Between 1978 and 1985, Turoa Royal held the position of Principal of Wellington High School. During that period he saw many changes from the erection of the Main and Science Block buildings to the introduction of the Whanau System, to bringing in computers as one of New Zealand's first secondary school to teach IT. Now 83 he speaks to WHS Archivist Carey Clements about some of those changes as well as his vast background in Education, which saw him rise to be awarded a CMNZ in 2015.
Between 1943 and 1948, Trevor McMahon attended Wellington Technical College as an Engineering Student. It was however in sport he exceled and was a member of both the rugby first XV and cricket first XI. Within six years of leaving school he began playing first class cricket and in 1955-56 represented played for the New Zealand cricket side on its inaugural tour of India and Pakistan before playing two Test against the West Indies at home. In doing so he became the seventh and to date last male Test cricketer to have come out from this school. The 88 year-old McMahon sat down with the Wellington High School archivist Carey Clements to discuss his time at the school, which when he first began, was in the middle of World War Two.
Between 1948 and 1950, Eddie Tonks CBE, attended Wellington Technical College before going onto become a successful businessman and Director of more than ten companies. Between 1990 and 1997 he was the Chairman of the New Zealand Rugby Union and Chairman of the International Rugby Board. He was made a Life Member of the NZRFU in 2004. For the first time in his high profile life, he looks back on his secondary school days with the WHS Archivist, Carey Clements.
Year: 1992 - 1996
Occupation: The Phoenix Foundation
The Phoenix Foundation began in 1997 by Samuel Flynn Scott, Luke Buda and Conrad Wedde. Having jammed for a couple of years, recorded This Charming Van and releasing the China Cove EP in 2000, they were joined by Richie Singleton, Will Ricketts and Tim Hansen in 2001. They wrote many songs until The Drinker, which received special attention from the Bnet radio network and went on to win Best Unreleased Song at the 2002 Bnet Awards. They also won a Bnet Top Pop track award for Damn the River in 2006. They have been described as the most potent band to come out of New Zealand since the far-off days of the Chills. As well as albums & EP’s they have composed sound tracks for two feature films: Eagle Vs Shark & Boy. They have just released a new album Buffalo, which has been acclaimed here and described in the Guardian thus: ‘taking a route increasingly denied to British pop, these New Zealanders have been able to develop under the radar over a decade before delivering what feels like a major breakthrough. Song writing this good doesn’t come along often…..an album that already seems destined to be among the best of 2011.’’ 5 Stars. The Guardian. 6 January 2011. (Dave Simpson) The band toured Britain at the beginning of the year and will start a three month tour in a couple of weeks which is going to be huge if current acclaim is an indicator: ‘These kiwis are unassuming types. They just sit there quietly running their island paradise and making gloriously lovely indie-pop music.’’ Total Guitar. Matthew Parker. Dec. 2010. It could be argued that they are rising stars but we believe they are already High Achievers.
Year: 1997 - 2000
Occupation: Fashion Designer
Alexandra Owen has been described as a maverick designer committed to luxury with a vision outside trends – she has a style of making things that is singular in direction. Owen’s look is one of sophistication, a Hepburn-esque grace; it’s not crazy or overstated but it’s not understated either. Ally left High and studied at Massey University and worked as a sales assistant at Scotties Boutique where she produced a small range every year before launching her own label. She also learned about perfection and service. 2007’s New Zealand Fashion Week saw Ally arrive in Auckland alone and show a collection that dropped many a jaw with its masterful tailoring and breathtaking fabrics. As a result, she picked up a dozen wholesale accounts including the well-regarded ‘H Lorenzo’ boutique in Los Angeles. Owen is making her name by taking her time, ignoring trends and, perhaps, most controversially, sticking to a luxury-level price point. In March last year she showcased her clothes during NY Fashion week to global fashion giants and was immediately offered an exclusive deal with Elle. With a flagship store in Wellington and glowing reviews of every show since her breakthrough collection in 2007, she has asserted herself as the quiet achiever du jour on New Zealand’s fashion landscape.