Remembering Maurice Hall

Maurice Hall came to MAGS in 1962 from Avondale College as Head of the Mathematics Department.
He was educated at Sacred Heart College where he gained a University Junior Scholarship, and at Auckland University where he graduated with an honours degree in Mathematics.
In 1969 he took up a Senior Lectureship at Massey University before becoming our fourth Headmaster in 1970.
Maurice was regarded as an outstanding Mathematics teacher and regularly lectured and advised on new developments in the teaching of Mathematics and co-authored Mathematics text books.
Students remember him as a caring, friendly teacher. When he returned as Headmaster the school, and New Zealand as a whole, was just entering a period of dramatic social change and it was Maurice’s task to steer the school through these changes while at the same time maintaining the core values of the school. For the first time the school had to devise programs for students with little or no English. The school slowly developed into a multicultural school and was one of the first participants in the Secondary Schools’ Polynesian Festival (now known as Polyfest).
Maurice fostered the Arts and the school opened its first Music suite in 1983. In addition to annual drama productions, the school produced a series of musicals starting in 1981 which fostered closer relations with Marist Sisters’ College and Auckland Girls’ Grammar.
Sport continued to be important in the school with many successes across most codes but the highlight was probably the school’s victory in the inaugural secondary schools’ rugby competition in 1982.
In 1976 the new Library Block was opened by Sir Robert Muldoon, the Prime Minister and an old boy of the school.
Two years later the squash courts were opened and in 1984 Sir Robert Muldoon returned to open the “new gymnasium”, a full-sized facility which replaced the old wooden structure which now houses the learning centre. Maurice had steered the school through a number of fundraising ventures which allowed the school to build a modern gymnasium that suited the needs of the school.
In 1972 Maurice appointed the first woman to teach on the staff since the end of World War Two. From then on women were appointed in greater numbers, some attaining positions of responsibility, and all of them contributing positively to the life of the school. Maurice instituted the Parents’ Association to allow parents to have a greater voice in the education of their sons. In 1986  the Auckland Grammar Schools’ Board which had been responsible for the school since 1922, was dissolved meaning the school had its own Board of Governors allowing even greater input from parents. Maurice was instrumental in the setting up of a very successful Board which was soon to be known as the Board of Trustees.
Maurice’s education philosophy can be summed up in the introduction to the 1981 Albertian. “The school strives to meet the needs of those it serves. Above all it strives to respect the individuality of all its members.” When it was time for teachers to write reports he always reminded them that they were writing about the children whose parents loved them and so teachers should always find something positive to write. Maurice was dedicated to the school. The 1988 Albertian contains a long valedictory. One sentence sums up his dedication. “Except for his wife and family, who gave him constant support, nobody will really know how much time Mr Hall devoted to the school.” This devotion continued and he regularly attended sports and cultural fixtures.
The school thanks Maurice for his immense contribution and sends its sincere condolences to his whanau.
Assistant Archivist Greg Cave