Chairman's Address to the Leavers Dinner

7 November 2012

Trustees and partners, Mr MacLean, Mr Campbell and Mrs Campbell, Parents and Guardians, members of staff and our leavers of 2012

One of the advantages of speaking to you infrequently is that it is easy to treasure these occasions.  This dinner is a good example, and is one of the most important and enjoyable events on the School calendar.

The appointment of a new Trustee is a rare event in the history of Dilworth.  In the 118 years since the Trust was established in 1894, there have been only 44 Trustees in total, including the present 6 Trustees.

As you know, there were only five of us for a little while and I am very pleased to announce that at the end of September 2012 we appointed Mr Roger France as a new Trustee, now resulting in a full muster.

Mr France has had an illustrious professional career commencing as a chartered accountant in one of the origins of the large international practice now known as PWC (until recently, called  PriceWaterhouseCoopers).  Presently, he is Chancellor of the University of Auckland, a director of Air New Zealand, a director of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation, and Chairman of Tappenden Holdings.

Please welcome to Dilworth Mr Roger France and his wife Mrs Julie France.

To the leavers, I must start by congratulating you on lasting the distance!  Well done!  I know it will have been worthwhile.

You will remember that as you have progressed through a variety of School functions, you have regularly participated in thanking the Trustees for what they do.  This is, of course, greatly appreciated, but tonight I want to do the reverse.  On behalf of the Trustees, I want to thank every one of you for what you have done for the School during your years at Dilworth.  The present tone and reputation of the School is largely due to you and for this we are very grateful.

I also wish to thank the parents and guardians for the extensive support which you have provided over the years, not only for your boys but for the wider School.

It goes without saying that the Trust is indebted to Mr MacLean and all members of staff for what they have done to bring you to this point in your lives.  Boys; please join me in thanking them.

In each of the last few years, I have left the leavers of the year with one word to contemplate.  That has been an interesting, and I hope helpful, exercise but I am going to depart from that slightly this year.

Instead of asking you to remember one word, I am going to test you a little and ask you to remember one sentence!

The first Dilworthian was published in 1927 and the School invited longstanding and original Trustee Archdeacon MacMurray to write a short piece for that inaugural publication.

Archdeacon MacMurray was Mr Dilworth’s closest confidante during the years when the idea of this School was first contemplated.  Archdeacon MacMurray influenced, more than anyone else, the way in which James Dilworth’s will was worded.  In a sense, Archdeacon MacMurray was a shadow founder.

Near the end of his article, Archdeacon MacMurray referred to the quality and calibre of the boys Mr Dilworth would like to see leaving the School and he went on to say that the Old Boys can do much – probably more than anyone else – to realise these ideals by earning a reputation for the School for turning out boys who can be depended on as trustworthy, good and useful citizens.

He concluded his article with these words – which are the words I would ask you to remember:

The character of the Old Boys will be Mr Dilworth’s best Memorial.

That is how Archdeacon MacMurray thought that Old Boys of Dilworth could most appropriately thank their founder and is most certainly the way in which you can also thank all former and present Trustees.

Trustees Mr Hunter, Mr Maltby, Mr Wain, Mr Fletcher, Mr France and myself wish you good health and good fortune in your future lives.  We know you will want to do your best and not waste the opportunity which you have been given.

It is only one month until the conclusion of the Leavers’ Service when you will join Mr Wain, Mr Hiron, Mr Simpson, Mr Hargraves, Mr McGibbon, Mr De Berry, the Apprentice Chef, seven Old Boy tutors and myself as fellow Old Boys of this wonderful School.

Thank you.