arriving ten days later. The Germans lost five gunners and 10 men injured.

Captain Bisset Smith was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for “conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty”. This V.C. was one of just two awarded the Merchant Navy during WW1.

To commemorate the gallantry of Captain Bisset Smith and his crew, his relatives presented a Shield to Robert Gordon’s College, where he had been a pupil. This is awarded each year to the all-round, outstanding pupil. But the story doesn’t end there.

The New Zealand Shipping Company, in recognition of the heroism of the ship’s crew, added a travel scholarship to the Shield. The scholar awarded the shield and scholarship travelled on one of the NZSC’s ships to New Zealand and also enjoyed the “hospitality” of the NZ Government to tour NZ. In the earlier days, the scholar worked his way out on the company’s ship, but now days he flies out to NZ and travels around the country by bus, ferry and plane, visiting a college in all the ports the company traded. Each of the NZSC’s ships was named after these ports, hence the Otaki Scholar, named after the ship Otaki, which was named after the Otaki River, not the town.

The Shield has been awarded every year since 1937 and the scholar has travelled to NZ except during the years of WWII.


In his 7th Form in 1988, Andrew Bruce (OC 1988) and his father Ron won a New Zealand-wide father and son tennis tournament to qualify for the inaugural Kiam Cup, to be played in Marbella, Spain. In combination with Australia, they formed an Australasian team that would would eventually bring home the trophy! To do this, they beat the Japanese in the first round, West Germany in the quarter finals, USA in the semi-finals and Canada in the finals. The teams were made up of three father and son combinations and the Cup drew around 15,000 players from 13 countries. A massive achievement!

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Last Friday was an important day for one of our St Andrew’s community groups – The Ladies Circle.  Sixty-five years ago this group began, instigated by Betty Galloway the wife of the then Rector, Ian Galloway (1962–1982).  For 65 years this dedicated group has met in support of St Andrew’s College.  The following words were added to the Ladies’ Circle poem – written by Val Wells, pictured, – to mark this milestone. 
St Andrew’s College Ladies’ Circle 65 Years
Who would have thought it we’re now 65,
Sapphire, true blue and very much alive.
Between lockdowns through COVID, our meetings went on,
Proving the circle is still going strong.
Keep going strong circle, stay strong every day,
The 70th anniversary is only five years away. 
Our love for the College, always there, buried deep,
Commitment, friendship, forever we’ll keep. 
Thank you to this group of women, mothers, grandmothers, ex-staff and wives of Old Collegians, who continue to serve the very best interests of St Andrew’s College. 



President of the Old Collegians Association, Sam Crosbie, warmly invites you to the Annual General Meeting of the Old Collegians Association.

The AGM will be held on Wednesday 9 August 2023 in the Strowan House staff room. Refreshments from 6.30pm and the AGM will begin at 7.00pm.

Please RSVP via email to by Monday 7 August 2023.

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High Flies the Cross


We have copies of High Flies the Cross that we would love to gift to any Old Collegians who would like one. This is pick up only from St Andrew's College Reception, Strowan House. Just pop in and collect one any time.

This is a beautiful hard-covered 267-page book, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the College. It tells the history of St Andrew's College, with information on staff, students, events and activities between 1917–1992.

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Rector, Mrs Christine Leighton, warmly invites you to a Cocktail Function for our Old Collegians in London and surrounds.

Tuesday 22 August 2023, 6.00pm–8.30pm
The Library, The Caledonian Club, 9 Halkin St, London SW1X 7DR

Complimentary drink on arrival and canapés. Cash bar available.
Dress Code: Smart. Partners welcome.

This event has now passed.

GENTLEMEN'S LUNCHEON, 65 Years On (Class of 1958–1962) and 70 Years On Reunion (Class of 1953–1957)

Registrations are now open for our annual Gentlemen's Luncheon, which will take place on Friday 13 October. This year we will also be toasting our 65 Years On and 70 Years On Old Collegians. 

This luncheon is open to all Old Collegians from 60 Years On.

10.30am–12.00pm Morning Tea, Strowan House staff room

11.20am–11.50am A Performance in Centennial Chapel

12.00pm–2.30pm  Gentlemen's Luncheon, incorporating the 65 Years On Reunion (Class of 1958–1962) and 70 Years On Reunion (Class of 1952–1956), Strowan House dining room

Tickets: $55.00*

Table Bookings: If you would like to book a table of 10, please contact Lisa directly on +64 3 940 2085.

Gents Lunch 2023
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10 YEARS ON, Class of 2009–2013

Thursday 16 November 2023

4.45pm–5.45pm – College Tour
Join us for a trip down memory lane. The tour will depart from Strowan House at 5.00pm to ensure it is completed on time.
5.45pm–8.00pm – Welcome and Cocktail Function 
Meet in the St Andrew’s College Centennial Chapel for a photo and then to Strowan House at 6.00pm for the Cocktail Party. Ticket price includes all drinks and canapés.

Tickets: $45.00*

8.30pm onwards – ‘The Courtyard’, No. 4 Restaurant & Bar, Merivale
Continue catching up and reminiscing in 'The Courtyard', which has been privately booked for your group. Drinks, etc. at your own cost.

Dress Code: Smart Casual
Partners are most welcome to attend all events.



On Sunday, a group of 41 will head to Glasgow for the 2023 World Pipe Band Championships. They will join 190 bands from 15 countries across the world, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Eire, England, France, Israel, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Oman, Scotland, USA and Zimbabwe.

We wish Richard Hawke, Pipe Band Director (OC 1980), and his team all the best in their quest to repeat their incredible feat of 2019 and bring home the much-coveted silverware!

If you would like to support our Pipe Band, please click the link below.



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Here are the confirmed dates for our reunions and events this year:

9 August: OCA AGM
22 August: OCA London Function, The Caledonian Club, Belgravia, London
13 October: Gentlemen's Luncheon, 65 Years On Reunion (Class of 1958–1962) and 70 Years On Reunion (Class of 1953–1957)
16 November: 10 Years On Reunion, Class of 2009–2013

Please click below for more information and to purchase tickets.


Old Collegians Reunions and Events >
Regulus Issue 1 2023


You can now request to receive your Regulus magazine via email rather than a printed copy. Those with an overseas address receive this via email already, to reduce costs for the College in keeping with our whole-school sustainability goal. 

Please ensure your mailing address is up to date if you are living in New Zealand and want to receive the hard copy edition. See below form to complete to update your address in our system. 

In Regulus you will read about the academic and sporting successes of our current and past students, updates on the College, and all your Old Collegian news!

If you know of any Old Collegians you think should be featured in our Class Notes section of Regulus, or you would like to tell us what you are up to, we’d love to hear from you. It doesn’t have to be a significant achievement – our community just loves to hear about what fellow Old Collegians are doing. We also love seeing your wedding photos and new additions too!

To get Regulus in your inbox, or to share some news, please email and we can organise this for you.

To view online issues, please click here


Want to keep up with the latest information on reunions and your fellow Old Collegian's news and achievements? 

To join our Old Collegians Facebook page, please click here

To join our new Old Collegians Instagram page, please click here

In the spirit of Old Collegians connecting, StAC Connect on LinkedIn enables alumni to share their professional and personal experience and expertise with existing Old Collegians. These connections will help prepare and motivate our young Old Collegians for a successful future. To join StAC Connect, use the link on our LinkedIn page.

We look forward to connecting with you.

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Have you recently had a baby or been married?

Send us a photo of your baby or your special wedding day for our November Regulus magazine. We will also send all new babies a St Andrew's Bonny Bear!

Please email details to



If your details have changed from what we have in our records, please fill out the form below, so we can update them.