In March 2016 Geoff was elected to the level of Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand in recognition of his contribution to the engineering profession.
Geoffrey Thomas is one of New Zealand’s leading academics in fire engineering, known internationally for his expertise in post-earthquake fires. He was the principal author of the Guidelines for assessing Chartered Professional Engineers in fire
engineering. He has been engaged to prepare expert evidence for the High
Court and undertaken peer reviews on fire safety engineering for major projects. His volunteer work after the Canterbury earthquakes earned him the Fulton-Downer Gold Medal President’s Award in 2011 and a Victoria University Public Service Award.
In March Ex-Roskill student Brook Barrington was named Chief Executive of New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, returning to a department where he had worked for 20 years before taking on senior roles in Defence and Justice.
Mr Barrington's previous career at the foreign ministry included three years as ambassador to Thailand, postings to Canberra and Brussels, and a stint as foreign policy adviser in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He had taken on a new role at the Ministry of Justice only last year, where he was deputy chief executive responsible for the ministry's day-to-day operations.
Mr Barrington attended Roskill in the 1970’s and when he was contacted by one his Roskill teachers recently he said, “My years at MRGS were happy ones, and I owe a lot to some very fine teachers. …… The school seems to have gone from strength to strength. I am proud to be associated with it.”
We congratulate Brook on his appointment and look forward to following his work at the Ministry.
MRGS Foundation Year´s Reunion
We recently received news of a reunion lunch organised on Waiheke in November last year for 60 MRGS past pupils from the 1950’s.
Many of these people were foundation pupils in 1953, and as the organizer said “As we are all pensioners we were able to use our Gold Cards to get to Waiheke.” This is the second lunch organised since the 60th Reunion at the school in 2013.The interest in these reunion lunches is fantastic and organisers anticipate even greater numbers for their next get together. We have included the a photo of the November Lunch and organisers have other photos if there is any interest. (Contact the school for details)
Professor Murray Brennan
Professor Murray Brennan Awarded NZ’s Second Highest Honour
Past Roskill student, now Sir Murray Brennan, was named earlier this year as a Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit - an honour shared amongst only 40 living New Zealanders. Sir Murray, a world-leading cancer surgeon, now living in America, went from Roskill to Otago University and then on to further Medicine studies at Harvard University. This NZ honour is the latest of many accolades which acknowledge his long career in medical research.
Student Signs NRL First Grade Contract
Delouise Hoeter, a student at MRGS from 2007—2011, has recently signed a first grade contract for Wests Tigers in the NRL. He played three years of junior rugby for us before switching to League. Last year he played for the Junior Kiwis and was a member of the Tigers squad for this year’s Auckland NRL 9’s tournament. He has also represented Manu Samoa in League.
MRGS Student in NZ Lacrosse Team
Venkat Prakash ex-Prefect and award winner in a number of co-curricular endeavours has been picked for the New Zealand U18 Lacrosse team. This is a reward for his many years of involvement in the sport while at Roskill. He is an accomplished player and together with a number of students in his year established a strong base for the sport in the school. We wish him all the best for his forthcoming games.
Antono Riswanto - Restaurant Chef
Antono (2nd from left) pictured with some of the people he has helped in Auckland
Ex Roskill student and now restaurant chef Antono Riswanto was recently featured on Seven Sharp - TV One. In addition to cooking at his city restaurant he is involved in the distribution of food to Auckland’s street people. One night a week he and his staff create over 50 meals from food donated and distribute them around the city. They are assisted in this by members of the MRGS 1st XI soccer squad who become couriers for the night. Antono has set up a Facebook page ‘Cooks for the people' through which he co-ordinates donations and makes further contacts to assist in his benevolent service. The story feature from Seven Sharp can be accessed following the link below.
Seven Sharp Video