Sports Report – May 22, 2017


Rugby 1st XV vs Rangitoto College, Saturday 20th May

Despite the atrocious conditions, the top of the table class did not disappoint. Both teams came into the game unbeaten after Rangitoto had accounted for Rosmini College and Massey High School in earlier rounds. With the Woodhouse Shield up for grabs, there was a lot to play for on the day.

Both teams played some good rugby at times and gave everything for the full 70 minutes. Rangitoto had early dominance in the scrums before Westlake wrestled the advantage. The backs were prepared to run the ball and did very well in the conditions. Rangitoto had two long-range penalty attempts at goal in the first half but both came up short. Westlake created but squandered a few chances and it was only deep into referee’s optional time at the end of the first half that Tupou Afungia managed to get over the line for the opening try of the match. Casey Smith duly converted.

With the wind behind their backs, Westlake continued to dominate possession and it was only handling errors that prevented them from extending their lead and exerting their dominance. Lotu Inisi continued his mammoth work rate from the first half. He regularly took the ball up, broke tackles, drew in the opposition defence and made good metres to put Westlake on the front foot. It was no surprise, and just reward for him, when another of these runs ended in him crashing over for Westlake’s second try. Casey smith again converted, in tricky conditions. Rangitoto pressed hard in the closing minutes but the Westlake defence held strong and kept Rangitoto scoreless.

Westlake was delighted with the victory and winning back the Woodhouse Shield.

Scoreboard: Westlake 14 Rangitoto 0 (Half time 7 – 0)

Tries: Tupou Afungia; Lotu Inisi

Conversions: Casey Smith (2)


First XI Football vs Macleans College, Friday 19th May

Starting XI:

  1. Williams, J. Woods, M. Wood, H. Piper, C. Foulds, M. Lamont, R. Wynne, D. Hobson, D Mitten, J. Olivier, L. Wilson


  1. Scopas, A. Al-Majmuei (on for L. Wilson 83rd minute) J. Scott (on for M. Lamont 65th minute), E. Tessadri (on for D. Hobson 45th minute),

Half time score – 0-0

Full time score – 0-0

The First XI looked to bounce back from a heavy defeat against Sacred Heart College with an away trip to the east of Auckland, matching up against Macleans College. They hoped to play more free-flowing football than they had in recent weeks.

The team were buoyed by the debuts of both Matt Lamont and Dylan Hobson, both of whom had suffered injuries to delay their first team bow thus far. Unfortunately, Westlake Boys were without their skipper, Bronson Kelly, who looks to be faced with at least two weeks on the side-lines, owing to an ankle injury. Matt Conroy, the talismanic international striker, is still to feature for the side due to his own injury problems. Westlake are yet in a position to get all of their best players on the field at the same time.

The opening stanza was a cagey affair with very little action of note. Westlake had the lion’s share of possession, but struggled to make any meaningful inroads with the ball. A couple of half chances fell to the feet of Levi Wilson, largely of his own making, due to some intelligent running. However, Westlake were unable to find an answer for the staunch Macleans side that they found in front of them. Goalkeeper, Bradley Williams, barely needed his gloves as Macleans had no chances of their own in the first half.

The half ended much as it had begun, with a pedestrian pace and a lack of tenacity. Half time saw Dylan Hobson’s debut curtailed as he felt a reoccurrence of his injury and, with a reshuffle of the midfield, Enzo Tessadri entered the fray.

Westlake started the second half with a greater sense of urgency and an increased vigour. The ball was now moving with a little more fluency in midfield areas and the side looked far more likely to fashion a break through. Striker Levi Wilson came close to breaking the deadlock when a ball to him saw him take an instinctive first touch to beat his marker on the turn, but his left-footed shot couldn’t find the net. A further chance came through Daniel Mitten down the left, as he drove into the box, but snatching at his shot meant that the ball missed the target.

Macleans almost opened their account when a lack of urgency to press the ball from Westlake lead to their striker bearing in on goal. However, a good save from goalkeeper Williams at the feet of the Macleans’ striker averted the danger.

At around the hour mark, it was Matt Lamont who was next to join the injury list with a back injury, a real shame for the Year 13 student as he looked in command of the midfield up to this point. He was replaced by the Year 11 winger, Jayden Scott.

The pace of the game had reverted to one similar to the first half and looked to be petering out to a dismal conclusion. Matt Wood hit a good free kick that the Macleans’ goalkeeper was equal to, but Westlake failed to follow up on the rebound.

Two incidents at the climax to the game could have seen Macleans take all three points. Firstly, only another good save from Bradley Williams prevented Macleans taking the lead. Secondly, with barely a minute left to play, an innocuous free kick, some 35 metres from goal, was struck by a Macleans player. What appeared to be a rudimentary catch from Williams, was left to chance by him and as it went over his head, it cannoned off the cross bar, for the Westlake defence to scramble clear. This incident marked the end of a match that cannot be considered as a good advert for the First XI.

A slightly lacklustre display, coupled with a lack of tenacious intent, will have left the side feeling this was very much two points lost, rather than one gained. Westlake’s next fixture sees them start their knock out cup campaign.


Premier Basketball vs Auckland Grammar School, 19th May

Auckland Grammar School visited Westlake Boys High in arguably the game of the round in the Auckland Premier Grade basketball on Friday, May 19th as two of the top four sides from last season went head to head. Despite a second straight thirty points haul from Tom Higgins, a more balanced home- side scoring effort prevailed, with Westlake recording an 85-78 win in front of a good-sized crowd.

Campbell Green opened the scoring for Auckland Grammar but point guard Josh Hidalgo scored a couple of baskets worthy of a highlights reel and Reuben Fitzgerald knocked down a pair of jump shots as Westlake forged a handy 23-13 first quarter lead.

Green executed a couple of strong baseline drives to give AGS impetus, but a dunk and then a left- handed put-back from Thabo Manyere put a stop to that. Westlake led 33-24 with AGS coach Dave Mackay needing a time out.

An Anzac Risetto tip-in got AGS on the move again. Manyere scored in transition but play was interrupted by a spate of fouls at the back end of the first half; one the hosts were content with as they led 38-28. Fitzgerald, with 10 points, led all scorers at the break.

Manyere showed his versatility by landing a triple to open the second half, but five quick points from the tireless Tom Higgins and a reverse lay-up from Leroy Brown kept AGS in contention. Westlake coach Zac Fitzgerald wasn’t happy with his team’s start to the half and called a timeout with offensive turnovers high on his agenda. A Matthew Cairns-Hita three helped Westlake’s cause, as did Malingin’s transition points. Teancum McCarthy defied the tall timber to grab an offensive rebound and put-back and when Brown scored on the break the scores were levelled, 55 apiece. At three-quarter time Westlake were protecting the slimmest of leads at 60-59.

In the final quarter, a Moors’ three followed by a mid-range jumper moved Westlake 67-61 ahead. Cairns-Hita extended the lead to 73-61 with a transition basket before AGS became more and more dependent on their go-to man Higgins. He had 27 points in the second half alone but, despite his best efforts, Westlake was always able to retain close to a ten points buffer in the final stanza.

The lead was 81-69 after a score from Ethan Martin, who had a fine game, and despite late baskets from McCarthy, Higgins and Brown, the hosts controlled the closing minutes to record a second straight win.

Score: Westlake 85 – Manyere 17pts/13rebs, Moors 15pts/6 blocks, Hidalgo 14, Cairns-Hita 12. Auckland Grammar 78 – Higgins 33, Brown 10, McCarthy 9

Rugby Report May 19th

This week Westlake fans were fortunate to witness two very impressive games from our 1st XV. The first was in Whangarei, where the team stretched out to a 68-5 victory.  The second was a mid-week game held at Westlake and provided great inspiration to many young players looking on. All the players gave 100% effort with standout performances from Johnny “wheels” Cooper (4 tries) and Tupou Afungia (3 tries).  Lock Harry Forbes also excelled as he muscled over for his first try for the 1st XV. This Saturday, our 1st XV take on Rangitoto College, who are currently sitting second on the table after boasting wins over Rosmini College and Massey High School.

Our 2nd XV had a bye but are looking forward to their first home game of the season this Saturday against Kaipara College 1st XV. Meanwhile our 3rd XV notched up another win 15-0 against Birkenhead College 2nd XV.

Our 5As were set to post a win, before Kings capitalised on a line-out that went astray. The final result was a narrow loss 26-27, however Coach, Mr Mildenhall, was positive about his team’s progress, noting that the 5As are in a very tough division now that they have been placed in the Auckland Competition. This Saturday they play De la Salle College in a re-match of an earlier, pre-season game. All eyes will be on how well they have advanced.

  • 1st XV beat Whangarei Boys High School 68-5
  • 3rd XV beat Birkenhead College 15-0
  • 5A lost to King’s College 26-27
  • 5B lost to Massey High School 5-77
  • 6B lost to Kaipara College 10-36
  • 7 Green lost to Rosmini College 5-12
  • 7 Red lost to Mahurangi College 20-38

1st XI Hockey v Rosmini College

The 1st XI faced North Shore rivals Rosmini College on Wednesday 16 May. After an even start, a defensive lapse saw Rosmini take the lead half way through the first half. The game remained fairly even until Rosmini capitalised on a penalty corner opportunity to make it 0-2 with 20 mins to play. Westlake fought hard and were finally rewarded for their efforts at full time, with Peter Morris finishing a penalty corner. The final score was a 1-2 loss.

2017/2018 Entertainment Book


2016/2017 Entertainment Books expire on 1 June. Now is the time to order your NEW 2017 | 2018 Entertainment Book or Entertainment Digital Membership via Westlake Boys High School now. You will receive hundreds of valuable offers for everything you love to do, and help our fundraising at the same time. Buy one now and you can enjoy heaps of value for the next 12 months.


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Queries to Liz Peters, [email protected].

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Korean Night – Friday 26 May 2017

‘Westlake’s Korean Night’

Friday 26th May

Doors open 6:15pm

Show – 7.00pm – 9:30pm

WBHS Auditorium

$4.00  per ticket – includes raffle

Refreshments available during intermission

Cash sales from The Uniform Shop & limited door sales available


Collaboratively produced by both Westlake Boys’ and Girls’ High School, this massive student-led event gives students the opportunity to perform Korean culture with a twist of Aotearoa. An evening filled with passion and excitement, performances will array from traditional acts to K-pop singing and dancing. Last year the auditorium reached its capacity with a massive turn out of 2K. This year we have a limit of 1500 tickets, so get in quick! All profits from the night will be donated to Kids Can, student scholarships and other local charities. Come along with friends and family to celebrate our 8th annual Westlake’s Korean Night!

Thank you to our event sponsors:

Football 1st XI v Sacred Heart College

Home vs. Sacred Heart College – 12th May 2017

Starting XI:

  1. Williams, J. Woods, M. Wood, H. Piper, C. Foulds, B. Kelly ©, R. Wynne, J. Benbow, D Mitten, J. Olivier, L. Wilson


  1. Scopas, A. Al-Majumei (on for L. Wilson 65th minute) J. Scott (on for D. Mitten 75th minute), E. Tessadri (on for B. Kelly 70th minute), M. Lamont

Half time score – 1-0

Full time score – 1-6

WBHS Scorer – Joe Benbow

A wet, cold and windy evening greeted the First XI as they hosted Sacred Heart College for their first home game of the season, under floodlights at QBE Artificial Turf. With Head Coach, Neil Emblen on international duty with the NZ U20 team, it was Football Ferns Head Coach, Tony Readings who deputised for this fixture.

Knowing that SHC would pose a huge attacking threat, plans had been laid out by Coach Emblen to contain the visitors, play on the counter and look to be assertive in midfield areas.

The match started just as planned, with Westlake seeking to narrow the pitch and apply strength in numbers in central areas. It was a strategy that looked to be proving somewhat successful, as in the 10th minute, the home side took the lead. A hopeful ball into the box, led to a robust challenge on the SHC GK from Joe Benbow. As the GK dropped the ball from his hands, it fell to the feet of Benbow, who turned and shot into a largely unguarded net. Despite some significant (and valid) protestations for a foul by the SHC players, the goal stood and Westlake had found themselves a platform to build upon.

The goal galvanised the side and they fought hard to protect their lead, with some disciplined play, committed defending and intelligent pressing. A few SHC chances of little note came and went, with neither side showing any real quality on the ball. As the first half ended, it was Westlake who were certainly the happier side, heading into the changing rooms.

The side knew that they would be under extreme pressure to hold onto their lead for a further 45 minutes, but were certainly motivated for the task ahead.

As the second half started, it was Sacred Heart who upped the ante and started to exert their influence upon the game. Despite this, Westlake were very much in the game at this stage and only a good save from a Jordan Olivier free kick, stopped them doubling their advantage.

Relentless pressure told in the 55th minute as WBHS failed to clear their lines and a bobbling ball in the box was duly dispatched by the visitors – an ominous sign of things to come.

Westlake barely had time to regroup, when the second SHC goal (a good header from their forward) put them 2-1 ahead. The Auckland and National Champions looked dangerous now with every attack. Unfortunately for Westlake, the Year 10 Centre Forward, Levi Wilson, who had been a tireless runner all night, pulled up with a hamstring injury and had to be replaced. This disrupted the Westlake flow somewhat, as his intelligent pressing did unsettle the SHC back four.

Goal number three for Westlake was the real hammer blow that effectively ended this as a contest. A dropped ball by Goalkeeper Bradley Williams, then led to a rash lunge with his feet at the SHC attacker. The referee had no option but to give a penalty, which the SHC forward slotted into the bottom corner. At 3-1, a despondent Westlake side, who had toiled admirably, now looked weary and susceptible to further damage. A blitzkrieg of three well worked goals in the last twenty minutes, saw the score blow out to 6-1. This was a real disappointment and not a score line that Westlake truly deserved to be on the end of.

However, the reality for Westlake, despite their best efforts, hard work and character, was that the better, stronger and more physical side won on the day. Westlake can take heart from their first half performance, particularly the way they stuck to a game plan, but the manner in which SHC attacked at will in the second half, leaves Westlake with much to ponder.

The First XI now visit Macleans College on Friday 19th May, knowing that they have every opportunity to put this disappointment behind them and get back to winning ways

Mother Son Breakfast

Thanks to all those Mums and their sons who got out of bed early and braved the rain to be part of the Annual Westlake Mother Son Breakfast. We hope you were glad you made the effort!

The extremely popular and positive occasion was enjoyed by 480 Westlake Mums and their sons and offered all Mums and grandmothers in the room a fitting start to Mothers’ Day weekend. Guest speaker, former Parenting Place Creative Producer and seminar presenter, John Cowan commenced his presentation with a number of Mothers’ Day gift suggestions which were, as Head Boy Blake Nicholson acknowledged, well received by many of the young men in the audience!

The Westlake Rowing parents and students did an amazing job providing a particularly appetising breakfast and waiting services. Impressive raffle and spot prizes were provided by loyal local supporters including Spencer on Byron Hotel, ASHLEY & CO, D3 Tape and Unichem Sunnynook. Sanitarium and The Yummy Fruit Company were also, once again, generous supporters of the event.

Guest speaker John Cowan handled the sensitivities of the evolving relationship between mothers and their sons with wit, wisdom and the odd dose of solid advice. John’s twenty year experience of speaking with parents of teens was evident as he punctuated his entertaining presentation with a few key facts:

  • Males and females are different
  • Great results are realised between the genders when we are able to honour our differences and “work with the grain”

John’s messages for Sons:

  • When it comes to doing what it takes to show your respect for your Mum – be courageous i.e. “feel the fear and do it anyway”
  • You and your Mum share “creepy brain stuff” so she is the one person who knows you better than anybody else on the planet – this means that you won’t be able to get away with much, if anything … even if you think you do!
  • Your Mum likes you … a LOT!
  • Mum will probably never get some aspects of your humour
  • Your Mum is proud of you!

John’s messages for Mums:

  • You know your boy SO well … or at least you DID! Boys change and change and continue to change – do your very best to stay connected and keep up. They need you to be there for them and understand them.
  • Parenting is like planting a garden with a pack of unmarked seeds … parenting isn’t about shaping your son, it’s about discovering who he is and nurturing his development into the best version of himself. It is your gardening skills that will develop his character – his values and behaviours but you can’t decide what he will be and become.
  • If you want to retain your son’s respect – talk to the man! Drop the “Mum” tone! Listen to yourself and speak with respect. Don’t back down on expecting that he be accountable for his actions and choices. Treat him like an equal
  • The teenage years are tricky for boys – he’s trying to prove that he can survive without you, while underneath he still wants and needs you
    • Don’t take his “fend off” actions personally while he is focussed on the BIG job of becoming a man … you can be an ally, or you can be a pain! It’s YOUR choice.
    • Boys may need your support to show them the way in controlling anger and expressing emotion. Support them as they navigate the minefield of their emotions. When they stuff-up (and they will, they’re human!), make them accountable but DO NOT shame them … focus on the lessons and on the future.
    • Boys are OK! In fact boys are GREAT!

    Deputy Headmaster Steve McCracken and Headmaster David Ferguson added a personal flavour to the event by reflecting on the ever-evolving and always treasured relationships with their own mothers. Recently appointed Westlake Girls Principal Jane Stanley was a special guest at the breakfast accompanied by one of her two Westlaker sons, Jordan, a member of the current teaching staff.

    The Annual Father Son Breakfast and Grandparents’ Day events are coming up in July and August respectively. With ticket sales for the Mother Son Breakfast in such high demand unfortunately a few families missed out so keep an eye on Daily Notices on the website, and the weekly Headmasters News for information regarding ticket sales for the 2017 Father Son Breakfast on Thursday 6 July and Grandparents’ Day on Friday 4 August and get your tickets early!

First XI Football v Auckland Grammar School

Starting XI:

  1. Williams, J. Woods, M. Wood, H. Piper, C. Foulds, B. Kelly, R. Wynne, J. Benbow, D Mitten, J. Olivier, L, Wilson


  1. Scopas, A, Al-Majumei, J. Scott, E, Tessadri, B. Old

Half time score – 1-0

Full time score – 1-0

Scorer – Ronan Wynne


As the sun shone on a cloudless Auckland day, a sense of anticipation and excitement hung in the air, as the First XI made their first foray into the 2017 season. Head coach Neil Emblen had embarked on an extended pre-season, that saw over 45 players take part in training and trial games. The newly appointed coach settled on a squad that blended experience and youth, the former in the shape of some loyal Year 13 stalwarts and the latter being a talented group of Year 10 and 11 Academy of Sport students, that show significant promise for this, and future seasons.

Traditionally, Auckland Grammar School has proven to be a difficult place for Westlake to win games, having lost or drawn fixtures from winning positions there on numerous occasions. With this in mind, the stage was set for an intriguing encounter that all players and staff were very much looking forward to.

The game started at a rather frenetic pace, with Westlake winning the majority of midfield battles in the opening exchanges. Combative captain, Bronson Kelly set the standard for the team with some robust tackles and challenges in the midfield engine room.

As the game settled a little, Westlake had the first genuine chance of the game. A cross field pass from the diminutive debutant, Ronan Wynne, released Daniel Mitten down the left hand side. The left winger’s first touch was good and took him into the box, where his shot at the near post, flashed into the side netting. The Westlake side were well into their rhythm at this stage and some good passages of play were on show. However, it was the home side who were the next to register a genuine goal scoring opportunity. Some indecision from the Westlake defence saw them fail to win an early challenge for an aerial ball, thus putting the Auckland Grammar forward in on goal. A slip from Goalkeeper, Bradley Williams, had the Grammar player comfortably get to the ball first. It was only a great recovery run from Daniel Mitten and subsequent last ditch tackle in the box that prevented the home side taking the lead.

It was not long after that, that Westlake scored a goal that came directly from the training ground. From successfully defending a corner, with Bradley Williams claiming a good catch in the air, a Westlake counter attack sprang into action. With lightning fast speed and some accurate interplay between Jordan Olivier and Daniel Mitten, the ball was delivered to the feet of Joe Benbow who crossed the ball to find a waiting and very grateful, Ronan Wynne, the midfielder slotting home a cool finish from six yards out.

With Westlake taking the lead, the onus was now on Auckland Grammar to try and attack with a little more intent for the remaining 25 minutes of the half. They could only fashion some half chances in the form of some set plays and long range efforts. The Westlake back four looked calm and composed, winning the majority of their duals with a quiet confidence.

For the rest of the half, Westlake’s superior endeavour and efficient work rate was the most notable feature of their play and as the referee marked the end of the half, the visitors could rightly feel that they were in the ascendancy.

The second half began with some fragmented play from both sides and neither team could find any passing rhythm. The tireless running of the youngest player on the field, centre forward Levi Wilson, ensured that Westlake always had an outlet and a chance of threatening the opposition goal. The striker showed copious amounts of application and resolve, as he hassled and harried defenders into mistakes, thus not allowing them to relax on the ball.

Again, as the second half wore on, Auckland Grammar only looked a real threat when they had free kicks in attacking areas and corners. However, the centre back pairing of Harrison Piper and Matt Wood were dealing with Auckland Grammar attacks with aplomb, looking like they could have the capacity to develop a good understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities.

As the clock ticked in the 60th minute, Westlake still had the lion’s share of possession, but hadn’t created any meaningful chances of their own. The dynamic Jordan Olivier looked lively and physical, playing behind Levi Wilson but, (not for a lack of effort) couldn’t find the key pass to unlock the stubborn Auckland Grammar defensive line.

Westlake were nearly caught with a sucker punch on 65 minutes. Against the run of play at the time, the Auckland Grammar left sided attacking player managed to squirm his way into the box. With a little back lift, he hit a snapshot that cannoned off the near post; a collective sigh of relief was evident as the ball went out of play, off the upright.

Coach Emblen was forced into a substitution when midfielder Wynne, struggled to shake off a knock from a previous heavy tackle. Enter another Westlake player on debut, Enzo Tessadri, into the fray. The Brazilian went about his work with intent and was quick to get into the thick of the action with some vigorous tackles and blocks.

With around 25 minutes of the game remaining, it was Auckland Grammar who were looking the more likely to score; a few shots had cleared the cross bar and a couple of corner kicks had been scrambled away by the Westlake defence.

Coach Emblen looked to the bench once again to freshen things up. Off came Joe Benbow, who had worked hard for his team all day and on came another debutant, the adroit wide man, Jayden Scott. He was keen and eager to get on the ball and passed his marker a couple of times with ease. Westlake were looking comfortable once again, as they looked to play some effective, percentage-based football in the Auckland Grammar final third.

With ten minutes to go however, it looked like Westlake may be destined to share the spoils. From a rudimentary clearance in the Westlake box, the referee had spotted an alleged off the ball infringement between Matt Wood and his marker. The result was a penalty and despite neither side understanding why, Auckland Grammar were suitably pleased to take their chance from 12 yards out.

A hush descended amongst the crowd as the Auckland Grammar player stepped up. He struck the ball to Williams’ left, but the Year 13 Goalkeeper was equal to it, excellently parrying away for a quality save. The ball fell to the feet of a Grammar player but Williams was equal to this as well and blocked the rebound to send the ball out for a corner.

Auckland Grammar pushed hard for an equaliser from this point on and the game was delicately poised for an interesting climax. Of the two teams, it was Westlake that successfully navigated this final stage of the game, prevailing with some stoic defending and footballing nous to keep Auckland Grammar at bay, pinning them into their final third for the majority of the remaining minutes.

As the final whistle blew, the Westlake side could feel rightfully proud of a tenacious performance that showed much determination and desire. However, much can be taken from the manner in which they ground out a 1-0 win, away from home. With eight players in the squad on debut, a performance such as this bodes well for the team.

The next game will pose a different set of problems for Coach Emblen’s cohort, as they face reigning Auckland and National Champions, Sacred Heart College.

2107 Universities Tour to the USA

The Capitol Building, Washington DC

The 2017 Universities Tour was a resounding success, providing the students with a snapshot of life in five major US cities, and at nine major US colleges. The trip included three-day visits to San Francisco, Washington DC, New York, and Boston, before finishing in Los Angeles. Each city offered an amazing contrast to the previous, highlighting the variety of lifestyles possible within the United States; from the very bohemian San Francisco with its beatnik and art region to the grandeur of the Whitehouse, The Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. It was certainly an eye-opening experience for many of our boys, especially when confronted with some of the harsher realities of big city life.

As well as experiencing the culture within these five wonderful cities, we also met with Westlake old boys at a number of colleges, including Connor Skeens and Michael Lough at George Washington University, Motaz Al-Chanati at Columbia, Harry Bell and Yishen Zhou at NYU, and George Han at Harvard. The boys were lucky enough to attend lectures on a range of subjects at Stanford and Columbia and received a personal invitation from George Han to a Harvard maths lecture. We were equally fortunate to connect with the broader network of New Zealand scholars studying in the US, who generously took the time to give us personalised and insightful tours of Stanford, MIT, UCLA and Caltech. A highlight of the trip was connecting with old boy Bowen Pan who is a project manager at Facebook. Bowen gave us a tour of one of two campuses in San Francisco and provided a valuable insight into working for one of the largest companies in the world.

The students all developed and matured during the trip and were excellent representatives of Westlake and New Zealand.

In the UN Debating Chamber

ANZAC Commemorations on Three Continents

In blazing sunshine on 25th April, the Westlake Prefects proudly took part in the ANZAC Day parade and Commemoration service in Takapuna. Deputy Head Boy, Jason Churches, read one of the scripture lessons and together with Finlay Brewis, David Lin and Winston Yao, laid a wreath on behalf of the school. It was an incredibly humbling experience to pay homage to the thousands of New Zealanders who gave their lives to retain the freedom we so often take for granted today.

Further abroad, the touring Westlake hockey group spent Anzac Day in southern Belgium to commemorate the centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres. They attended a freezing dawn service at the Buttes New British Cemetery in Polygon Wood, the scene of bitter fighting south of Passchendaele, before travelling into Ypres for a service at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing. The boys were stunned by its sheer immensity, engraved with the names of more than 50,000 soldiers who were killed in the Ypres region during WW1 and who have no known grave. The final service of the day was at the New Zealand memorial in Messines. The setting felt decidedly Kiwi – complete with a Māori waiata to commemorate the New Zealand Division’s success in taking Messines Ridge. Calum Grassick delivered a powerful reading about a young New Zealander who was killed twelve days after joining his squadron, while Daniel Young and Netesh Sukha laid wreaths on behalf of the school.

In the USA, students and staff on the Universities tour attended an ANZAC Dawn Service at the Los Angeles National Cemetery, hosted by the Australian Consulate on behalf of New Zealand, Australia and Turkey. At 6am the service began with consulate generals from Australia, New Zealand and Turkey paying their respects and thanks to the fallen and the service of veterans and military personnel that continue to this day. The relationship of all three countries along with the United States was acknowledged in this very unique memorial. New Zealand’s Consul-General, Mr Leon Grice welcomed the boys and led the Ode of Remembrance. Following the service, the group was invited to the Gun Fire breakfast which consisted of hot dogs, lamingtons, savouries and ANZAC biscuits.