Recent passing of Tex Houston, past pupil and teacher at Otago Boys'

By Anne Gorman | Posted: Wednesday November 13, 2019

This week the school was saddened to learn of the death of Mr Alan Tex Houston, a past pupil and a former teacher of OBHS.

Tex was a student here from 1953 until 1958. In 1966 he returned to OBHS to take up a teaching position in Social Studies, Geography and History. For his final years until his retirement in 1990 Tex was Head of Social Studies and Geography.

Tex made a significant contribution to OBHS. In the classroom he was respected as a knowledgeable and effective teacher, who was firm but fair. He was also heavily involved in the co-curricular life of the school. In the days of Cadets Tex was actively involved as an officer and later, when the Mt Aspiring Programme was developed, he was an enthusiastic supporter and participant. Tex had the rare distinction of coaching both the 1st Cricket XI (1971-1973) and the 1st XV (1974-1983). To quote from the 1990 school magazine, “Over the years younger boys also gained from his resolution and dedication. It was Mr Houston’s rapport with and understanding of his students that meant success and top achievement for so many of his teams.”

I have some fond personal memories of Tex. In my first year of teaching, I somehow ended up as coach of the U14 White Rugby team. Tex had just given up the 1st XV and was coaching the U14 Blues. His advice to me was pretty simple. He told me that the only coaching knowledge I would need was the ability to tell the backs to “run straight and tackle low” and the forwards to “get your heads down and push.” It seemed to work.

Tex was a gentle man and a gentleman of the old school. He was a regular attender at Friday afternoon staff drinks at the Gardens Tavern. As we both lived in the North East Valley area, he and I would walk up the road together afterwards. As we crossed the lower Botanic Gardens and wandered up North Road, Tex always insisted on walking on the side of the path bordering Lindsay Creek and on the road side of the footpath for my “safety”.

A lasting memory that many former students and staff will share is of Tex standing at the Archway in or outside his classroom. He would ensure that top buttons were done up and socks were pulled up before boys went to start their classes. His catchphrase of “Stockings, little boys” will be remembered for a long time. Alan “Tex” Houston left a lasting impression on everyone who knew him at OBHS. He will be missed.

We send sincere condolences to his family at this time.