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Old Collegians Newsletter

Tuesday 2 August 2022

I hope this email finds you all well and dry... it has been extremely damp underfoot here in the Garden City! Christchurch has experienced double its average rainfall in the past month, and has broken a longstanding 1977 record for the wettest July ever. The ducks are the only happy ones as they currently have full use of the fields. I, for one, am pleased August is here. Spring has nearly sprung and we have lots of exciting events coming up.

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Senior Production, Songs for a New World and what a show! The singing and acting talent in the College was mind blowing. If you get the opportunity, there are still tickets available and it runs through until Saturday. 

Last term, we were finally able to hold two reunions which were both roaring successes. Our 1st XV Rugby Reunion in June spanned seven decades and was attended by over 70 Old Collegians. In early July we hosted the Class of 1981 and 1982 at the College for their 40 and 41 Years On reunion. The weekend saw around 90 Old Collegians and the partners catch up and reminisce about their time at the College and a lot of laughs were had!

Click here to read more.

Unfortunately we have had to postpone our 60 Years On and 50 Years On this year, and we will run them in conjunction with next years groups.

The rest of the year's calendar is looking very busy too. Next week is our OCA AGM and OCA Annual Dinner. You are welcome to attend both of these events. The Annual Dinner includes an awards ceremony and is a fabulous, fun evening for Old Cols of all ages! Partners are also welcome.

On Saturday 24 September we are planning a very special event, a party for our Old Girls, as we celebrate 30 Years of Girls at the College. This has been a year in the making so get a group of your St Andrew's girls together and come and party with us!

On Friday 14 October we have our Gentlemens' Luncheon combined with the 70 Years On (Class of 1952) which is always a highlight! Our OCA Golf Tournament was rescheduled to Friday 28 October. On Thursday 10 November we welcome our 10 Years On, Class of 2008.

For more information about these events, please click here.

I look forward to seeing some of you in the upcoming weeks and months.

Warm regards,

Lisa Clark
Alumni and Community Relations Co-ordinator


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President of the Old Collegians Association, Meg Black, warmly invites you to the Annual General Meeting of the Old Collegians Association.

The AGM will be held on Wednesday 10 August 2022 in the Strowan House staff room. Refreshments from 6.30pm and the AGM will begin at 7.00pm.

Please RSVP via email to by Monday 8 August 2022.


Join us next Friday, 12 August, for a fun evening as we present and celebrate this year's OCA Award recipients. Get a group of your past classmates together and book a table of 10, or purchase individual tickets. Partners are also very welcome. 

Prices: $55.00 (student ID) and $75.00 (includes fabulous three-course meal and drinks for the evening)

This event has now passed.

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30 Years Logo MC


Girls! It’s finally party time!

Saturday 24 September 2022

We invite all St Andrew's College Old Girls to a party at the College to celebrate an important milestone in our history 30 year since girls officially started in the Senior College.

Get a group of your St Andrew's girls together and come and take a walk down memory lane with us.

This event has now passed.

Songs from a New World

Songs For A New World is not a traditional musical or revue show, instead, it is a fully sung 'abstract musical' or 'song cycle', in which all songs tell an independent story, but are thematically linked.

Decision/Indecision, and the space between. That interesting space and tension human beings find themselves in when on the precipice of making a significant life decision are explored through a wonderful score and lyrics with a variety of musical genres. Being staged ‘in the round’, with arena seating, this production will provide a rare theatrical opportunity and performance experience for both cast and audience members alike – this is definitely not one to be missed. Click here to purchase tickets

Where: St Andrew's College Gym 1

Tickets: Adults $35.00, Students $17.00

Sunday 31 July 2022, 5.00pm | Monday 1 – Saturday 6 August 2022, 7.00pm (no Wednesday show)

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2022 marks the 50th anniversary of Athol Earl’s gold medal in the New Zealand Rowing Eight at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Athol (OC 1970) was the second St Andrew’s Old Collegian to gain this distinction, after Peter Mander had earlier won a yachting gold medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

Born and raised on the family farm in Hawarden in North Canterbury, Athol was introduced to rowing while boarding at St Andrew’s from 1966 – 1969. Fred Strachan, a New Zealand Rowing Selector, was coaching St Andrew’s crews during this period, and helped guide the senior coxed four to win the Canterbury Schools title in 1969. Athol was the stroke of this coxed four crew, and Strachan recognizing his enormous potential encouraged him to continue rowing after leaving school into the 1970 season. Standing 6 foot 5 inches and immensely powerful, Athol rowed for a NZ Colts crew at first before being drafted into the NZ Rowing Eight at the tender age of 18. Training at Kerrs Reach in Christchurch under the renowned coach Rusty Robertson, the Eight embarked on an overseas tour in 1971 culminating in winning the gold medal at the European Championships. This victory won the crew the NZ Sportsman of the Year Award for 1971 and cemented them as one of the favourites for the Olympic Games the following year.

Retaining an unchanged crew for the 1972 season, the Kiwis were amateurs in the sense that they had day jobs with training beginning at 3.30pm each day. The crew also had to do a lot of their own fundraising for overseas travel, holding a series of bingo games and raffles to get their tickets to Munich. Many of their main rivals at the Olympics were professional rowers funded by the state, and the German and Russian crews, in particular, were thought to be using performance enhancing drugs.

A few days out from the Olympics tragedy struck the New Zealand camp. Athol’s father Peter Earl (also a St Andrew’s Old Collegian) died of a heart attack while in Switzerland. Peter had been advised not to travel by doctors but decided to go anyway to support his son at the Olympics. Despite this huge set back, Athol continued training with the rest of the crew, and the funeral was delayed until the rowers returned to New Zealand.

September 2, 1972 was the day of the Olympic Rowing Finals at Feldmoching in Germany with 35,000 people lining the course. New Zealand was among the favourites for the Eights Final, with their main opposition expected to come from East Germany, West Germany, Russia, and the USA. Blasting off the start line in the final the Kiwis led all the way down the 2000 metre course to record an emphatic victory. In an emotional ceremony, IOC President Avery Brundage presented the medals, delighted that the amateur Kiwis had defeated the professional crews. This victory proved two important points on the international stage – you didn’t have to get paid and you didn’t have to cheat (by taking drugs) to win. In the sporting context this was a classic case of “David slaying the Goliaths of the rowing world”.

Fifty years on, Athol at 19 years of age still remains the second youngest New Zealander to win an Olympic Gold Medal. Only his 1972 crew mate, cox Simon Dickie, was younger when he won his first gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in a coxed four crew.

After the Olympics Athol continued to row for another four years winning several national titles as well as a bronze medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics in the eight oared boat.

Returning to the family farm in Hawarden after Montreal, Athol and wife Sandra raised their children Belinda, Sam, and David. The farm was sold in 1992, and Athol moved to Blackball on the West Coast to farm for a while, before moving back to Rangiora to work in real estate. Athol was also appointed as a New Zealand Rowing Selector from 2000 – 2013, overseeing the tremendous success of New Zealand crews over this period. His son Sam also happens to be married to Georgina Evers – Swindell who has won a couple of Olympic Gold medals herself!

Currently living in Rangiora, Athol is married to his second wife, Lynley, and still works as a sales manager for PGG Wrightson Real Estate. He remains actively involved with the Avon Rowing Club which he says has played a massive role in his life.

As for the remarkable Fred Strachan (Athol’s first rowing coach), he still lives in Dunedin rising 99 years of age and has mentored triple gold medallist Hamish Bond throughout his career. In 80 years of coaching rowing at all levels, Fred rates Athol Earl and Hamish Bond as two of the finest oarsmen to row for New Zealand.

Thank you to Andrew Sidey (OC 1990) for collating this story. 

Team Gold Medal Photo (Athol pictured third from left in both photos below)


University of Canterbury asteroid hunters have named an asteroid they discovered in honour of eminent mathematician University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Roy Kerr (OC 1950), renowned for his influential work in astrophysics resulting from his solving Einstein’s equation of relativity relating to rotating black holes. These are now called Kerr Black Holes.

Click here to read more.

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Damien Rowse (OC 1997) is keen to organise a dinner for fellow LGBTQIA+ Old Collegians in Auckland.

If you are interested, please make contact with Damien so he can put a list together and organise a suitable date and location.

Please click here to email Damien.


You can now request to receive your Regulus via email. If you live overseas, or we don't have the correct address for you, you won't be receiving a printed copy of our newsworthy, triannual Regulus. This is where you will read about the academic and sporting successes of our current and past students, updates on the College, and all your Old Collegian news!

If you know of any Old Collegians you think should be featured in our Class Notes section of our Regulus magazine, or you would like to tell us what you are up to, we’d love to hear from you. It doesn’t have to be a significant achievement – our community just loves to hear about what fellow Old Collegians are doing. We also love seeing your wedding photos and new additions too!

To get Regulus in your inbox, or to share some news, please email and we can organise this for you.

The August 2022 Regulus will be arriving to your mailboxes within the next two weeks. To view online issues, please click here

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StAC CONNECT on LinkedIn

In the spirit of Old Collegians connecting, StAC Connect enables alumni to share their professional and personal experience and expertise with existing Old Collegians. These connections will help prepare and motivate our young Old Collegians for a successful future. To join our fast-growing LinkedIn page, please click the button below. We would love to connect with you.



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10 August: OCA Annual General Meeting
12 August: OCA Annual Dinner
24 September: Celebrating 30 Years of Girls (1992–2022) 
14 October: Gentlemen's Luncheon and 70 Years On Reunion – Class of 1952
28 October: OCA Golf Tournament
10 November: 10 Years On Reunion – Class of 2008

Please view the Fixtures on the College intranet for more upcoming events and to purchase tickets.


Old Collegians Reunions and Events >