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2022 Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours

Auckland Grammar School is delighted to congratulate two prominent Old Boys who were recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours.

Professor Alastair MacCormick ’57 (pictured above at the 2020 Scholars’ Assembly) was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to tertiary education and the community.

Professor MacCormick is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Auckland, holding a range of roles between 1973 and 2002, including as Head of the Department of Management Studies and the School of Business and Economics, as well as Dean, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) and Council member.

He led the School of Business and Economics through a period of rapid growth and helped develop its strong international reputation. He was involved with tertiary education internationally through the New Zealand Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation and APEC in the 1990s.

Since his retirement in 2002, Professor MacCormick has contributed to a broad range of education and technology focused initiatives. For more than 10 years, he has been a member of the New Zealand Government Innovation Board and the Callaghan Innovation Grants Committee. He is a Commissioner of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and represents TEC on the Programme Board for the Reform of Vocational Education.

Within his community, Professor MacCormick was a Board member since 1983 and Chair since 2016 of the Elizabeth Knox Home and Hospital, leading major redevelopment and extensions of the facilities. He has chaired the Matarangi Ratepayers Association and helped found and chair the Matarangi Community Trust. He has been a Trustee of the Liggins Institute Trust and the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Professor MacCormick attended Auckland Grammar School from 1957 to 1961, and was a Prefect in 1960 and 1961. He was Vice-President of the Old Boys’ Association from 1975 to 1978, was President between 1970 and 1980 and was made an Honorary Life Member in 1985. He was on the Board of Trustees from 1984 to 1997 and was Deputy Chairman of the Board from 1989 to 1991 and Chairman from 1992 to 1997. He received an Augusta Award in 2019.

Dr Gordon Nicholson ’45 was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to health and the community. He has contributed to health, the refugee community and the environment for more than 60 years.

Dr Nicholson has been a Gastroenterologist Specialist with Auckland Hospital since 1965. He helped establish the first alcohol and drug ward in Auckland Hospital to provide medical treatment to those impacted. He has mentored and taught students and junior doctors through Auckland Hospital and the Medical School. He initiated and was a founding member of “Medical Aid Abroad” in 1968, which sends medication, equipment and medical aid to nations in need. He chaired the Auckland branch until 1990 and was made a Life Member in 1970.

Dr Nicholson was Regional Coordinator of Doctors Health Advisory Service from 1990 to 1997 and established the mental health programme called “Doctors for Doctors”. Since 2000, he has volunteered with Bridgebuilders Trust, a charitable trust supporting refugees in association with Mangere Refugee Centre in Auckland. He has been working with New Settlers Family and Community Trust since 2002, supplying information and advice, food supplies, household goods, driving lessons and other services. He has been involved in environmental organisations including the Ornithological Society and Royal Forest and Bird Society, as well as community gardens.

Dr Nicholson significantly contributed to the Opoutere Ratepayers and Residents Association for more than 30 years.

Dr Nicholson attended Auckland Grammar School from 1945 to 1949 and was a Prefect in 1948 and 1949. In 1949, he was the School Tennis champion and the inaugural winner of the Torch of Tradition, which is awarded to the young man who has been most conspicuous for the following qualities:

  • Devotion to the school and its traditions;
  • Service and self-sacrifice;
  • General conduct inside and outside the School;
  • Character, bearing and manner; and
  • Sense of responsibility and school spirit