Tauranga Boys' College will honour two of the finest sportsmen to grace the Hillsdene campus at a 60th-anniversary function over Labour weekend.

Cricketer Kane Williamson and sailor Peter Burling will jointly receive the Old Boy of the Decade award after their extraordinary achievements in their respective sporting codes.

In their final year at Tauranga Boys', head prefect Williamson captained the New Zealand under-19 cricket team and sports captain Burling represented New Zealand at the Seoul Olympics.

The two 27-year-olds have not stopped breaking records and setting personal milestones ever since.

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Tauranga Boys' principal Robert Mangan says it was an easy decision to award the two high achievers the dual award.

"Traditionally we have had an Old Boy of the Year and we wanted to do something special to recognise those old boys who have been most significant over the last decade.

"The two of them were both here in 2008 and their achievement on the world stage I think is unmatched by any other New Zealanders over that period of time. As a college, we should recognise those achievements."

Mangan, who is approaching 30 years teaching at the school, says there was no question of trying to separate the two.

"They are outstanding men, role modelling what we want for old boys of Tauranga Boys' College, not only in terms of achievement but in every facet of their personality, their performance, their response to media.

"I think Tauranga Boys' should have them recorded in their history. I think it would be unlikely we are going to in the decades ahead have old boys who are going to be as significant as those two have been on the world stage."

Mangan says both Williamson and Burling are delighted to have that level of recognition at the 60th celebrations.

Teacher in charge of the old boys' association, Rob Leslie, began teaching at Tauranga Boys' in 1979. He says they would like to have honoured Williamson and Burling earlier but it has always been difficult to get them together.

"We have had a reasonable amount of activities over the last decade with the re-introduction of the old boys' association. The profile in a number of different ways has been reasonably high and I guess we are trying to build on the momentum we have gained through that decade," Leslie says.

"We have Fred Graham [aged 89], who was art teacher here from 1963 to 1965, who is looking to come back for the event. He was a Maori All Black and he taught Nigel Brown, one of New Zealand's foremost contemporary artists."

Mangan says the 60th-anniversary celebrations have not been lost on the senior students at the college.

"Our head prefect at the start of the year talked about the boys being at Tauranga Boys' in their 60th year. Our prefects want to leave a legacy in respect of all those old boys that have gone beforehand."


Tauranga Boys' College 60th Anniversary
Labour weekend, October 19-21
Pre-enrolment, details: www.tbc.school.nz