Greg Cave Albertian of the Year 2019

Associate Academic Dean Greg Cave has been named Albertian of the Year after 46 years of teaching at MAGS.
Mr Cave, who is also Head of Classics, was honoured at the annual Albertians Christmas Luncheon on Tuesday for his years of service. He is retiring at the end of the year.
His connections to MAGS begin back in 1923, when his father started as a pupil. After attending MAGS in the 1960s, Mr Cave returned as a teacher in 1974, and saw his sons attend MAGS in the 1980s.
Tributes were paid to Mr Cave by Headmaster Patrick Drumm, Deputy Principal John Stradwick, Archivist Brian Murphy and Associate Principal Jo Williams.
He was lauded for his commitment, empathy and wicked sense of humour – traits that had seen him through the highs and lows of teaching over those years.
Mr Cave began at MAGS as a teacher of Latin in 1974. During his time he taught French and Economics, introduced Japanese as a subject in 1980 and in his Academic Deaning role has supported students as they prepare to transition to university and tertiary study.
Mr Drumm said that Mr Cave was part of a fine tradition of long service to MAGS, something embodied by him and Mr Murphy, who between them had served the school for 106 years.
Mr Stradwick, who was Head Boy at MAGS in his stint from 1989-93, said that Mr Cave was already a “living legend’ when he started at school.
He said that while he didn’t have Mr Cave as a teacher it wasn’t for want of trying.
“I was in the Arts and Social Sciences and recently started to dream of the Indiana Jones style of life of carving out niches as an adventurous archaeologist – so I was all set for classical studies as my subject with the legend Mr Cave.
“‘Sir, I asked, can I do 7th form classics as I have not done it before?’ ‘No’, he said, whilst pushing up his glasses with his middle finger. And that was that. My future career ruined in an instant. I settled for a poor cousin in Art History.”
Ms Williams described Mr Cave as “a man who is caring about and committed to his students and their success” and had a wide-ranging knowledge.
“English, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Social Studies, Economics and Classical Studies – a range of subjects to teach that demonstrate Greg’s wide range of knowledge, talent and skill.
“A constant for Greg the teacher has been his commitment to his students – whether as a new teacher ignoring the instructions of his then HOD regarding what and how he should teach, to advocating for ESOL learners he thought were getting a raw deal; or when taking 3rd Grade Rugby he was warned about his vocal sideline criticism of the poor refereeing of his team.
“And his Classics Trips – five to date – are indicative of the man who will do the extra and give of his own time to engage his students and offer exceptional learning opportunities by taking them to Greece and Italy to experience the history and culture first hand.”
“Greg the teacher has always been about focusing on the learner and ensuring that in any circumstance fairness and quality of experience is paramount.
“As a colleague and friend Greg is described similarly – hard-working, caring, supportive, fair and kind. I shared an office with Greg when we were both Deans of Year 13 – and it is an appreciation of his intelligence, humour and sharp wit that remains with me.
Ms Williams added: “Greg Cave – son of a past pupil, past pupil, father of past pupils, teacher, mentor, colleague and friend to many – It is fitting that he be acknowledged and honoured in this way today as Albertian of the Year 2019.”
Mr Cave, who attended the luncheon with his wife Shelagh, said he had held nine different positions of responsibility, taught eight different subjects and coached or managed five different sports as well as a brief foray into managing the debating team.
He said of his 46 years of service at MAGS: “I blame my parents first – they had grown up during The Depression and they taught me that when you got a job you held onto it.
“But the main reason I have stayed is that after the first couple of years when teaching was a real struggle, I enjoyed the job, I enjoyed the students and the colleagues and even the people in their offices in the front corridor.
“I simply could not conceive of teaching anywhere else. I had students whom I taught for five years that I didn’t want to let down. And I couldn’t imagine myself coaching a team against a Mount Albert Grammar team.”
“The school I came to in 1974 was little different from the school I knew as a student in the 60s. Since then the school has changed so much that it is almost unrecognisable. I set out to list the number of changes I could think of in that time and stopped when I got to about 50. “So, instead of boring you with that, I want to emphasise the one thing that has not changed. The students who come to Mount Albert Grammar are a cross-section of the New Zealand population. At Mount Albert Grammar, besides getting a fantastic education, they learn to mix with young people from all walks of life and a host of backgrounds – just as they do when they go into the real world.
“That was my experience as a student and it has been my experience as a teacher. My hope is that with all the other changes that are bound to occur, this will remain the one constant.”