Dugald Page


Over the years a number of astonishingly artistic young men have emerged from Westlake’s Art Department sharing a common denominator; they were taught by highly respected, iconic teacher and artist, Westlaker Dugald Page.

Dugald taught at Westlake from 1961-1970 and then again from 1998-2009 and the breadth and depth of his talents reach far beyond the classroom. As an art teacher he would take his students on a journey into a wide range of activities and media; sometimes exploring areas with no prior knowledge or experience, going with blind faith to discover some exciting outcome. Dugald’s philosophy was that all subjects meet in the art room and he believed that art is a visual language and a different way of thinking and looking at the world. To him art history was an international language like music, dance and theatre and he believed that all schools should cover the range of mental, physical and psychological activities of drawing (thinking) and expressing through the disciplines of media, with the intrinsic nature of processes.

Dugald and CaraDugald’s legacy to the school is very much in the lives he touched, especially at Westlake in the 1960s where art was a vibrant point of difference for the school alongside its strong rugby and rowing culture. Some of the artists that sprang from the art department in these years include London architect Julian Feary, artists Bruce Barber and Ron Left, Mambo designer Chris O’Doherty (better known as Reg Mombassa), Ralph Davies (film), Peter McCully (visual effects) and art consultant Rob Garrett (formerly Head of Dunedin’s School of Art). Iconic Kiwi painter Dean Buchanan was also a student of Dugald and remembers that his art teacher had a profound influence on his life.  “He was an amazing teacher who was always honest in his critique, encouraging a strong work ethic and passion to paint.  He taught us to do what we love, finding what was within us and not to worry about trends. In my opinion, Dugald is an unsung hero and I can’t say enough about how much he inspired me.  I am only doing what I am now because of him.”

dugald-images_480_271_sOutside the classroom Dugald was very much responsible for the early days internal landscaping of Westlake Boys and later on established the PTA Art funding group which purchased the art works for the school. It was only befitting that Dugald was commissioned to design the eight Commemorative Stained Glass windows for the new Westlake Boys’ Auditorium; a task he tackled head on by establishing unifying elements that weave through all eight panels: the seasons, biological cycles and prismatic colour which commemorate the Westlake community. Since his retirement in 2009, Dugald still holds a passionate link to Westlake and he is currently involved with the realisation of another exciting Westlake Boys’ heritage project which will be unveiled near the end of this year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn his time away from Westlake, Dugald was a lecturer at various Teachers’ Colleges; he produced books for the Auckland Museum and MOTAT; he was a long-time art critic for the New Zealand Herald and has been the recipient of various scholarships and fellowships, including being made a fellow of the New Zealand Design Institute.

Dugald started painting at the age of 18 and continues to create new work today.  Therefore Westlake Boys’ High School and Westlakers were very excited to hear that The Depot Artspace in Devonport will hold an exhibition of Dugald’s work spanning 60 years. The exhibition, A Retrospective of an Arts Educator, includes painted reliefs, sculpture, electronic paintings focused on light and movement, kinetic work and samples of ceramics, glass, print-making and photographs of his famous stained glass windows. The exhibition opens on Saturday 12th of July until the 31st of July.

 

 

The History of the Westlake Haka


This Saturday the Westlake 1st XV Rugby team will kick-off their North Harbour Secondary Schools Championship campaign playing Takapuna Grammar School away. As has been the tradition for many years, our young men will challenge their opponents with a haka and it was thirty years ago this year that the haka was first performed by the Westlake 1st XV Rugby team.

Kerry Hill, Westlake’s 1984 1st XV Rugby Coach, commissioned Bert McLean to write a haka especially for the 1st XV Rugby team. Bert, fluent in Maori with tribal affiliation to the Tuhoe people from the Eastern Bay of Plenty had a vast experience of haka and waiata writing in combination with his passion for rugby and rugby coaching thus making him the perfect man for the job. A Navy man for 22 years, Bert coached the Rugby Navy team and the Combined Services Representative side as well as the Glenfield Seniors. Although at first apprehensive about whether the haka would be used appropriately, Bert took great pains to explain the cultural significance to the 1st XV Rugby players and spent many hours taking the players through the words and movements of the “Westlake 1st XV Haka”.

After weeks of preparation the haka was performed at the school assembly on the Monday before the match against Mount Albert Grammar. At that assembly Bert addressed the students eloquently about the significance of the haka. He then blessed it with a Maori prayer and the 1st XV players took the stage to perform a skilled, precise, spirited and forceful haka. No one in the audience could have failed to be rocked by the challenge contained within the haka and the students’ reaction was a thunderous applause that went on for a long time. The overall feeling was that this was a proud and historic moment in the history of the school.

WBHS Haka

1984 1st XV Rugby Captain, Leigh Sefton, remembers the introduction of the 1st XV Rugby haka very well. “It was definitely something new and exciting for Westlake at the time. Our players had faced hakas by the likes of St Stephens Boys’ (Bombay) and Gisborne Boys’ High School over the previous few years which were very inspiring.

Bert taught us the haka before and after trainings for several weeks until we were ready for our stage debut in front of the whole school.  I can remember saying to the boys that if we were to do this haka, then there was only one way to do it; with passion, aggression and total commitment. Our rugby team was fully informed of what our haka meant and why we were performing it, and whilst the bulk of our players were New Zealanders of non-Maori descent, we embraced the opportunity to learn more about the Maori culture through understanding the words and actions of the haka. That day, we performed it with great passion, aggression and vigour and as you can imagine it felt great and was very well received.”

It was Mount Albert Grammar School’s 1st XV that was the first to be on the receiving end of the Westlake 1st XV haka the following Saturday. From there on it was performed before most other matches for the remainder of the 1st XV season and by the U15 team on their South Island tour. On the few occasions when the 1st XV didn’t perform the haka, the players felt that something was missing from their game. All players appreciated the Westlake mana given to such an important aspect of Maori culture and tradition. It was Kerry Hill’s hope that in future years everyone in the school would learn the haka and that it would become a proud tradition at Westlake.

WBHS 2015 Haka CompLittle did he know that thirty years on, albeit it being a different version from the 1984 1st XV Rugby haka, Westlake Boys perform the Westlake School Haka – Te Haka O Ururoto at a variety of special Westlake occasions both in New Zealand as well as overseas. The annual Westlake House Haka Competition has become one of the highlights of the school’s calendar and has become a proud tradition that stays with Westlake students long after they leave school. One of the most memorable and emotional hakas ever performed was a whole school haka performed to boys visiting from Christchurch Boys High on the day of Christchurch earthquake on Tuesday 22 February 2011.

We would like to thank Westlaker, Leigh Sefton for sharing his memories.

If you hear any news about Westlake Old Boys or former staff or if you are interested in supporting Westlakers events and activities, please contact Mrs Christine O’Dowd at school on 09 410 8667 or by email [email protected]

Christine Gratton


Westlake Boys has been more than fortunate to have attracted some exceptional teachers and today we farewell one of our true jewels, Westlake’s very own Queen of the Ball, who has been more than inspirational to our students and staff. She is a doer, a giver and a real participant in life and the first female Dean to be appointed at Westlake. But most of all she is an exceptional teacher, whose dedication saw her take sports teams, help with Westlake’s drama productions and coordinate the annual School Ball. For many years she was the caring and committed Seventh Form Dean treating our senior students with the respect they crave and deserve. Today she will join old boys and former staff as we can officially call Christine Gratton a Westlaker.

Christine GrattonChristine started at Westlake as a reliever in 1983 juggling the art of motherhood and work. She remembers that Westlake was very different from the place it is today. The roll was just over 1000 students and every boy wore the same grey shirt and shorts. Unlike the disciplinary measures of this day and age, students were caned for their misdemeanours. T-Block didn’t exist, nor did the Science Block or today’s wonderful Technology facility and the thought of teaching Westlake students the “art of cuisine” would never have been considered back in those days.

At the time that Christine became a permanent WBHS staff member she recalls being interviewed by the then Headmaster Mr Colin Pascoe, a lovely gentlemanly person. He told her that he believed that when people made the choice to send their sons to an all boys’ school, they wanted their boys to be taught by men. Mr Pascoe worked to a staff ratio of one woman to 12 men and it seemed improbable to change his stance on this matter, confiding to Christine that he wouldn’t want any young, glamorous women teaching the boys but that she would do just fine!

When Christine’s husband Rob taught at Westlake in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s the pair would often teach the same students. Rob would teach them for Chemistry and Christine would teach them for English. It was always a race to check out the exam results in January, to see which subject “their” boys had done best in.

Looking back on three decades of life at Westlake, Christine reminisces. She’s enjoyed the most marvellous time in this place, teaching and learning so much from both colleagues as well as students and building strong friendships that will last far and beyond the moment when she exits the WBHS gates today. Miss Burney who showed her how to break information down into manageable chunks for students to absorb; Mr Graham Smith who taught her (and everyone else for that matter) how to compose great literary essays; Mr Berry – in his beautiful and seemingly effortless management of the very diverse English Department – who taught her how to herd cats.

One of Christine’s former students Robert Munn (1998 Form 7) Ph.D. in Neurobiology and currently undertaking post-doctoral research at Stanford, has fond memories of his English teacher. She was the first teacher that really inspired him and made him believe that he was capable of more than just coasting through school; that trying to excel lead to personal rewards beyond the tangible. He says that she was a great teacher, the best he’s ever had and he is sure that many of her students feel the same as he does.

ChrissieOver the years,  Christine has taught boys who displayed unbelievable courage in the face of severe illness or other great personal tragedy; stunningly intelligent boys; boys who wrote so beautifully they could charm a novel out of a pigpen; boys who never gave up despite battling every day in the classroom. She has learnt as much from them as they ever learnt from her.

Westlakers are extremely grateful for the passion, dedication and inspiration that Christine has shown students and staff alike during her 31 years at Westlake. Thank goodness Westlake does not have to miss her full stop – life will take a full circle when Christine returns as a regular relief teacher – it is after all where it all started!  In the meantime we wish Christine and Rob all the very best for many healthy, happy and relaxing years ahead.

If you hear any news of Westlake Old Boys or former staff or if you are interested in supporting Westlakers events and activities, please contact Mrs Christine O’Dowd at school on 09 410 8667 or by email [email protected].

 

Sang Hoon Baek


This week Westlake’s colours shone bright amongst a colourful mixture of multicultural foods, displays and activities that were on show around the school during the annual Culture Week. Over the years our school has been enriched with a vast variety of nationalities from all over the world and currently we have a staggering 73 different ethnic groups at Westlake Boys. Next Thursday we celebrate one of these many cultures at the tremendously popular annual Korean Night. The evening is an opportunity for people to experience Korean culture at its best and features traditional Korean dances, tae kwon do, contemporary k-pop singing and a haka.

Sang Hoon Baek classKorean Westlaker Sang Hoon Baek (Hayden) was one of Westlake’s former International Students attending Westlake from 2007-2009. Overwhelmed by the culture shock of living and attending school abroad away from friends and family back in Korea, Hayden faced the challenge of learning a new language and adapting to the Kiwi lifestyle. Starting in Form 6 and not being able to express himself freely in English, he remembers settling in was hard at first. To overcome this obstacle and prove that international students can excel in a foreign country, Hayden signed up for the local students’ English class rather than the international class and in no time his English improved. He regained his confidence, made new friends and put a lot of hard work and effort into his studies. This earned him the recognition of Westlake’s teaching staff and he received an Academic Excellence award in assembly at the end of the semester. The experience boosted his confidence and self-esteem. It made him realise that he could do anything and overcome any adversity if he worked hard to give it his best.

Sang BaekWhilst in seventh form, Hayden attended an early morning 1st XI Football squad training session held at Milford Beach. He impressed the coaching staff and he will never forget the moment when he discovered his name on the 1st XI Football squad announcement in Student Services. He was the only international student representing the 1st XI Football team and felt extremely honoured. Hayden remembers the exact words that Coach Jones said to him after his very first game; “Hayden, you’ve got more potential than you think. Keep doing it hard!” The encouragement proved powerful and Hayden started 12 out of 14 games, scoring 9 goals in the season. He recalls his most unforgettable goals; an equaliser against top seed Mt Albert Grammar School and the two goals he scored playing the North Shore derby against Rangitoto College, winning them the match after being 0-1 down. The team came 3rd in the Premier Division and placed 6th at Nationals that year.

994076_629510053761907_2140943062_nAfter returning to Korea, Hayden started his studies at the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), one of the most recognised research oriented universities both in Korea and overseas. He is realising his dream of becoming a mechanical engineer and plans to keep studying to pursue a Ph. D. in mechanical engineering. In addition Hayden is following his entrepreneurial ambition and was granted an opportunity by his university to visit global companies Boeing, Microsoft and Google in Silicon Valley to experience first-hand what it takes to establish and run start-up companies. His passion for advanced technology saw him travel to Africa, Tanzania and Ethiopia last year staying true to his most important mission in life – to contribute to society sharing his knowledge and abilities, caring for his neighbours rather than just for himself.

Hayden reminisces about his times in New Zealand, especially at Westlake and every now and then he takes out his Westlake uniform. Although he’s only spent a relatively short period of his life in our neck of the woods, the two years have affected every part of his being. He believes that they were the true turning point which shaped him into the man he is today. Hayden considers New Zealand his second home and will always take pride in being a Westlaker.

Click here to read more Westlaker profiles and if you hear any news of Westlake Old Boys or former staff or if you are interested in supporting Westlakers events and activities, please contact Mrs Christine O’Dowd at school on 09 410 8667 or by email[email protected].

Bill Smale


For one of our Westlakers 2014 started on a high note when he was recognised by the Queen in the New Year Honours list. William Smale QSM, known as Bill – passionate Westlaker, Director of Smales Farm and successful entrepreneur in the software and communications industries, received the Queen’s Service Medal for services to education. His vision is to help young people create futures in business and Bill puts his money where his mouth is.

1667 Mr Blackburn 4G with in the Bill Smale middle of the front row

1667 Mr Blackburn 4G with in the Bill Smale middle of the front row

Bill was at Westlake from 1966 – 1969 and remembers that although he was never a lot of trouble, he certainly managed to get into a bit of trouble at school with his favourite pastimes being eating lunch and playing “500”. Bill was no academic high flyer but with a family business background, Bill and his brother Greg caught the entrepreneurial bug when they started their first venture, supplying wire netting tops for floral arrangements to Yates and L.A. Griffiths Ltd whilst still at Westlake. The monies raised from this venture helped him to come up with the deposit for his first house in Milford.

By the time Bill left Westlake his business sense was well developed and from owning a driving school franchise to a drive-in vehicle service centre and running a motel, the basis was firmly secured for the greatest project so far – the Smales Farm Technology Office Park, a fulfilment of a six-decade dream developed over several Smale generations and more recently by brothers Bill Greg, and cousin Chris.

Bill Smale with Westlake's Young Enterprise Scheme Bonza team in 2010Throughout the years Bill has maintained close connections with Westlake. He was part of the Westlake High School Past Pupils Association which, in the early 70’s, became known as the WBHS Old Boys Association and then, in 2007, went through a rebranding and became Westlakers. Bill has been a valued member of the Westlake Boys’ High School Foundation Trust ever since. For 20 years Bill has been actively involved in a range of education programmes designed to encourage high school students to explore and realise their full potential. Westlake’s Smale House, which represents “Enterprise” is named after him.

You will often find Bill back at school where he mentors our next generation of successful business people. One of the early programmes that Bill was involved in was the 21st Century Career Pathways which saw successful CEOs from different industries share their knowledge with North Shore students inspiring many of them to choose and develop their various career paths.

For over a decade Bill has been actively involved in the Young Enterprise Scheme Trust (YES) which helps North Shore secondary school students form a company and produce goods and services to sell. Some of these YES start-ups have emerged to become successful companies in the open market. Bill has inspired students to work hard in their businesses and reach their goals, as well as offering his own contacts to help them get to the next stage. His input is priceless and it’s fantastic to see the difference it makes to the students, when Bill comments on their business presentations.

Amongst other directorships, Bill is the Managing Director of Wireless Nation Ltd and his imagination goes into overdrive when he discusses his new ventures and projects. Together with business partner Tom Lin, he is currently developing a white label internet company in conjunction with the Auckland University of Technology of which every segment of the business will be run by its own students supplying broadband to students and the general public. He has high hopes to explore the possibilities of starting a similar company at Westlake Boys in the future.

Bill Smale QSM

Bill with daughter Jacqui Smale and son Jason Smale (Westlaker) at Government House

Bill says that although it’s nice to be recognised for his contributions with the Queen’s Service Medal, he is just one amongst a great many individuals and organisations that have contributed to the success of the various education programmes he has been involved with.

Click here to read more Westlaker profiles and if you hear any news of Westlake Old Boys or former staff or if you are interested in supporting Westlakers events and activities, please contact Mrs Christine O’Dowd at school on 09 410 8667 or by [email protected]

 

Tony Evans


Over more than 52 years Westlake Boys’ High School has captured its history collating student and staff stories, memories and images in the annual year book. Most the work of longserving staff member Ian “Bif” Hall, these significant recollections of Westlake’s yesteryears have featured many profiles of old boys and former staff and their life journeys after leaving Westlake. We are now calling for Westlaker profiles to be included in the 2014 WBHS Yearbook.

1960 1st XI with Tony Evans back row (3rd from left)

Last year we received a very special profile from s foundation pupil who attended the 2013 Westlakers London Reunion. Robert Anthony (Tony) Evans attended Westlake from 1957-1961 after having emigrated from England back in 1951. Amongst his many fond memories of his times at Westlake he remembers getting caned for putting clay in the art master’s pipe. It made the class roar with laughter when the master tried to light his pipe and to avoid repercussions of class detention, Tony had to own up to his mischievous behaviour. When Tony was at Westlake, being part of a mixed school was great fun despite having to put up the cricket nets as a temporary barrier around the court yard of the school hall during school dances. This was done to prevent young couples wandering off into the night and how times have changed!

1961 1st XV Rugby with Tony Evans (second row 3rd from right)Apart from the excellent education Tony enjoyed in the classroom, it was the extracurricular activities that he cherished. One of the highlights of his sporting life at Westlake was being part of the 1st XI playing in the Senior Auckland Competition and getting selected for Auckland Schools along with future test players like Mark Burgess, Hedley Howarth and Terry Jarvis. To get to training on a Sunday morning involved a bike ride to Devonport, the ferry across the harbour and a bus to Eden Park. It was rare to get a lift to matches in those days. Playing in the 1st XV (Alf Butt’s first year) and gaining promotion was another highlight as was finishing runner-up to Peter Burn in the school athletic championships. Tony is especially grateful to his former teachers who gave up their time to run these additional activities. Messrs Bailey, Buckley, Kelly, Stevenson and Butt for rugby and Mr Black for cricket as well as many others who were involved with athletics and the Comic Opera The Pirates of Penzance. Tony’s University Entrance was testimony to the professionalism of the teachers who never gave up on his academic trials and tribulations.

After finishing Westlake Tony joined ANZ Bank and studied part time at Auckland University. He played cricket for North Harbour and Takapuna Cricket Club as well as rugby for North Shore and was selected for the Auckland U23 XV. In 1967 Tony travelled to England with some old school friends for a work and travel gap year. That one year turned into many more and almost half a century later, Tony lives in London with his wife Penny. The couple’s son Matthew and daughter Lise live nearby.   Tony’s sporting life continued in England where he played league cricket in Surrey, Kent and Hertfordshire at different times as well as becoming a playing member of the MCC.  He played for Saracens Rugby Club from 1967-70 and after that Streatham and Croydon, Tabard and finally Harpenden.

Tony worked as a Project Manager for HSBC in London City until 1991 and took up a geography teaching position working in a Preparatory School till 2006. It was no surprise that coached the school’s rugby 1st XV and cricket 1st XI and he still coaches cricket and plays golf, though his arthritic run precludes him from more active pursuits.

Tony EvansOver the years Tony has kept close friendships with his schoolmates and many have stayed at his home in Harpenden when visiting England. Tony attended the Westlake High School 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2007 with fellow foundation pupils and the Westlakers London Reunion last year, renewing old friendships and meeting fellow Westlakers. He considers himself fortunate to be a past pupil as Westlake gave him a solid platform for life as well as some great friends and unforgettable experiences.

If you know a Westlake Old Boy or former staff member who would be interested to supply a profile for the Westlake 2014 Yearbook, please ask them to contact Mrs Christine O’Dowd at school on 09 410 8667 or by email [email protected] for more details.

John Patterson


The annual Westlakers Golf Day is one of the highlights on the Westlakers calendar. It is the day that old boys, staff and Westlake supporters get together on the fairways and greens of the Waitemata Golf Course for a sporty and fun-filled round of golf in typical Westlaker spirit. On the line is the highly desirable John Patterson Memorial Trophy and on this day we remember and celebrate one of Westlake’s true characters, popular Westlake teacher and highly regarded colleague John Patterson, who passed away suddenly at Westlake in June 1996.

John Kenneth Angus “Irish” Patterson, Paddy or Irish to his Westlake mates, was born and bred in Belfast, Northern Ireland and after graduating from University took up his first teaching position in Birmingham. The Westlake Boys High School connection started when John met longserving WBHS English Head of Department Bob Overend, who was at John’s school for a one-year exchange. John’s best friend and Birmingham colleague Bev Packwood returned at the end of the year with enthusiastic stories about Westlake having thoroughly enjoyed teaching, the students and his sports coaching. Not to be outdone, John applied for a year teaching in New Zealand himself and was placed at Karamu High School in Hastings. He managed to travel to Auckland several times during the year, visiting Westlake and securing a position at the school. Immigration problems saw him head back to England and continue to press for a return to New Zealand, and in 1992 he moved with his wife Helen and commenced a mathematics position at Westlake.

WBHS 1994 1st XV Rugby team with coaches Don Johnson and John PattersonPaddy was an extremely talented and passionate teacher with a great sense of humour who loved his students, enjoyed coaching and supporting Westlake sports. He was a real rugby enthusiast and liked nothing better on a Monday morning than to “chew the fat” discussing the weekend’s rugby matches with friends and colleagues in the staffroom. He was Don Johnson’s 1st XV Rugby assistant coach in 1993 and 1994, was involved with lots of other rugby teams and organised many of the staff end of term drinks at Kitty O’Briens in the Freemans Bay area.

Once settled at Westlake, John purchased a house in Whangaparoa which fronted the 7th fairway of the Whangaparaoa Golf Club. Not long after John initiated and organised a staff golf tournament which was followed by a BBQ in his the lawn opposite the fairway. For several years Westlake’s staff, golfers and non-golfers, wives and children enjoyed this annual event. One couldn’t say that John was a very proficient golfer, but he had exceptional ability with one club the 7 iron. With this club John hit the golf ball far better than with any other clubs and he often used it for every shot on the hole, bar the putting green and his Westlake friends made sure that this special 7 iron accompanied him on his final journey.

Helen and Claire Patterson (left) with some of John's close Westlake friends at the plaque ceremony earlier this yearAfter John’s passing the golf tournament was held at Whangaparaoa for two more years before moving to Takapuna’s Thomas Park Golf Course but from there on it slowly languished. In 2008 it was revived again in John’s memory with the first Westlakers Golf Day. The tournament winner’s trophy, together with the John Patterson Memorial Trophy awarded every year to a seventh form student for “All Round Involvement, Effort and Loyalty” helps to keep Paddy’s memory alive. In February this year John’s wife Helen and daughter Claire visited the school. In the company of some of John’s close Westlake friends a plaque was laid and memories of a loving husband, father, son, teacher, colleague and friend where shared.

If you hear any news of Westlake Old Boys or former staff or if you are interested in supporting Westlakers events and activities, please contact Mrs Christine O’Dowd at school on 09 410 8667 or by email [email protected]

1995 WBHS Staff

 

 

Roy Stevenson


Westlake Boys High School is the premier Athletics, Cross Country and Distance Running School in Auckland with a long and proud history that has produced many fine athletes over the years. In 2013 our athletes won seven national medals and gold in the Intermediate Road Running National Competition and earlier this week our students booked successes in the Auckland Triathlon Championships securing first place in the intermediate and second in the senior competition. Next Thursday 70 Westlake Boys students will compete in the North Harbour zone Track and Field Athletics Championships at the AUT Millennium Stadium and for Westlaker Roy Stevenson this event will bring back fond memories of his running days at Westlake.

Roy Stevenson and his 1970 Westlake Boys' Athletics teamDuring his time at Westlake Boys from 1968-1971, Roy was the junior, intermediate and senior Cross Country Champion as well as the intermediate and senior Mile Champion. He remembers his good mate, sculptor Jeff Thomson’s concrete artwork outside the school library. Jeff was given a limited budget to make this piece and could not afford the concrete he needed to produce it. Being the creative person that he was, he press-ganged several of the fit athletes to fill the base with empty beer bottles – which naturally had to emptied before going in the hole. Roy was one of several volunteers who helped provide “filler” for that sculpture and although he can’t remember the exact amount of bottles, it certainly was a substantial number.

In his last year at school Roy led his Cross Country team to victory over King’s College, finishing second behind Roger Simmons of King’s in the race. Roy recalls that principal Rod Macmillan was particularly pleased with the efforts of the team as it showed that Westlake’s runners could mix it with the big boys at King’s and Auckland Grammar School. The same year Roy placed 4th in the 3000m steeplechase of the inaugural North Island Athletics Championships in Waikato.

After graduating at Westlake, Roy studies at Auckland Secondary Teachers College attending Auckland University at the same time. 1974 was a big year for Roy. He won the Auckland 3000m Steeplechase Championship, set a New Zealand junior record of 2:42:28 in the Calliope Marathon and competed in numerous New Zealand Athletics, Cross Country and Road Race Championships.

His teaching career started in 1976 at Massey High School as a PE teacher moving on to Mount Albert Grammar in 1978. From there on Roy left to pursue his graduate studies at Ohio University in the United States where he graduated his Masters in Exercise Science in 1982 before pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Oregon in 1983.

After moving to Seattle in 1986 Roy founded the Fitness Specialist/Personal Trainer programme at Lake Washington Technical College (now Lake Washington Institute of Technology) in Kirkland and taught there until he accompanied his wife in 2002 on an expat assignment to Singapore followed by a two and a half year stint in Brussels and Belgium.

Roy Stevenson aSince returning to Seattle, Roy has been a professional freelance, advertising copy and travel writer, publishing in many magazines, newspapers and in-flight magazines. His writing assignments take him all over the world. He cruises canals and explores many special places the world has on offer sharing his experiences with his readers. Although he doesn’t do a lot of running these days, Roy’s passion for athletics led to a recent assignment for Track and Field News and American Track and Field Magazine, travelling to the five Diamond League Athletics Meets in Birmingham, London, Monaco, Paris and Lausanne.

If you hear any news of Westlake Old Boys or former staff or if you are interested in supporting Westlakers events and activities, please contact Mrs Christine O’Dowd at school on 09 410 8667 or by email [email protected]

 

James Sclater and Andrew Nicoll


As Westlake Boys High School moves into its second half century, the next generation of Westlake boys follow in their dad’s footsteps to create their own Westlake memories. We currently have well over a hundred second generation boys on our roll and with legislation now assuring enrolment for sons of Old Boys this number will increase and develop into future generations becoming part of the Westlake legacy. This special tradition will be acknowledged this Wednesday (5th March) at the first Westlaker Fathers and Sons event hosted by Headmaster David Ferguson.

Two Westlaker fathers currently play a pivotal role in the school’s leadership as members of the Board of Trustees. Board Chairman James Sclater’s son Oliver left Westlake last year and son Henry is in year 12. Andrew Nicoll’s son Angus is in year 12 while younger son Lachlan is still a few years away from starting at Westlake.

James SclaterTogether with brothers Anthony and David, James attended Westlake in the mid 70’s. He played cricket and rugby and remembers coming second in the 1977 Rugby 1st XV and Cricket 1st XI competitions missing out on an ounce of luck that could have won them both titles. James, who was a prefect for two years, remembers the main sporting highlight from his Westlake days when the Senior Eight won the Maadi Cup in 1976. The highlight of his academic career was being taught Geography by current long serving staff member Peter Rea.

After leaving Westlake, James attended Auckland University and graduated in 1980 with a Bachelor of Commerce followed by his qualification as a Chartered Accountant in 1984.

James travelled overseas for three years with the highlights including travelling throughout the USA and Europe and working at Marvel Comics in the London. He returned to New Zealand to continue working as a Chartered Accountant and spent 20 years as a Partner and Director of Grant Thornton Auckland. In 2008 James pursued a career as an independent director and trustee and is currently a Board member of several private and public companies. He has been the chairman of the Westlake Board of Trustees since 2010. James is still a keen sportsman and now cycles, walks and is a member at Les Mills. He is a strong supporter of anything relating to the North Shore. Some of his best friends today are Westlakers.

Andrew Nicoll 1985Another proud Westlaker and current Board member Andrew Nicoll, whose father Warwick was also a Westlake Board of Trustees member from 1985-1991 and whose brothers Stephen and Jeremy also attended the school, was at Westlake from 1981-1985. He has many special memories and recalls the great 1982 3C rugby team with coach John Russell going on to win the Auckland competition and the U15 Rugby tour to the South Island the same year, winning both games against Shirley Boys High and Christchurch Boys. The Don Johnson guided tour of the South Island, skiing on Mt Hutt in jeans and a rugby jersey, very cold concrete block huts in Queenstown and an incident on the Haast Road were particular highlights. Andrew, a prefect in his last year at school, was part of the Senior Debating team and enjoyed debating battles with teams from Westlake Girls. One memorable victory was the debate against Wesley College when the judge, who turned out to be a boxing referee, applied boxing rules to the debate when Mark Caisley, the first speaker, became ill midway through his speech.

After finishing Westlake, Andrew gained his BA LLB at the University of Auckland and left New Zealand to study in London. He got his LLM at the London School of Economics and Political Science (London University), played village cricket and found just the right balance to enjoy plenty of theatre, rock and jazz concerts whilst getting through his exams.

From there Andrew worked at a number of Auckland law firms, developing his trade as a corporate and commercial lawyer. Today he is a Partner at technology and intellectual property specialist law firm Hudson Gavin Martin and his Westlake schoolmates continue to play a part in his daily life. Mark Gavin (Westlake 1977-81) and Simon Martin (Westlake 1980-84)are also partners at Hudson Gavin Martin. Andrew’s QUACC cricket team for which he enjoyed playing for many years included a number of Westlakers .

The dedication to Westlake Boys High School, shown by James and Andrew as school parents, Board of Trustees members and Westlakers is commendable and Westlake would like to extend their gratitude for their significant contributions.

If you are a Westlaker father with son(s) currently at Westlake and you haven’t received your invitation to the Westlaker Fathers and Sons event next Wednesday 5th March at 6pm-7pm, please contact Mrs Christine O’Dowd at school on 09 410 8667 or by email [email protected]

James with fellow Westlaker David Abercrombie at the WBHS 50th Jubilee launch event in 2011

James Sclater with fellow Westlaker David Abercrombie at the WBHS 50th Jubilee launch event in 2011

Andrew-with-Westlakers-Committee-member-Jeff-Knight-at-the 2013-Westlakers-Bevies-and-Banter Reunion

Andrew Nicoll with Westlakers Committee member Jeff Knight at the 2013 Westlakers Bevies and Banter Reunion

Professor Charles Alcock


This morning we celebrated the outstanding academic achievements of our 2013 students at the Westlake Boys High School Scholars’ Assembly. This fine tradition recognises our students’ results obtained through hard work and determination. For many years the school’s Dux and Proxime Accessit have been announced at the Senior Prizegiving ceremony, but in 2011 the decision was made to postpone the announcement of the school’s two leading scholars until after the external examination results became available.

As we add 2013 Dux Sam Walsh’s name to the long list of academic achievers on the Dux honours board in the Auditorium, we take this opportunity to reflect on other fine young Westlake scholars who put in the hard work and excelled academically during their time at our school. Westlake’s 1968 Dux was an example of steady application to academic studies rarely been seen at Westlake in those days. 46 years on, this young man is Westlake’s very own Rocket Scientist, Director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Westlaker Professor Charles Alcock.

1986 Charles AlcockCharles R. Alcock, who attended Westlake from 1965-1968, revealed not only his ability but also his application to work from the moment he started in the third form. This aptitude began to reap its rewards from School Certificate onwards – Charles scored 406 out of 500 over a range of five subjects and it was obvious that as the goals became more definite, Charles was able to seek them more resolutely.

A student of quiet disposition, with a good sense of humour and mature opinions, Charles’ ability in school was verified by his performance in the Scholarship examination of 1968. His total marks (788 out of 1000 possible) placed him third in New Zealand and Charles remembers his first moment of scientific “wonder” back in the days. It came in after-school experiments in the Westlake Boys High School laboratory. “We once set something on fire in a back room. It was a beautiful fire, zinc and something else. I can’t imagine ever doing that now, with all the health and safety standards we have.”

After leaving Westlake, Charles obtained his B. Sc. (Honours) degree in Physics at Auckland University. He continued his academic journey at the California Institute of Technology gaining his Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1977 before starting his first appointment as long-term member at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey. He became an associate professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981 before joining the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1986 to direct the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics.

From there on Charles moved to the University of Pennsylvania as Reese W. Flower Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics in the Department of Physics and today he is the Director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the world’s largest and most diverse centre for the study of the universe in Cambridge Massachusetts with an annual federal budget of a staggering $111 million.

MJ13_35_001_Charles’ primary research interests are the determination of the composition of cosmic dark matter, innovative surveys of the outer solar system, massive compact halo objects and comets and asteroids. Amongst the many accolades he has received during his career to date was his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 2001, one of the highest honours that can be bestowed upon a scientist. He received the 1996 E.O. Lawrence Award in physics and the 2000 Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize from the American Astronomical Society. Both awards recognised his pioneering work as principal investigator on the major U.S. project to search for massive compact halo objects and estimate their contribution to the dark matter component of the Milky Way’s halo. In 2006 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

The year before last, Auckland University recognised Charles as a Distinguished Alumni for outstanding contributions to his profession, his community and the nation. When asked why he left the University so quickly in the early 1970’s and went overseas to study astronomy, he was happy to reply that he just wanted to see what was out there, an answer that surely defines his astonishing career. You can watch the full “2012 Auckland Live” interview here.

Professor Charles Alcock is one of many successful academic Westlakers to date and no doubt there will be many more of our students to follow in his footsteps. Since Westlake Boys opened its doors 52 years ago, the school has set high academic expectations for all students. Westlake Boys High School and Westlakers are proud to see that our academic achievements are amongst the best in the country and keep improving with scholarship numbers rising from 46 in 2007 to 125 (our biggest number to date) for 2013, making us one of only four schools in New Zealand to achieve over 100 Scholarships, a tremendous all-round accomplishment.

If you hear any news of Westlake Old Boys or former staff or if you are interested in supporting Westlakers events and activities, please contact Mrs Christine O’Dowd at school on 09 410 8667 or by email [email protected]