30 Jun 2022

Thursday 30 June 2022

“King’s creates a great network throughout your life, in sport or business. We’re constantly running into people we were at school with and even if you weren’t at school with them, if they’re a King’s boy or girl it immediately opens doors. It’s a strong connection, and important to keep going.” 

Mcdell Hargrave Main


In 1935, King’s College First XV rugby players, Win Hargrave (School, 1932-35) and Roy McDell (Town, 1931-35) ran onto the field together to start another match. Unknown to the young men their connection was the beginning of four generations of family friendship and an unbroken link to the College. Nearly ninety years later, Win and Roy’s great-grandsons continue that friendship as they walk the King’s grounds and run on the same fields. We caught up with Rob Hargrave (School, 1957-61) and Kim McDell (School & Major, 1957-61) from generation two of these King’s family legacies to talk past, present, and being mates with the guy just over the hill. 

With around 13% of the current King’s school roll being the sons and daughters of old collegians, the KCOCA would like to celebrate family legacies like the McDells and Hargraves as a part of the fabric of the College. Every legacy begins somewhere and for the Hargraves, it was on a bus. “My father Win Hargrave and his three brothers all went to King’s, they lived in Rawene in the Hokianga and would ride a bus to the head of the Kaipara, then got a boat down the Kaipara and caught a train at Helensville which took them to King’s. They boarded for the years they were there,” says Rob. 

Rob remembers that era when sports fields were loosely maintained and television was a social pastime, “I played rugby against Kim in Manungaturoto versus Waipu and I remember the grass on the paddock was so long that if you fell over the opposition wouldn’t find you again. We moved down to Auckland in 1955 as Win had sold the store. Around the same time, the McDells moved to Auckland as well. We kept in touch as families and in those days if someone had a TV set we tended to go to their house to watch it on a Sunday night.”

The friendship between the two families extended from the TV room to the water with a shared passion for sailing. “Both families were big into sailing. We built our first P-Class in the back of the shop in Waipu and learned to sail on the Waipu river. My father Roy was a mad keen sailor, even back at King’s he was racing boats up the Tāmaki River, so he instilled a love of sailing into us. Myself, with my brother Terry and a fella named Peter Brook, went on to win the world 18-foot skiff championships and a few others,” says Kim. 

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