Liston College

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Liston College
69 Rathgar Road,
Auckland 0610
New Zealand
Coordinates 36°51′59″S 174°37′22″E / 36.8663°S 174.6227°E / -36.8663; 174.6227Coordinates: 36°51′59″S 174°37′22″E / 36.8663°S 174.6227°E / -36.8663; 174.6227
Type Semi-Private Integrated Catholic Boys Secondary (Year 7–13)
Motto In Christ We Live
Established 1974
Ministry of Education Institution no. 46
Principal Chris. S. Rooney
School roll 829[1] (March 2015)
Socio-economic decile 5M[2]

Liston College is a college in Auckland, New Zealand, for year 7 to 13 boys and offers a Catholic education to its students. It was the second school opened by the Christian Brothers in Auckland. It was named after Archbishop Liston (1881–1976), the seventh Catholic Bishop of Auckland (1929–1970).[3] The school was founded in 1974 to serve the Catholic families of West Auckland and to absorb the growing number of boys who travelled daily to St Peter's College in central Auckland.[4]


Liston College has a diverse, multicultural roll. In 2012 its ethnic composition was generally Pakeha 43%, 7% Maori, 31% Asian and 19% Pacifika.[5] The college excels in sporting and cultural activities. Academically, the school offers for senior years the National Certificate of Educational Achievement assessment system (NCEA) .[6]



Liston College was established in February 1974 by the eighth Catholic Bishop of Auckland, Reginald Delargey (1914–1979, Auxiliary Bishop of Auckland 1957-1970 and Bishop of Auckland 1970-1974). The College commenced operations on 7 February 1974 using classrooms at Holy Cross School, Henderson,[7] with a staff of two Christian Brothers, Br G J Wellsmore and Br J P McKean and 72 foundation pupils. The pupils were divided into Form One 'J' and Form One 'M'. These initials stood for Archbishop Liston's Christian names - James Michael. Classwork began immediately and homework was set on the first day."[4] "Brother Wellsmore supervised the building programme, the establishment of the curriculum and the development of a unique school spirit. The Christian Brothers tradition and values underpinned Br Wellsmore's vision for the school. As the school roll grew and the building programme was completed, the college spirit became embedded in the Liston community."[8] During 1973 and 1974, the school was erected on the property at Edwards Avenue, which prior to work commencing was " ... an open paddock with an old house on it." The buildings, gymnasium and grounds were ready for occupation in the first term of 1975. The school was formally opened in November 1975 by John Mackey, the ninth Catholic Bishop of Auckland (1974–1983), in the presence of Archbishop Liston (who died the following year, 8 July 1976).[9]


When Brother R A Sisson became Principal (1980–1985) the roll had grown to 380 boys and 28 staff including five brothers. The deaths of Deputy Principal Brother Thomas Aquinas Monagle in 1983[10] and the head of the Intermediate Mr Hemana in 1984 had a profound effect on the whole school community.[4]

Parental and community support[edit]

"From its beginning the college had good parental support. A very strong PTFA helped run various activities and it provided the backbone of great fundraising efforts. 'Foremost among these was the Friday night flea market which involved many families. Not only was it profitable but it was a great social event in Henderson. Crowds came along and at its peak $40,000 was made annually for the benefit of the school.' The annual gala was another source of revenue. The funds provided sports equipment, cricket wickets and practice nets, tennis courts, computer room, audiovisual materials and teaching resource material. Many building alterations were funded over the years."[11] "The College has been well served by Boards of Governors/trustees who have worked to provide the best in education to the students. The board oversaw the completion of the school buildings, gymnasium, grounds and the Religious Education Centre/Sports Pavilion."[12] Liston College was fortunate to receive some considerable gifts in its early years. In 1978, John and Betty Rose donated the engineering workshop to the school. "Through their generosity, hundreds of young boys got the opportunity to learn engineering skills - skills that many fine-tuned in later years of life." In 1978, Henry Norcross donated the Liston College main entrance crucifix. Graham and Patricia Glamuzina donated the school chapel in 1979. "The chapel erected in the grounds of Liston College stands forever as a tribute to the thoughtfulness and generosity of the Glamuzina family. With the opening of a Catholic boys' college to service West Auckland, Graham and Patricia [Glamuzina] decided that an appropriate addendum to the college would be a separate chapel and so they provided the funding to complete the work. The delightful little chapel with its feature window designed by Colin McCahon will always be a fitting way for us to remember the Glamuzina family."[13]

Integration and character change[edit]

"In 1982 Liston College became an Integrated School and the number of brothers on staff was six."[12] That was the largest representation of Christian Brothers in the history of the school. "The sole remaining brother by 1985 was the Principal Br Sisson. When Mr Francis (Frank) Huckle replaced him, it marked the last official connection of the Christian Brothers with the school".[8] "Br Sisson completed his years as Principal in 1985 and the Brothers withdrew at the end of 1988"[12] However Brother J D O'Neill taught at Liston College 1991-1994 and he was the last Christian Brother to do so.[14] The Christian brother connection with Liston College thus lasted for most of the first twenty years of its existence. "The first lay-Principal, Mr Huckle led the college from 1986 until his [retirement and subsequent] death in April 1999. This saw a period of consolidation and then growth in terms of enrolments, academic success and sporting achievement and it was a continuation of the self-help spirit, which was at the heart of the College from its foundation. 'Among Mr Huckle's many achievements, one was significant. It was his spiritual leadership of the College and it was consistent and clear during his thirteen years as Principal.'".[12][15] "Mr Chris Rooney, the current principal, said it was appropriate to remember the contributions of Br Wellsmore, Br Sisson, and Mr Huckle, who shaped the College before him, and he sees it as his task to enhance what they had entrusted to him.""."[12]


The names and colours of the Liston College Houses are:

  • Cook - Red
  • Kupe - Yellow
  • Pompallier - Blue
  • Tasman - Green

The Houses are used for some administrative purposes, such as assigning form classes, but are primarily used for the purpose of holding inter-house competitions in a variety of sports and academic challenges. Winning Houses are allocated points and at the end of the year, the House with the most points wins overall and the leaders of that House receive the "House of the Year" trophy.


Notable former lay staff[edit]

  • Mr Rauna Kauahia (Brownie) Hemana - foundation teacher at Liston College, taught at the college 1974 - 1984; head of the intermediate in 1984.[4][17]
  • Mr Frank Huckle (deceased in 1999) third, and first lay, principal of Liston College (1987–1999).[18]

Notable Christian Brothers[edit]

Liston College Christian Brothers: Br Noel Cuthbert Doherty - Br Paul Vincent Donnelly - Br James Eamon Duffy - Br Francis Placidus Henery - Br Desmond Azevedo Hill - Br Walter Frederick Ives - Br John Paul McKean - Br Thomas Aquinas Monagle - Br John Didicus O'Neill - Br Francis William Perkins - Br Ignacy John Rubisz - Br John Henry Shepherd - Br Rex Anthony Sisson - Br Gary Joseph Wellsmore - Br Lawrence Hubert Wilkes.

Notable alumni[edit]



  • Father Craig Dunford (born 1970): first old boy of Liston College to be ordained a priest; ordained by Bishop Pat Dunn on 26 January 2002; commenced his education at Liston College in 1982.[20]
  • Father Andrew Matthew (born 1964): ordained 31 July 2002 at St Joseph's Church, Takapuna; attended Liston College 1979-1981.[20]







  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 7 April 2015". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  2. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Sweetman, Rory. "Liston, James Michael". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d Graeme Donaldson, To All Parts of the Kingdom: Christian Brothers In New Zealand 1876-2001, Christian Brothers New Zealand Province, Christchurch, 2001, p. 17
  5. ^ "Education Review Report". Education Review Office. May 2012. Retrieved 2014-12-25. 
  6. ^ "Qualifications Introduction". Liston College. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  7. ^ "Liston College History". Liston College. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  8. ^ a b Liston College: 25th Jubilee 1975-2000, p. 1.
  9. ^ Liston College: 25th Jubilee 1975-2000, pp. 4 and 8; Nicholas Reid, James Michael Liston: A Life, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2006, p. 304.
  10. ^ Brother V. Ives, Brother Monagle 1928-1983, Liston College 25th Jubilee 1975-2000, p. 28: "We have loved him in life, let us not forget him in death." "The sudden death of Brother Monagle in the early hours of Ash Wednesday [16 February 1983] left [Liston] College, Brothers, staff, parents and pupils, with the feeling that all had lost a great and wonderful friend. The pupils, especially, had lost a great advocate and inspired teacher. The Brothers had lost a valued and supportive member and the staff a friend to whom they could confide and one who could give them helpful and sound advice. 'Brother Tom', as many knew him, worked tirelessly in the interest of the pupils in every school to which he was attached, but no more than his last appointment here at Liston College. For him the work here was a challenge. When he first arrived, the college was relatively new as such there was much work to be done. His great interest was in beautifying the grounds and to this end he had planted trees around the boundary. These trees were looked after carefully and most mornings and evenings, while they were still young, he would be found on his bicycle moving from tree to tree watering and weeding, giving them the care they needed. If one was broken or uprooted by vandals, and there were several, he was most upset but would then set about replacing them. Besides the grounds, Brother Tom took upon himself the work of organizing the transport for the boys. The work of co-ordinating the buses and trains had long been an interest. His brother, Brother Vincent, gave us an insight into this interest. Even as a young child, at home in Preston, Melbourne, he had long been fascinated by train travel. He knew every station on the City [to] Preston line and the timetables and many an evening his mother had to wait to set the kitchen table because the model train, which he had set up, was not yet at its destination and it would not do to have it running ahead of time - people would miss connections. This early adherence to detail stayed with him in the organizing of the train transport, first at St Peter's, then at Liston where it was given full scope. At St Peter's it was his work that had set up the station right at the college. At Liston, his organizing abilities were given wider scope because of the buses. He was often to be seen on his bicycle or in the car plotting routes, stops and working out distances. In his office he had maps of the area with the routes clearly marked. Nothing was too much or difficult if it meant a shorter walk for the boys in catching a bus to and from school. In all the years of teaching, Brother Tom had never held a position above that of Deputy-Principal, until this year. With Brother Sisson overseas, the job of leading the College was in his hands. The school year had begun well. The very first thing was the school Mass organized for the first day that all were present. 'Liston,' in his own words, 'has a Special Character as a Catholic School and what better way to start the academic year, than by offering ourselves to God in the Celebration together of the Eucharist.' This was how he saw the work of the College and it was to set the tone for the year. Brother Tom's last few days were hectic. After attending a Board of Governors meeting he retired, still feeling unwell, but was unable to rest. About 11.15pm he required assistance from one of the Brothers, who called the Parish Priest and his doctor. As the result of a heart attack Brother Tom slipped into unconsciousness and went to God about 12.30am on Ash Wednesday. The main funeral Mass was held in the school hall and attended by parents, past pupils and many religious. Bishop Rogers was main celebrant assisted by thirteen priests most of whom were ex-pupils of Brother Monagle. The Brothers who carried the casket from the hearse to the graveside had all been pupils in schools at which Brother Monagle had taught. Brother Thomas Aquinas Monagle now rests next to a fellow worker from St Peter's, Brother Eric Evangelist Fraser, in the Catholic Cemetery at Panmure." "May he rest in peace."
  11. ^ Donaldson, pp. 17 and 18; Liston College 25th Jubilee 1975 - 2000, pp. 6 and 7.
  12. ^ a b c d e Donaldson, p. 18
  13. ^ Liston College 25th Jubilee 1975 - 2000, p. 24
  14. ^ Robertson, p. 206.
  15. ^ Liston College 25th Jubilee 1975 - 2000, p. 29
  16. ^ a b c d Liston College: 25th Jubilee 1975-2000, p. 3.
  17. ^ Liston College 25th Jubilee 1975-2000, p. 28: "The Totara tree has Fallen." "The soul departed in the Lord does not die, it returns to God, Who is the Giver of Life. Liston Magazine '84 had already gone to print when we were saddened by the sad loss of one of our foundation teachers, Rauna Hemana. This tribute therefore coincided with the first anniversary of Brownie's death, and the memorial service held here at Liston showed that Brownie's memory was strong in the minds of those left behind. Everyone remembered that the time was 'not a minute before and not a minute after"; few had missed out on the legendary tales of pig-hunting, eel-trapping and the 'Tin Man'. But what really shone out in recall was the amazing generosity and energy that Brownie dedicated to almost every aspect of College life. The area between the library and staffroom is to be dedicated to Brownie's memory and everybody who visits 'Hemana Court' will be reminded of the great fortune we enjoyed to have Brownie as a teacher and friend who stamped his own particular character on Liston. In memory of the great love Brownie Hemana had for sport, a special shield was prepared to be presented to the most outstanding sports team each year. This shield, donated by the Hemana family, was first presented to the First XV Rugby team for their successes this year by Brownie's eldest son, Bill. Bill emphasised while presenting the shield that the presentation was in no way limited to any particular sport or age group."
  18. ^ Liston College 25th Jubilee 1975 - 2000, p. 29: "Frank Huckle: A teacher of great expertise and commitment. The Liston College community was shocked and greatly saddened by the sudden death of Frank Huckle who had so recently retired as Principal. Mr Huckle had been Principal from February 1988 to April 1999. He was dedicated to his role as leader of the school community and viewed his position as one of servant as much as leader. Frank will be remembered for a number of reasons. His passion for learning and education was evident from his first days at the school. He was determined to raise the standard of academic success for Liston College. This was achieved through his dogged determination to see it happen. One of Frank's great attributes was his capacity for hard work. He was able to sustain a very high level of effort for long periods of time. The result was exhausting for either those who had to keep pace with him or those who were attempting to achieve a favourable outcome to a pet project. Frank will be remembered as a teacher of great expertise and commitment. As recently as term one of this year [1999 or 2000 ?] Frank had been invited to tutor a group of postgraduate students in the mysteries of statistical methods and processes. His sense of humour was something, which he shared with many of his colleagues and peers. This personal side to Frank was always evident in the social setting. Discussions on the relative merits of 1998 Merlot versus Pinot Noir were guaranteed to bring a smile to his face. The same could not be said about any criticism of Canterbury's sporting prowess no matter what the sport. When it came to the nuances of rugby coaching, Frank was only too willing to share his experience. 'Win the ball, keep it, then score," could sum up his philosophy on the game. The All Blacks were second only to Canterbury in terms of his passion. Indeed if he had not seen the game live, he would not watch the replay if his team had lost. Frank's interests were truly catholic. He was passionately interested in music, gardening, literature and theatre in addition to his beloved sport. He was a man of deep faith and was committed to the Catholic Church. Frank would share this openly, but with humility. His spiritual leadership of the school was consistent and clear during his thirteen years as Principal. His immense contribution not only to Liston College, but also to Catholic education in general is a measure of his commitment to a living faith, which was inclusive. Frank was a devoted husband to Cecily. He talked often about his admiration for her and the price he felt as her husband. As a family man he was clearly proud of their children. In recent years he assumed the role of grandfather. His family have suffered a great loss. But his spirit is evident in the school. His legacy is there for all to see."
  19. ^ Liston College 25th Jubilee 1975-2000, p. 19: "Ciaran Connolly is now in the Riverdance dancing Troupe. Ciaran had already secured a swag of national and international titles, including a first and second in the Australasian Championships, and a top-10 placing in the World championships. He has now returned to America for a further 12 month contract. He is travelling in the Virginia, Texas, North and South Carolina areas etc. He is hoping to audition for the 4th troupe which will be based on Broadway."
  20. ^ a b c d e f g Liston College 25th Jubilee 1975-2000, p. 20; Choosing Lives of Service, The Listoner, April 2005, p. 3.
  21. ^ a b Liston College 25th Jubilee 1975-2000, p. 19.
  22. ^ Matthew Grocott (2014-09-22). "MP Ball needs introducing". Manawatu Standard. Retrieved 2014-09-22. 
  23. ^ Mark Carter at
  24. ^ Craig Dowd at
  25. ^ "35 years old and living in Australia. Represented Fiji in rugby (15's) for 4 seasons and was lucky enough to tour the world playing rugby (before the professional era!) Met my wife in Fiji and am now lucky to be blessed with 2 beautiful children (boy & a girl) I am currently the Chief Operating Officer with International SOS (Aust) Ltd in Sydney (global medical assistance company)."
  26. ^ Liston College 25th Jubilee 1875 - 2000, pp. 10 and 20: Paul Radisich was in Form 1J in 1974 and was taught in that year by Brother G Wellsmore.
  27. ^ The Listoner, Volume 2, Issue 3, December 2005, p. 5
  28. ^ Kevin Senio at
  29. ^ "Anthony Swann". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  30. ^ "Rugby League World Cup 2000 - Team Profile Samoa". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  31. ^ Paul Urlovic, published in the Liston College 25th Jubilee 1975-2000, p. 20: "At the current time (i.e. 2000) I am enjoying playing soccer in the ASL for Melbourne Knights. In the last few years I have experienced a lot in terms of football. In the season just finished in New Zealand I received NZ's soccer's Golden Boot for leading the National league in goals scored. As well as this, our team finished champions of New Zealand. This team finished 3rd in the Oceania Club championship held in Fiji in September of this year. A major highlight in my career to date is playing for NZ in the Confederation Cup which our bay (sic) performed very well against some of the world's best in June of this year. An experience I will never forget. In terms of the future, I wish to improve with each game and hopefully play professional football overseas, and also to do well at the international level
  32. ^ "Paul Urlovic". New Zealand Football - Archived from the original on 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  33. ^ "New Zealand Honours". Waitakere City Football Club. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 


  • J.C. O'Neill, The History of the Work of the Christian Brothers in New Zealand, unpublished Dip. Ed. thesis, University of Auckland, 1968.
  • Paul Malcolm Robertson, Nga Parata Karaitiana The Christian Brothers, A Public Culture in Transition, A Comparative Study of the Indian and New Zealand Provinces, an unpublished thesis for MA in Anthropology, University of Auckland, 1996.
  • Liston College 25th Jubilee 1975 - 2000, Liston College, Waitakere City, 2000.
  • Graeme Donaldson, To All Parts of the Kingdom: Christian Brothers In New Zealand 1876-2001, Christian Brothers New Zealand Province, Christchurch, 2001.
  • Bridget (Anderson) Harrod, 100 Years Catholic Education in Rotorua 1903-2003, St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Rotorua, 2003.
  • Education Review Office, Education Review Report: Liston College, November 2005
  • Nicholas Reid, James Michael Liston: A Life, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2006.
  • Nicholas Reid, The Life and Work of Reginald John Delargey Cardinal, Catholic Diocese of Auckland/Pindar, Auckland, 2008.

External links[edit]