North Canterbury Branch of Old Boys' Society News

By Roy Sinton | Posted: Monday June 26, 2017

Our branch remains in very good heart, thanks to the loyalty of a solid core of long-standing members and the recent injection of some enthusiastic new blood.

In February, our second family-friendly summer BBQ was held at president Steve Pile’s life-style block at Ohoka, just north of Christchurch. Again the inclusion of partners, children and grandchildren proved very popular, although numbers were down slightly on the previous year due to an unfavourable weather forecast which – as so often happens in North Canterbury – turned out to be over-pessimistic.

Our Winter Get-Together is always timed to coincide with the June sports exchanges with Christchurch schools – this year with Christ’s College. It also serves as our very informal AGM (so informal that many of those attending are scarcely aware of it taking place!) and also our annual hosting of representatives from other local old boys’ societies (this year: KHS, CBHS, WBHS, CC, TBHS and SBHS.)

The rector usually attends and provides an update on events at the school. This year, however, he was represented by the deputy rector, Andrew Turner, who greatly impressed those present with his enthusiasm for the school and his insightful comments on the place of the old boy network in the school community.

Due to a surprising oversight on the part of the two schools when setting the date for this exchange, and the equally inexplicable failure of our committee members to notice the clash, our advertised meeting time coincided with the live telecast of the Highlanders v Lions match! To the rescue on the night, however, came the staff of the Canterbury Club who provided extra seating and a large-screen TV. Being able to watch that historic victory in such convivial company was just the icing on the cake for one of our more successful functions.

A frequent criticism of groups such as ours is that they tend to be dominated by older members and have little appeal for more recent old boys. A breakdown of the age groups at our meeting shows that we are beginning to buck this trend: of those present 13 attended the school in the 1950s or earlier, nine between 1960 and 1989 and 11 (33%) since 1990, including five who started at OBHS after the turn of the century!