If you would like to organise a reunion and need assistance, you may contact Otago Alumni as they offer a free service.
The team will provide assistance with class lists, example invitation letters, email and letter reunion invites to alumni on the Physical Education database and online registration, reunion notices, venue and programme advice, campus tours and welcome bags.
Previous Reunion Events
First 60th Reunion Function, Wellington 2008
On Friday 28th March 2008 the Wellington Club proved an ideal venue for the first of our ‘60 years’ celebrations. Around 80 Phys. Ed. graduates, partners and friends enjoyed a wonderful evening of reminiscing. Seven of the 1948 Diploma in Physical Education intake (the Guinea Pigs) in attendance were introduced by the Dean, Professor Doug Booth. We sincerely thank Jackie Pope and Wyn and Alice Beasley for their organisation of our first 60th reunion function, an event that has successfully set the bar for our remaining functions.
60th Reunion Function, Dunedin 2008
On Friday 2nd May 2008 one hundred and fifteen alumni, family and friends braved the snowy conditions and gathered at the Otago Golf Club to share 60 memorable years of the School of Physical Education.
Held in conjunction with the Wall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the Reunion Dinner included a Māori welcome by James Young and an introduction by the Vice Chancellor Prof David Skegg. Craig Fransen, a former PhysEdder who is well known for his musical talents in the adaption of Alan’s Duff’s ‘Once were Warriors’ excelled as Master of Ceremonies.
Introduced by Assoc Prof Rex Thomson, the inductees and their representatives were warmly received, as was the recipient of the inaugural Smithells Scholarship, Abbie Law. Abbie’s Scholarship award was presented by Sam Smithells, grandson of the founding Director of the School Prof Philip Smithells. The dinner that followed raised $8000 towards the Smithells’ Scholarship which will ensure ongoing support is available to current 3rd or 4th year Physical Education students.
Otago comes to Auckland for a memorable 60th Reunion Party 2008
Those with fond memories of Phys Ed ‘fresher hops’ and Otago flat parties would have been in their element at the Auckland reunion event on 12 Aug 2008. Hosted at Parnell’s Iguacu Bar and Restaurant by Ben Davies (class of 1990), the evening brought together 130 grads ranging from guinea pigs (1948 intake) Colleen Barley (nee Black) and Brenda Levinsohn (nee Slater) through to Justin Carnaby from the class of 2005.
The lively humour of MC Tim Corbett (class of 1989) kick started the formal side of the evening. Reunion convenor, Phil Handcock (class of 1979) toasted the many absent friends who had helped make the Otago Physical Education experience so memorable.
Professor Doug Booth, Dean of the School of Physical Education, highlighted the growth and strength of the School’s curriculum and the diverse research interests and successes of staff. He acknowledged the valuable support of the reunion sponsors, thanked Ben Davies for his organisation of the evening, and concluded with a toast to the School of Physical Education.
Although foreign to most Physedders, a recital of the School anthem was then led by Simon Hall. A sparkling new spin bike was offered as a Smithells Scholarship fundraiser by Ben Davies company (Blue Leisure Group), with Joanne Tod winning that raffle.
The remainder of the evening was lost in a sea of noisy chatter, shared recollections and lots of laughter. Auckland turned on a thoroughly enjoyable evening and we are all now looking forward to more of the same in Christchurch on November the 7th.
60th Reunion Event Hits Christchurch 2008
Sixty years of excellence were fittingly toasted at the School's final reunion event held in Christchurch on 7 Nov 2008. Organisers Mark Hollands, David Watts, Iain Ansell and Richard Smith chose the Shirley Golf Club as the setting for a day of sport and a very entertaining evening.
Earlier in the day, several hardy golfers endured a round of Greg Hill's (1981) incessant chatter while he calmly took out the top prize. Not to be upstaged Matthew Brett-Kelly and Chris Franklin refused to be refused at the bowling club and staged their own Phys Ed School bowling championship series.
At the evening function, the sparkling repartee of MC Greg Hills set the tone for an especially relaxed and convivial gathering. Once the School, and Physedders everywhere had been appropriately toasted, the floor was given over to 'Javier the Magnificant', who impressed with his knowledge of functional anatomy, his fine and gross motor skills, and bit of slight of hand. Suitably warmed up, the way was paved for reminiscing and renewing acquaintances around scrapbooks of memorabilia and the reunion banners.
Once again the common bond of the School of Physical Education was evident, enabling graduates of all ages to share stories and enjoy each other's company. Sharing the company of early graduates of people like Gordon Wilkinson (1948er) was a particular highlight.
Hamilton Reunion 21 April 2009
Following on from the success of the 60th reunion tour, the School was recently back on the road ‘piggybacking’ on a University of Otago alumni event held at the Waikato Museum. Around 180 Otago alumni heard of recent University of Otago developments from new Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Assoc. Prof. David Gerrard.
The Dean of the School Prof. Doug Booth also provided alumni with an overview of the School and its continuing contribution and value to the University.
Olympic medalist and BPhEd graduate Nathan Twaddle was congratulated on his rowing achievements in Beijing. The Physical Education alumni contingent of around 30, including a strong showing of University of Waikato staff, then adjourned to a local bar for refreshments and further reminiscing. Poring over scrapbooks and photo albums, an excellent evening was enjoyed by all.
The School of Physical Education recognises the support of the following sponsors of the 60th Reunion:
- Neil Matheson’s company Axis Healthcare (USA), Health Sponsorship Council, Parry Jones, Miller Studios
- A.J. Grant Engineering Ltd
- Wild Earth
- 1 2 3 Strive
- Naylor Love Ltd