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From the Deputy Principal

Staff Rob Donaldson 0778 SQ

Rob Donaldson
Deputy Principal

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It is wonderful to have the boys and staff back on campus. It has been a busy time for many during the holidays, with cultural and sporting competitions, training camps, and rehearsals for the senior production. I attended the senior squad rugby camp in Oxford and was impressed by how well the boys were being prepared for the season ahead. I have also enjoyed reading the updates from the cricket tour. The boys have had some outstanding experiences overseas.

Anzac Service

We had a very moving and impressive Anzac Service on the Quad on Wednesday. Sir William Young’s address has reminded us of sacrifices made by College Old Boys and staff, and is a sobering acknowledgement of how the loss of even just one life in war has such a profound impact on family, friends, and society. The Chapel Choir and Schola Cantorum enhanced the service in a profound way.

On a musical note

Talking of choirs, the Induction of New Choristers Service in the Chapel on Friday night had its own uplifting symbolism. The induction into the Chapel Choir is a sort of rite of passage and a chance for the new choristers to join a community within the wider College community. In doing so, they become part of something bigger than themselves, and yet their role as individuals is vital to the success of the choir. The fact that the choir has more than 100 members (the biggest it has ever been) speaks to the value that the boys perceive in being part of our rich choral tradition. The symbolism comes full circle at the end of the year, during the Carol Service, when the various choir leaders hand over their responsibilities to the next generation of leaders. These traditions are part of what makes College a special place and are demonstrative of one of our Virtues – Stewardship.

Still on a musical theme, a highlight of College life for me has been musical performances at Assembly. The latest example of this was a strong rock performance last week by a junior group called The Spuds. I admire the courage required to perform in front of almost 800 students and staff, with solo performances being particularly challenging. Our boys are very respectful of the musicians, and the wide range of musical styles on display. I would like to think that they have some appreciation of the hours of rehearsal required and then the nerve-racking reality of the performance itself.

This term will now gather momentum and will be both challenging and very rewarding.

Read on


Staff Darrell Thatcher

Darrell Thatcher
Deputy Principal – Planning & Co-curricular

Driving and the teenage brain

Driving and the teenage brain – a safety session presented by motorsport star Greg Murphy and neuroscience educator Nathan Wallis – drives into Christchurch on Tuesday 16 May.

Held during Road Safety Week (15–21 May), the nationwide tour – backed by vehicle safety and training provider AutoSense – highlights the concerns over mobile phone distractions while driving. It also helps parents and young drivers understand the developing teenage brain, and aims to improve teenagers’ decision-making when behind the wheel of a car.

Book your spot for Driving and the teenage brain on Tuesday 16 May at 7pm at St Thomas of Canterbury College. The first eight College families to book can get free tickets by using the promo code CHCHSchool.

Parents’ Association House Music Festival

A highlight of the Christ’s College calendar for multiple generations of College families, the Parents’ Association House Music Festival will be held on Thursday 22 June at 6.30pm in the Christchurch Town Hall.

A night not to be missed, each boy in every House takes to the stage for the annual festival as the students vie for the ultimate prize – top House honours. The evening also features ensemble groups as each House choir and group strives to outperform each other.

Book here for one of the best nights of your life.

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Boarding Matters

Staff Ben Vink 8793 2222 SQ

Ben Vink
Deputy Principal – Student Care

Making the most of the Boarding Programme

We offer the Boarding Programme at the weekends to give students an opportunity to chill out and also mix with other boarders from outside their House. We offer a variety of activities throughout the year that will appeal to a range of students. All Years 9–10 students who are staying in for the weekend are required to take part. We believe it is healthy to get the boys out and about at least twice a week.

Our Boarding Programme Activities Coordinator, Scott Franklin, does a wonderful job, finding activities that the boys enjoy. As you can imagine, a lot of organisation goes on behind the scenes to make this work. On Thursday evenings, we consult the students so that we also know their plans and whether they have other commitments. We often book and confirm our numbers for an activity and then several boys pull out at the last minute as they organise leave. The inconvenience of a late change can be significant, along with the associated costs. While we always say ‘yes’ to parents who have been able to come to Christchurch at the last minute and want to spend time with their sons, the earlier we know, the more helpful it is for our planning.

Immerse & Inspire

It has been wonderful to welcome boys and parents to Jacobs House for the first Immerse & Inspire group for 2023.

During the next three weeks, the boys will get to know each other through their boarding experience. They will be guided by me, our Immerse & Inspire tutor, Liam O’Leary, and Director of Sport Benn McBrearty. It has been great to have Ben Donaldson and Angus Gifford join us at the Prefects in residence.

House Music – it’s a date

Please make a note of Thursday 22 June in your calendars for an evening of Parents’ Association House Music. Prior to House Music, we will meet as a boarding community for drinks and nibbles from 4.45–5.45pm in the Dining Hall. It is a great night and a wonderful chance to catch up with the wider boarding community. Please RSVP for the drinks and nibbles and book your tickets here.

What's for dinner?

View the Dining Hall menu produced by the talented team at Spotless.

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Curriculum News

Staff Nicole Billante

Nicole Billante
Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning

Standard approach to exams and assessments

I am delighted to see the manner in which the boys have returned to classes. They have heeded the message that this is a busy term on many fronts and it is important to stay focussed in order to meet academic demands. There are many NCEA internal assessments throughout the term so I recommend that Years 12–13 students check the ‘due work’ area on Schoolbox and plan ahead.

For our Year 11 students, there are several important things to highlight. While most of the Prep classes for the Diploma take place in Semester 2, a handful of Prep courses are held this semester. As these courses are designed for NCEA preparation, all Prep courses, where suitable, will have examinations. In week eight this term, there will be exams for seven Prep courses. Most boys have at least one exam, and about a third of the year group have two.

This week, we will hold the first of two opportunities for achieving the NCEA co-requisite standards. These new standards assess basic reading, writing, and numeracy skills. They are stand-alone, computer-based tests, set and marked at a national level. All students need 10 credits in literacy and 10 credits in numeracy to be awarded NCEA qualifications at any level. I have spoken to students about this last term and we will continue to communicate with the boys in the lead-up to exam week.

The next opportunity for gaining these standards is in week four of Term 4. Students who do not pass parts or all of the previous assessments and those Year 10s deemed ready to attempt these standards will sit these at that time. Students can have multiple assessment opportunities in these co-requisites – right up until they leave College in Year 13 – so while we want them to try their hardest and do their best the first time, they are not so high stakes that boys or parents need to be anxious.

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Advanced Learning

Staff Emma Bracken 0899 SQ

Emma Bracken
Head of Advanced Learning

Take up the challenge

College offers many opportunities and, this term, we encourage younger students to step outside their comfort zones and try new activities to ignite their curiosity, challenge their skills, and open up new possibilities. The following activities are suitable for Years 9–10 students.

The Kiwi Competitions in Science, Maths, and English are designed to challenge students and test their skills. These competitions provide a platform for students to showcase their knowledge and compete against other students from around the country. Students can also gain valuable experience, improve their understanding of the subjects, and, potentially, win some great prizes. Boys can sign up through notices on Schoolbox, with the competitions held later this term.

Thriving Minds is a day of extension designed to help students explore their interests and enhance their skills. With a range of workshops and activities on offer, students can delve into new topics and develop their passions. It is also an excellent opportunity to connect with like-minded peers. Expressions of interest open soon, so watch out for updates in Schoolbox notices.

Da Vinci Decathlon

For the first time in New Zealand, we are delighted to host a regional Da Vinci Decathlon, an academic competition for secondary schools designed to challenge and stimulate students. Students compete in teams of eight across 10 disciplines – engineering, mathematics and chess, code breaking, art and poetry, science, English, ideation, creative producers, cartography, and legacy. Both the Year 9 competition and the Years 10–11 contest will be held at College this week. College aims to establish and grow the Da Vinci Decathlon in New Zealand, offering more students greater opportunities.

Read on

Wellbeing Education

Staff Caroline Black 6072 SQ

Caroline Black
Director of Wellbeing Education

Mindfulness – The Art of Living in the Moment

We welcome Dr Nick Penney back to College this term. Following his popular student, parent, and staff mindfulness programmes, it is exciting to have Nick here at school again.

An experienced mindfulness practitioner and educator who has worked with schools around the world to introduce mindfulness practices into the classroom, Nick completed a PhD at the Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Queensland. He is a leading proponent of pain management, along with mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. After undertaking extensive training programmes in the United States and Britain, Nick now educates adolescents and adults in overcoming life’s challenges through mindfulness, providing the skills to ‘flow and flourish’ at school and in everyday life. Today, he is one of the most experienced Mindfulness in Schools Project educators.

Nick will speak at our Parent Education Evening tonight in the Chapman Room from 7pm. His talk will explore the benefits of mindfulness for both adults and teenagers and how it can support overall wellbeing, academic achievement, and social-emotional learning. It is a free event, with attendees invited to make a donation to the Maia Foundation.

Nick is also offering a tailored, eight-week parent programme – focussing on mindfulness-based stress reduction – at Christ’s College. It will be complemented by guided narrations and a mindfulness workbook. Nick will discuss the programme details during the evening.

To register for the Parent Education Evening, please click here.

    Read on

    Eco-Action Nursery Trust

    Staff David Newton 0397 SQ

    David Newton
    Eco-Action Trust co-founder

    Eco-Action community planting days

    Members of our College community are invited to join our Eco-Action students in planting thousands of native trees and plants – grown by our nursery – over the next few months.

    Our four planting days will be held at 50 Atlantis Street, off Travis Road (view map here), on Sunday 14 May, 18 June, 30 July, and 3 September, from 10am–12pm.

    You can help to nurture a special habitat for native birds and lizards that will last for generations to come, as well as benefitting the environment. Just bring drinking water and a spade and remember to wear sturdy footwear. We will also have extra spades available.

    You can learn about the Eco-Action Nursery Trust here or on the Eco-Action Facebook page.

      Read on

      Health Centre

      Nicky Taylor IBW

      Nicky Taylor
      Health Centre Nurse

      Rachel Trengrove IBW

      Rachel Trengrove
      Health Centre Nurse

      Top tips for winter health

      We hope our College families have enjoyed a relaxing break during the holidays, recharging their batteries before winter sets in. Here are a few tips to help you and your sons maintain good health in the cooler months.

      • Eat a healthy diet of vegetables and fruit
      • Stay hydrated
      • Get outdoors during the day and enjoy the sun when you can
      • Try to sleep well, supported by a ‘before bed’ regime
      • Keep warm
      • Avoid getting sick or being around those who are ill, if you can. If your sons are unwell, please keep them home until they are symptom-free to minimise any spread of illness.
      Read on

      From the Chaplain

      Staff Cameron Pickering 1608 SQ

      The Rev'd Canon Cameron Pickering

      Singing their praises

      Tēnā koutou katoa.

      Christ is risen. Alleluia. He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

      Easter season greetings to you all, as we continue to celebrate with the Church the triumph of the Love which is God.

      On our first day back together on 26 April, the full school and staff gathered on the Quad for the Remembrance of the Fallen Anzac Service. I have noted with the boys their respectful demeanour, without prompting, on the day. Some were so reverential they failed to keep the circulation moving and had to have a lie down. We are called to remember, not stand century, the wellbeing and health of the living being the greatest memorial to the dead. A timely reminder to ensure these teenagers are eating breakfast, and drinking plenty of water.

      Our thanks to Sir William Young KNZM KC for his moving address. You can learn more about the service here.

      On Friday evening, the Chapel Choir of Christ’s College welcomed 35 new choristers. The service involves the vesting of the new choristers with a surplice by the choir leaders. This a symbol of their commitment to the choir, its leading of worship in our community, and the desire to bring Glory to God – Korōria ki te Atua – in all we do.

      New choristers – prior to being given their surplice – are welcomed by choir members with the College waiata.

      Thank you to the supporters, parents, and caregivers who joined us for this beautiful service at the end of a busy week. The Chapel Choir of Christ’s College is now 104 students strong. It is a huge commitment on the behalf of these boys who manage their time between their studies, sport, and other co-curricular activities. Pray with me that our choir continues to bless us, and, in turn, is blessed itself.

      Year 9 chorister Louis Hiatt is admitted to the Chapel Choir of Christ’s College.

      The new choristers are James Anderson, Thomas Clayson, George Currie, James Currie, Hugh Davis, Augustus Elworthy, Angus Fulton, Jack Gorrie, Newman Hao, Louis Hiatt, Guy Holmes, Alex Johnstone, Edward Killick, Paddy Laidlaw, Felix Liu, Alex Luhrs, Connor MacKenzie, Harry MacKenzie-Rickards, Alfie McLean, Hugo Miller, Cole Moffatt, Kiniwai Morgan, Jack Morkane, Jonty Ramsden, Michael Rankin, James Reed, Alex Richards, Casper Talbot, Kever Thorley, Ollie Trollip, Jago Wallace, Sebastian Wynn Thomas, Chris Yoon, Sean Zhang, and Lucas Zhong.

      Flower’s House members of the Chapel Choir, with six new choristers at the front. From left: Guy Holmes, James Reed, Hugh Davis, Jonty Ramsden, Thomas Clayson, and George Currie.

      I look forward to welcoming many of you this weekend to our first Sunday service for Term 2. At Eastertide, as ever, we celebrate the name that binds us together.

      May the God of Peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great shepherd of the sheep, make each and everyone of us perfect in every good work to do his will this week and always.

      Yours in the same Jesus Christ, alleluia, alleluia.

      The Rev'd Cameron Pickering

      Read on

      Latest News & Events

      2023 03 anzac service

      Lest we forget – the sacrifice of Christ’s College Old Boys

      At a special Anzac Day service on the Quad, former Supreme Court Judge Sir William Young has reflected on the “endeavour, courage, and sacrifice” of fellow Old Boys in the theatres of war, particularly those of ‘Vasili, the Lion of Crete’ Dudley Perkins.

      Read full article
      2023 02 choirister induction

      Take note of record numbers in Chapel Choir

      College’s prestigious Chapel Choir has swelled to a record 104 student voices, with 35 new choristers inducted during a special service in the Chapel on Friday evening.

      Read full article
      2023 01 Athletics SI

      Christ’s College on fast track to top athletics titles

      Christ’s College athletes have claimed a stunning 10 titles at the South Island Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships in Invercargill, including one won by an athlete very new to the field.

      Read full article
      2023 01 sheilah winn

      Reuben Oh takes a bow at Shakespeare Festival

      Reuben Oh has won one of only two Best Performer awards at the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival held in the Middleton Grange Theatre.

      Read full article
      2023 academic extras

      Going for gold – four College boys step up

      Thomas Moggie has been awarded his Gold Tie – recognising his outstanding academic achievements – at Assembly.

      Read full article
      2023 02 city mission sleepout

      Christ’s College boys sleep out for homeless

      Christ’s College students have slept outside on the Quad to highlight the issue of homelessness in the city, along with raising nearly $4000 for the City Mission.

      Read full article
      2023 03 round square quad

      Circle of Christ’s College unity to combat racism

      Christ’s College students have formed a circle of unity on the Quad to conquer racism and mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

      Read full article

      Upcoming Events


      Wednesday 3 May, 6pmAuckland Young Old Boys (YOBs) Event
      Register now
      Wednesday 3 May, 7pmMindfulness – The Art of Living in the Moment
      Book now
      Tuesday 9 May, 6pmMartinborough Community Visit

      Register now.

      Tuesday 9 May–Saturday 13 MayPeter Pan
      Book now
      Wednesday 10 May, 6pmWellington Community Visit

      Register now.

      Saturday 20 May, 8amYear 11 Mother and Son Breakfast
      Book now
      Saturday 20 May, 4pmSingapore Community Visit
      Register now
      Saturday 27 May, 7.30pmFootball Fundraiser – a night at the races
      Book now.
      Thursday 1 June, 5pmScholarships and study in the United States – a virtual presentation by Angus McKenzie
      Register now.

      Thursday 22 June, 6.30pm

      Parents' Association House Music Festival
      Book now

      Friday 30 June, 6–9pmChrist's College Parents' Association Midwinter Drinks
      Book now
      Wednesday 19 July, 6pmDunedin Young Old Boys (YOBs) Event

      Register now.

      Wednesday 2 August, 6pmAkaroa Community Visit
      Register now

      Tuesday 8 August, 6pm

      Hawke's Bay Community Visit
      Register now.
      Wednesday 29 November, 6pmChristchurch Young Old Boys (YOBs) Event
      Register now

      Friday 8 September, 10.15am–12pm

      Grandparents' Day

      Read on


      Staff Chris Sellars

      Chris Sellars
      Careers Advisor

      Upcoming careers dates

      4 May

      University of Otago, St Margaret’s College residential college talk, 8.15am, Fine Arts building

      7–8 MayOtago Tertiary Open Day – College to take group
      9 MayUniversity of Canterbury Information Evening, 6.30–9pm
      11 MayCareers Expo, Christchurch Arena, 9am, Year 12
      12–13 MayCareers Expo, Christchurch Arena, 9am–3pm (Friday), 10am–3pm (Saturday)
      17 MayLincoln University, 10.15am, Year 12, during Congers
      17 MayNZ Defence Force Information Evening, Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, 6pm
      24 MayNZ Defence Force, 10.15am, Year 11, during Congers
      26–27 MayUniversity of Waikato (Hamilton) Open Day
      30 May

      NZ College of Chiropractic Information Evening, 7pm, 29 Leeds Street, Phillipstown

      30 MayLincoln University Information Evening, 4.30pm, The Piano 156 Armagh Street
      1 JuneAra medical imaging information, 9am–12pm, Ara Manawa campus, Years 11–13
      8 JuneAra Institute of Canterbury Open Day, 3–6pm
      8 JuneUniversity of Canterbury Year 12 Discovery Day, 9am–3pm
      22 JuneAra Information Evening, 5.30–6.30pm
      26 June

      Ara introduction to nursing, Ara Manawa campus, Years 11–13, 9am–12pm

      28 JuneUniversity of Canterbury Virtual Information Evening, 6pm, online
      AugustUniversity of Auckland scholarships applications close
      3 AugustMassey University (Manawatū) Campus Taster Day
      24 AugustAra-specific dual enrolment event
      25 AugustMassey University (Wellington) Open Day (TBC)
      25 AugustVictoria University of Wellington Open Day
      26 AugustAUT Live Open Day (TBC)
      26 AugustUniversity of Auckland Open Day
      8 SeptemberUniversity of Canterbury Open Day
      27 SeptemberUniversity of Canterbury, accommodation applications close
      29 SeptemberLincoln University Open Day (during school holidays)
      30 SeptemberUniversity of Auckland, first round accommodation applications close
      OctoberUniversity of Auckland, applications to study open
      DecemberUniversity of Auckland, applications to study close

      Christ's College CareerWise

      The Christ’s College careers website, CareerWise, is a rich source of information about all things related to career information. Check it out and sign up for weekly alerts by subscribing here.

      Below are recent postings on the College careers website:

      Sail GP

      At the end of Term 1, boys were offered the opportunity to visit Ara to hear about its engineering courses and relate those courses to car and yacht design. A large College group attended. To learn more, click here.

      UC Year 12 Discovery Day – 8 June

      An informative day for Year 12 students, with those attending required to register. When they register, they will need to choose the lectures they wish to attend. Registration closes on Friday 26 May. Register early to get the lectures of choice. Boys need to inform me when they have registered.

        School subjects and career opportunities

        Discover where your school subjects can take you. Careers NZ has put together posters featuring career opportunities. Boys can learn more about career options based on the subjects they enjoy.

        Studying Health Sciences or Biomedical Sciences next year?

        MoneyHub has published a guide for Year 13 students planning to study Health Sciences or Biomedical Sciences at the University of Otago or the University of Auckland. The guide has been prepared by 4th year Auckland Medical School students and is the first of its kind in New Zealand. Learn more here.

          University of Melbourne – 101 Webinars

          The University of Melbourne regularly runs webinars for interstate and New Zealand students interested in knowing more about the university and the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) application process. Click here to read more.

          University scholarships for Year 13 students

          MoneyHub has published a guide to hundreds of scholarships for any student planning to start university in 2024.

          It includes:

          • A comprehensive list of scholarships offered by every university, as well as those specifically available to local students
          • A list of privately funded, Māori, Pacific, and international university scholarships.

          MoneyHub has also published tips for scholarship success.

          Victoria University of Wellington – admission and enrolment from 2024

          Admission applications and course enrolments are now a two-step process at Victoria University of Wellington. Students first choose a degree and apply for admission, and then – after accepting an offer – they can enrol for their courses. The university encourages students to start their application process once they have decided on their degree. Students will have to register for a Pūaha account to apply for admission, scholarships, and accommodation.

          For the first time, all these applications are in the same place.

          Read the steps to enrol.

          In Black & White – Careers

          I share a range of relevant information with parents and boys via In Black & White. However, I am aware that not all boys read the school newsletter, so I hope parents will use the information provided as a springboard for investigation, discussion, and inspiration to support their sons as they consider their futures. Please contact me with any suggestions regarding careers, or if you require any career-related advice for your son.

          Read on

          From the Archives

          Jane Teal

          The cricket blazer

          There are several stories about the origin of the blazer. One version suggests it was the invention of Captain Wilmott of the British Navy ship HMS Blazer. When he was under pressure to smarten up his crew in readiness for an inspection by Queen Victoria in 1837, he created an item of clothing that was based on the sailor’s short, double-breasted, reefer-style jacket. Another version has it created in 1885 by an Englishman, John Redfern.

          Another version links it to the blazes or stripes of country club jackets in the 1870s while yet another traces it to the red ‘blazers’, or bright sporting jackets, worn by the boating team of St John’s College, Cambridge in the 1820s.

          The Christ’s College cricket team first wore them in 1886, although they were very similar to the jacket of a sac suit, with the small, notched lapels and high top buttons.

          1886 1st XI
          Back from left: Hugh Maude Reeves (910), Francis Augustus Hare (coach), Arthur Cecil Rolleston (825).
          Middle from left:
          Douglas Russell Jaumard Le Cren (971), Hugh Montgomerie Hutton (918)*, Andrew Melville Jameson (1132), James Percy Hargreaves (802), Arthur Cecil Perry (867), Percy Temple Williams (1062), Heathcote Beetham Williams (1000).
          Front from left:
          Leonard Evelyn Cotterill (753), Verney Harold Hargreaves (1061).
          *HM Hutton is not recorded in the 1st XI until 1887, whereas the lists include Charles Seaward Cantrell (1027).

          Gradually, the lapels broadened, and a cravat or open collar replaced a collar and tie.

          1911 1st XI
          Back from left:
          Geoffrey Michael Fulton Barnett (2305), Alan Duncan Stitt (2465), A Handsford (coach), Clarence Leslie Meredith-Kaye (2391), Walter Buchanan Thomas (2303).
          Middle from left:
          John Delabere Good (2300), John Robert Loudon (2330), Reginald James Richards (2282), John William Pinckney (2420), John Desborough Bowden (2309).
          Front from left:
          Berkeley Phelps Hopkins (2512), Walter Angus Macfarlane (2610).

          By the 1950s, the cricket blazer was one of many blazers made specifically at Ballantynes for individual team members. This one was worn by EJD (Jim) Newbigin (5510).

          The 1950 1st XI photo shows both Thomas Danby Gibson (5580) and Edward James Dudley (Jim) Newbigin in their blazers.

          Back from left: Gerald George Morison (5603), Nesslea Quentin Wright (5636), Edward James Dudley Newbigin, Thomas Danby Gibson, Henry Robin Lowry (5688).
          Middle from left:
          Robert Campbell Whyte (5540), John Lucas Allan (5465), John Garland Lester (5500), Geoffrey Charles Pitt Beadel (5467), David William Crowe (5552).
          James Wallace Clarke (5743).

          By the mid 1950s, there were plans to create a generic colours blazer. There will be more on that in the coming weeks.

          The Christ’s College collection of cricket blazers comprises the following:

          • CCBZ/1 1901 Gordon Fulton (1879)
          • CCBZ/2 1933 John Nicholson Buchanan Matson (3905)
          • CCBZ/4 1939 William Grantley Norton (4694)
          • CCBZ/40 1949–52 Thomas Danby Gibson
          • CCBZ/58 1949–50 Edward James Dudley (Jim) Newbigin
          • CCBZ/39 1952–53 John Eric Minty (5873)
          • CCBZ/3 1959 Derek Scott Banks (6247)

          There are, therefore, gaps in the collection. Are there any 1910s, 1920s, and early 1940s versions that can be added?

          Read on