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From the President

Richard Polson

Richard Polson
CCOBA President

Richard Polson 9008 Cropped

As the year comes to a close and we head towards Christmas, it is a good time to reflect on another interesting and challenging year. However, it is also a time to look forward and connect with friends and family as the sun starts to come out.

We are thrilled to confirm that finally the Auckland Long Lunch will be held on Friday 3 December. Please click here to book your spot at the table.

While we have had to cancel various events this year, we have managed to hold some events in parts of New Zealand and gather as an Old Boys community.

The CCOBA Annual Golf Tournament – held on the Shirley Links golf course at the Christchurch Golf Club – was a sell-out again this year. Unfortunately, no one managed to sink a hole in one, so the Land Rover Defender – sponsored by Abraham Insurance – was not driven away on the day by an Old Boy.

We were also fortunate to have Old Boy Sam Bosworth (Olympian and Gold medal-winning coxswain) and Tony O'Connor (New Zealand men’s eight coach) as our speakers at the Christchurch Long Lunch this year. It was a great opportunity for 100 Old Boys to connect and share stories. However, we were also mindful that with the Covid-19 restrictions, some Old Boys were unable to attend.

As New Zealand moves to the Covid-19 Protection Framework, and to enable social events to occur, it is becoming increasingly important for event attendees to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and have the necessary Vaccine Pass. These requirements will impact on our events and we will communicate these changes for our upcoming gatherings. I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage you all to get double vaccinated against Covid-19.

Please visit the Old Boys’ Events page on the College website for events and updates.

Annual Appeal – Giving Day
It was great to have various Old Boys working with College to help raise funds to support scholarship funds for boys who may not otherwise be able to attend College.

Thanks to the generous contributions from the Old Boy and wider College community, more than $400,000 has been raised.

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Alumni Manager

Lizzie Dyer The Quad

Lizzie Dyer
Alumni Manager

Thank you to the Old Boys who have managed to attend out CCOBA events this year. We know it has been frustrating for some to miss out because of Covid-19 Alert Level disruptions. Generally, our events seem to be growing year on year, which is fantastic. I would like to thank everyone for their patience following a challenging, stop-start year.

I also would like to remind you about the upcoming 2022 reunion. Click here to see if this is your year to reunite with your cohort.

Meanwhile, we will live-stream our AGM – on Friday 18 February 2022 at 4.30pm – for the first time. Hopefully, you can join us in person or online.

The Quadrangle
Following a survey of our members, we changed the format of The Quadrangle last year to better meet their interests. We would again appreciate your thoughts on The Quadrangle. We are always striving to improve, so your feedback is important. Please take a few minutes to complete this short survey.

Cricket managers
Stephen Dods, who directs our College cricket programme, has a few paid openings for Christchurch-based Old Boys keen to manage a College cricket team from February. We want to hear from Old Boys with a passion for cricket, a commitment to College and who are willing to act as role models to mentor our cricket students. You will only be required on game day – Saturday. Please click here to contact Stephen if you can help.

College Archives
Our Archivist, Jane Teal, wants to hear about any places, geographic features or scientific discoveries named after College Old Boys. She encourages any Old Boy who has been recognised in this manner to get in touch via email.

Thank you
I want to thank our CCOBA volunteers for their tireless work for our branches, along with our hard-working Reunion year group organisers, College Guides and the many Old Boys who help organise our events, such as golf and sailing. We could not deliver these occasions without the support of wonderful people like you.

I wish you all a Happy New Year as we look forward to seeing many of you at our CCOBA events in 2022.

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Launch of The Christ’s College Hymn

Coinciding with Chaplain Bosco Peters’ final service at Christ’s College before his retirement, a new, specially commissioned hymn will be sung in the Chapel at A Festival of Lessons & Carols at 7pm on Friday 3 December.

With Covid-19 lockdown restrictions curtailing the original celebratory event planned to mark Bosco’s contribution to College, A Festival of Lessons & Carols instead will be live-streamed to the College community.

Rounding out the service will be the first public performance of The Christ’s College Hymn, a purpose-written work whose text is by Marnie Barrell, a noted New Zealand hymn writer. The tune is the well-known Dambusters March by Eric Coates.

So, sadly, while it won’t be possible to hold a Carols on The Quad event this year, the whole community is invited to join in the live-stream of A Festival of Lessons & Carols to hear the traditional Christmas readings and listen to the familiar carols, along with the new hymn.

This will be a very special event for the Chapel Choir, which has been learning the new hymn over the past few weeks and will teach it to the wider school in the new year.

The idea is that the whole school will be able to sing the hymn from memory and that it will become a regular feature of Chapel life, and be sung frequently at significant College events.

Click here to view the live-stream event.

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Old Boys’ Stories

Old Boys do all sorts of interesting things ...

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Software ship comes in for Old Boy George Plummer

Software entrepreneur – and College Old Boy – George Plummer (10762) is enjoying a wave of success with StarShipIt.

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Top-flight pictorial log of Simon Spencer-Bower

Internationally recognised pilot, instructor and aviation safety specialist Simon Spencer-Bower (7356) sets a new flightpath with his stunning pictorial book, Pilot’s Log – Once in a lifetime, every day.

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Wild sea cucumber – taste the difference

Beche-de-mer or wild sea cucumber are Old Boy James Parfitt’s business – and the Chinese can’t get enough of them.

Read full article
Fu Yun Faculty Pic 2019 4

Scholarly approach to urban architecture

Old Boy Yun Fu (13108) has travelled widely since leaving Christ’s College. His studies and architectural work have taken him to Sydney, Beijing, London, Boston, and Rome. Today, Yun is a Design Critic in Urban Planning and Design at Harvard University.

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Giving Day – our community at its best

A memorable Giving Day has reaped a remarkable return totalling more than $400,000 to ensure that more boys benefit from a life-changing education and experience through Christ’s College scholarships.

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Architectural Drawings of Christ’s College by Sir Miles Warren + Alec Bruce

A beautiful new book – Architectural Drawings of Christ’s College by Sir Miles Warren + Alec Bruce – that captures the architectural art of Christ’s College is now available.

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In the News


Michael Donaldson (13848)

Sound post-production for Peter Jackson’s new, ground-breaking documentary, The Beatles: Get Back.

Read full article

Ben Winters (10654)

Aroma – creating nutritional supplements for 60 years

Read full article
William Rolleston

William Rolleston (8953)

Timaru’s South Pacific Sera signs up to produce Covid-19 test kits

Read full article

Upcoming Events

There are plenty of events ahead. Book now to secure your place.


3 DecemberAuckland AGM and Long Lunch hosted by Mike Greenslade (8748) – BOOK HERE**NEW DATE**
3 DecemberA Festival of Lessons & Carols – WATCH LIVE HERE

18–20 February 202220 Years On (2002–2006)
30 Years On (1992–1996)
40 Years On (1982–1986)
50 Years On (1972–1976)
60 Years On (1962–1966)
70 Years On (1952–1956)
80 Years On (1942–1946)

Is it your time to reunite? Join us for our annual Reunion Weekend early next year and catch up with College friends for an event-packed weekend.

Check out the year groups and book now for your College year.


23 February 2022North Canterbury Community Visit
27 February 2022Joe Studholme Car Rally
1 March 2022Waimakariri District Community Visit
3 March 2022Marlborough Community Visit
4 March 2022Nelson Community Visit
5 March 2022CCOBA Yacht race – Picton
8 March 2022Sumner Community Visit
9 March 2022Timaru Community Visit
10 March 2022Southern Lakes Community Visit
16 March 2022Ashburton Community Visit
21 March 2022Selwyn Community Visit
31 March 2022Greymouth Community Visit
Labour weekend 2025175th Anniversary – watch this space
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Out & About

Christchurch Long Lunch and a lot of laughs

Gold medal-winning Old Boy Sam Bosworth and acclaimed College and Olympics rowing coach Tony O'Connor interviewed each other at our special Long Lunch for Christchurch Old Boys on Friday 19 November. It was a highly inspiring event for everyone, living up to the legendary Long Lunch occasion. While Covid-19 Alert Levels limited the numbers on the day, those present made the most of the very, very Long Lunch. Sam and Tony provided an entertaining insight into the trials and tribulations of elite sport for Old Boys aged from their 20s to their 80s.

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CCOBA President Richard Polson and Sam Bosworth
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Christchurch YOBs

On Thursday 25 November, a group of Young Old Boys (YOBs) and some Margaritas from St Margaret’s College got together for a few drinks and a chat on a beautiful Christchurch evening at Kong on The Terrace in Christchurch. This was our last YOB event for the year.

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Lachie Harper bats Old Boys to win

The first of a hopefully annual fixture between the recent Old Boys XI and the College 1st XI was played at the Valley of Peace Cricket Club on Sunday 14 November. The Old Boys team was particularly strong, with several extremely useful players of various vintages.

The game began in slightly overcast conditions, once Monty Rookes had been presented with his 50th cap for the College 1st XI. His infectious enthusiasm has been the heartbeat of the side for some time so the presentation was due reward for his effort and adaptability over several seasons.

The experience of the Old Boys team soon showed as Lachie Harper (14830) and Thomas McClean (14991) batted nicely together. Thomas made 33 and George Blake (14409) 20. However, the star of the innings was Lachie, who made a remarkable 110.

Chasing 225 to win was always going to be a challenge in 40 overs – and so it proved – but not before a fantastic catch by Kale Thatcher to dismiss Monty and the excitement of Sam Dickie being bowled by his brother, Ben.

Andrew Levenger

Photos: Emma Breitmyeyer

College 1st XI
Both Teams
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Perfect approach for CCOBA Golf Tournament

College Old Boys teed up for an action-packed day on the greens during the CCOBA Golf Tournament at the Christchurch Golf Club on Friday 15 October.

About 90 Old Boys kept their eye firmly on the ball, chasing ‘Hole in One’ honours and the chance to win a new Land Rover Defender – thanks to the generosity of sponsor Abraham Insurance. While several players were well within range, the prize remained just out of reach – despite some wonderful drives onto the green.

With many supporters chipping in with wonderful prizes – worth more than $5500 in total – many players still drove away with a prize or two.

From Waimate to Blenheim, the Old Boys certainly lifted their game – and the day.

The top three stableford OAY Silver honours went to Tony Cook, followed by Keith Shipston and Chris Le Cren. The top Ambrose team featured Harry Wigley, Chris Anderson, Will and Niki Mills. John Guthrey, Mike Kerr, John Fulton and Michael Hobbs met up on the day to claim second spot, followed by Tim Scott, James Harrison and Jerry Murray-Orr; and Mick Withers, James Murdoch, Henry Richards and Mark Hutchinson.

Timaru’s John Gilbert snared the prize for closest to the pin.

Many thanks to Abraham Insurance (Old Boys Duncan and Mark Abraham) and all our sponsors, along with the team at the Christchurch Golf Club and Ben Frampton and the CCOBA Golf Committee for their support and tireless work.

John Luxton
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Dan Batchelor
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Perfect day for golf play in Hawke’s Bay

The Christ’s College team defended its title at the annual Hawke’s Bay Quadrangular (actually triangular because there were no Nelson College players) Golf Tournament on Monday 15 November at the Hastings Golf Club at Bridge Pā.

The weather was stunning while the golf was fun, with many thanks to Jim Newbigin (5510) and Ian Kerr (Wellington College) for organising the event and to the Hastings Golf Club for hosting the tournament.

Philip Pinckney (10494)

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Special Treat for Holly Lea residents

Holly Lea residents recently enjoyed a special treat when a trio of College performers – a singer, a classical pianist and a guitarist – accompanied Director of Music Robert Aburn to the stunning Fendalton retirement village to entertain residents. From musical theatre to Haydn and The Beatles, the repertoire was a hit.

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Long Lunches

We were thrilled to share our Long Lunches this year. For the first time, we hosted our Southern Lakes Old Boys at the beautiful Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan, while our Wellington Old Boys enjoyed lunch at The Dockside, and our Wairarapa community gathered at The Royal Hotel Featherston.

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The Chronicle


September–November 2021

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

Roger Owen COTTRELL (5745)
Otago, 11 September 2021

Carleton Murray BULLIVANT (5096)
Christchurch, 22 September 2021

Peter Kenneth ENSOR (6279)
Canterbury, 26 September 2021

Terence Richard Selby LOWE (6648)
Wellington, 2 October 2021

William David SADDLER (5444)
Wellington, 4 October 2021

Peter Thomas HARMAN (5940)
Christchurch, 11 October 2021

John Keith WARDELL (5629)
Otago, 11 October 2021

Timothy Damon RUDDENKLAU (9884)
Victoria, 25 October 2021

Roger Collbran COUCHMAN (6015)
Bay of Plenty, 26 October 2021

Regan Alexander NGAWATI (11775)
Victoria, 28 October 2021

Richard Lee DILLION (6275)
Marlborough, 28 October 2021

Michael Kirby MOLINEAUX (8639)
Canterbury, 5 November 2021

Andrew Norman HOPE (4664)
Christchurch, 6 November 2021

John Anthony Dobson SANDALL (5888)
Marlborough, 15 November 2021

Peter Franklin SLEE (6340)
South Canterbury, 19 November 2021

John Goldie HAWKES (5678)
Auckland, 28 November 2021

Mark Christopher (Chris) TODD (6228)
Queensland, 29 November 2021

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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

Prize-giving – 1871 and 1921

As we made our rearrangements for a slimmed-down Prize-giving in 2021, I wondered what it was like 150 and 100 years ago. I had to turn to Papers Past to obtain a full report. Quite simply, the Christ’s College Register did not exist in 1871 and the 1921 report in the April 1922 Register was short on detail about the Headmaster’s report.

There were 115 boys on the roll in 1871. The photograph that is closest in time is this one for 1869.

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There were morning and evening services in the Chapel and prizes were distributed in Big School at 7pm for History, Geography, Recitation of English Poetry, Divinity, Classics, Mathematics, Mechanics, English, French, Music and Drawing.

The Press noted the “Masters Bell whom it will be perceived carried off a large number of prizes, receiving quite an ovation on coming forward”. Indeed, Arthur Wilbraham Dillon Bell (378) was awarded a Senior Somes Scholarship and received Mr Gould’s Prize for History, and College Prizes for Divinity, Mathematics, English and French. His brother, Edward Hutton Dillon Bell (377), was given Mrs Godley’s Prize for the English Essay on Colonisation, Mr Gould’s Prize for Mathematics, and College Prizes for Classics and Mechanics. Ernest Tancred Dillon Bell (379) received College Prizes for Divinity, Music and Classics.i

Unfortunately, the Warden, Bishop Harper, was “almost entirely inaudible from the noise of visitors coming in and taking their seats” as he spoke about the history of College and the fact that “while it brought out the whole of his intellectual abilities, it also cultivated and fostered the moral and physical qualities”. He also drew attention to the recent death of the Bishop of Melanesia, John Coleridge Patteson.ii

Following the distribution of prizes, there was a programme of glees and recitations. These included portions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as recitations from Terence and Aristophanes. The choir performed the part song Coming through the Rye, and the glees See our Oars and Oberon in Fairyland.

Fifty years later and 100 years before today, the College roll was 404 and this included boys who were in the Lower School as The Cathedral Grammar School did not return to its pre-1895 separate existence until 1923. Coming through the gates, it is clear that School House and the Hare Memorial with the laboratories have been added to the College buildings.

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Photograph Album CCPAL16/22a Christ’s College Archives.

Ernest Courtenay Crosse had recently been appointed as the 10th Headmaster and, in his speech, he referred to his need to balance tradition and “the vitality of the new”.

The Warden, Bishop Julius, said that “an education worthy of the name touched the whole man” and that the aim of the College “was to turn out men well equipped to take their place in the world”.iii

There was good news on the bequest front. William Wood (407) had left money to build a boatshed and the relatives of Conrad Nalder Denham (1630) had made a gift for the foundation of a prize for English Literature.

The subject list for prizes had expanded since 1871. There were Form Prizes as well as prizes for English, Divinity, French, Latin, Greek, Mathematics, Science and Drawing. Tancred Prizes for Literature and History, the Warden’s prize for Divinity, the Tyndale Prize for Divinity and a prize for Speaking, and a Chapel Choir Prize were also awarded. John Quentin McWilliam (3295) and Brian Tyrwhitt Wyn Irwin (3008) had accumulated enough Stars for work sent to the Headmaster to be awarded prizes.

The proceedings “were enlivened by the playing of the College Orchestra” and, at the conclusion of the proceedings, the College Song and the National Anthem were sung.

Tancred Smith 1921

Victor Aubrey Smith (3114) was given Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen for 1st place Tancred Literature Class D and With the Russian Pilgrims to Jerusalem by Stephen Graham as the Tyndale Divinity Prize Class B. These prizes are in the College Archives Collection.

i The Christ’s College School List lists EHD Bell as the Academic Head of School in 1870, 1871, and 1872. This does not quite match with the Form Lists and the places in the class of AWD Bell. See Press 15 December 1871.
ii Press 15 December 1871
iii Press 16 December 1921

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The latest College magazine

College – Issue 41 Winter 2021

Our latest issue of College magazine is out – so make sure you click here for our story-packed publication with its striking gold-and-black cover featuring the new Christ's College Diploma emblem.


College Mag front cover
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