In 2012 Otago Boys’ High School embarked on a journey to create four Houses in our school. The benefits of the House system; competition, humour, participation, comradery and energy encapsulate the fun of being an OB’s boy.
The school went through a careful selection process to choose four significant old boys; each one represents the values of our school:
Once chosen, four house colours were selected and in 2014 Mr Richard Dougherty Head of Design and Visual Communication, designed a crest and banner for each house. The banners now hang in the Maurice Joel Theatre.
In 2016 we reconstructed the form system to align with the houses. Each OBHS boy is placed into a house and vertical form where he will stay for 5 years. This adds to the spirit of the house, but more importantly it has broken down the barriers between junior and senior students and strengthened their brotherhood.
Named after John Aspinall, this house acknowledges a family that has given much to our school. The legacy of the Lodge in the Matukituki Valley that each OBHS boy gets to use is just one of the gifts the Aspinall family have left our school and our region.
A keen conservationist and farmer, John Aspinall attended Otago Boys’ High School as a border between 1965 – 1969 . He later completed a degree at Lincoln university. His father Jerry and son Randall also attended our school.
John believed that successful high country farming could be achieved through sustainable management of the land and the environment. They were not mutually exclusive. Aspinall as a man was described with quiet humility though he was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in.
The young men of Aspinall House value the contribution he has made and are challenged to serve their school and others.
Sir Archibald McIndoe CBE attended Otago Boys’ High School between 1914-18. A keen student McIndoe at the end of his schooling completed a degree in medicine from Otago University.
Known internationally as a surgeon and pioneer of plastic surgery particularly; indeed, McIndoe was to become one of the most famous pioneers of plastic surgery in the world.
McIndoe’s main opportunity came through the tragedy of World War 2. Appointed as the consultant in plastic surgery to the Royal Air Force in 1938 he was in the right place to aid pilots who were shot down and disfigured, mainly by burns.
He was a brilliant surgeon, he not only developed new techniques for treating badly burned faces and hands, but he also recognised the importance of social reintegration as a key element of rehabilitation. His famous guinea pig club, was not just about physical healing.
The young men of McIndoe House value innovation and humanitarianism and are challenged to look for solutions to problems.
Air Chief Marshall Sir Keith Park GCB, KBE, MC & Bar, DFC
Sir Keith Park attended Otago Boys’ High School between 1909 and 1910. He served with New Zealand forces in the First World War and was at Gallipoli. Realising- after excellent service - that the trenches were no place to fight, Park transferred to the Royal Flying Corps.
Quick promotion during the inter-war period saw Park in 1939 at the rank of Air Vice Marshall in charge of No. 11 Group RAF. This wing was responsible for the fighter defence of London and the southeast of England during the period of the Battle of Britain. In Germany he was known as “The Defender of London’ and a statue in his honour now resides in London.
Park was a no-nonsense leader who did not play political games. His dedication was to the mission at hand and to those that served under him. He finished the war as Allied Air Commander, South-East Asia.
The young men of Park house value courage and honour, they understand the role of leadership and are challenged to be leaders.
Charlie Saxton MBE
As a border Charlie Saxton attended Otago Boys’ High School between 1927 and 1932. Most remembered as a fine Otago sportsman Charlie was a member of the 1st XV during 1931 and 1932.
He debuted as an All Black in 1938 and in while playing for Southland in 1939 he led them to a successful Ranfurly Shield Challenge against Otago. His sporting progress, like that of so many young men was cut short due to World War II. He like many other, gave distinguished service during the war and led the 2nd NZEF ‘Kiwis’ team on their successful 1945-46 tour of Britain and Europe.
On his return to New Zealand Saxton coached the Otago team 1948 -1957, served on the NZRFU council 1956-71 and was manager for the successful 1967 All Blacks tour of Britain and France. He was president of the NZRFU in 1974 and elected a life member on 1976.
Saxton was not big in stature (1.65cm), was he was of heart and he proved that on the playing fields and in the war.
The young men of Saxton House value excellence and giving your all. They are challenged to not let small barriers get in the way of big achievements.