Meet the MAGS Foundation Trustees

In 1972 when the School reached the age of 50 years, the then Mount Albert Grammar School Old Boys Association formed the Mount Albert Grammar School Golden Jubilee Trust, with objectives that included the advancement of the School, its teachers, students and old boys, as well as to provide for the School buildings, amenities, materials and equipment.

In 2009, the name of the Trust was changed to the Mount Albert Grammar School Foundation, and in 2013 the Foundation employed Tim Kay as their Director of Advancement, its first full-time employee.

The MAGS Foundation Statement of Purpose is as follows:

1) Invest in educational excellence
2) Provide resources for MAGS to become New Zealand’s top secondary school
3) Establish the most successful endowment fund of any New Zealand school
4) Provide the financial resources to develop and support the School’s vision, values and tradition

The overall Governance of the MAGS Foundation rests with seven Trustees, six of whom are appointed and one ex officio.  The five appointed by the MAGS Albertians Association are Peter Thorp, Rowan Kingstone, John Liddell, Greg Taylor and Grant Watson; appointed from the School Board of Trustees is Board Chairman Greg Moyle, and finally the MAGS Headmaster, Patrick Drumm, is ex-officio.

Patrick Drumm
MAGS Headmaster

Peter Thorp – MAGS Foundation Chairman

Peter attended MAGS between 1964 and 1968, boarding at School House throughout.   In his final year he was Head Prefect of School and School House and Captain of the First XV.

He attended the University of Auckland School of Law and was admitted to the Bar in 1973.

Between 1972 – 1991 he worked at Auckland Law firm Martelli, McKegg, Wells & Cormack, firstly in the Litigation Department and then as a partner.  Since 1991 Peter has been a Sole Barrister.

Throughout his legal career he has gained extensive experience before all Courts and a wide range of Tribunals and other bodies.   His specialist expertise is in Civil Commercial advice and dispute resolution which includes litigation, mediation, arbitration and negotiation.

Peter’s community involvement has included roles as Chairman of the Kimberley Trust, Chairman of the Ponsonby District Rugby Football Club and Founding Trustee of the Philips Aquatic Centre (now the Mt Albert Aquatic Centre).   He was President of the MAGS Albertians Association between 1989 and 1993, a member of the School Board of Trustees from 1990 and Chairman between 1995 and 2006.  Significant initiatives during that time included the construction of the Aquatic Centre and the inclusion of girl students at MAGS.

In 2015 Peter took over the Chairmanship of the MAGS Foundation from Tim Goulding. Major priorities include the establishment of a $10 million Endowment Fund, raising funds for the new Centennial Centre for the MAGS Centenary in 2022 and to oversee its construction, and to raise funds for, upgrade and operate the ASB Bank MAGS Farm.

Rowan Kingstone

Rowan attended the school from 1968-1972. Having left his family in Niue, he boarded at School House, and the hostel students and staff became his extended family. Rowan’s father, four uncles, three brothers-in-law and his father-in-law also attended MAGS.

Rowan’s time at school involved playing a lot of sport, mainly rugby and athletics. He was also a MAGS Prefect and School House Prefect. He made and retained many lifelong friends.

Following his time as a student he returned as a House Master and then spent many years on the school’s Board of Trustees, the Albertians Association and the Golden Jubilee Trust (which later became the MAGS Foundation).

Rowan is an Auckland based Chartered Accountant specialising in Business and Trust advisory, and a proud father of three grown children.

MAGS and education have always held a deep significance for Rowan; he is keen to continue this by helping the Foundation achieve its goals for the school.

John Liddell

John attended MAGS from 1969-1973.  He was a Prefect, and represented the school in the championship winning First XV, Rowing 8, Senior Athletics and as Captain of the Weightlifting team.

Following school he qualified in Physical Education and subsequently attained a BA and BCom at Auckland University and later an MPhil from Massey.  From the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s he worked in various business organisations, including Fisher and Paykel and Victoria Park Market Ltd, while also being an officer in the Territorial Army. In 1985 he was offered a regular commission and has served in the NZ Defence Force since that time.

John has operational service in Africa, Croatia and Bosnia and Korea.  His 41 years with Defence has taken him all over New Zealand and to more countries than he can count. Among the more interesting appointments have been a posting as Private Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, and three years as an instructor to the Malaysian Army.  He returned to Auckland after a 30 year absence and is currently the Executive Officer of 3/6 Battalion RNZIR in Auckland. He has been married to Wendy for 35 years and has three adult children.

John’s commitment to the school comes in part from the support it gave him and his brother Christopher after their father died in 1973.  It also comes from Christopher and his desire to see MAGS as the premier school in NZ  – if it isn’t already. Together they donated $1 million to the school – the largest donation in the school’s history.  His priority for the Foundation is to raise $10 million to support educational excellence at MAGS.

Greg Moyle

Since attending MAGS from 1968 – 1972 Greg’s life has been interwoven with that of the school. He finished his time at MAGS as a Prefect, and went on to become President of the Albertians Association, having been a member since 1988. He has been Chairman of the MAGS Board of Trustees since 2006.

Greg is arguably the founder of the MAGS Foundation as he has actively promoted the concept as a vehicle for ensuring that the culture, traditions and future financial wellbeing of the School are maintained and enhanced.

Greg was also a MAGS parent – his two eldest children, Daniel (1997 – 2001) and Rachel (2000 – 2004) are Albertians. Rachel was a ‘Foundation’ girl in 2000.   It is Greg’s wish that both his young children, Eva (11) and Luke (8) also attend MAGS in due course.

For his service to MAGS and the wider community Greg was inducted into the MAGS Hall of Distinction in 2012.

When the lease on the ASB Bank MAGS Farm came up for renewal in 2013, Greg was instrumental in ensuring that the land was retained for the school and the greater Mount Albert community. The Bank extended the lease on the land for another 99 years.

Greg has provided items from his extensive New Zealand art collection to decorate the walls of the School and has committed to endow the collection to the School during his lifetime.

Greg’s career has spanned a number of fields – he has worked as an Accountant, Policeman, Lawyer, Army Officer, University Lecturer, Corporate Fraud Investigator, and the for past 28 years has been a Financial Advisor specialising in retirement planning.

Greg’s community interests include being a Rotarian (past President of his club and Assistant District Governor) and a Local Body Politician (Western Bays Community Board, Auckland City Council and Waitemata Local Board). He has also spent time on various professional bodies and Charitable Trusts (Radio Lollipop and the Leukaemia Blood Foundation).

Greg believes the Foundation will play an important part of the future of MAGS – it will provide the financial support to ensure that the MAGS culture and traditions valued by students, past students and parents are maintained for future generations.

Greg Taylor

Mount Albert Grammar School has played an important part throughout Greg’s life, to a much greater extent than he expected when sitting in the FW Gamble Hall as a student from 1960-1964.

Graduating as Dux in 1964, Greg moved on to Auckland University where he completed an Honours degree in History, prior to undertaking postgraduate study in Chicago and, on returning to New Zealand, a Diploma at Auckland Secondary Teachers’ College.

Three years at Otahuhu College and seven years at Auckland Grammar School, as Head of History, were followed by five years as an Inspector of Secondary Schools.

In 1988 Greg succeeded Maurice Hall as Headmaster of Mount Albert Grammar School, the first Old Boy to hold the position. He retired in 2006, highlights of his term being a continued growth in the School roll and in its achievements, as well as the building of the Aquatic Centre and the progressive introduction of girls, commencing in 2000.

Greg has been married to Noeleen for 45 years and valued her support during his years as Headmaster.  Their daughter Olivia chose to attend MAGS and was appointed a School Prefect by her Headmaster, Dale Burden.

Outside the School, Greg has served on the Council of the University of Auckland for eight years and on a number of community trusts with a youth and disability focus. In 2006 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education.

“It is a privilege to work with the MAGS Foundation. In order for the School to maintain its position as one of the top schools in New Zealand and continue to produce young adults who excel in all areas of life, it is essential that it be well-resourced, for both its outstanding teachers and students.”

Grant Watson

Grant attended Mount Albert Grammar School from 1985 to 1989. Grant’s elder brothers Mark and Ritchie also attended Mount Albert Grammar, as did his Father Neville. In his later years at school Grant worked part time at McDonald’s to fund his commercial pilot license.

After leaving school he worked his way through the McDonald’s Management training programme. Between 1999 and 2001 he completed an Executive MBA through Otago University. In 2002 Grant became a Director of McDonald’s and two years later Chief Operating Officer. In 2005 Grant won New Zealand’s Young Executive of the Year.

In 2006, after 18 years of tenure with McDonald’s, Grant took a four year sabbatical from corporate life. During these four years Grant travelled with his family, sat on the Board of publicly listed company Mr Chips (until it was sold), and developed a tourism accommodation business.

In 2010 Grant was approached by Fonterra to turn around the Anchor Franchise business. In addition Grant was given responsibility for the Fonterra New Zealand Foodservice business and a boutique pastry company trading as The Pastry House.

Grant led a complete transformation of the Anchor Franchise business. He also re-established a strong performance trend of The Pastry House business allowing it to be sold in 2013. As Director of the New Zealand Foodservice business Grant sits on the Global Foodservice Leadership Team for Fonterra. This team has been responsible for developing the strategy for one of Fonterra’s key global strategic growth pillars.

Grant took accountability for the Tip Top Ice Cream business in 2013 while retaining his Director roles for the Anchor and Foodservice businesses.

Grant joined the Mount Albert Grammar School Old Boys Golden Jubilee Trust in 2009. During 2012 and 2013 Grant was instrumental in helping the organisation reset its Vision, Purpose, Strategy and Structure. The Mount Albert Grammar School Old Boys Golden Jubilee Trust was repositioned as The Mount Albert Grammar School Foundation and officially launched on 20 March, 2014. Grant was also directly involved with the appointment of the Foundation’s Director of Advancement, Tim Kay.

Grant is the father of one young daughter and is a keen sportsman, especially in running, cycling, skiing and scuba diving.