Dear all,

It has been quite some time since my last update, with the biggest reason for that being that not very much has happened! The world has changed with the Covid-19 virus but after a very disrupted Term 2 we are back into things with a vengeance and I can see that we will be in for a very hectic few weeks.

A very early decision made after we came out of lockdown was that the OLD BOYS DINNER would be held again this year with the date set for September 11th.

Old Boy of the Year is JOHN BRACEWELL – one of five Bracewell boys who had a significant impact on TBC Sport through the 1970s. John went on the become only the second New Zealander to take 100 wickets and score 1,000 runs in test cricket. After his playing days were completed John coached Gloucestershire, Ireland and New Zealand.

Guest Speaker is another former 1st XI player in GRAHAME MORTON who, after completing a 1st class honours degree in history at Otago University went on to a diplomatic career. Grahame is a former First Secretary to New Zealand’s Embassy in China and a former High Commissioner to India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh & Nepal. He is currently Principal Adviser for Asia and the Americas at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, whose role includes coordinating our Covid-19 response across Asia and the Americas.

Both of these men will have interesting tales to tell so get your mates organised and get in early to avoid disappointment. Limited to 200 tickets. Click here now to buy your tickets.


Impressive Old Boys

BLAIR SHEPHERD … It's a few years now since Blair left TBC – he began his law degree at Otago in 2012 and worked as a lawyer here in Tauranga at Holland Beckett. In 2019 he chose the prestigious Duke University School of Law to complete his Masters’ degree and has just completed that as magna cum laude, being the only Antipodean in a class of 102. His studies focused on international arbitration, trade and climate change.

ROBBIE MARIS …. After outstanding academic results at Year 12 Robbie attended Waikato University, where he is studying a conjoint degree in Business and Science. In 2019 Robbie achieved a GPA of 9.0, or A+, across all of his papers. He was awarded the Te Paiwai o te Rangi scholarship valued at $25,000 over 3 years as a result of his outstanding results. He also gained a summer research scholarship that allowed him to investigate the practicality of brown seaweed (ecklonia radiata) cultivation.

MARCUS RICHARDS … Another recent Old Boy I had the pleasure of seeing on campus a couple of weeks back was Marcus. He fell into geology somewhat by accident after completing some stage 1 papers and now has a masters degree with his specialty being giant Eocene penguin fossils from Kyeburn, Central Otago.

TODD MULLER … Todd has been at the forefront of our news in the last couple of months after rolling Simon Bridges as Leader of the Opposition. Things did not go as he had hoped as the new leader, resigning after less than 2 months in the job. He will contest the Bay of Plenty electorate in the coming election and has been named on Judith Collins' front bench at number 8 with responsibility for trade.


TBC Awards

Laurie Loper Award

Laurie Loper was a Ngai Tahu kaumatua – an educator, innovator and visionary. This award and role of Tanenuiarangi goes to the head student of Aronui with a focus on Maori leadership – mana, Te Reo and standing in Te Ao Maori amongst his peers. This year’s recipient is Maharai Waaka.

Kane Williamson Shield

Kaiya Omberg is the first recipient of this award, which recognises a cricketer who exhibits good man values in all that he does in the College. As the leader of our national cricket side Kane certainly exhibits these values and the presentation of this award was his initiative.


TBC Sport 

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the sporting landscape, which has disrupted large amounts of the 2020 sports season.


The 1st XV has had its Super 8 Competition concentrated into Term 3 and it began with a 0-15 loss to old rivals Rotorua BHS. The 2nd XV avenged the loss with a 12 -5 victory. The 1st XV had four pre-season matches, recording the one victory against Wesley College with a score line of 17-0.

Water Polo

The usual national secondary finals were disrupted by Covid 19. However, over the holidays an invitation tournament featuring the top teams from New Zealand was held. The TBC side played strongly throughout and in the end placed second, losing to defending champions Sacred Heart by 2 goals in the final. 


Year 11 student Dominic Tupou has been a member of the Tauranga Boxing Academy for a couple of years and the programme he has been a part of now sees him as a mentor for younger members. About 140 young people are part of the academy and the boys learn the values of respect, kindness, responsibility, trust and resilience.


Old Boys in the Arts


Regan Lethbridge has been Melbourne-based for a number of years now where, along with fellow Old Boy David Morgan, he was part of the very successful group Bonjah. In more recent times he has been co-founder of Lemon Tree Music who have managed a number of very successful Australian artists including Tones & I whose Dance Monkey single reached number 1 in some 30 countries. Regan organised the Down to Earth event in February, which raised more than $1 million for bushfire and climate change causes. Since then he has been named in the Power 50 of the most influential figures in the Australian music industry.

Local Old Boy Grant Haua is one of New Zealand’s finest blues singers and after leaving Swamp Thing last year has been very active in recent months. His new band The Grant Haua Trio includes bass player/singer Brian Franks and drummer Jeff Nilson. They are currently recording a debut album while Grant has just finished a new solo album.


The recently completed TV portrayal of Eleanor Catton’s Booker Prize winning novel The Luminaries featured 1984 Head Prefect Eric Thomson as an untrustworthy gun-wielding pimp called Dick Mannering. As the show screened here Erik was back on set back home in South Australia filming Back to the Rafters, which is a 6 episode reboot of the Packed to the Rafters drama in which he and fellow Kiwi Rebecca Gibney play husband and wife Dave and Julie Rafter.


Tauranga based artist Elliot Mason held his latest exhibition entitled Earth, Water, Land and Sky at the Incubator Gallery in the Historic Village last month. The work was described as nature documentary merged with art nouveau and 60’s op pop.


Old Boys Sport


The Bay of Plenty cricket awards featured a significant number of our Old Boys with 2019 1st XI captain Taylor Bettelheim named Cricketer of the Year. Taylor scored 3 of the 7 centuries scored through the season, including one on debut. Another Old Boy in Jacob Logan scored a century as did current captain Niven DoveyHis team mate Tim Pringle won the Derek Beard Trophy as the Bowler of the Year, taking 15 wickets at 25 runs per wicket.

Former Black Cap Daniel Flynn announced his retirement from top flight cricket after a career lasting 16 years. Daniel scored 20 first class centuries and has scored more runs than any other Northern Districts player. He played 24 test matches with a highest score of 95. He has been appointed as Bay of Plenty coach for the 2020/21 season.


Former 1st XI players Mark Whitaker and Kent Horsley were part of the New Zealand Army hockey side, which recently won the Armed Services tournament.


Mark Whitaker and Kent Horsley with the silverware.


Tom Maidment began a career in sail making when he left school and has continued his major interest in sailing. He was part of the crew on Showtime, which placed 26th in the 157 strong Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race this year – the first non-professional crew to finish the race.

Olympic Sport

Three Old Boys that had their Olympic plans disrupted by the Covid-19 coronavirus are now resetting their schedules in preparation for the 2021 Games in Tokyo. Newcomer Callum Gilbert will contest the canoe slalom spot vacated by the retired Mike Dawson. Rowing veteran Mahe Drysdale has rejigged his training to continue his quest for medals at his fifth Olympic Games. Sailor Peter Burling will have a difficult juggling act to perform, with commitments to the America’s Cup defence as well as another Olympic yachting campaign alongside Blair Tuke.


The new All Black captain in Sam Cane is the third Old Boy in a high profile leadership role in New Zealand sport. All Blacks coach Ian Foster named Cane as his captain, joining Kane Williamson (Black Caps) and Peter Burling (Emirates Team New Zealand) as Old Boys having a significant impact on the New Zealand sporting landscape.


Former 1st XI cricketer Bryce Dineen suffered a shallow water diving accident in 2007, which saw him become a tetraplegic. In the interim years he has developed a charity called Wish for Fish whose goal is to remove barriers for the sick or disabled to get to sea. This major goal is about to be realised as an 18 metre $2.5 million aluminium catamaran is taking shape at Alloy Cats in Mount Maunganui. It is hoped that it will be completed in time for the America’s Cup in 2021. It is designed specifically to allow people with disabilities to get out to sea fishing.

I hope you have survived a difficult year to date in good shape and wish you and yours all the best for the months ahead.

See you at the Old Boys Dinner!

Rob Leslie

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