OBHS Foundation update

By John Blaikie | Posted: Tuesday December 8, 2020

It is my pleasure to write this report as Chairman of the OBHS Foundation.

2020 has certainly been a year like no other but I am extremely proud of the way the Rector, staff, pupils, and the wider Otago Boys’ High School community have supported each other over this time.

As a Foundation I feel we have made great progress this year. We have got a group of Trustees who are working tirelessly to place the best interests of the boys and school first.

On this note, I would like to special mention of one of our Trustees – Des Smith. As many of you would know, Des taught at OBHS for 27 years and was Deputy Rector for 5 years before leaving the school in 1995. He is now leading a fundraising campaign for the Foundation in a volunteer capacity which is gaining some real momentum.

The Tennis Courts are due to be resurfaced early next year and, with the financial support of a very supportive old boy, another exciting project is planned for the courts.

The grandstand, which was built for the Centenary in 1963, needs some immediate maintenance work. A generous old boy has made a significant donation to allow this work to proceed.

The Hostel 150th reunion will be held on the 23rd/24th of October next year. Our expectation is to have a new car park completed prior to these celebrations. Again, support from an extremely generous old boy to allow us to make progress on this important first stage of the hostel development. Stage 2 will involve a new entrance way after which we will begin a significant upgrade of the accommodation and buildings.

The government have agreed to upgrade the Shand, allocating around $3 million for this project. This will become a music and arts centre as well as being a function centre.

Upgrades of the school swimming pool and the lodge at Mount Aspiring are also on a list of priorities to ensure we have the best facilities available to the boys.

We have been heartened by the early response to our fundraising campaign but will need continued support from our Old Boy Community to make all this happen.

We believe the Rector, Richard Hall, along with the Board of Trustees are leading the school in a very positive direction and they need our support. They are responsible for a great deal of the progress on the aforementioned projects and deserve our sincere thanks.

On behalf of the Foundation I wish you all a wonderful Christmas with family and friends and I look forward to catching up with many of you in the New Year.

John Blaikie

Chairman of OBHS Foundation