The day of celebration began with the Averill House Family Service in the Chapel where the 2021 House Sacristan Henry Li was presented to the Chapel, followed by the official House Opening and then concluded with a House Social and Barbecue.
Master of Ceremony for the day was current Averill Housemaster Mr Keith Rowley who celebrated the new facility - a modern, state of the art building boasting a large Common Room for a hundred students with a kitchen, a Housemaster’s office, a Meeting Room and Year 12 and 13 Common Rooms, together with toilets, lockers and changing rooms. The new facility has been well-received by students who are all delighted to be closer to the academic heart of the College and part of the new hub of the school. They also enjoy being within touching distance of the Tuck Shop where a hot dog is only a minute away now!
The event was attended by the Headmaster Mr Simon Lamb, members of the Board of Governors including Board Chairman the Honourable Simon Power, former Averill Housemasters David Canning (1961-71), David English (1977-80) and Riccardo Massari (2000-05), five Averill Foundation year students including Head of House Lachlan McLean (St John’s/Averill 1957 – 61), King’s College Housemasters and staff as well as current Averill students and parents.
Keith Rowley welcomed all guests and then reflected briefly on the history of Averill House, opening as a Boarding House back in 1961, sixty years ago. He specifically acknowledged the presence of five Foundation members at the opening of the new facility, namely Peter Bush, Rod Cameron, Peter Ferguson, David Holland and Head of House Lachlan McLean. A commemorative picture of the 1961 Averill House Photo was individually presented to them in recognition of their attendance.
There was also a family link to Bishop Averill, whom the House was named after, with the presence of two significant relations. The great granddaughter of the Archbishop, Nicky Knight, a member of the Education Group who carried out the review of Averill House back in 2017, was in attendance, as was current Year 12 student James Christmas whose great, great grandfather was the Archbishop. In the new House, there is a striking painting of the Bishop and on display at the opening was a cloak that was presented to the Archbishop.
The first ever Housemaster of Averill House Mr David Canning, who taught at King’s for 35 years and who left an indelible mark on the College in his time at the school, spoke articulately to the gathering about how Averill first began when it was launched in 1961 as the fifth full boarding House at the College and shared some anecdotes.
Averill’s first Head of House Mr Lachlan McLean, former Deputy Head Prefect and vice captain of the First XV, spoke next and articulated what it was like to be an Averill House student back in 1961.
The Chaplain of the College Reverend Gareth Walters blessed the House before David Canning and Lachlan McLean officially unveiled the plaque and cut the ribbon which was held by current Head Prefect and Averill student Maikel Tuala and current Head of House Bradley Fifita.
Then Head of House Bradley Fifita spoke a few words and ceremonially raised the Averill flag to fly above the new Averill House.
The House then performed a rousing haka to celebrate the occasion.
After the speeches, a barbecue and social event was held.