Dear all,

I hope that everyone is coping well with what has been a very difficult year. At TBC we have been trying to keep things as normal as possible for the boys, which has been tough at times, however as you can see by the following there has been plenty on.


Annual Celebration Dinner

This year’s Old Boys Dinner is set for Friday November 20thOld Boy of the Year is JOHN BRACEWELL. John was the second New Zealander to take 100 wickets and score 1000 runs in test cricket and has had a significant international coaching career.

Guest Speaker is another former 1st XI player in Grahame Morton, who 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.

Tickets are limited to 200 and selling fast, so get a group together & get your tickets now:

Annual General Meeting

Your Association had its Annual General Meeting last month and Ben Rickard was elected as our new President. Thanks to David Altena who had stood down from the position due to changes in his work circumstances. There are a couple of vacancies on the Committee – about 9 meetings annually – so if there are any of you who have an interest in giving back to your school in this way please let me know (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Wellington Old Boys

I’m back in Wellington in December with a Year 10 group and as has been the case in recent times I will run an Old Boys catch up, which is likely to be December 8th. Diary this date and look out for more details to come.



Our top academic students are able to take University papers and this year 31 students attained 47 A grades or better. Top performers this year have been ….

Ben Adams:  Economics A+ (99.5%), Physics A+ , Maths A+ (100%)

Thomas Friskney: Economics, Maths, Physics all A+

Logan Green: Statistics, Law, both A+

Ryan Gilbertson: Physics, Maths both A+

Thomas Mahon: Law A+, Economics. A+ (99%)

Vijay Nirvaneshwar: Physics A+, Maths A+ (99.5%)

Oscar Johnson: Physics, Maths both A+


Maths Competition

The Otago University Junior Maths competition saw one of our most talented musicians Logan McDonald claim 3rd place in the whole of New Zealand. Logan is in Year 11 but has impressive credentials in Mathematics as he is studying University Calculus.



With Covid impacting on the Winter Sport programme several of the usual NZ Secondary School competitions did not take place. However, the Principals of the Super 8 schools opted to run a number of their competitions during tournament week.

Super 8


Our team were placed 3rd in this competition, but that placing was not a reflection on their competitiveness, as the team won 6 of their 7 matches against rival schools.



The Junior team had a 2 win, 1 draw record in pool play before beating New Plymouth BHS 1-0 in the semi-final. This meant the team was pitted against perennial rivals Hamilton BHS in the final and in a thrilling contest TBC emerged victors with a meritorious 3-2 win.

The 1st XI side were a strong combination again this year but lost a close semi-final to Hamilton BHS before exacting some revenge on in the playoff for 3rd completing a crushing 7-1 victory over Palmerston North BHS. Another notable victory was the 6-0 win over Napier BHS.



The 1st XI hosted this competition, which as usual turned out to be a very tough one. TBC emerged from pool play with 2 wins and a draw which included a 2-1 victory over eventual winners New Plymouth BHS. From there the team lost the semi-final to the improved Hastings BHS and then Palmerston North BHS to place 4th. The surprise was that usual finalists Hamilton BHS missed the top 4 sides and placed 6th.

The Junior Super 8 competition was played on a round robin basis with some schools not attending. In a tight competition TBC lost to Palmerston North BHS but won their other 4 matches. Other contenders knocked one another out and on the final day TBC emerged Super 8 champions, which was a great result and augers very well for the future.

The 2nd XI hockey sides tournament in Whangarei was cancelled. However, the Tauranga Hockey Association set up a competition here, in which our side was to play against other 1st XI teams. In pool play the team had a 2 win, 1 loss record to make the semi-final where a talented Ruamata team proved too strong for our boys. In the play-off for 3rd TBC played their best hockey of the tournament dominating the match despite the 3-2 winning score-line for 3rd place.



A strong TBC group suffered losses to Napier and Rotorua BHS’s in the Super 8 basketball before convincingly beating New Plymouth BHS 118-86 for 3rd.



Our Junior teams contested their usual competitions at Under 14 and Under 15 levels. Our lads found the competition tough with the Under 14s having 1 win and placing 7th while the Under 15s beat Gisborne and New Plymouth to come 5th.




The 2020 Interschool Surf Development Camp was held at Mahia recently. TBC had competitors in each of the Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 divisions who performed well and placed 3rd overall in the competition.



TBC has performed very well nationally in recent years and 2020 was to be no exception with the team eventually losing a close final to come 2nd. TBC’s best player Joseph Smythe, who had captured the North Island Under 17 title before the event, was selected in the trans-Tasman team at the conclusion of the tournament.


Water Polo

The top 10 secondary school teams gathered at Sacred Heart in Auckland to contest the premier Chris Hayward Invitational tournament. Our boys performed strongly and were just beaten by Sacred Heart in the final to bring home the silver medals. Many of our team were then part of the Bay of Plenty Under 18 side coached by staff member David Couper which won gold at the Nationals.


Table Tennis

TBC had several teams competing in the Bay of Plenty championships and enjoyed considerable success. The top Senior team emerged as Bay champions, while in the Junior Boys division our teams placed 1st and 2nd.



Our 1st XV suffered more from Covid than a number of teams through a lack of matches but Super 8 was completed and the side came 7th while the 2nd XV were  placed 6th after a promising start to their campaign. The following players were selected for the Chiefs Under 18 camp: captain Curtis Palmer, Veveni Lasaga and Josh Bartlett – while Dante Gardiner is on standby.


Mountain Biking

The NZSS championships have just been held and a small group of TBC riders performed admirably. Best results were a second place in the Senior Team Relay, which comprised Cameron & Toby McGuffie and Taine Larsen. In individual events Harry Kneebone placed second in both the Under 15 Boys Enduro and Cross Country while Taine Larsen also came second in the Under 17 Cross Country.



Our Senior badminton team comprising Josh Espitalier, Harsh Patel, Harry Singh, Benjamin Louie and Kyeol Choi won the recent Bay of Plenty championships beating Whakatane HS, John Paul College, Western Heights HS & Otumoetai College in the process.


Clay Target Shooting

There were 81 competitors at the recent BOP CTA event and our shooters placed 2nd & 3rd behind Hamilton BHS. Best individuals were Alex Williamson who was third in the Senior Boys with 30 targets/30 while Junior Johan Fowler was the winner in that division, with 29 of 30 targets hit.



A small team of swimmers have competed in the NZSS championships held in Hamilton. Every boy bettered their seed time or personal best in at least 2 races. Tarquin Magner was the stand-out performer, getting gold in the 50m freestyle, silver in the 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly & 100m freestyle and bronze in the 100m backstroke in the 16 year grade.

Gus Shivnan gained bronze in the 400m freestyle. In the relays 3 silver medals were gained (16s 4x100m freestyle, 4x50m freestyle & 2x50m freestyle) and a bronze (over 16 x 50m medley). The swimmers who gained these medals were Tarquin Magner, Gus Shivran, Kel Iggulden, Joe Cook & Kalani Bruce.




The annual Super 8 Cultural Festival was severely disrupted, however the debating competition was able to be completed via Zoom video conference. Seven of the eight Super 8 schools competed and as always competition was tough. Our Junior side won 4 of their 6 debates and narrowly missed the final. Our Senior team qualified for the final unbeaten where they were defeated by Palmerston North BHS in a close contest.


Jazz Musicianship

Year 9 student Michael van Lieshout has excelled in the New Zealand School of Music Jazz Improvisation competition. Open to students from Year 9 to 13 using any instrument Michael’s piece on guitar so impressed the judges that he won the competition.




Robbie Maris left school after Year 12 to attend Waikato University – a move which has certainly been a good one for him. In 2020 Robbie has gained two prestigious scholarships …… the first is the Te Paewai o te Rangi Scholarship which recognises Outstanding Academic Achievement at Waikato University. In his second year University exams he achieved A+ grades in all of his papers with a GPA of 9 and was thus awarded this scholarship valued at $25,000 over 3 years.

Robbie also won the 2020 Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards gold scholarship valued at $5,000 presented at a gala dinner in the Grand Hall at Parliament. Robbie had the best presentation identifying the role science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) could develop high-value foods in New Zealand. Robbie’s work show-cased his studies of seaweed aquaculture.


Robbie is in the bottom right hand corner of this photograph.


Community Service

2019 Head of Arts James Power, who is studying engineering at Canterbury University, has won the TECT Youth Spirit award for Community Service. As well as significant contributions in school in the Arts and Sport James has been a lifeguard at the Omanu Surf Club for 4 years and completed the 3 year Youth Search and Rescue programme, where he won both Leadership and Student of the Year awards. James is also passionate about the environment and maintains a trapline in the Kaimai Ranges to assist the birdlife battling against introduced pests.


James Power


The Priest brothers Bradley and Cameron have just sold their software company TradeGecko to US giant Intuit for more than $100 million. The Singapore-based company began in New Zealand but moved to Singapore to obtain greater finance to expand the operation. TradeGecko allows customers to...

"inventory and order management capabilities to launch and manage products across multiple online and offline sales channels, manage orders and inventory fulfilment from multiple channels and across multiple inventory locations, synchronise inventory across online and offline channels, avoid stock-outs and access real-time insights."

It now has operations in more than 100 countries around the world.


New Appointments

Shane Cunliffe has been Principal of Te Puke Primary School for a number of years now and has just accepted a new challenge from Term 1 of 2021. With the explosive growth of Tauranga’s population in the Papamoa area Shane will head the newly built Te Okuroa Drive Primary School, which will open in 2022 with an anticipated roll of 650 students from Year 1 to 6.




Old Boy Graham Matthews and Tom Lee make up the powerhouse electronic duo LeeMvtthews and after releasing their debut album Bones about a year ago they have been nominated for the Aotearoa Music Awards in the best electronic category.



Covid 19 has disrupted filming in many parts of the world, however 1984 Head Prefect Erik Thomson has been back in front of the camera again recently. The ABC has filmed a 6 part comedy series in which Erik plays celebrity chef Easton West who disgraces himself on the international culinary circuit and returns to a mixed reception in the Adelaide Hills.




The annual Jennian Homes Charles Tour Carrus Cup Competition was played at the Tauranga Golf Club, attracting some 120 competitors with several Old Boys featuring prominently. Te Puke Golf Club professional Jared Pender was the clear leader after 2 rounds at 15 under par but faded in the second half of the competition to place 16th. Recent Old Boy Mitchell Kale started well with a 6 under par round of 64 and from then faded a little but still placed 26thKieran Muir was steady through the week and took a share of 33rd place. The Tour then headed to New Plymouth for the Taranaki Open, where in a 3 round competition Kieran came through the field on the last day to record his second win in a 10 year professional career with a 14 under score.



The Bay of Plenty rugby team returned to the Premiership for the 2020 season and has found the going tough. At the time of writing they sit bottom on points differential with a 2 win 4 loss record. There is a good representation of Old Boys in the side including both Aidan Ross and Aaron Carroll used as captain with Sam Kane called up for All Black duties. Others in the squad are Nathan Harris, Dan Hollinshead, Jeff Thwaites, Leroy Carter and Cole Forbes. An older Old Boy Wayne Brill is the Manager.

The Hawkes Bay team, which currently holds the Ranfurly Shield, has former Geography teacher and 1stXI cricket coach Josh Syms as their forwards coach.



The 2020/21 season has begun with Plunkett Shield (4 day cricket) this week. The retirement of Daniel Flynn means TBC representation with Northern Districts has been reduced this season. Kane Williamson, who is currently playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad side in the IPL, has a New Zealand contract while Joe Carter and Brett Hampton join him with ND contracts. The move to Canterbury has been a good one for Sean Davey as he has a contract there for the season. In retirement Daniel Flynn has taken over the reins as coach of the BOP men’s side from another Old Boy in Charles Williams who has done a good job in recent seasons.



All of the opposition has now arrived for the 36th running of the America’s Cup in 2021. Our own Peter Burling will again be at the forefront for our defence of this prestigious trophy, with racing scheduled for mid-March.

That's it for now. If any of you have news that I can include in further updates please pass it on to me and for those who have not done so check out the TBC Old Boys Facebook page:

All the best,

Rob Leslie

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