Reunion in NZ – 2017


Sunday the morning after, and a few of our number made an early exit from Auckland/Devonport. Victoria Street in Devonport hosts many cafes and restaurants, and these began to be patronised by small groups as the morning advanced, swapping even more stories!

Sunday evening the remnants gathered again at the McLeod’s house for a ‘rolling BBQ’. Initially unsure of what that meant, it became obvious that it was the name for mountains of sausages, steaks and chicken legs plus copious salads all provided by the hosts. And, of course, washed down with wine, beer etc. Initial doubts that it was too much proved unfounded. Even by this time, the stories weren’t exhausted – or perhaps we were rehashing some of them? Can’t remember!

The visitors thinned out on Monday, with the last ones departing Tuesday, all with memories of yet another terrific reunion.

The event was so well organised by our Kiwi classmates – thank you. The contribution of Tony as lead organiser, and his family – Mary and their children Catherine, Antony and Rachel, ably assisted by the perpetual motion Piper – as hosts was fundamental in the success of the reunion. Again, our heartfelt thanks to Tony and Mary for opening their lovely home for us to share.

A selection of photos has been added to the Gallery in a new page: Reunion in NZ – 2017 at this link

Please pass on any suitable photographs of this event or our time at RMC, or any other appropriate occasion (previous reunions, catch ups etc).

Sitrep #1


Members of the class began to dribble into Devonport and Auckland from Thursday. Many opted to stay at the Esplanade Hotel, where the dinner is to be held on Saturday night. There were a number of accidental and planned catch ups, sometimes in places far away from Auckland.

 Friday 8 December.

Our first organized event was at Mary and Tony McLeod’s house in Devonport, where they put on drinks and nibbles for the 51 participants and quite a few others from family and associates, including Ken Cooke, who had been the NZ Exchange Officer in our time. The great fear was not being able to recognize people from 45 years ago – but although there were a couple of minor moments as new hair (facial) and no hair (cranium) created some initial uncertainty, it was all ok. The babble continued for about four hours, with continuous food platters and liquid refreshments and of course some photo bombers prevailed. The hosts were indeed generous.

Saturday 9 December.

Tony organized a guided walking tour of the North Head Historic Reserve (basically artillery batteries built to defend against invaders, including the Russians, Germans and Japanese, none of whom came).

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The tour was well attended by classmates and a few wives, with others relaxing with a coffee – catching up with whomever chanced by. The town band was playing Carols outside the Library and a different Christmas tree had been positioned next to the NZ Christmas Trees (Pohutukawa trees). Little groups formed to share lunch at the many excellent cafes and restaurants.

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1800 hours and it was drinks in the bar pre-dinner: ‘Is this a conference?’ asked a bewildered customer as he tried to buy a drink. ‘No, it’s much worse – it’s a reunion’. We were moved into the dining room, transferring a rising babble of conversation and laughter that never seemed to peak.

Few speeches, wonderfully short, toasts to the members of the class, to their partners and to those who have passed on. The meal was excellent, the wine flowed, the stories and memories poured out, possibly embellished, family and work histories updated…..


Hotel staff were excellent, managed by a very competent young woman who gave lots of cheek. Phil Newman remarked to her that she reminded him of his daughter. She replied that he reminded her of her great grandfather!

The night ended at Cinderella time as the Hotel Esplanade called last drinks. There will be hoarse voices, possibly a few sore heads, but great memories to add to the store.

Mary and Tony have opened their house again this Sunday afternoon for a ‘rolling BBQ’. It will be well attended, although some have already started on their return journey.

The hospitality provided by Mary and Tony has been generous and exceptional, added to the planning and organizing of the various events. A huge and heartfelt thanks from all of us attending to them both.

Latest News

The latest update from Tony is below. If you’ve nominated to attend, you’ll have received this by email – but here it is again:
Dear classmates
Thanks very much for `signing up` for the reunion. It looks like it`ll be a cracker with 50 attendees at this stage (I`m hoping there aren`t too many more in the last month as the maximum number for dinner is 65).
Earlier in the year I indicated a number of activities which were available in Auckland, but the overwhelming feedback I have had is that you would rather maximize the time in `reunioning` with each other, rather than peeling off in different directions for other activities.
So on that basis I have firmed up a sequence of events which looks something like this, (in fact it looks exactly like this!);
Friday 8 Dec; 1600 (or whenever you can make it)  -? Happy hour(s) at my place, 45a Clarence St, Devonport, Auckland.  I know that some of you are not flying into Akl until about 5.00pm, so timings are very flexible. I will provide drinks and nibbles, but the hungrier toc racers (artists) may well wish to go on to dinner afterwards, Devonport has a range of restaurants. If you are staying in the CBD, an airport shuttle into the CBD followed by a ferry ride (they go every 15 mins at that time of the day) would be the best option as the traffic can be a bit of a hassle in Auckland, especially getting to Devonport. For those staying at the Esplanade, there are shuttles. Uber is also a good option in Auckland. My home is an 8 minute walk from the Devonport ferry building, but there is a small (but significant) hill en route. If you are reasonably mobile then walk it. If you think you may have problems please let me know and I (or one of my family) can come and pick you up, we have large vans available from our Childcare centres so numbers are not a problem, I would just need to know when you may need a lift.
Saturday 9 Dec;
10.00am/ tbc, walking tour of North Head gun emplacements. This would be a couple of hours guided tour, starting from the Esplanade Hotel. Attendance is optional, I think we would/should probably make a donation to the Akl Coastal Defence Historic Trust of say $10 per head. (I would collect this at the time).
5.00pm; meet for pre dinner drinks at the Esplanade Hotel, Devonport. Cost is $65.00 per head with a cash bar. I will collect the $65.00 from you on Friday night so please change some Aussie currency into NZD at the airport or similar beforehand. Can you please let me know if there are any special dietary requirements.
Sunday 10 Dec; No plans other than a rolling bar-b-que at my place from 4.00pm.
So that’s the plan. Please let me know if you would like any advise or help on anything related to the weekend, or to any other activities you may like to do whilst in Auckland.
It should be a great occasion. I`m looking forward to it.
My regards to you all.

Previous Items

An updated Attendance List as at 14 September is at Attendance List as at 14 September

As at 12 September
Tony has provided some more information as at 12 September:
Attendance: Latest Attendance List is at this link: RMC Reunion Attendance List as at 12 September Sheet1
Apologies if there are any errors – please let David Cran know via the email on this site and the list will be updated.
Dress: the dress for both the Friday night Happy Hour and Saturday night dinner will be smart casual (no ties!).
Costs: the costs for each individual will depend on which activities any individual decides to participate in (see the previous list of activities).
Dinner. The cost for the dinner will be $65.00per head, plus buy your own drinks (cash bar).
Friday Night Drinks: Free (Tony’s shout, to help repay the many years of hospitality he has received while in Australia).
It will be pretty much `pay as you go` so no need for any payments in advance.“
Tony will sort more details, eg identify who wants to do what activity-wise, next month.
From Tony as at 14 July 2017:
“I now have some more accomodation details;
For those of you who may miss out on the limited number of rooms at the Esplanade Hotel, the most convenient and suitable hotel would be the-
 GrandMercure, 8 Customs St East, Auckland City,
 -in the Auckland CBD. For people choosing to stay there, it would involve an eight minute ferry journey over the harbour to Devonport, where the Friday night meet-and-greet and Saturday dinner are being held.
The hotel is really well located on the Auckland waterfront, close to the main shopping area and waterfront cafes/bars etc.
I have arranged for a group discount for anyone who wishes to stay there, details are;
when booking on either or enter the promo code `BGPG` to receive `a 15% discount on the rate of the day at the time of booking`.
Please note that this discounted rate might not be the cheapest on any given day, and so please check out alternative hotel booking sites if you wish.
There are plenty of airbnbs in the Devonport area.
I will be overseas in USA from 25 July until 31 Aug so will attend to any queries upon return.”
The latest attendance list, as at 14 July, is at: RMC Attendance List as at 15 Jul 17
First Thoughts
Tony has been looking at the options for a hotel in the city which would be suitable for accomodation, since the Esplanade has limited rooms (Peter Martyn suggested this approach).
The best option seems to be the Mercure, 8 Customs St East, CBD, Auckland. It is right near the ferry terminal and would well suit anyone who didn`t need/wish to hire a car. Tony is looking to get a group discount of 15% off the flexible booking rate. More info soon – let Tony know if you’re interested.
There has not been much uptake on any of the activities but these can be pinned  down closer to the time.
A couple of guys have indicated they were unaware of the reunion: please pass on about the website and the reunion to anyone and everyone.  In the next week or so I’ll try to put together a group email to get the message out.

Attendance List

The list of intending attendees as at 7 June 17 (now 37 starters) is at this link: RMC Attendance List as at 7 June

The list will be updated – occasionally! Please let Tony know if you intend going, and any other information, so that he can hold information as the central point of contact.


Tony McLeod has provided a program (as at 17 January 2017) at this link: 72classreunionprgm-sheet1.

Initial Planning

At this stage, Friday 9 Dec – Sun 11 Dec 2017 has been pencilled in by our NZ Classmates for the 45th Reunion to be held in Auckland NZ next year.

The envisioned program is:

  • Friday – evening drinks and casual dinner in Devonport (North Shore of Auckland Harbour, ferry to/from CBD).
  • Saturday –  possibility of a walk through some native bush in the Waitakeres (West Auckland), or a wine tour on Waiheke Island (Hauraki Gulf), or a visit to TiriTiri Matangi (a native bird reserve on an island in the Hauraki Gulf), or a snorkel dive at the Marine Reserve at Goat Island (North of Auckland), or some other activity which anyone may care to suggest, golf?-hilly or flat, tour historic gun emplacements on North Head and Fort Takapuna, the list is endless.
    – in the evening a dinner at a nice restaurant in Auckland CBD
  • Sunday – possibility of a rerun of the Saturday activities.

Tony McLeod is the point of contact at this stage, and will keep this page updated. Please let him know if there`s anything else which you may wish to include. He’ll do more research and post appropriate links so interested people will get a better idea of what each of the activities entails.