Hero photograph
Photo by Andy Thomson

🏴 From the Director of Boarding

Murray McKenzie —

Newsletter editorial, Term 4, December 2023.

The year is almost over with our junior boys looking forward to their Year 10 Camps and Year 9 Activities programme this week to round off their year at Argyle House and Hamilton Boys' High School.

Thank you to all families for ensuring your son returned for the Argyle Prize Giving on Sunday the 29th of October. It is always a very special and rewarding occasion that allows us to share in the success and achievements of our young men, which concludes with all 29 Year 13 students walking across the stage, for the final time at Argyle House, as part of their formal graduation.

Argyle House Prizewinners of the major awards:

  • Matron’s Cup: Best All-Round Year 11 Boarder - Alex Arnold

Sporting Excellence

  • Matthew Allen Memorial Cup: Inter-House Challenge - Bennett House (Lachie Pickett)

  • Tylee Cup: Best Junior Sportsman - Maxwell Kara

  • Blythe Cup: Best Senior Sportsman - Oli Mathis

Visual & Performing Arts Excellence

  • Morris Trophy: Outstanding Junior Visual or Performing Arts - Fraser Gray

  • Coltellaro Trophy: Outstanding Senior Visual or Performing Arts - Jack Higgins

Academic Excellence:

  • Year 10: Junior Dux, Margaret Beattie Scholarship - Hayden Sherlock

  • Year 11: Top Academic Prize - Alexander Brown

  • Year 12: Top Academic Prize - Dylan McConnell

  • Headmaster’s Cup: Academic Excellence for a Year 13 Student, Dux of Argyle House - Joshua Wickers

Service and Leadership Cups:

  • Leigh Cup: Service & Leadership displayed over consecutive years by a Year 11 & 12 Boarder - Rhys Laker

  • Bennett Trophy: Outstanding Service & Contribution to Argyle House - Harry Grainger

  • Cramond Cup: Service - Johno O’Brien

  • Argyle Cup: Leadership - Harry Grainger

The senior boys that remained in during the NCEA study leave period all worked conscientiously in the Prep Room from 9.00 - 10.30am and 11.00am - 12.00pm each week-day morning, under the supervision of an Argyle Master. I am sure their studious approach will result in a pleasing set of NCEA examination results for all students.

With Years 9 and 10 the only year levels remaining at school, they have all enjoyed the reduction in prep hours and have made good use of the swimming pool between 7.00-8.00pm most evenings. The tone of the Hostel is very relaxed and positive, as we all look forward to the end of the school year.

The final day of school is Friday 8th December. The Hostel closes for the year on Friday at 2.30pm.

The Junior Prizegiving for Years 9 and 10 students is scheduled for a 10.00am start, in Gymnasium 1, on Friday 8th December.


8.45 - 9.20am: All Years 9 and 10 are to go to their Tutor Group classroom to receive their Diligence Certificates.

8.45am: All prize-winners to Gym 1.

9.20am: All Year 9 and 10 students move to Gym 1 to be seated.

10.00am: Junior Prize Giving begins.

11.15am (approximately): End of Prize Giving. Boys return to their Tutor Group classroom to collect their bags and other gear, and are to be released thereafter.

11.30am - 12.30pm: Rolling lunch at the Argyle House Dining Room. The boys are able to depart for the year immediately after Prize Giving has concluded.

2.30pm: The Hostel is closed for the year.

We now look forward to 2024 and the new Hostel year. Our Senior Leaders and Prefects have been appointed and we have a full Hostel for the start of 2024 with 52 new boarders, with 36 at Year 9 level, and 9 new International students. We are pleased to welcome new boarders in 2024 from Scotland, Sweden, Hong Kong, USA, Japan (3), and Fiji (2).

We farewelled our GAP student, Harry Parker, at the Argyle Prize Giving. Harry returns to England after spending the year in Argyle House. Harry has contributed a tremendous amount to the Hostel during the 11 months he has been with us and will be missed by the boys. Harry is being replaced by two GAP students from Cape Town, South Africa. Kyle Le Riche and Jude Mills, both from Wynberg High School, the same school our van driver, Howard, attended many years ago. They both arrive ready for the start of the new Hostel and school year.

I would like to offer my thanks to our two outgoing Hostel Parent Representatives, who have given four years’ service to this role. Mr Alastair Reeves and Mrs Diana O’Brien, have both made themselves accessible to all Argyle House parents and caregivers. This voluntary role allows all Hostel families to make contact with them, should they wish to discuss any matters of concern, or to gain a better understanding of Hostel life, especially if it is a family new to boarding.

Alastair and Diana have attended many formal occasions over the years e.g. Hostel Prizegiving, New Boarders' Orientation Day, Argyle House Open Day, being visible to all parents and caregivers. Their experience and support of Argyle House over many years has been well received by all our families. Thank you both.

Our two new Hostel Parent Representatives were announced at the Parents' meeting on Sunday evening of the 29th October, in the Hostel Prep Room. Mrs Kelly Waea-Allan, is a teacher from Tokoroa who has had an 11-year association with Argyle House and HBHS, with four sons (three have left and one is currently in Year 11), with twin sons arriving in Year 9, in 2024.

Mr Adrian Verry is a farmer from the Waitomo region who has had a 6-year association with Argyle House and HBHS, with three sons (one has left and two are currently in Years 10 and 12) and one son arriving in Year 9, in 2024.

I have attached the 2024 Argyle House and Grove Term Planner in an article within this newsletter, which has all the key dates for the start of the new year to assist families with the safe return of their son.

It has been another exceptional year at Argyle House. We are blessed with a caring and hard-working staff, an outstanding group of Prefects and Senior Leaders and a group of young men who go about their daily lives within Argyle and Grove with such positive energy. It is truly a pleasure to be part of this Hostel environment.

Thank you for the continued support of all our boys, staff, Headmaster, Hostel Committee and Board of Trustees throughout the year. It has been appreciated by us all and we now look forward to what lies ahead in 2024 with one new staff member and 52 new boarders.

This is the final newsletter for 2023 and it is pleasing to be able to publish and share with you so many photos and stories that have taken place over the past few weeks. We will miss all those leaving us, especially our Year 13 boys. We wish them all the very best for life beyond Argyle.

I will send out a reminder email in January 2024, before the boys are due to return to the Hostel, outlining all return procedures and key dates.

On behalf of all Hostel staff, I wish everyone a safe and joyful Christmas, with your son, whānau and friends.

Ngā mihi

Murray McKenzie

Director of Boarding

021 516 477