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Alumni Manager

Lizzie Dyer The Quad

Lizzie Dyer
Alumni Manager

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As always, it’s been a busy start to the year with a myriad of events already and more on the horizon.

It was a pleasure to be in Auckland last week to catch up with so many YOBs who are now working there, but who I’ve met in other centres during their earlier studies. The next morning, together with King’s School, we hosted well-known TV personality Matt Chisholm who shared his mental health challenges with our Auckland Old Boys. 

Looking ahead, we’re co-hosting a Community Visit in Bangkok on Thursday 30 May with St Margaret’s College. More than a dozen Old Boys have already registered for the get-together which will be hosted at the Grand Hyatt by Sarah Davidson, our International Student Manager. Also, teachers Darrell Thatcher and Dr Graeme Swanson will be in London attending a conference, and are hosting a London Catch-up on Saturday 29 June at 3pm at the Blue Boar Pub. Click here to register.

Closer to home, on Tuesday 4 June is the infamous annual clash between College and Christchurch Boys’ High School preceded by our 25, 40, 50, 60 and 65 Years On rugby reunions. With the grass being freshly sown on our own field, following the completion of Upper West, this year’s keenly contested match will be held at Linfield Park. The after match will be held at The Bog in Victoria Street. Please join us for a post-game drink.

On Wednesday 5 June we are hosting our Greytown Community Visit, followed by our Wellington Community Visit on Thursday 6 June with St Margaret’s College. We are looking forward to catching up with our Old Boys in these regions. Please also make sure you check out our other North Island visits by clicking here.

Please remember that all our Community Visits are open to past, current and future parents. They’re a great opportunity to informally meet other members of the College community.

Thank you

On a personal note, I would like to thank our fantastic outgoing Executive Principal, Garth Wynne, for his tireless and enthusiastic support of the CCOBA. I’ve loved working you, Garth. Thank you, it’s been a privilege. All the very best to you and your family for the future. 

Welcome back

On behalf of the CCOBA, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to incoming Executive Principal Joe Eccleton. Some of you will remember Joe from his previous years at College as the Assistant Principal – Curriculum.

News Flash

Tickets are now on sale for the 175th Celebrations and annual Reunion Weekend, 14–16 February 2025. Please join us to celebrate this wonderful milestone in our fantastic new Upper West complex. There are plenty of opportunities to catch up during the weekend, whether it be the Friday evening Cocktail Party, the dinner on Saturday night or the Reunion lunches held throughout the weekend.   

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Old Boys’ Stories

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Angus strikes the right note on CCOBA

Angus Mossman (14724) and music are never far apart, even though he’s now embarking on a career in law at Mortlock McCormack Law in Christchurch.

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On a wing and a prayer

They say birds of a feather flock together.

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Life on the run

Sam Bosworth (13830) might have retired from rowing, but the former New Zealand coxswain is keeping busy.

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Always keen to lend a guiding hand

Sixty-five years after leaving Christ’s College, Don Mackenzie (6419) is still regularly back on campus in his role as one of our Guides who show visitors our stunning buildings and grounds.

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In the News

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Alex Kendall (13573)

Christchurch-raised tech entrepreneur Alex Kendall has raised $1.7 billion to develop a cutting-edge artificial intelligence system for self-driving vehicles.

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Max Darling (15204)

After a season learning and watching from the bench with the New Zealand Breakers, Max Darling has never been hungrier for court time.

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Damian McKenzie (14028)

All Blacks star Damian McKenzie is back in action with the Chiefs for the Super Rugby season.

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Upcoming Events

Thursday 30 May, 6–8pmThailand Community Visit
Register now.
Tuesday 4 June, 1pmChrist's College 1st XV vs Christchurch Boys' High 1st XV rugby match, Linfield Park (post-game drinks at The Bog)
Tuesday 4 JuneRugby Reunions – 25 Years On (1999), 40 Years On (1984), 50 Years On (1974), 60 Years On (1964), 70 Years On (1954)
Book now.
Wednesday 5 June, 6–8pmGreytown Community Visit
Register now.
Thursday 6 June, 6–8pmWellington Community Visit and YOBs event
Register now.
Friday 14 June, 1–7pmCCOBA Auckland Long Lunch
Book now.
Tuesday 18 June, 2pmCasual catch-up – Taupō
Register now.
Wednesday 19 June, 11amCasual catch–up – Rotorua
Register now.
Thursday 20 June, 9.30amCasual catch-up – Hamilton
Register now.
Thursday 20 June, 6–8pmTauranga Community Visit
Register now.
Saturday 29 June, 3–5pmLondon Community Visit
Register now.
Wednesday 16 October, 10.10am65 Years On Reunion (1959–1963) – Register now.
75 Years On Reunion (1949–1953) – Register now.
Wednesday 16 October, 12pmGentlemen's Lunch
Register now.
14–16 February 2025175 Years Celebratory Weekend & CCOBA Reunion
Book now.
Friday 26 JulyWellington Long Lunch
Friday 27 SeptemberCCOBA Golf
24760 FCA Nelson College Old Boys Event Flyer Jan24 Proof4 pdf need to promote it with a link in Upcoming College is hosting next year for the 175th
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Out & About

Honorary life members

The CCOBA has appointed several new honorary life members. They are Richard Batchelor (5999), Tim de Castro, (5571) Peter Penlington (5517), and former Deputy Executive Principal Rob Donaldson. Thank you, gentlemen, for your unerring commitment to College over many years.

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Auckland visit

Great to see so many familiar faces at our YOBs function and catch up with our Old Boys at a breakfast the following morning where personality Matt Chisholm shared his challenging mental health journey.

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Commemoration of the Fallen

The poignant strains of The Last Post echoed through The Quad as we remembered the 151 Old Boys who lost their lives in World War I. Led by Chaplain the Rev. Cameron Pickering, the Commemoration of the Fallen was held under blue skies without a breath of wind. 

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The Chronicle


December 2023, and January–May 2024

We have learnt of the following deaths in our community. Our sympathy is extended to their family and friends.

Douglas Charles NEALE (8260)
Nelson, 24 December 2023

Howard David MACMILLAN (5691)
Marlborough, 12 January 2024

George Michael (Mick) KAIN (7312)
Wanaka, 31 January 2024

Michael Fane VERNON (6579)
Nelson, 1 February 2024

Peter George McAlistair IMRIE (5493)
Auckland, 5 February 2024

Mark Denniston SAINSBURY (6454)
Auckland, 7 February 2024

Philip John Seymour BELCHER (10962)
Hawke’s Bay, 15 February 2024

William (David) COOP (6135)
Auckland, 20 February 2024

Richard Arthur ROBERTON (5886)
Christchurch, 24 February 2024

Hugh Phelps GUNZ (6755)
Canada, 15 March 2024

David John REES (6676)
Waikato, 20 March 2024

Hamish George INNES (7694)
Christchurch, 30 March 2024

Andrew Philip STEWART (7622)
Dunedin, 6 April 2024

Humphrey Gilbert GRIGG (5484)
Christchurch, 9 April 2024

Richard William John (Ray) EGDEN (11874)
Amberley, 23 April 2024

Benjamin Sinclair BLACKLER (10237)
Wellington, 24 April 2024

Richard Sedley WELLS (5630)
Christchurch, 10 May 2024

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Contributions welcome

If you would like to contribute an obituary to The Chronicle, please email Lizzie Dyer at ccoba@ccoba.com.

As a guideline, we suggest a 500-word submission. However, we are happy to accept longer or shorter options.

*Please note that this office may edit obituaries.

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From the Archives

Jane Teal


If there is a building at Christ’s College that has avoided the demolition ball on several occasions, then it is the building now known as Selwyn. It should probably win the top prize for recycling.

The story begins in 1878 when the Board decided that it needed a house for the Third Master. A subcommittee was formed to follow up the suggestion of the Sub Warden, Henry Jacobs, that additional classrooms were needed for Divinity and Modern Languages, and that they could be attached to a boarding House. So, the Warden, Henry John Chitty Harper, the Sub Warden, and Fellows Henry John Tancred and William John Warburton Hamilton investigated possible sites and returned with the decision that it ‘should be built upon the piece of ground between the old school room and the fence of the Domain gardens, the front to be on a line with the old School Room”.i

Thomas Cane, who was briefly the Provincial Architect,ii was asked to draw up plans for a building of 18 rooms, including outbuildings.

Tenders were callediii and James Goss’ tender of £2115 was accepted.iv

The building was described in the Lyttelton Times of 14 March 1878.

That is not the building that you see on the Quad today. Not only was it truncated to create the Fine Arts and Technology Building, but there were many internal and external rearrangements over the years.

Its initial purpose was as a home for the Third Master. The Sub Warden pre-empted any attempt by the Headmaster, Charles Carteret Corfe, to have any say in the matter, and indicated he would offer the space to Thomas De Renzy Condell (123), who had been a Master since 1867.v So Condell moved in, and, from 1878–1893, he squeezed 241 boys into the dormitories.

Condell’s House became a home away from home for many boys from Hawke’s Bay, including the Williams cousins, the Murphy brothers from Gisborne, and the Nelson brothers from Napier. Closer to home, the Weld brothers came from Oxford, the Holderness brothers from Amberley, and the four Blunden brothers from Bennett’s on the Oxford-Cust Road.vi Sadly, this House included Harry Robert Scott Grigg (850), who died at College. The stained-glass window to his memory can be found in the College Chapel.vii

The greatest number of boys in the House was in 1885, and the 21 residents came from as far afield as Hawke’s Bay and Riverton, and included Timaru, Oamaru, Mount Peel, Tauranga, Mount Grey, Kirwee, Long Beach, and Christchurch.

With Condell’s retirement, the House again became a Housemaster’s residence until 1918, when an increase in the roll resulted in an additional dormitory and the creation of Jenkins House. It flourished from 1919–1932, with a one-year interlude when John Geoffrey Denniston (1990) took charge. Once more the fluctuating roll meant it returned to being a master’s residence.

In 1935, it became Waiting House, where boys literally waited until there was space in another boarding House. The 1850–1950 School List records the House where these boys eventually found their home, but an examination of the Form Lists shows that Waiting House lingered until December 1939. The greatest number of boys went into this House when they arrived, which meant that it was not until its fifth year that there was a range of ages. By May 1936, the 14 initial boys had been absorbed into Harper House and Julius House, except one boy who was added to Flower’s House. Bulkeley Aneurin Yorke Wynne-Yorke was the Housemaster.

In 1940, it became Condell’s again, with Thomas Webb Compton Tothill (2357) as Housemaster. There are many stories about this time, including the use of the fire escape ring and a rope to literally do that – escape.

But wait, in 1960 there was another roll increase, and this time it resulted in the creation of a fourth dayboy House, Corfe. To accommodate it, the building had to undergo further renovations, including the creation of a biology laboratory and classroom upstairs.

In 1977, the Art Department moved into the former Dining Room, and shower and locker rooms were added, and Corfe House moved upstairs. In 1984, an addition to the west – in the same style – was built to house Art, as Art History had taken over the Dining Room, along with a darkroom, storerooms, and a pottery room.viii

Demolition reared its head again when consideration was given to the creation of the Fine Arts and Technology space, but it was spared – in part. The latest additions to the west were removed, a well as a portion of the main part of the building as far as the fireplaces was demolished. Condell’s and Corfe moved across the road.

Then there was a building without a name. Various names were proposed, but it was George Augustus Selwyn, Bishop of New Zealand and the first Warden of the College, who was recognised. Permission was obtained from Selwyn College, Cambridge, to hang a copy of the George Richmond portrait of Selwyn in the building.ix So, in part, the building is back where it started – for it includes the Divinity classroom.

i Christ’s College Board Minutes 5 February 1878, 12 February 1878.
ii Vangoni, Peter, https://christchurchartgallery.org.nz/blog/collection/2007/07/port-lyttelton-nz-march-9-1874-from-nature-1874-by
Cane is best known for the Timeball Station, and less well known for the Lyttelton Anglican Vicarage, St John’s Winchester that is now in the grounds of Waihi School, the former Akaroa Pharmacy , the Christchurch Girls’ High School building now part of the Arts Centre and St Martin’s Duntroon.
iii Lyttelton Times 7 March 1878
iv Hamilton in College! p97 reported that the tender of Isaac Luck for £1800 was accepted. This is not confirmed in the Board Minutes of 14 March 1878
v Board Minutes 12 February 1878 not the Warden as recorded in Hamilton, College! p97. See also Star 26 March 1878.
vi Francis James Williams (975), Sydney Leonard Williams (976), Arthur Edward Turner Williams (1060), Heathcote Beetham Williams (1000), Arnold Beetham Williams (1102), Frederick Montague Nelson (1105), George Nelson (1246), Ernest Nelson (1347), Edward Rowley Murphy (1269), John Rowley Murphy (1270), Michael Rowley Murphy (1413), Stephen Weld (841), William Weld (1293), Hardwicke Holderness (1421), Hildebrand Holderness (1422), Arthur Reginald Blunden (1382), Harold Ernest Blunden (1460), Leonard Walter Blunden (1564), and Bernard Lionel Blunden (1565).
vii Harry Robert Scott Grigg (850), see Ciaran, F and J Teal. 2001 The Stained Glass Windows of Christ’s College pp18-19.
viii See Wells. R and DG Hamilton. The Buildings of Christ’s College.
ix https://www.sel.cam.ac.uk/about/history-and-archives/selwyn-archives

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