New Westgarth Scholarship

1 May 2024

John and Alison Westgarth with St Andrew's College Rector Christine Leighton and the first Westgarth Scholar, Hao Bo (Terence) Yang and his parents.

REGULUS // ISSUE 1 // MAY 2024

Fond memories of his time attending St Andrew’s College in the 1950s, along with an admiration of former scholarship student, Richie Mo’unga (OC 2012), has contributed to John Westgarth (OC 1960) and his wife, Alison, making a generous gift to St Andrew’s College which will benefit students for years to come.

The Westgarth Scholarship has been introduced in 2024, to support a student entering Year 9. A new scholar will be added each year.

The first Westgarth Scholar is Hao Bo (Terence) Yang (Year 9), an accomplished musician who attended the St Andrew’s Preparatory School on a Music scholarship. Terence’s already impressive achievements include winning first prize in the 2023 Golden Classical Music International Competition, New York, winning the Best Newcomers Award at the 2023 Chamber Music Contest Canterbury District with his chamber group, Pickle, and passing Grade 8 with Distinction in both flute and piano.

“I feel extraordinarily honoured to be the first recipient of the Westgarth Scholarship. I really appreciate Mr and Mrs Westgarth’s generous contribution for supporting the next generation of young music students like me at St Andrew's College. I love music and this scholarship allows me to further develop and explore my music education and skills,” says Terence.

From 1954–1959, John Westgarth walked the short distance from his family home in Heaton Street to St Andrew’s. During his six years, at the College, John played tennis, rugby, and cricket. He was a good student graduating from the Secondary School with an Endorsed School Certificate. In 1957, he won the T D Burnett Memorial Prize awarded for the best essay in Form 4 about ‘A Pioneer Family’. The prize continues to be awarded to this day at the annual Prizegiving.

From an early age, John had a burning ambition to be a farmer. After working as a Romney sheep breeder and farm manager, he took on a large mortgage and purchased his own farm, Punaroa Downs in 1964. He and Alison spent the next 46 years on the farm where they raised their two sons, James (OC 1984) and Ben (OC 1990) who attended St Andrew’s, and daughter Annabel, who attended Rangi Ruru Girls’ School.

The Westgarths helped to advance the work prospects and skills of many young people who joined the shearing school on their farm. John was delighted when Agriculture students from St Andrew’s visited their farm, arranged by the College’s legendary PE and Agriculture teacher, Ian Clark, a member of staff from 1952–87.

John and Alison have retired to Twizel where they enjoy an active lifestyle. They have supported the College for many years as members of the Strowan Club, and have given generously to many College fundraising campaigns. They particularly enjoy watching the St Andrew’s rowing crews at regattas held on Lake Ruataniwha, and regularly attend Old Collegian functions, annual Prizegivings, and drama productions.

When the Westgarths visited St Andrew’s late last year, they spoke about the respect they had for Richie Mo’unga’s humility, mana, and remarkable talent, and how his scholarship to St Andrew’s positively impacted his life. It is their hope that the Westgarth Scholarship will give other young people an opportunity to get the best out of a secondary school education at St Andrew’s College.

Related Posts