Old Boys' Society
The Old Boys’ executive committee has been in self-imposed hiatus since the 150th celebrations last August. However we are back with a renewed enthusiasm and have some important Society business to work through.
But firstly let’s reflect on the excitement of the reunion weekend, staged more than a year ago now, which was attended by around 900 Old Boys, many of whom travelled from around New Zealand and indeed further afield. It was a brilliant opportunity to catch up with some old faces and rekindle those friendships that may have faded somewhat through time and distance. My own 3rd form year of 1977 was the most highly represented including 10 of my fellow classmates from 3S, some of whom I had not seen since we left school in 1981.
A formal welcome by the rector followed by the roll call and cocktail function held in the town hall allowed folks to chat over an informal drink on the Friday afternoon. The evening variety concert held in the school auditorium was well attended and I know afterwards the bars in town were busy as the revelry carried on into the wee small hours.
Our Life Governor Brigadier Doctor Brian McMahon delivered an entertaining address to an appreciative audience at the Saturday morning breakfast. Class photos continued throughout the day although were, unfortunately, forced indoors because of the uncertain weather. Conditions for the OBHS vs. Christ’s College 1st XV rugby clash deteriorated during the match although the result favoured OBHS in the end. Saturday evening’s formal gala dinner filled the town hall to capacity and punters were treated to a lovely meal, some superb entertainment and a surprise Q&A session with Richie McCaw. Our rightly proud rector, Clive Rennie, delivered his keynote address to an attentive house where he reflected on the first 150 years of the school.
It was an earlier than usual rise for me on the Sunday morning but I was privileged enough to be invited to sit with Old Boy, Lloyd Geering (then 95), who awed an overflowing First Church at a special service held especially to mark our 150th. He shared his thoughts with us on life and the universe, which were nothing short of inspiring (I have since read his latest book entitled “From the Big Bang to God” which I can highly recommend). The weekend was capped off with a barbecue lunch held up at the school as the sun made a very welcome appearance in a final farewell gesture as our friends and colleagues said their final goodbyes.
Speaking to many who were there the overall feeling was one of goodwill and gratitude for the friendships and associations arising from having been at the school. I’m not sure if I will still be around for the bi-centennial but I expect it will be equally momentous, both for the organisers and for the attendees.
The event was a roaring success and hats off once again to Norcombe Barker and others on the reunion committee for their excellent work over the previous 5 years to make it so.
Finally, a couple of quick items. Our book on the history of OBHS “Above The City” continues to sell well and is available from the school and at selected bookshops. It is a great read and I encourage you to grab a copy for yourself and one to give away.
Mark your diaries for our next Old Boys’ function to be held on Friday 31st October. Our guest speaker will be Clive Rennie who has agreed to give an informal valedictory address capping off a hugely successful 14-year term as Rector of Otago Boys’ High School. Keep an eye out for more details.
President OBHS Old Boys' Society