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Old Collegians Newsletter

Tuesday 7 March 2023

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2023.

I hope this finds you all well. We are thinking of our Old Collegian community in the North Island who have been so severely affected by the recent Cyclone Gabrielle. Our students held a casual clothes day and raised a staggering $33,754.20 which will go directly to the New Zealand Red Cross Disaster Fund.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of walking the Banks Track, "31 km of ever-changing vistas, views and variety", on Banks Peninsula. The third day was spent tramping in Hinewai Reserve, the brainchild of Dr Hugh Wilson (OC 1962). It was absolutely stunning, and the incredible work that Hugh and his team have put into regenerating the native bush over these 1250 hectares since 1987 is quite remarkable. If you are ever in Akaroa, a walk through this beautiful native forest is well worth it.

On Thursday 10 November, we welcomed 65 members of the Class of 2008–2012 back for their 10 Years On reunion. We also had a fabulous turn out at Waitikiri Golf Course for our annual OCA Golf Tournament. Click here to read more about these events and view the photo albums. 

You will see we have confirmed dates for our 2023 Reunions in this newsletter. Please diarise these if they are relevant to you and I will be in touch with more information closer to the time.

We are looking forward to welcoming our 60 Years On groups for Founders' Day weekend, 17-19 March. The Classes of 1962 and 1963 will join together this year, due to last year's event being interrupted by COVID-19. 

The Rector, Christine Leighton is going to be in London to host a special function for our Old Collegians and Friends of the College on Tuesday 22 August. See below for more information.

I look forward to seeing many of you during the year at our various events.

Warm regards,

Lisa Clark
Alumni and Community Relations Co-ordinator


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The Rector, Christine Leighton, will be hosting a function at The Caledonian Club, Belgravia, London at 6.00pm on Tuesday 22 August 2023. It has been five years since we were able to host an event in London and this is always a wonderful opportunity to meet with St Andrew’s College Alumni, and for you to meet, renew friendships and make new connections. But most importantly, this is a chance to connect and celebrate our shared allegiance to this special school.

If you are living in the United Kingdom, please make sure we have your correct details. Click here to confirm your current address or email so we can send you an invitation.

Please also feel free to pass this email on to any other Old Collegians or friends of the College you think would like to attend.

We will look forward to hearing from you.

60 YEARS ON: Classes Of 1962 and 1963

We are looking forward to welcoming our 60 Years On groups for Founders Day weekend, 17-19 March. The Classes of 1962 and 1963 will join together this year, due to last year's event being interrupted by COVID-19. 

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The St Andrew's College Old Collegian Association Golf Tournament will take place on Friday 28 April 2023 at the Waitikiri Golf Club.

This tournament supports St Andrew’s College Cricket.

10.45am – Registration
11.30am – Shotgun start

Cost is $60.00 per person (including the green fee, BBQ, food platter).

Open to all Old Collegians and friends of the College.



A massive thank you to James Butler (OC 1993), Harrison Jones-Park (OC 2018), Hugh Montgomery (OC 2020), and Adrian McFedries (OC 1994) for volunteering their athletic assistance to the much-anticipated Old Collegians/Teachers/Prefects Relay Race held last Friday as part of the 2023 St Andrew's College Athletic Sports Day. I am pleased to report the Old Cols team had a very convincing win! Special mention to Oska Baynes (OC 2009) for his advice and support with this year's race.

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Today, Rector, Christine Leighton, had a visit from our 1968 Otaki Scholar, Graeme Repper. Graeme, the 25th holder of the award, arrived in Christchurch from Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen on 20 June 1968 for a three-day visit. Graeme was welcomed by the then Rector Ian Galloway, Head Prefect Lyall French-Wright and Deputy Head Prefect Ian Lockie (OC's 1968). He was piped up the drive by Julian Maze (OC 1969). Graeme was selected on the basis of his academic achievement and all-round performance as a student. Whilst in Christchurch he was shown around the city and attended various engagements. He was the house guest of Mr and Mrs Galloway.

Graeme is now retired and living in Perth, having worked in education for the past 40 years. This is his first trip back to New Zealand since 1968, a trip which had a huge influence on the rest of his life.

He is pictured here with Mrs Leighton, Torin Ward (Head Prefect) and Lachlan Odlin (Deputy Head Prefect).


Dr Hamish Rennie (OC 1976) shares his recollections of the early days of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award at St Andrew's College, which commenced in 1964. The Award was launched in New Zealand in 1963 and celebrates 60 years this year. 

"I read with interest the article on the DoE Awards in Regulus recently.  It brought back memories of how it was not popular when I was at StAC, but we were boarders and so were desperate to get out of the hostel any way we could. One way was to go tramping in weekends in Arthur's Pass, but we needed a teacher to go with us and after the one we relied on left the school, we were stuck. Then at one assembly the then Rector, Ian Galloway, gave a big spiel about how wonderful the DoE Awards were and how good it would be to get students involved with it.

I don’t recall who came up with the idea, I think it was someone a year ahead of us who loved tramping, but someone figured out that if the Rector was promoting the DoE and if part of it meant tramping, then if we got a bunch of us who said we wanted to do the DoE, the Rector would find a teacher who would ‘volunteer’ to take us tramping. And sure enough, that’s what happened. Mr George Little, who had done a lot of tramping in his youth but was really probably past it, was volunteered and so we began our DoE Awards.

Most of us were not serious about it because it was just a means to get out of the hostel (in some ways it was safer – certainly more pleasurable – crossing rivers in the mountains than being stuck in a hostel) but I think we all enjoyed tramping at least a bit. We certainly did not try to set records or go for minimum times (and who would if it meant ending up back in the hostel sooner than needed?). 

The trip I recall the most was one where things went wrong – the weather closed in! So we took a different route to that originally planned, one that we had not fully assessed and instead of going down the left side of a valley we tried the right hand side. Unfortunately Mr Little had an angina attack and his pack was split between those of us who were biggest (including me) - three hours of bashing through bush and we might have made 300 yards. We ended up on a bluff and had to slog backward again, ending up camping in a high hanging valley, not the hut we were aiming for. It was wet, we were wet and the sweat on our bodies chilled us.This combined with the extra weight of my pack meant I got cramp so bad that I was not able to sit up to drink my soup. 

The next day heading down the left-hand side of the valley we found the correct route. We were making it out fairly easily and with just a long straight downhill ridge to go we stopped tramping as a group and agreed people could go at their own speed. All of the more fit and able took off, including me. But I had a comfort stop and so ended up at the tail end and came round a corner to find one of our guys had collapsed with beginnings of hypothermia, another was helping him. Neither were experienced or very robust. And everyone else had been going at their own pace and were well out of sight. We got the hypothermic chap into our last dry clothes and as warm as possible, and I left the two of them there and headed out to try to get help and some water.

Everyone was too bushed to go back up, so I got water and went back up. It was quite a way, and I was stuffed. Search and Rescue came just after nightfall and by that stage I was getting into trouble, so they got me down off the mountain quick and to warmth in Arthur's Pass. I think one or both of the other two were stretchered out or maybe the Search & Rescue guys stayed overnight with them, but we did meet some legends of the mountains that night and I learnt more from that bad trip than from all the good ones I had ever done. I never went tramping again without a really good quality sleeping bag and tent, and never let people go at their own pace again. I often think how no one knew I had had a comfort stop and if I had had an accident or got hypothermia, would anyone have realised in time?

Anyway, most completed Silver and two of us (Iain Dorman (OC 1976) and myself) got our Gold awards, completing the last of the service after the end of the final school year. I volunteered in the Christchurch Public Library and my local Leeston Library. There were not many things you could volunteer to do on a weekly basis at night, after work, in the country and also do in the city for a year. The service was the hardest part to complete and we had to organise it all ourselves. Iain and I got our awards from the Duke Himself at Government House the following year in 1977. 

As you can tell, I still think of the experiences that the DoE provided for me that I would not have had otherwise and of how without Mr Little, a physics teacher, being prepared to take us into the mountains, we would never have completed them, and I learnt so much from the experience.

So, if you ever start wondering if it is worth the time and effort of keeping it going, or if the students have any doubts, I would still recommend it to anyone and I hope they appreciate the effort of those who support it.


John Britten was a New Zealand motorcycle designer and racer, who is widely regarded as one of the most innovative and talented engineers in the history of motorcycle racing. Born in Christchurch in 1950, John showed an early interest in engineering and mechanics, and began building motorcycles in his spare time while still at St Andrew's.

In the 1980s, John began to design and build his own motorcycles, with the goal of creating a bike that would be faster and more innovative than any other on the market. He founded the Britten Motorcycle Company in 1992, and began working on his most famous creation, the Britten V1000.

The V1000 was a highly advanced motorcycle, featuring a unique, carbon fiber frame and a novel engine design. It was highly successful on the international racing circuit, winning numerous championships and breaking several speed records. John himself was also an accomplished racer, and often competed on the V1000 alongside other top riders.

Tragically, John passed away in 1995 at the age of 45, after a long battle with cancer. His legacy, however, has continued to live on, both in the ongoing success of the Britten Motorcycle Company, and in the enduring influence of his designs and innovations on the world of motorcycle racing. Today, the V1000 is still regarded as one of the most iconic and influential motorcycles in the history of the sport, and John himself remains an inspiration to many young engineers and racers around the globe.

In acknowledgement of John’s achievements, the Design Institute of New Zealand initiated the John Britten Award soon after his death: “to accommodate the many ways in which someone can lead the way: by example, by inspiring others, by pioneering the infrastructure, by being at the top of their field, by leading an outstanding team. John Britten developed the ‘Kiwi ingenuity’ aspect of our culture to the level of genius.”

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If you're in the neighbourhood, come and see us at the St Andrew's College tent at the Wānaka A&P Show on Friday and Saturday! We are lakeside on Site E4. We look forward to seeing you!


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

17–18 March: 60 Years On, Classes of 1962–1966 and 1963–1967
25 April: ANZAC Day Service
28 April: OCA Golf Tournament
26–27 May: 50 Years On, Classes of 1972–1976 and 1973–1977
23–24 June: 40 Years On, Classes of 1983–1987
21 July: OCA Annual Dinner
22 July: 1st XV Rugby Reunion (Teams from 1953,1963, 1973, 1983, 1993, 2003 and 2013
9 August: OCA AGM
22 August: OCA London Function
13 October: Gentlemen's Luncheon 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 >


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 sustainability goals. 

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

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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 our fast-growing LinkedIn page, please click here.

We look forward to connecting with you.


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