NEW AUSTRALIAN BRANCH LEADER

The new President of the Australian branch of the DOBA, Warren Wilton was Dilworth student No. 906 and was there from 1953 to 1960, following in the footsteps of his older brothers Murray ('1954) and Peter ('1955). A member of Dungannon House, he played for the Ist XI cricket and the Ist XV rugby teams. He was prominent in school music and was a School Prefect. He was awarded colours for cricket and won the Ludbrook Cup for the Best All-rounder. 

   On leaving school he trained as a journalist, starting at the New Zealand Herald in 1962 as a crime reporter, and was in journalism in the print media, and in television and radio formats, for most of his career. He moved to Australia in 1967 and joined the Australian Broadcasting Commission, with postings to Darwin (Northern Territory) 1967-1970, and then Papua New Guinea, 1970-1973. He returned to Australia in 1973 to the ABC’s overseas service, Radio Australia. Subsequently  Warren worked as a radio and television journalist/producer for ABC, SBS Television, and commercial television channels Ten, Seven and Nine. While based in Melbourne he was executive producer of the current affairs programme "Focus on Australia".

   In 1999 he moved to Sydney where he started a staff recruitment business, Assign Recruitment, with his wife, Margaret. The company is based in Parramatta and recruits permanent and temporary staff for businesses and tertiary institutions in Western Sydney. A second company, Assign  Blue, recruits industrial staff, and another branch organises exam supervision for tertiary institutions.

   Now semi-retired, Warren and Margaret live on their lifestyle property at Fitzroy Falls in the Southern Highlands of NSW. One of Warren's first tasks as President was to invite Peter Hutton, the elder statesman of Australian Old Boys, to become the Australian branch Patron. Peter, a former Australian branch president himself,  was humbled and delighted to accept.

 


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DILWORTH'S LATEST OLD BOY MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
29/04/2014
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JAMI-LEE ROSS, M.P.

Jami-Lee Ross (No. 3030, 1995-2000) was elected to the New Zealand Parliament as the National Member for Botany in the March 2011 by-election.  He thus became the fourth Dilworth Old Boy to enter Parliament, following in the footsteps of the Hon Harry Lapwood, The Hon Michel Bassett and the Rt Honorable Mike Moore. He was re-elected in the 2011 general election with an increased majority of 10,741 votes. Botany is one of the most ethnically diverse constituencies and it is also the newest electorate. In his own words, here is the key part on his early background:

 

  ‘I did not have an easy start to life. It is a common misconception that National MPs were all born with silver spoons in their mouths. That certainly did not occur in my case. My mother was young when she had me, and my father was nothing more than a faceless name who never stepped up to life’s responsibilities. Having just finished raising three girls on her own, my grandmother decided that it was her job to give her young grandson the best start to life that he could possibly ask for. She raised me in our small flat in South Auckland, where we lived from week to week as she looked after her own frail mother at the same time. I also had the good fortune to win a Dilworth scholarship and spent 6 productive years there. I recognise the fact that I am a product of an amazing school, and one of New Zealand’s largest charities. My grandmother is the reason I did not become a statistic. In the most public way that I could possibly say this, thank you, Nana, for the love and support you showed me, and for giving me everything I could have asked for. May every child born into difficult circumstances in this country be as lucky as I have been. Five years ago I met another incredible woman, a young archaeologist at the University of Auckland. Since we met, my wife, Lucy, has been my biggest supporter, my toughest critic, and my most solid anchor to the real world. I have been told that Parliament can be harder on spouses than it is on MPs. Although this place will become a big part of my life, I will always remember that I was a husband first, long before I set foot in the Chamber.’

   

   Jami-Lee completed his education at Pakuranga College, which he describes as a mistake. ‘I should have stayed at Dilworth’, he says, the school that gave him a good start and where he had particular sporting success as a top level Auckland and national swimmer. After leaving school he trained s a pilot at Ardmore Flying School and flies recreationally when possible. At the same time he began a Bachelor of Communications degree. He began his political career in 2004, aged 18, by representing the Howick Ward as a Manukau City Councillor.  He was subsequently re-elected to the full Manukau Council in 2007. After the formation of the Auckland Council in 2010, Jami-Lee was elected as a Councillor for the newly enlarged Howick Ward and became Co-Leader of the Citizens and Ratepayers Party. Between 2004 and 2010 Jami-Lee was also a member of the Howick Community Board. He also found time to work as an Electorate Agent in the office of Hon Maurice Williamson.

   When he won the Botany seat for National in 2011, Jami-Lee became the youngest MP in the 49th Parliament at the age of 25. He is still the youngest MP currently in the House of Representatives.  With an already solid background of political representation, Jami-Lee brings a unique combination of youth and experience to the House. He is a strong believer in limited government and believes government should intervene to help people based on need. He also strongly values personal safety and security. He strongly values personal responsibility and self-sufficiency, qualities instilled while at Dilworth and fostered by his adored grandmother.

    In January 2013 Jami-Lee was elected by Caucus to serve as a party whip. He has a keen interest in the areas of transport, industrial relations, local government and fiscal responsibility. He is currently a member of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. He has also served on Law and Order, Transport and Industrial Relations, Maori Affairs and Social Services select committees. He currently lives in Dannemora, Botany, with his wife Lucy who serves in the NZ Police and on the Howick Local Board. Together they have a baby named Henry.

 

 

For those interested in learning more about Jami-Lee’s political views, read his maiden speech at:

http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/debates/debates/49HansD_20110406_00001057/maiden-statements

Or view the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mK7LMZPziU

 
New Man at the Helm of Australian Branch
5/11/2013

Aaron Hockly (Class of '96) has taken over as President of the Australian branch of the DOBA, relieving Darryl Lovegrove who has held the reins for the past four years. Aaron is keen to geet things moving again and advises that there will be a mini-reunion in Melbourne over the weekend 10 - 12 January 2014. This is the weekend of the Australian Open Tennis tournament, so it's an exciting time to be there, but also bookings for flights and hotels will be tight. You will need to get in early to ensure your travel and accommodation, and also tickets to tennis games. The plan is as follows:

Friday 10th January: Informal gathering in the evening.

Saturday 11th January: Attend tennis matches. Evening Reunion Dinner.

Details are yet to be finalised, but the plan is for eveerything to be informal and centred round Old Boys and partners enjoying each other's company and the sights of Melbourne.

For further information and to help with catering and dinner reservations, contact Aaron at <ahockly@hotmail.com> or Tel (0061) 416 176 011.

Aaron also has plans for a larger reunion in Sydney later in the year.

 

COUNTRY REUNION, TAUPO, SEPTEMBER 2013
5/11/2013

The venue for this year’s DOBA Country Reunion was Taupo, a happy return to the scene of many earlier gatherings, often hosted and organized by Bob and Margaret Bennett who now live in Canberra and who travelled all the way from there for this reunion. 

    Special guests included Trust Board Chairman Derek Firth and Maxine (Class of ’59), Principal Donald MacLean, new Trustee Aaron Snodgrass (‘89), former Trustee John Potter and Alison (’53), Trust Board General Manager Rob Campbell, and Rural Campus Head John Rice and Jill. The oldest Old Boy present was Bruce Jackson (1932-1940) and he was given special attention. It was noted, at the roll call, that his first year, 1932, was the year in which Bill Cotter started, along with long-serving teacher Gilbert Pearce. The Great Depression was biting, the Napier earthquake had just occurred, and life was not easy at Dilworth, or anywhere else for that matter. Bruce is the older brother of Roger (’34), well known to many, and lives near his daughter at Acacia Bay in Taupo. Among the slightly older Old Boys were: Theo Davy and Elaine (‘45), Brian Levet and Peggy (’48), Hugh Brown (’50), John Tait and Phyl (’50),  Denis Bradburn and Lorraine (‘51), Bob Bennett and Margaret (’51), Murray Wilton and Christine (’54), Errol Lee and Lynette (’55), John Simpson and Sharon (‘58), Michael Drake and Sally (’61), Stan West and Jo (’66), Sandy McNeur (’71), Mark Easton (’79).  President Adam Hiron (’95), Vice President Peter Tate (’68), Treasurer Grant Steel (’89), David Mossman (’69), Matt Stephens (‘98) and Jake de Berry (‘99), ran the show, along with younger Old Boy councillors Isaac Mutu (‘03), Ethan Au (‘11) and Peter Bowden (‘09). Other recent Old Boys who made up the numbers to a total of about 60 participants were: James Rogal (‘98), Andrew Slane (‘08), Rhys Beckham  (‘07), Carlos Delamere (‘09), Byron Peehi-Floyd (‘11), Hirimia Nichols (‘11), Sione Finau (‘11), Sepha Marsters-Puna (‘12), Kaluba Zimba (‘12), Glassie Masters (‘12), Francis Smith (‘04), and another local Taupo resident William Dolman (’11).

   Once again the group calling themselves the Golden Oldies met for a convivial dinner on Friday evening at the strangely named “Mole and Chicken” Bar and Restaurant. Our thanks to Michael Drake for doing the research on a suitable location. Saturday was sports and activities day. Unfortunately the weather was far from conducive to any of these. However, a few intrepid fishermen ventured out on the lake, caught a few throw-back tiddlers, and while escaping from the wind and waves in a sheltered bay shot at skeets from the stern of the boat. Winner of this event was Andrew Slane. The boat trip was a great way for all age groups to enjoy the outing. A pity about the weather, but this is worth repeating on another occasion. Four golfers and a referee sheltered in a shed on the first tee at Taupo’s Centennial Golf Course for half an hour trying to decide whether or not to brave the weather. Eventually it cleared sufficiently for a start to be made. Cold hands, wet feet and slippery clubs prevented any amazing scores, but all trophies were competed for and won: Beattie-Cotter Cup for best score (gross, no handicap) won by William Dolman; deLautour-Wilton Cup for best stableford -- Denis Bradburn; Todd-Pikett Cup for best net (handicap) score -- Sandy McNeur; J.D. Wright Burglar’s Cup (highest score) -- Murray Wilton. Hugh Brown, riding round the course triumphantly in an electric golf cart, supervised the competition and ensured that the rules of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Scotland, were observed. Donald MacLean approved of this.

    About 40 people enjoyed Saturday lunch at Finn McCools in central Taupo, and then the evening function was held at the Ploughman’s Inn (“ye olde” approximation to an English pub). Highlights of the evening were the traditional Roll Call, followed by a speech from Principal Donald MacLean. Restricted to making just four brief statements in as many minutes, Donald managed to stretch it out with sub clauses, appendices and provisos to more like 20 minutes. Yet it was all good news of the achievements of this year’s Dilworth scholars who have brought credit to themselves and honour to their school through musical and sporting triumphs.

    Sunday morning saw the usual breakfast organized and cooked on barbecues by the DOBA Council members. There was a slightly different menu this year with President Adam’s usual delicious scrambled eggs replaced by a very interesting home-made baked bean concoction which won universal approbation. This was another very successful country reunion, the latest in something like 80 years of holding them. They don’t happen without a lot of planning and hard work and we congratulate Adam and his team for everything they did to make it a memorable experience for all of us.

 

MOSSMAN TRIPLETS TURN 90
28/05/2013

Dilworth’s famous triplets, Henry and Rodney and Tim (Derek) reached the remarkable age of 90 in April this year. At a gala function in Rotorua some 150 Mossman descendants and friends gathered to celebrate this milestone. It is certain that they are the oldest living identical triplets in New Zealand, probably in the Southern Hemisphere and possibly the world. For those who don’t know about them, or haven’t read their extraordinary story in “The Dilworth Legacy”, here are a few facts.

They are the great X 3 nephews of James Dilworth, the Founder of Dilworth School in Auckland, through his sister Eleanor who was their great great grandmother. Their parents were farmers in the backblocks of Gisborne. Born on 16th April 1923, he boys were admitted to Dilworth in February 1931, just days before the Napier earthquake, at 7 years of age. The reasons for their admission were that the Great Depression was in full swing, there were 11 children, the farm was in a very remote area with no nearby schools, and the farm income was very limited. The parents would have been described as income poor and asset rich, the same description given to a number of boys admitted to Dilworth over the years as Trustees took a more liberal view of the meaning of the clause  “straitened circumstances” in the Will. Their connection to the Founders must also have been taken into account. Perhaps the Trustees decided that it was better not to turn them down in case they contested the Will?

They turned out to be quite a handful for the staff: identical, fun-loving, humorous, mischievous and not used to being contained after running wild on the Gisborne farm. They wore colour-coded belts to assist the staff in identifying them. But this didn’t stop them from swapping belts, changing places, taking turns to receive the frequent corporal punishment that came their way, skipping out of school, getting extra helpings of food, and so on. Henry ran away at one point in 1937, hoping he would be caught and expelled so he could return to the Gisborne farm and his idyllic life there. When he was inevitably caught, Headmaster Noel Gibson said to him: “I’m going to cane you harder than I’ve ever caned any boy before!” (And knowing Gibson’s reputation for severe floggings, that would be very hard indeed.) But before the day of judgment the boys were withdrawn by their disappointed parents and enrolled at Feilding Agricultural College.

In spite of their somewhat precipitate departure from Dilworth, the Mossman triplets have always shown allegiance to Dilworth. Henry’s son’s Stuart and David were admitted to Dilworth in 1961 and 1963 respectively. They went on to very successful careers, Stuart in medicine, and David in commerce. One of Henry’s other sons, who did not attend Dilworth, is called Dilworth Reid Mossman, a clear indication of Henry Mossman’s affection for his old school. Reid’s sons Richard and Scott were admitted to Dilworth in the late 1990s. Living in Auckland, Henry has been able to take a full part in the life of the school and the Old Boys Association. His brothers, Tim and Rodney, based in Rotorua, were stalwarts at Old Boys’ country reunions, often running them and always involved in the entertainment. We could count on them for plenty of fun and good humour. They attended the last Rotorua reunion two years ago and, in spite of advancing years and hearing loss, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

A decision was made at this year’s Dilworth Old Boys’ Association AGM that it would be a prefect time for the Dilworth community to honour three Old Boys who are icons in Dilworth folklore, who have left a very broad footprint and whose descendants continue to enhance the name of Dilworth. A unanimous vote awarded them life membership of the Dilworth Old Boys Association. Present at the Mossman 90th birthday party was Vice-President Peter Tate He introduced Patron Murray Wilton who spoke briefly and then pinned life members’ badges on the three Gisborne lads, a move that was received with warm acclamation and considerable emotion.

Left to right: Henry, Rodney and Tim, on their 90th birthday.


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DILWORTH'S LATEST OLD BOY MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
21/04/2014

JAMI-LEE ROSS, M.P.

Jami-Lee Ross (No. 3030, 1995-2000) was elected to the New Zealand Parliament as the National Member for Botany in the March 2011 by-election.  He thus became the fourth Dilworth Old Boy to enter Parliament, following in the footsteps of the Hon Harry Lapwood, The Hon Michel Bassett and the Rt Honorable Mike Moore. He was re-elected in the 2011 general election with an increased majority of 10,741 votes. Botany is one of the most ethnically diverse constituencies and it is also the newest electorate. In his own words, here is the key part on his early background:

 

  ‘I did not have an easy start to life. It is a common misconception that National MPs were all born with silver spoons in their mouths. That certainly did not occur in my case. My mother was young when she had me, and my father was nothing more than a faceless name who never stepped up to life’s responsibilities. Having just finished raising three girls on her own, my grandmother decided that it was her job to give her young grandson the best start to life that he could possibly ask for. She raised me in our small flat in South Auckland, where we lived from week to week as she looked after her own frail mother at the same time. I also had the good fortune to win a Dilworth scholarship and spent 6 productive years there. I recognise the fact that I am a product of an amazing school, and one of New Zealand’s largest charities. My grandmother is the reason I did not become a statistic. In the most public way that I could possibly say this, thank you, Nana, for the love and support you showed me, and for giving me everything I could have asked for. May every child born into difficult circumstances in this country be as lucky as I have been. Five years ago I met another incredible woman, a young archaeologist at the University of Auckland. Since we met, my wife, Lucy, has been my biggest supporter, my toughest critic, and my most solid anchor to the real world. I have been told that Parliament can be harder on spouses than it is on MPs. Although this place will become a big part of my life, I will always remember that I was a husband first, long before I set foot in the Chamber.’

   

   Jami-Lee completed his education at Pakuranga College, which he describes as a mistake. ‘I should have stayed at Dilworth’, he says, the school that gave him a good start and where he had particular sporting success as a top level Auckland and national swimmer. After leaving school he trained s a pilot at Ardmore Flying School and flies recreationally when possible. At the same time he began a Bachelor of Communications degree. He began his political career in 2004, aged 18, by representing the Howick Ward as a Manukau City Councillor.  He was subsequently re-elected to the full Manukau Council in 2007. After the formation of the Auckland Council in 2010, Jami-Lee was elected as a Councillor for the newly enlarged Howick Ward and became Co-Leader of the Citizens and Ratepayers Party. Between 2004 and 2010 Jami-Lee was also a member of the Howick Community Board. He also found time to work as an Electorate Agent in the office of Hon Maurice Williamson.

   When he won the Botany seat for National in 2011, Jami-Lee became the youngest MP in the 49th Parliament at the age of 25. He is still the youngest MP currently in the House of Representatives.  With an already solid background of political representation, Jami-Lee brings a unique combination of youth and experience to the House. He is a strong believer in limited government and believes government should intervene to help people based on need. He also strongly values personal safety and security. He strongly values personal responsibility and self-sufficiency, qualities instilled while at Dilworth and fostered by his adored grandmother.

    In January 2013 Jami-Lee was elected by Caucus to serve as a party whip. He has a keen interest in the areas of transport, industrial relations, local government and fiscal responsibility. He is currently a member of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. He has also served on Law and Order, Transport and Industrial Relations, Maori Affairs and Social Services select committees. He currently lives in Dannemora, Botany, with his wife Lucy who serves in the NZ Police and on the Howick Local Board. Together they have a baby named Henry.

 

 

For those interested in learning more about Jami-Lee’s political views, read his maiden speech at:

http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/debates/debates/49HansD_20110406_00001057/maiden-statements

Or view the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mK7LMZPziU

 

Dilworth's Newest Old Boy Trustee
20/04/2014

The latest addition to the Dilworth Trust Board is Aaron Snodgrass (Class of 1989). He was at Dilworth from 1981 to 1989, a House Prefect in his final year and winner of a B Bursary in the demanding examination system which preceded the introduction of NCEA. At Auckland University he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and was admitted as a chartered accountant in New Zealand, a Certified Public Accountant in the USA and also qualified as a Chartered Global Management Accountant. From 1991 to 1999 he was a member of the DOBA Council and held the post of Treasurer from 1994 to 1999. His first employment was with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and then Deutsche Bank, in New Zealand, New York, Singapore, China, London and Belgium In his 20-year career in the world of high finance Aaron has developed an in-depth understanding of financial reporting that has allowed him to become involved in interesting financial transactions such as public offerings, acquisitions, mergers and disposal of businesses. His present position since returning to New Zealand at the end of last year is Chief Financial Officer of Eastland Group based in Gisborne. Eastland manages the Gisborne area electricity network, port and airport, and operates hydro and geothermal power generation plants in the Bay of Plenty.

 

During his lengthy time in the USA, Aaron was a Board member and subsequently President of the Kiwi New York Club (an ex-Pats group), a Board member of KEA New York Chapter (an organisation which serves as a global business network for New Zealanders), and a Board of Trustees member of Trinity Church, New York. He is currently a vestry member of the Gisborne Anglican Church. Aaron and his American wife Courtney have two daughters (Millie, 2, and Elle, 9 months). They are expecting their third child, known to be a son, in January 2014. 

 

Aaron brings these wide-ranging skills, experience and energies to the Dilworth Trust Board and is a worthy appointment to the important responsibility of controlling the Trust’s assets and overseeing the operation of the three school campuses. As Old Boys we congratulate him on his appointment and wish him well for his renewed career in New Zealand.

 

Alex Conte ... high profile International lawyer
22/11/2013


Alex Conte
 (Class of 1989) has undoubtedly lived up to the promise he showed at school where his stellar career in academic, sporting and cultural pursuits saw him reach the pinnacle of success as conjoint Dux in 1989. His first step on leaving Dilworth was to complete his LLB law degree at the University of Canterbury while enlisted in the RNZAF, initially with the idea of becoming a pilot. But he gave that ambition away in Alex Conte in Genevafavour of advancing to higher law qualifications. He completed his LLM (with 1st class honours) under the auspices of the NZ Army where he became an army legal officer, with the rank of captain, providing legal advice to the Chief of Defence Forces from 1995 to 1996. Alex had qualified as a barrister in 1995 and his next step on the legal ladder was as to become an associate partner with Corcoran French in Christchurch. He specialized in all fields of litigation apart from family and employment law. In 2000 he was a barrister working as a criminal law defence counsel. At the same time he was a senior lecturer in law at Canterbury University where his special area of expertise was public international law, counter-terrorism and human rights. Alex completed a doctorate in law in 2005. His thesis title wasTerror versus Tyranny: An Examination of the Interface between New Zealand’s International Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights Obligations. His special interest was now firmly set in this field.  From 2006 to 2008 he was Reader in Law at the University of Southampton, working in the same areas as at Canterbury. At the end of this assignment Alex joined the OECD as senior legal expert for their Anti-Corruption Division. Since 2011 he has been employed by the International Commission of Jurists as their representative to the United Nations where he specializes in activities of the human rights Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures and Human Rights Council. At the same time he is an Adjunct Professor at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

 

His extensive experience in human rights and counter-terrorism has led to Alex beiing involved in several country missions of the former UN Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism (including to Israel and the United States) and the preparation of three thematic reports, including the 2010 report on best practices in the countering of terrorism. He has written extensively on terrorism and counter-terrorism and the impact of both on security, human rights, and the rule of law. His CV boasts a dizzying array of publications, appointments, fellowships, consultancies, keynote speeches and lectures, and membership of legal organizations. He now has near fluency in the French and Italian languages.

 

In recent weeks Alex flew to Azerbaijan where he spoke as an expert to a conference on “Radicalisation to Terrorism” organized by the United Nations. He has also advised governments on terrorism and human rights in Monte Negro, Poland, Taiwan, Israel and Washington. While at school Alex's mother, Carol, took a leading role in the Friendship Club as President for 1989-1990. She, also, has a doctorate, predictably perhaps in Italian language. Alex is married to an English girl, Alice, and their home is in Geneva. Although Alex gave up the idea of becoming a pilot, he is certainly flying high in his career and making a difference at an international level. Truly one of Dilworth’s most remarkable graduates.

 

 

 

Jami-Lee Ross, Dilworth's Latest MP
7/11/2013

JAMI-LEE ROSS, M.P.

Jami-Lee Ross (No. 3030, 1995-2000) was elected to the New Zealand Parliament as the National Member for Botany in the March 2011 by-election.  He thus became the fourth Dilworth Old Boy to enter Parliament, following in the footsteps of the Hon Harry Lapwood, The Hon Michel Bassett and the Rt Honorable Mike Moore. He was re-elected in the 2011 general election with an increased majority of 10,741 votes. Botany is one of the most ethnically diverse constituencies and it is also the newest electorate. In his own words, here is the key part on his early background:

 

  ‘I did not have an easy start to life. It is a common misconception that National MPs were all born with silver spoons in their mouths. That certainly did not occur in my case. My mother was young when she had me, and my father was nothing more than a faceless name who never stepped up to life’s responsibilities. Having just finished raising three girls on her own, my grandmother decided that it was her job to give her young grandson the best start to life that he could possibly ask for. She raised me in our small flat in South Auckland, where we lived from week to week as she looked after her own frail mother at the same time. I also had the good fortune to win a Dilworth scholarship and spent 6 productive years there. I recognise the fact that I am a product of an amazing school, and one of New Zealand’s largest charities. My grandmother is the reason I did not become a statistic. In the most public way that I could possibly say this, thank you, Nana, for the love and support you showed me, and for giving me everything I could have asked for. May every child born into difficult circumstances in this country be as lucky as I have been. Five years ago I met another incredible woman, a young archaeologist at the University of Auckland. Since we met, my wife, Lucy, has been my biggest supporter, my toughest critic, and my most solid anchor to the real world. I have been told that Parliament can be harder on spouses than it is on MPs. Although this place will become a big part of my life, I will always remember that I was a husband first, long before I set foot in the Chamber.’

   

   Jami-Lee completed his education at Pakuranga College, which he describes as a mistake. ‘I should have stayed at Dilworth’, he says, the school that gave him a good start and where he had particular sporting success as a top level Auckland and national swimmer. After leaving school he trained s a pilot at Ardmore Flying School and flies recreationally when possible. At the same time he began a Bachelor of Communications degree. He began his political career in 2004, aged 18, by representing the Howick Ward as a Manukau City Councillor.  He was subsequently re-elected to the full Manukau Council in 2007. After the formation of the Auckland Council in 2010, Jami-Lee was elected as a Councillor for the newly enlarged Howick Ward and became Co-Leader of the Citizens and Ratepayers Party. Between 2004 and 2010 Jami-Lee was also a member of the Howick Community Board. He also found time to work as an Electorate Agent in the office of Hon Maurice Williamson.

   When he won the Botany seat for National in 2011, Jami-Lee became the youngest MP in the 49th Parliament at the age of 25. He is still the youngest MP currently in the House of Representatives.  With an already solid background of political representation, Jami-Lee brings a unique combination of youth and experience to the House. He is a strong believer in limited government and believes government should intervene to help people based on need. He also strongly values personal safety and security. He strongly values personal responsibility and self-sufficiency, qualities instilled while at Dilworth and fostered by his adored grandmother.

    In January 2013 Jami-Lee was elected by Caucus to serve as a party whip. He has a keen interest in the areas of transport, industrial relations, local government and fiscal responsibility. He is currently a member of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. He has also served on Law and Order, Transport and Industrial Relations, Maori Affairs and Social Services select committees. He currently lives in Dannemora, Botany, with his wife Lucy who serves in the NZ Police and on the Howick Local Board. Together they have a baby named Henry.

 

 

For those interested in learning more about Jami-Lee’s political views, read his maiden speech at:

http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/debates/debates/49HansD_20110406_00001057/maiden-statements

Or view the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mK7LMZPziU

 

 

Guy and Maurice Dodson
10/07/2013

World Class Old Boy Academics

Dodsons 1952Guy Dodson (No. 765) and Maurice Dodson (764) were identical twins and had virtually identical careers at Dilworth where they were educated from 1946 to 1954. They were both school prefects in 1953-1954, members of the 1st XV and 1st XI cricket teams and both won blues for cricket. The brothers participated fully and successfully in all aspects of school life and were especially prominent in debating. At the 1954 Prizegiving they scooped all the academic prizes: Maurice was Dux, while Guy won the Forms 5 and 6 divinity prize, the Callwell History Prize, the Beattie Memorial current events prize and the Scansie Memorial Prize for inter-house debating. (Maurice explains why it was Guy, rather than him, who won the divinity prize. He confesses to having ‘refused to write a word in the Divinity exam on the grounds that my previous exam paper, which had been devoted to challenging the arguments we’d been given for the truth of Christianity, was given 50% by the Headmaster in order that I would not set a bad example by getting zero’.)

Guy and Maurice Dodson struggled with mathematics in their fourth and fifth form years when the subject was taken by Headmaster John Conolly. As they would say in later life, the Conolly method of rote learning of theorems and formulae without reference to reasons was flawed. The twin brothers were classic examples of the negative aspects of rote learning. In their thirst for comprehension they neglected the requirement to commit to memory the basic mathematical frameworks, and objected to being told ‘what to think’. In effect, they could not understand why it was more important to have total recall of these things than to possess a clear and reasoned understanding of how and why they were employed, or to what other areas of mathematics and learning in general they could be extended and applied. While their less perceptive classmates, more concerned with immediate success and recognition than future rewards, slavishly followed the party line, the Dodson brothers vainly attempted to seek the mathematical and logical reasons behind the formulae and theorems, convinced that ‘if you understood something, you didn’t have to learn it by rote’.The inevitable result was failure in the final pre-tests and the Conolly retribution, total refusal for them to enter for the 1952 School Certificate examination in maths.  

There was no amnesty, no re-test opportunity for the Dodson brothers. The other fifth form mathematicians sat and passed the exam with marks ranging from 50% to 75%, sufficient to satisfy the teacher, but hardly a world-beating performance. The following year Conolly grudgingly permitted Guy and Maurice Dodson to continue with maths in the sixth form, now taught by Donald Gray. The Gray methodology and the Conolly system were poles apart and the two teachers could never have collaborated in compiling a text book (or anything else, for that matter). Gray ‘radiated enthusiasm for maths and science’, encouraged lateral thinking, logical and rational reasoning, intelligent questioning and, above all, an understanding of the process rather than simply internalising the operation. In this environment the Dodson brothers began to see the light and to flourish, while the third member of the class, Murray Wilton, deprived of the Conolly props, sank slowly and inevitably to the bottom of the pond.

There is, however, one amusing mathematics anecdote which reflects well on the Headmaster. It took place in the old classroom block on the evening before School Certificate exams is recalled by Guy Dodson. With diminished incentive to prepare for exams, the class of ‘52 had been tormenting each other, indulging in the contemporary habit of preventing any indication of serious study. The favourite taunt was to brand anyone trying to swot with the label “scab”, using the rather malicious term employed by waterside workers during the long and bitter dock strike of 1951. One class member, Brian Pittams, had been particularly obnoxious. He was in the habit of bursting into the room and drawing on imaginary six-guns, leaving the door wide open to the elements. His classmates hatched a plot to teach him a lesson. When Pittams left the room at one point, his remaining fellow-sufferers booby-trapped the door with a spectacular column of books. While another class member, Peter Dadley, was also out of the room they contrived to lower his desk outside onto the War Memorial Rose garden below.

The first person to enter the room, however, was not Pittams, or Dadley, but the Headmaster and the books crashed down about him. There was an unbelievable silence. Conolly said nothing, went and sat down at the teacher’s table and asked to see Dadley’s and Murray Wilton’s prep. In horror his classmates waited for Dadley to return, knowing that his prep would be in the desk now comfortably nestled among the rose bushes below. ‘I will never forget his agonised whisper:   “Where's my desk?” says Dodson more  than half a century later. “On the rose garden!” came the hissed reply from Roger Pye, another of the conspirators. While the Headmaster marked Wilton’s prep, Dadley excused himself to retrieve his prep, although not his desk. He could be heard through the open window, scuffling about below. However, the Headmaster patiently continued to hold his peace and, although it was quite obvious that some high jinks had been going on, he never referred to the episode and there were no repercussions. Whether he was silently amused, or simply keeping his anger under control, is uncertain, but what is clear is that he understood that no good would come of making an issue out of the event on the eve of the examinations.

A disturbing event involving the Dodson twins occurred at the end of that same year, 1952. In the days when School Certificate examinations ended in mid November, it was the custom for the candidates, freed from further study and other commitments, to be assigned to various gardening and maintenance tasks around the School until the end of the term in mid-December. This meant that the School had the benefit of unpaid senior labour for almost a month. One of the tasks assigned to the SC group at the end of 1952 was the clearing of rocks and rubble from the area being prepared for the construction of new tennis courts adjacent to the Headmaster’s residence. The rocks were the remnants of the old rear drywall fence, erected by James Dilworth himself, on the Mount St John Avenue boundary.

There was at that time a rough track entry to the rear of the School from Mount St John Avenue, parallel to the site of the new tennis courts, and really suitable only for a tractor. It was known to the boys as “the Burma Road”, and eventually it would be the permanent paved rear entry to the School. Gordon Coleman, the woodwork master, was in the habit of using this track in fine weather since it led directly to the woodwork shop. He was at that time the proud owner of a new Austin A40 saloon which he polished daily and kept in immaculate condition.  On the day in question, which happened to be Prizegiving Day, a sultry summer’s morning, a group of fifth formers under the supervision of Guy Dodson gratefully came to the end of their sweaty labours, downed tools and headed for the pool and a cooling swim. Unfortunately, they neglected to clear a pile of rocks which lay on the rough track, concealed by tufts of grass, waiting for the caretaker Fred Stead to recover and remove them. Coleman arrived at school to prepare for Prizegiving, driving his bright shiny new car along the usual rough rear route, unaware of the hazard awaiting him on the track and, as was his usual custom and given the conditions, travelling at an unreasonable speed. The inevitable collision tore a hole in the low-slung fuel tank, the petrol drained from it swiftly and the car came to an abrupt halt. As Maurice Dodson remembered and later described the event, ‘it was a great sight, straight out of Oliver and Hardy’. The legendary Coleman apoplectic temper was unleashed on the miscreants who were suitably apologetic, but unable to do anything to improve the situation.

The brothers Dodson went on to distinguished academic careers in maths and science. Yet, on another plane, Maurice and Guy Dodson proved the Conolly rule that School Certificate was simply a minor milestone en route to more important goals. Their admiration for Gray knew no bounds and they attributed their eventual success to his patience and to the fact that he had identified their potential and nurtured it to the point where they achieved a remarkable understanding of higher mathematics. Maurice goes further in his praise of Gray, referring to ‘his enthusiasm for cricket, his intellectual power and breadth, his open mind and refreshing honesty. He was an inspiring teacher. As was Mrs Russell/Bush, we adored her.’

Guy and Maurice Dodson attended Auckland University from 1955 to 1958, graduating respectively in maths (Maurice) and chemistry (Guy). They went on to complete master’s degrees with honours, again respectively, in maths and chemistry. Maurice won the Auckland University Senior Prize in Mathematics and was awarded a Sims Empire post-graduate scholarship in maths which he used at Cambridge University in England where he completed his doctorate in maths, along the way completing the final section of the “mathematical tripos”. Meanwhile, Guy chose to remain at Auckland University to complete his doctorate in chemistry there. Eventually they both gained professorships at York University in York, England.

In 1994 Professor Guy Dodson earned one of the most distinguished awards won by any Old Boy when he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, Britain’s most prestigious organisation for scientists. It is believed that fewer than twenty other New Zealanders, among them Lord Rutherford, have been honoured in this way. Dodson’s award was for his outstanding research on the structure and function of proteins. His pioneering work included the study of two molecules which are fundamental to an understanding of how the AIDS virus infects the human body. In addition to a personal Chair in chemistry at York University, where he was also Head of the Laboratory of Structural Biology, he was Head of the Protein Structure Division of the National Institute for Medical Research. In constant demand as a speaker on the world lecture circuit, Dodson was frequently in New Zealand and invariably made contact with the School and Old Boys of his vintage. Guy’s twin brother, Maurice (764) is also a distinguished scholar, his field being mathematics. They were outstanding achievers at Dilworth and are towering figures in the international academic world.

Dodsons 2006Maurice was also appointed to a lectureship at York University where he eventually became a full professor and head of department until his retirement in 2004. His special field of research and teaching is number theory, dynamical systems and analysis, and their applications, particularly to biology and signal processing. He could not be further removed from a failed School Certificate mathematician. Guy became involved in insulin research with a commonwealth team based at Oxford University and went on to his ground-breaking research on the insulin molecule and crystallography. He, too, ended up at York University with a chair in chemistry. Guy’s wife Eleanor, an Australian by birth, is an eminent researcher in her own right in computational science and has contributed in a major way to Guy’s research. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society, surely a unique situation for husband and wife? Guy Dodson is referred to as a “crystal gazer”. He loves his work in crystallography which he says is full of beauty with its diffraction patterns. Only astronomy, he maintains, would be as rewarding.

Maurice Dodson's Iranian wife is also a very distinguished lady. She is Baroness Aleh Dodson, honoured for her services to the British government in their dealings with Iran. She is entitled to sit in the House of Lords and frequently does so.