Great lives start at Southwell

Associate of Honour

Associate of Honour

The purpose of this award is to honour members of the wider Southwell community who have achieved something substantial. The award recognises inspiring role models for our students who have demonstrated the Southwell School values.

The Southwell values define important aspects of the School’s traditional Christian ethos: excellence, integrity, creativity, resilience and service.  Just as the School’s Achiever’s Tie recognises the demonstration of Southwell values by pupils, this award recognises those outside the immediate school community.


Brian Perry founded Brian Perry Limited in the 1960s, which diversified over the years into The Perry Group, an organisation that was chaired by Brian until 2002.

The Perry Group is one of the region’s largest and most successful corporations with Waikato-based interests in construction, property development, quarrying, aggregate mining, metal protection and manufacturing.  The Perry Group is undoubtedly a major contributor to the prosperity of the Waikato region, through the significant number of employment opportunities it has created, both directly and indirectly.

Brian Perry has held roles including Deputy Chairman of the Hamilton City Council’s Property Company and was a Director of both the Hamilton Airport Authority and the Waikato Business Development Board.  He was also a founding Trustee of Sport Waikato.

In addition, through Brian’s vision, he created the Charitable Trust and Foundation that have benefited the community with support to individuals and groups.  Brian set up this Trust before he turned 30, with monies generated entirely from his business profits – a move as comparatively unique today as it was more than 40 years ago.

The monetary contributions made by the Brian Perry Trust, Foundation and businesses over the past five decades are regarded as unprecedented in the Waikato.  His giving also extends beyond his home region with many communities benefiting throughout New Zealand.  In 2007, approximately $30 million was awarded in grants to worthy organisations.

Today, the Perry Foundation helps individual students achieve excellence through the Brian Perry Business Management Scholarship, the Perry Foundation Scholarship in Science and Engineering, and the Sir Edmund Hillary High Performance Scholars.  The Perry Foundation also underwrites the annual ‘Great Race’ rowing regatta.  In addition, the Southwell School Performing Arts Centre has received significant help from the Foundation.

A long time supporter of education and indeed of Southwell School, Brian first became a member of the School community when his own two sons attended here.  Firstly Simon in 1977, then Guy who arrived in 1979, and now his grandchildren Emma and Sam.  Brian was not simply content to be just a parent and was offered a position on the School Board and served as a Trustee from 1972 to 1990.  During this time the school received a great deal of help and support from both Brian and the company he ran.  It is commented on how workers from Brian Perry Limited would turn up at school to complete a task, such as new paths or to fix some walls, and an account was never sent.

For more than 40 years Brian Perry has been donating not just money, but also his time.  He has truly lived his own philosophy of putting back into the community in a way that is commensurate with what one takes out.  He has consistently ‘walked the talk’ through his personal generosity with time, advice and mentoring.

Despite his significant business successes, and his extensive philanthropy, Brian has gone out of his way to avoid personal recognition.  A true New Zealander, his pursuit of excellence is legendary; his integrity both as an individual and a businessman is unquestioned; his creativity in forming the Perry Foundation and what it is achieving today is simply staggering and unique; his resilience to pursue what he knew he needed to do with perseverance is one that we can only marvel at; and all was done to serve a community he so passionately cared about.  This is what sets Brian apart.

As such this School is proud to acknowledge the achievements of Brian Perry and present him with the inaugural award of Associate of Honour.

Grant Sharman, an old boy from 1970 – 1974, lost the use of his legs and fine motor control in his hands due to a rugby injury while attending King’s College in 1977.

But that didn’t deter him from his passion of sport and the arts. Grant’s role as a player in New Zealand’s gold-medal winning wheelchair rugby team, the Wheel Blacks, meant he was able to continue playing a sport he loved and travel the world at the same time. He was then appointed in a coaching role to the Wheel Blacks’ Team and this team was extremely successful, winning the Gold medal at the Athens 2004 Paralympics and the Silver medal at the World Championships held in Christchurch in 2006.
Creatively, Grant is a talented mouthpainter. In 1980, well-known mouth painter, Bruce Hopkins suggested that he try painting using a brush in his mouth. Grant says his first efforts were terrible but he kept trying. Eight years later he was made a full member of the Association of Mouth & Foot Painting Artists based in Europe, which gave him financial independence and a greater quality of life.

Grant is awarded the Associate of Honour Award for resilience.

An old boy of Southwell School from 1969 – 1973, Andrew  went on to King’s College in Auckland.

Andrew then began to study medicine at Otago University, but after one year, changed direction and began an architecture degree at the University of Auckland.  After graduating in 1987 and gaining his registration as an architect, Andrew set up his own practice and was commissioned to design many amazing buildings like the Knight-Klisser House in Parnell, the Stratis on Lighter Quay on Auckland’s waterfront, and Micheal Hill’s property in Queenstown.

Just as we at Southwell have our Habits of Mind, Andrew has three principles that help guide his work: Touch the earth lightly;   Pacific Pattern Language;   and Form Follows Whanau.
Andrew’s work has deservedly received many accolades and awards nationally.  In 1988 he won the Young Architect of the Year Award,  which was the beginning of many more to come his way.
In 2002, he was awarded the Ryder Hunt Building Award for the Waitakere Gardens; in 2003, he won the Supreme Award for the Cummulus building, and at the 2009 World Architecture Festival, the Michael Hill Golf Club House was named one of the best sports and leisure buildings in the world.
Recently, Andrew’s practice was named by the architectural journal “World Architecture News”, as one of the five firms “whose directional ideas are helping to shape the future of world architecture”.  This achievement is unprecedented in New Zealand’s creative community.

Andrew is being is awarded the Associate of Honour Award for creativity and design.

Murray attended Southwell School from 1939-1944 and was made a Prefect in his last year.

In 1961 Murray became the Secretary for the Old Boy’s Association and in this year the School celebrated it’s 50 year anniversary. He was an original signatory of the Trust Deed that transferred the ownership of the School to the Trust Board. He was a member of the Trust Board for 27 years, being the Board Chairman for 6 of those years and the first Chairman of the Board outside the Sergel family. Murray was Warden of the Fellows for 20 years from 1990 – 2010 and a significant philanthropist along with his wife, Ann, also a Fellow, and was the Chairman of the first Southwell School Fundraising Committee.

Murray has made significant contributions to many other organisations throughout Hamilton. He was Chairman of the Hamilton Golf Club and the first amateur golfer to be admitted onto the New Zealand Professional Golfers Association Board. He became the 2nd President of World Squash in 1975, at which time there were 9 countries and retired in 1983 by which time the membership had increased to 48 countries. Squash was the first sport in New Zealand to have a World Headquarters and a World President both not only in New Zealand but in Hamilton. Murray is a life member of the World Squash Association and in 1981 he received an O.B.E (Order of the British Empire) for services to Squash and Education. He was Chartered Accountant from 1950 – 1999, a member of the MacKenzie Trust from 1990 – 2002, a Retired Captain N.Z. Territorial Force and has been a Rotarian since 1980, being President in 1986 – 1987.

Murray is being awarded the Associate of Honour for service.

The Associate of Honour is the highest award the School can bestow on an individual. The award recognises inspiring role models for our students and is awarded to an old boy or girl or member of the community that is strongly connected to the School and who exemplifies the School values of service, integrity, creativity, caring, respect and resilience.

It has been awarded just four times in the past to Mr Brian Perry, Mr Andrew Patterson, Mr Grant Sharman and Mr Murray Day.

On 11 June 2018, this honour was awarded to Mr Glenn Holmes. Mr Holmes received this award for services to Southwell School and the community.

To say that Southwell School is in the blood of Mr Holmes would be an understatement. Mr Holmes is an old boy, having attended Southwell as a boarder, from 1964 – 1967.

During those years he truly made the most of every opportunity that Southwell gave him. He performed in four Southwell Operas: the 1964 version of The Mikado; as a Beefeater in The Yeoman of the Guard in 1965; as Robin Oakapple / Sir Ruthven Murgatroyed in Ruddigore in 1966 and finally he performed as Giuseppe Palmieri, in the 1967 opera, The Gondoliers.

In addition to the Performing Arts, Glenn excelled on the sports field. He was Captain of the 2nd XI Cricket team, before becoming a member of the 1st XI and he was also Captain of the 1st XV Rugby team.

In his final year at School he was named Head Boarder; Head Chorister, winning the Jordan Cup; he was the Head of Lincoln House and was named as Head Prefect for the 1967 school year, winning the Baron Cooper Memorial Prize.

Glenn was able to appreciate the many benefits of attending Southwell, and he and his wife Catherine sent their two sons, Alastair and David to Southwell from 1991 – 1998. It was mentioned at the presentation ceremony that if girls had been eligible to attend Southwell at that time, then the Holmes’ two daughters, Jane and Mary would have also attended.

Glenn was an extremely active Southwell parent and he has worked tirelessly for the School community in a number of roles since his boys attended Southwell. Glenn was first elected to serve on the Trust Board in 1993, serving in this role until 2008. His fifteen years of service in this role were truly appreciated. In 2009, Glenn was asked to become a Southwell School Fellow. Glenn has also served the School community in his role as a member of the Foundation Trust Board. He has served on the Trust Board since 1992. For twenty years, from 1999 – 2018, Glenn held the position of Southwell School Foundation Chairman. He recently resigned from the role as Chairman, but continuing his amazing legacy of service to the school, he remains as a Trustee.
For the current students to hear all the things that Glenn has achieved particularly as a pupil her at Southwell, was truly inspiring and motivating. Several students commented after the presentation that it would be unheard of now for a student to hold all those positions of responsibility.

As a School community, we were delighted to have the chance to honour Glenn’s remarkable service to our school. We were thrilled that Glenn was able to share his special day with his father, Ken Holmes, himself a Southwell Fellow, his wife Catherine, their four children and many other family and friends.

The Associate of Honour is the highest award the School can bestow on an individual. The award recognises inspiring role models for our students and is awarded to an old boy or girl or member of the community that is strongly connected to the School and who exemplifies the School values of service, integrity, creativity, caring, respect and resilience.

It has been awarded just five times in the past to Mr Brian Perry, Mr Andrew Patterson, Mr Grant Sharman, Mr Murray Day and Mr Glenn Holmes.

On 24th May 2021, this honour was awarded to Mr John Oliver. Mr Oliver received this award for his service and commitment to his family, farming, the people of the King Country & Waikato, and Southwell.

John Oliver’s grandmother, Violet Rutherfurd Oliver’s generous financial support to Southwell in challenging times of the 1920’s helped Southwell survive and was a key influence in him boarding at Southwell from 1946-1950.

The Oliver family have been a part of Southwell for over a century with;

  • Robert Oliver being the first student in 1911 
  • John’s father Ian started at Southwell in 1916
  • John was a prefect, captain of the 1st XV, 1st X1 Cricket, Swimming & Tennis champion, amongst many other achievements.
  • John and Sarah’s son Duncan and 17 grandchildren attended Southwell.

Mr Oliver is a retired farmer from Otorohanga, having farmed in the Otorohanga District since 1961. Together with Mrs Oliver they have generously supported their local community over many years.

Values that best describe describe Mr Oliver’s character:

Excellence- Mr Oliver has and continues to give his best effort in everything he does.

Integrity- Mr Oliver is a loving husband, father and proud of his large family.

Creativity- Mr Oliver’s mind is creative and he is a catalyst for action in his communities from being instrumental in building health care facilities to ideas on farming.

Respect – Mr Oliver has manners and he is respectful.  He engages with everyone and is a great listener.  He is fun to be around.

Caring – Mr Oliver cares for his dog ‘Rags’, his wife Sarah, family, Otorohanga people,  the King Country, Waikato and Southwell.  He shows this care day by day and he makes a difference. 

Resilience –  Mr Oliver is resilient.  As a farmer, weathering the seasons and changing economic times, Mr Oliver is adaptable and has positive thinking at his side to endure the roller coaster of life.

We are fortunate to have Mr John Oliver, Mrs Sarah Oliver and family weave their positive thread through our Southwell history and culture.

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