21st March 2018

Dear Old Boys

Is it too late to say Happy New Year? Certainly, it's not too late to send greetings to you all and to welcome 2017 College Leavers to the Association. Hopefully the year has begun well for you all wherever you may be.

Nick Nelson (1972-75)

It was with sadness that we learnt of Nick's death last month after a period of illness. Nick was a member of Cranleigh House and after school completed a Diploma of Agriculture before farming Pah Flat, east of Eketahuna. Nick is survived by his wife Debbie, a daughter (Hailey) and a son (Ryan 2013-2016)

Max Mabin (1966 - 1986)

With sadness we have just learned of the passing of Max Mabin, 09/10/1925 - 18/03/2018. Number 12 of 13 children, many of us remember 'Major Max' wearing his black beret at every opportune moment. He served Rathkeale with pride as a long time Housemaster of Cranleigh House, Teacher of Geography and Social Studies, Rugby Coach, and countless other contributions to college life. Max will be missed by many. Details below from this morning's Dominion Post for those wishing to attend the funeral:

Passed away peacefully with family. Dearly loved husband of the late Olive. Loved father and father-in-law of Rachel and Ian, and Angela and Sean. Beloved Grandad of Tim, Salom´é Grace, and Robert. Special big brother of Cynthia (#13), a wonderful Uncle, Teacher and Friend. A celebration service for Max will be held at All Saints Anglican Church, cnr Church and Puketapu Roads, Napier, on Monday, March 26, at 10.30am, followed by a private interment. Heartfelt thanks to the nursing staff of Elmwood Hospital for their wonderful loving care. Messages to the Mabin Family, C/- PO Box 7148, Taradale 4141.

Resignation of Mr Willy Kersten

At the end of 2017, current Rathkeale Principal, Mr Willy Kersten, announced his resignation effective from the end of Term 1 2018. Much will be said in due course about Mr Kersten's remarkable contribution to the College. In the meantime, the College Board has announced the appointment of Mr Martin O'Grady as his replacement and as Rathkeale's eighth Principal.

Martin, who is currently Principal of Fielding High School, was previously Head of Karamu High School in Hastings and spent time on the staff of both Lindisfarne College and Hastings Boys' High School. Originally from Kotemaori in Northern Hawke's Bay, he has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree from Massey University along with Diplomas in Teaching, Educational Administration and Leadership. In 2014 he was the recipient of the NEITA National Excellence in Educational Leadership Award.
Martin will take up his position at Rathkeale at the start of Term II this year.

2017 AGM

The Association's AGM was held in Greytown late last year and attracted a pleasing number of Old Boys. Last year's Committee was complimented by the addition of Julian (J.B) Capilitan who organised the successful Wellington Old Boys' gathering last Spring. The Executive is focused on its strategic plan and feels that steady progress continues to characterise the Association's development.

Old Boys Cricket

Thanks to the very effective organisational skills of Shay O'Gorman (1988-1992) the Old Boys' Cricket Club faced up to the College XI late in January. As Shay reports:

Rathkeale Old Boys Cricket Club v The School - 19th January

The now traditional fixture that has occurred continuously since 2010, and sporadically before that, again brought the chance for some of the older generation to test their aging ability against the new stock of men who have earned their green baggy cap. The school won the toss (as they do every year!) and elected to bat, which is the tradition.

On a slightly slow wicket, the school were under immediate pressure losing Thomas Ralls early and then consistently losing wickets throughout the innings. It became immediately evident that the slow nature of the Old Boys' bowling line up (with Duncan Didsbury being one of the quickest!!) suited the slow nature of the wicket. The boys struggled to come to terms with the wicket and on too many occasions were dismissed playing big shots with hard hands. Simon Clinton-Baker picked up 2 wickets with his left arm spin, as did Ian McKay with his slow liquorice all-sorts from 7 foot something, providing very difficult for the boys to get away. The one student who did show how to play on the wicket was Ethan Childs. He played a magnificent innings in trying conditions to score 60 off 72 balls. He provided the only real resistance as the students were dismissed for 132. However, on a difficult wicket, the Old Boys would still have to bat well to ensure the victory.

The playing cards dictated the batting order (except for the captain stealing the jack beforehand!) with Tim Lucas and Richard Tosswill provided the perfect opening partnership. The top 4 all contributed with Paul Lyttle and Duncan Didsbury also chipping in. Coasting to victory, the Old Boys experienced a minor hiccup in the middle order and this did cause a slight intake of breath before the young George Deans carried the Old Boys to victory. So, yet another victory which has seen the Old Boys winning 7 of the last 8 games.

A massive thank you to Mark Elliott from the Wairarapa Cricket Umpires' Association who umpired the entire game and to Brian James who looked after the arrangements from the school end.
Another fantastic day and a great occasion. It was fantastic to have the usual dignitaries with us and as always, we thank them for all their efforts and presence at the game.

Grant Harper (President ROBA) Bruce Hamilton (Patron of ROBA CC)
Jamie Clinton-Baker (Manager of ROBA XI) Deon van Deventer (Coach of the ROBA XI)


Time passes by and it is pleasing to hear reports that planning and enrolment for the 2018 Queen's Birthday Reunion Weekend is gaining momentum. Several Year Groups are reporting very good interest with the 1988 Year Group already having passed the 50 attendees mark.

Remember, if you were at any time part of a Year Group who left Rathkeale in 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998 or 2008 you have a ten-year Reunion planned for Queen's Birthday this year. Contact you Year Group Facilitator/s to find out more or to indicate your intention to attend. We certainly hope to see you and your friends from your College days there!

Year Group


Phone Number and/or Email Addresses


Peter Gilliland

027 248 4337


Michael de Stacpoole

021 376 875


Blair Ewington

027 202 4716


Dwayne Smith

09 414 9040


Dean van Deventer

022 011 8979

Mitchell Scaife

022 187 1608


Richard Falloon (2003-2007) It was good to see Richard performing in the Regional East Coast Young Farmers' Competition at the Masterton AMP Show in February.

Harry Eschenbach (2012-2016) was placed 2nd in the Dairy Trainee section of the Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Diary Awards. He also received the TFM Tractors Communication & Engagement Award and the Vet Services Community & Industry Involvement Award.

Tony Ashbridge (1967-1970) recently visited the school for the first time in over forty years. Tony, who is now retired and living in Papamoa, recalled the 1970 1st XI match against Christ's when he took 6 for 18 and which certainly places him on the honours board in the pavilion.

Scott Day (2012-2016) having completed a year in the UK as a Tutor and a second year in the same role at Rathkeale in 2017. Scott has been appointed as the College's Sports Coordinator in 2018.

A Get-Together of a number of 93-97 era Old Boys, and their counter parts from St Matthew's, organised a weekend gathering in February which culminated in a session at Greytown's White Swan. It was good to have Peter Wardell, who currently resides in Canada, back in their midst and to hear about Cayne Wright's antics!!

I look forward to seeing many of you at The Queen's Birthday Reunion and at this year's regional gatherings.

Warmest regards

Grant Harper

Click here to update your email preferences.

MoST Content Management V3.0.8634