Hall of Distinction Induction
Greg Moyle with Con Thode and his son
Congratulations to Connell Percy Thode OBE upon his induction into the Mount Albert Grammar School Hall of Distinction at the Old Old Boys' Luncheon which was held at School House on Thursday 9 December.
During his 99 years, Con has accomplished much, whether it be as a yachtsman, submariner, commander of men, businessman, farmer, community volunteer or Albertian.
Albertians in the News - Congratulations to:
Maria Tutaia (left)on her outstanding contribution when her "performance of a lifetime" was a key factor in the Silver Ferns' gold-medal victory over Australia at the Commonwealth Games. More...
Sam McKendry (right) made his debut recently
for the NZ Rugby League team and was a member of the 16-12
winning performance to become the Four Nations Champions.
Jerome Haretuku (left) on his selection as a Black Sock in the New Zealand Men's Softball team.
Please e-mail Chris Long firstname.lastname@example.org with any other Albertian successes, sporting or otherwise!
Brisbane Get TogetherPrevious Headmaster and Albertian, Greg Taylor and current Headmaster, Dale Burden and their wives, Noeleen Taylor and Yevette Williams, together with Chris & David Long, Directors of Development and Sport respectively, hosted a group of 60+ Albertians and friends of the school at the Norman Hotel, Woollongabba. Brisbane on Saturday 23 October.
This was the second function to be hosted in Australia following on from the Sydney event in 2009 and it was great to welcome Neil & Leticia Laurenson to the function. Neil was the only Albertian who has been to both Australian-based events and travelled up from Melbourne especially for the event.
The highlight of the afternoon and evening get-together was an impromptu singing of the School Song/Hymn, which the seven Albertians in the photograph below sung with gusto and stopped everyone else in the hotel who listened to the wonderful rendition.
It was a time to reminisce, share stories about the good old days, catch up with school colleagues and make new friends. It is clear that the pride of being a member of the Mount Albert Grammar School community is still as strong as ever.
Albertians' Dinner: Celebrating Rugby in the 1980's, Saturday 30 July
Coaches Bruce Lovett, Alex Bing, Ness Toki and members of "The Team of the '80's".
Special Luncheon: Celebrating a decade of girls at MAGS, Sunday 1 August
Head Girls: Mary-Grace Aballe (2005), Rachel Peeters (2009) and Lisa Blakemore (2010)
Recognising Academic Excellence - The Top Scholar Albertians of 2009 Return
From left: Jacqui Munro, Rasik Makan, Hayden Porter, Amy McCaughey-Chapman, Kevin Jia, Megan Smith, Geoff Gunn, Olivia Taylor, Ben Francis , Katie Curd, James McKeage, Sachin Makan
Flying Officer Whelan Hazard
The connection with the School, is that one of
the fallen was Albertian, Flying Officer Whelan Hazard, RNZAF,
aged 20, at School 1936-1939.He was from Te Atatu. Others who
were killed were also from the RNZAF and from the
RAF and the RCAF.
The designer of the original, Pol Holweck, came from Luxembourg, to lay a wreath on behalf of the citizens of Weiswampach. Other wreathes were laid by the Governor General, Sir Anand Satyanand on behave on behalf of New Zealand, Mrs Barbara Harris on behalf of the Government of the United Kingdom, Ms Kate Starkey on behalf of the Government of Canada, Air Commodore Gavin Howse on behalf of the New Zealand Armed Forces, Mayor Bob Harvey on behalf of the residents of Waitakere City.
Paul Ferner and Brian Murphy attended, along with Ruby Gibbons and Bala Shingade.
An Albertian in the News
Former student and discus thrower TeRina Keenan currently attends the University of Hawaii. Recently in the United States, she was named the Verizon Wireless Western Athletic Conference Women's Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week following her performance at last week's USC Trojan Invitational.
It is with great sadness that we inform you that Albertian Sally Ainley passed away on Saturday 13 February after a spirited battle with osteoscarcoma, a rare form of cancer that was diagnosed in 2007.
Click here for a December 2009 article in the Western Leader which featured Sally and her fundraising efforts for the Child Cancer Foundation and here for an article in the New Zealand Herald on Monday 15 February.
Bill Mitchell has passed
The School is saddened by the death of its oldest master, Mr WS Mitchell MA, BSc who died on Thursday 13 May 2010 aged 95.
Bill Mitchell came to the School from Palmerston North Boys' High School in 1952 to replace the deceased Senior Latin Master, HF Brock, 1922 - 1951. The following year, the foundation Senior French Master, GS Coldham, retired and Bill became the first Head of Languages.
took a full part in the School's activities and he was a
highly intelligent, punctilious teacher of Latin and French
to generations of boys from the day he started to the day
of his retirement at the end of 1975. No one prepared
lessons or marked work with more assiduity than Bill
He was farewelled from St Mary's Catholic Church, Mt Alberrt on Thursday 20 May, 2010Requiescat in pace.
This year's ceremony took place on Friday 23 April. Over 50 "old, old boys" attended their annual luncheon at School House and the service in the afternoon, The school prefects and Albertians President Maelen Tagelagi also participated in the Mt Albert Civic Parade and Service.
The newly restored photographs of the fallen were on display for the first time.
Students in the Air Training Corps once again provided the guard of honour.
Head Girl Lisa Blakemore, Head Boy Jack Barclay with Dale Griffiths from the Albertians Association
Over 50 Albertians attended the "Old Old Boys
Dinner" and the Anzac Service.
Albertians Association President Dr
Maelen Tagelagi attended the Mt
Albert Service on Sunday.
Head Girl Lisa Blakemore and Head Boy Jack Barclay also laid a wreath at the Mt Albert Service.
Several prefects from the school also assisted with the proceedings.
Girls' Luncheon - A Decade of Girls at MAGS
A special luncheon was held on Sunday 1 August to commemorate a decade ( 2000-2009) of girls at MAGS. It was a great opportunity for staff, current prefects and former students to catch up and reminisce. If you would like any of the original larger files of the photos posted here, please e-mail me at email@example.com
Deputy Principal, Yevette Williams who was appointed to the position of Director of Girls in 2001, following the inaugural Director Of Girls Tracey Cocker welcomed those present and gave the following speech.
There are exactly as many special occasions in life as we choose to celebrate. The achievement of 10 years of girls at Mt Albert Grammar is one of those occasions.
...As you know, Mt Albert Grammar School was founded in 1922 for boys only. Little did the then Auckland Grammar School Board of Governors, know that 79 years later girls would grace the corridors and significantly change the direction of this school forever.
Years of surveys, parents groups and debates about the school going co-educational took place. Pressure from the community to take in girls began as early as 1980. The then Principal, Mr Maurice Hall was adamant that the school would not become co-educational. At this time both the Principal and the Board were strongly against it.
In 1996, the idea of girls at MAGS resurfaced. More surveys, discussions, news articles and speculation happened. In October 1997, the Board voted in favour of a separate Girls' School with shared facilities. An arrangement to please all parties concerned, particularly those opposed to the introduction of girls.
The official decision was made on 29th July 1999. The Minister of Education, Dr Nick Smith, handed a letter to the Board Chairman, Mr Peter Thorp and Headmaster, Mr Greg Taylor giving his approval for the enrolment of girls.
Once the decision had been finally made, plans for the introduction of girls were well under way. Ms Tracey Cocker was appointed the inaugural Director of Girls. On the 2nd February 2000, 138 girls began a new chapter of this school's history. In just over two years, the number of girls at the school quickly rose to 434. Girls came and went over the years, as did staff. Tracy Cocker left at the end of 2000, Mrs Elise Goddard was acting Director of Girls for a term until I was able to move to Auckland and take over the position. In 2003, my change of role within the school, saw the arrival of TeAroha Keenan. Ms Natasha Phyn (then Charman) was acting Director of Girls during this transition time.
In these early years, in particular, the girls' Deans played an enormous role in intergrating the girls into what was still then a predominately boys school. They worked tirelessly to ensure everyone's needs were met, that standards were set and school values followed. It was always my pleasure to have been able to work with such talented and dedicated Deans and I thank them all for their commitment to the girls.
Over the past ten years there have been so many firsts in the girls school.
The first girl to register for the school - Hayley Holm
The first day of girls.
The first girls sports teams and then Auckland and national titles.
The first girls cross country
The first co-ed choir and school production
The first girl to be stood down
The need to deal with PDas (personal displays of affection) round the school
The first Girls Junior Dux - Dasha Nelidova
The first Girls Junior Victor Ludorum - Koha Alpass-Waru
The first Head Girl - Sosefina Fa'amausili
The first Deputies - Jennifer Clark and Bridget Taylor, and Katie Bowskill as Girls' Sports Captain.
The first Girl Prefects - Alexandra Aimer Seton, Danica Atkins, Hayley Holm, Nusrat Kabir, Viviena Schaff, Anna Tait and Amber Williams-Spiers
The list can go on and on. Girls very quickly established themselves as a force within the school. Whether it is in the sporting, cultural or academic arenas, MAGS girls have certainly held their own, met our challenges and far exceeded our expectations.
I often look back at the girls who chose to come to MAGS, particularly in those first few years. For them it was an unknown quantity, a path not yet travelled. There were certainly some characters who liked to challenge and push the bounds. I could recount many a story of their antics, however, I will leave them to you to recall yourselves. But what spunk those girls had and probably still do have today, probably something that they all really needed to have in order to survive in a male dominated environment.
I wonder where these girls, in particular, are now. I know some are well on their own successful career path, others are married and/or have children, while others are still studying. I do know that no matter what they are doing, they are all the better off for having come to Mt Albert Grammar School as are we for having had them enrich our lives. It is certainly true that the girls at MAGS largely come here with the right attitude. The attitude to do their best and make the most of the opportunities offered to them.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to come here today and hope you have been able to reconnect with someone and share some of those stories. Our challenge is now to extend this group, to get more past students and families involved with the school. The school's 90th reunion is planned for Easter 2012. The challenge to all of us is to encourage as many past students, in our case girls in particular, to attend. What a great event that will be.
To finish I would like to read a poem by Charles Swindoll in regards to Attitude. It is this quality that is the base for our success....
Yevette Williams, Deputy Principal
The annual dinner this year celebrated rugby at MAGS in the 1980s.
The highlight of the evening was the naming of the MAGS Team of the 1980s and the presentation of commemorative jerseys to those present.
Eddie Muliaumaseali'i flew in especially from Melbourne where he is currently performing in La Traviata. He led the school song during the evening and later sang with others to the entertainment of those assembled.
If you would like the larger original files from the photos below, Please e-mail Mrs Elise Goddard ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) with the number of the picture and they will be sent by reply e-mail.
This page is still under construction. More captions will be added soon to the photos.
is an abridged version of the speech given by Alex Bing, former
staff member and rugby coach.
loose forwards was the biggest headache for us ? so many
great players as well as captains. Mark Brooke-Cowden, Derek
Scott, Andrew Lamont, Brett Kingstone. Others to feature in
this position were Bruce Birtwistle, Mark Birtwistle,
Rodney Heimuli, Paul Townley, Michael Moimoi, Lalavi Langkilde
and Les Fleming. In the end we chose the following;
? in the First XV
from 1979 ? 81, captain in 1981. Played for Ponsonby, NZ
Sevens and the All Blacks. Certainly the most dedicated player
we have seen who led by example. Nominee for Auckland Secondary
Schoolboy player of the year in 1981 (won by Sean Fitzpatrick).