A Message From The Rector

By R Hall | Posted: Wednesday May 4, 2016

The Rector Richard Hall addresses the students during the Summer Blues Assembly this week.

Good morning gentlemen,

As today is our Summer Blues Assembly I thought I would take a moment to reflect on what a ‘blue’ in our school represents.

As a school the awarding of blues is deep in our history. The right to wear a blue and the corresponding white trim on your blazer sleeve dates back decades in our school. Indeed at some stage I would like to look back at the history of our school blazer. Why – not because I don’t have other things to do, but because I believe that by knowing these stories about our development we will better know our future.

A blue though carries recognition. The recognition that it carries is part of our tall poppies culture – the fact that here it is ok to stand out and it is cool to succeed. I think it is essential as part of our culture that we retain this element and that you benefit from an ideal that supports your achievements.

There are also some significant summer sporting achievements that I wish to recognise. Firstly in the sport of athletics.

At the Otago Athlete of the Year dinner held recently, Cameron Miller was awarded two trophies. He was awarded the Vance Latta Memorial trophy for the best Decathlon/Octathlon performance during the season by an Otago athlete at all levels.

He also received the Downes Gemtime Jewellers Centennial trophy for the most points scored in field events by an under 20 athlete throughout the season. He was the youngest athlete, just turned 16, to be awarded not just one, but two trophies.

Next is a trophy made by Mr Odgers representing a special cricketing achievement by Cameron McAuslan – recently in the Gillette Cup regional final Cameron scored 156, a record for any zone final in that competition. It helped our 1st XI reach 345 and Waitaki Boys, now led by our ex-Rector Mr Rennie, made 107 in reply. The 1st XI will now compete in term 4 at the national Gillette Cup finals, where hopefully they stand a good chance of being national champions.

And now we come to a significant part of our assembly – the awarding of national honours. This is the second such award this year and I think it tremendously important. To wear the silver fern, to be selected at the highest level is incredible. While we may not be a large nation in terms of populace, we are in terms of attitude and achievement. Indeed, in athletics our country has always shown that you do not have to be big to be great. In Valerie Adams, Peter Snell, John Walker and Jack Lovelock we have as a country achieved greatness on the Olympic track and field.

Our own school has a proud Olympic story – boys from this school have represented us on the international stage - starting in 1928 with Len Morehouse in swimming.

It would be twenty years until our next Olympian with Harold Nelson in 1948 at London, Harold was also the captain of the team. Indeed London has featured twice in our Olympic story – in 1948 post WW2 with 1 representative to 5 from this school at the 2012 London games. In all 31 OBHS old boys have represented New Zealand at Olympic games, some more than once, but none more than cyclist Greg Henderson who has been to 5 consecutive Olympics, that’s 20 years of being at the top of your sport. In all we have seen them achieve 1 bronze to John Davies in 1964 and two golds – Russell Coutts in 1984 and Hamish Bond in 2012.

Today we will award a National honours blazer to another athlete who I am sure carries Olympic sized dreams. On the 7-9 April Liam Turner was a member of the New Zealand Athletics team to compete in the Oceania Games held in Tahiti. Liam had a very strong meet capturing the Gold double, in the 400m and 800m. His time of 1.58.21 for the 800 was a personal best, while his time in the 400m of 51.32 was just outside his personal best.

The temperature during these races was in excess of 32 degrees with very humid conditions so were very impressive results under difficult conditions.

He also helped the senior 4 x 100m secure Bronze and helped the under 18, 4 x 100m team off to a flyer to secure Gold. This was an impressive relay run as all members are mid distance specialists and have secured the team to qualify for the World Championships later in the year for the sprint team.

I congratulate all these young men on their success; and I ask them to remember that success has six essential qualities; sincerity, personal integrity, humility, wisdom, courtesy and charity. Live your life with these ideals and not only will you be successful, I would believe you would be seen to be successful.