Monday, 30 July 2007

A Sad Record

Br Declan has been doing some sterling work in the college archives, along with Linda Crowe. He has compiled a list of deceased old boys which can be viewed by clicking on Roll of Remembrance. While a lot of work has gone in to identifying the 139 old boys who have passed away there is always the possibility that we have missed some one. If that is the case please leave a comment so we can update the roll.

A Funny Guy

Great to see old boy Alan Brough(1981-85) doing so well in the entertainment industry in Australia. He is currently one of the regular faces on the music show Spicks and Specs but as you can see from the bio below he has been fairly busy for the last 15 years - between bouts of boredom and unemployment of course.

* Brough's first major screen role was as 'Brendan' in the New Zealand sitcom Melody Rules (1993).
* Since relocating to Australia in 1995, he has appeared in the movies Siam Sunset (1999), The Craic (1999), The Nugget (2002) and Bad Eggs (2003), the telemovie Stiff (2004)
* He has appeared on TV in such shows as Kath and Kim, The Glass House, Blue Heelers, MDA, Something in the Air, and
Thank God You're Here.
* He has worked as a stand-up comic on both sides of the Tasman.
* A TV version of his one-man show Generation XXL was recorded for the ABC TV series Smallest Room in the House (1997).
* He was the first guest on the first episode of Australia's Rove (1999), the original Nine Network version of the Channel Ten talk show, hosted by Rove McManus.

When asked in an interview "What is it like to be a New Zealander comedian based in Australia?" Alan replied "It's like being a scarecrow made of sweet potato in the field full of angry vegetarian ravens." Perhaps school had given him a taste of what that might be like.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

The Bluetts

We posted a story about Nick Sceats and Bill Wyman's guitar a while back. Nick has also teamed up with long time friend ( and fellow old boy) Nick Sampson to record and produce the album Now Then. They are joined by Tim Robinson, Matt Newdick and John Fletcher to sing a range of songs written by either of the Nicks.

It's all good stuff with my favorite track being Leaving Awakino - good Taranaki reference that. Might not be easy to find on the shelves but keep your eye out for it.

Friday, 27 July 2007

A Kind of Mustard Colour

A new site has joined the blogosphere celebrating the Mustardos, a wiley and fanatical bunch of cricket supporters who have dedicated themselves to the Hawke Cup holding Taranaki cricket team. There is a good few old boys involved in this organisation but they should be approached with caution on the day of a game.

Click on Mustardos to visit their new blog, but remember you do so at your own risk.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Straight Shooter

Now here is a clean cut young man from the good old days of square bashing cadets. We no longer feel safe arming the students, although I suspect it was always a risk.

The cadet in the photo was the Senior Shooting Champion of 1963, but who is he and what did he go on to be?

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

The Dream Job

Richard Crowe, old boy and past Dux of the college (1999) has been making a splash in the media lately. This photo appeared in the Sunday Star-Times in a story that highlighted Richards being named as the world's top brewing student for 2006.

Now I have known a good few old boys who had a love of the amber liquid so it is great to see one who is approaching things from the other side of the barrel, although Richard does admit to enjoying the fruits of his labours.

Richard currently works as a member of Lion Nathan's brewing team and completed a double degree in commerce and engineering at the University of Canterbury before excelling further in the Diploma of Brewing from the London Institute of Brewing and Distilling. Enough to make any one need a beer I would have thought.

So next time you are sampling one of Lion's finest remember there is a little bit of FDMC in there somewhere.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Catch Ups

We are very encouraged by the amount of feedback we have been getting from old boys. We get around 50 distinct visitors a day to the site, but we can always have more so keep spreading the word. The following are some of our recent contacts from old boys.
  • Mike Vale was a foundation pupil way back in 1959. Mike lives in Helensville and is Director of Mt Tabor Trust, a trust supporting people with intellectual disability.
  • Chris Zawodny (1973-1978 ) was able to offer some insights into the mystery photo we posted under the title Recognize Any One? We think the guys are athletic champions but we are still seeking confirmation. Peter Zawodny has also contributed some info on the students in the mural.
  • Alastair Ross is back living in New Plymouth with his wife and young child. He is working at the tax dept. and freelance writing music reviews and interviews for Auckland based magazine Groove Guide. He was able to shed some light on the students in the mural we posted last week.
  • Andrew (Sam) Bennett is living in New Plymouth and working for the Fire Service.
  • Cory Avison visited the school this week. He has been doing some intern work, both here and in Denmark over the last 12 months, and is now going back to Singapore to complete his engineering degree.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Well Done Conrad

Congratulations to Conrad Smith on making the All Black team to the Rugby World Cup. Seems that Conrad is becoming one of the "faces" of the All Blacks as he seems to pop up in lots of promotions. While he is our only FDMC connection to the squad the following are players who have Taranaki connections

Carl Hayman - born and raised in Taranaki
Andrew Hore - current Taranaki A player
Luke McAlister - son of ex Taranaki player Charlie
Chris Masoe - past Taranaki A player
Keith Robinson - past Taranaki A player
Reuben Thorne - educated at NPBHS, 1st XV captain

Sunday, 22 July 2007

The Staff

A recent email from Brad Roebuck asked about the current staff and who is still "on deck". Here is last year's staff photo, we are still working up the courage to take this year's one. We will not name everyone but you can play a little game of "identify who has aged the best". Those of you who were students in the early days will note that it is not just the roll that has increased as we now have over 50 teaching staff. Clicking the image will enlarge it but you do so at your own risk!

Friday, 20 July 2007

Gingerbread Haka

Nothing to do with FDMC or old boys but we thought you might enjoy this video as much as we did. Just click on the image.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Recent Happenings

Although we have just had the winter holidays there has still been plenty of things happening.
  • Kane Barrett, Rick McKenna and Todd Curtis were key members of the Hurricanes Schools rugby side that defeated Northern Regions A for the national title.
  • We had 7 students represent us and their allocated countries at the Model United Nations Conference in Wellington, an experience the guys got a great deal out of.
  • Ethan Bolstad, Samual Wells, Caleb Mawson, Russell Spiers and Andrew Kelly are currently touring the UK with the Taranaki Wanderers cricket side. They have won most of their games and have managed to avoid the terrorists and most of the bad weather.
  • The Brother Provincial, Br Ambrose Payne has been to New Plymouth for a short visit with the brothers community. Br Ambrose, was as usual, in good form.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

More Weddings

Just a photo to prove that Deacon and Carmel did tie the knot last month. Great to see Father Tom Lawn as celebrant, another FDMC contribution to the clergy.

If you are the type who is really keen on wedding photos there are a lot more to be seen on Deacon's blog.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

The Ladies Auxiliary

Now here is a group of ladies you wouldn't want to upset - the fore runner of the modern PTA circa 1970.

While fashion styles have certainly changed the hard work of college supporters continues unabated. The 1970 magazine reports that these ladies efforts raised money for "the purchase of a tape recorder and record player, the fencing of the swimming pool, the installation of benches by the pool and paint to brighten up the library"

Monday, 16 July 2007

A Question of Hair

While not wanting to embarrass anyone these Prefects photos from 1975 highlight the age old issue of hair length. As fashion shifts so does hair length, leaving schools to decide what is acceptable, which never pleases every one.

A new blogger feature is the ability to create polls. Our first poll asks the question - what was your preferred length of hair at school? We will ask about how long it is now (if at all) in a later poll.

Name These Students

Remember this mural? It was painted on the side of the hostel building in 1988 but is now painted over, not because it wasn't a great mural but because the paint had flaked to such a large extent.

The mural was designed by art students Dominic Forde, Peter Zawodny and Dion Tuuta under the guidance of Ces Hill, now teaching at NPBHS.

The figures in the mural were all students at the time - can anyone name them for us? If you click on the image it will give you an enlarged view.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Honest Old Boy

While trawling the web I came upon this 2004 article from the Dominion Post which highlights the honesty of one Nick Sceats (Fm7-1980). Good to see the sense of right, and history, remain strong.

"For more than 15 years, a teardrop-shaped guitar hung on the bedroom wall of New Zealand musician Nick Sceats.

Its strings had been replaced several times, there was a scratch on the back of its body and a couple of nicks on its sides, but it still sounded good.

But this was no ordinary bass. For years Sceats had heard stories from other musicians in Wellington about the guitar, but he had no idea if any were true.

Legend had it that the guitar had been stolen from Wyman when the Stones played in Wellington in 1966. Now, after some investigative work, a stunned Sceats has discovered the truth. Last week, a letter from Wyman confirmed the guitar really did belong to the millionaire rock musician. "I was so delighted to read your email regarding my long-lost, but not forgotten, Vox bass guitar," Wyman wrote.

"I just couldn't believe it had turned up and that you were trying to make contact to return it to me - my profound thanks to you."

With the guitar's history confirmed, it could be of considerable value. But Sceats air-freighted the bass back to Wyman on Thursday. He expects nothing in return.

"I'm just kind of doing the right thing in closing the loop," he said. "I don't see why he should pay for something that was stolen from him."

The fact that Wyman could remember the bass did not surprise him. Wyman kept detailed diaries and is meticulous about dates.

Keith Richards would never have remembered."

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

For Hip (Hop) History Teachers

Found this at and it got me thinking how Mr Lindsay McMorran or Mr Neil McLean might have used it in class - you be the judge.

4th XI 1973

Magazine production values were a little lower in the early 70's with Richard Cullinane (4th from right) getting a facial shadow while beside him Lanil Fernando has had the bottom half of his leg bleached. Also of note in this photo is the presence of two future priests, Brian Carmine (2nd from left) and captain and bat holder Kevin Brophy. The future Father Peter Brockhill was also at school at the time but can not have made the team.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

New Playground

We posted a photo of the new playground a while ago but it was somewhat sterile and lacking in people. This shot includes the students it was intended for and Br Peter Ryan, Mrs Christine Alexander and Mr Chris Moller who were the main movers in getting the thing built. I like this shot because of the blue sky, something we have not seen for some time now!

Monday, 9 July 2007

E Grade Winners

The E grade rugby team of a few years ago, coached by two female members of staff at the time, Melanie Snook and Lauren O'Reilly. The team was very successful winning the E Grade final 32 - 10 against SHS.

Mel is now teaching at St John's in Hamilton and has two young children. Lauren also has two children and is running the Careers Pathways Programme (CPP) at FDMC.

The boys in the photo? There are a few stories to tell there as well, but none are currently All Blacks.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Recognize Any One?

This photo is from our archives but we have no idea when it was taken, who is in the photo or what it was they did to win that trophy. Any ideas?

If you can shed some light on this fine bunch of young men click on the comments box below and give us a hint.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Well Done Conrads

Congratulations to Conrad Poi on being named in the NZ Under 17 Soccer team to play an international tournament in Oregon this month. Conrad is in Year 11 and has broken with family tradition as he is the cousin of Luke McAlistar (All Black).

Also in the news is Conrad Smith's return to full fitness and an All Black jersey. It would be nice to see him take part in a demolition of our Wallaby friends.

If any old boys are looking to name recent arrivals to their family might I suggest Conrad as an auspicious name.

Thursday, 5 July 2007


We are looking for a few old boys to act as travelling reporters and contributors to our humble blog. If you feel you might have something to say on the odd occasion email us at and we can arrange access to the blog. Remember it is more fun if you share.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Science Proves God!

Thanks to Graeme for forwarding this thoughtful piece.

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:
  • If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
  • If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.
So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, "It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct......leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."


Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Go The Naki

The photo (apologies for the poor quality) is from the 1996 school magazine and you can make your own judgements as to what TP is up to. I don't recall it having anything to do with line out calls! This week saw the naming of the TRFU squad for the Air NZ Cup with the following old boys making the cut;
  • Tony (TP) Penn
  • Shane Cleaver
  • Leon Power
  • Scott Ireland
We wish them well and they know we will be watching them - even when they are not looking!

Monday, 2 July 2007

Catch Up

Some recent contacts and catch ups.
  • We recently had an email from Peter Clapcott who was at school 1975-79. Peter is keeping an eye on us via the blog.
  • Matthew Dravitzki was recently placed 4th in a marathon in Queensland. Matt is working in the finance industry in Wellington while his brother Brent is in London designing new ways for Dyson to suck - if you know what I mean.
  • We caught up on the Butler brothers news the other day. Carwyn was back for a visit from his home in Queensland where he is building, Leighton has moved back to Taranaki while Harley is doing very well in San Francisco.
Don't forget to keep the news coming folks.