New HBHS Hall of Fame Inductees

HBHS is proud to have added Mr J.C. (Dufty) Wilson, Mr Leon Narbey and Mr Warren Gatland to its’ Hall of Fame.  Mr Wilson’s public service, Mr Narbey’s stellar career in the Arts, and Mr Gatland’s sporting achievements were acknowledged and celebrated during a formal assembly in the hall yesterday.

 J.C (Dufty) Wilson (HHS 1934 – 1938, Staff 1951 – 1959) was born on 12th March 1921 and came to Hamilton High School on 2nd February 1934 from Taupiri Primary.  Often watching Auckland rugby as a small boy, Jack copied the crowd chanting “Give it to Dufty”, and eventually his family gave him the nickname which has stuck with him.

 Dufty was successful at school despite hardly ever making it in time for assemblies.  Catching the train to Frankton Station every day, he then walked slowly, arriving when the last hymn was over.  The 1935 Hamiltonian records Dufty’s second place in the long jump that year, and his placing as runner-up in the Junior Athletic Championships, while as Captain of the Country Rugby Team, he led them to second place in the Town and Country match.  A role model he was, Section Commander in Number 2 Platoon of the Hamilton Boys’ High Cadet Corps, and School Prefect in 1938.  Dufty also played in the First XV in 1936, 1937 and 1938, and was recipient of two trophies at the 1938 School Prizegiving.

In 1939 Dufty joined Auckland Teachers’ College.  The outbreak of World War II saw him join the Army and then the Navy, where he was involved with anti-submarine warfare.  After a distinguished naval career, Dufty returned to New Zealand with his Scottish bride, Jean.  In 1950 he came back to ask the Headmaster of Hamilton High School (then H.D. Tait) for work, only to be told “Go back and get your MA!”  Dufty did, and taught at Hamilton High School from 1951, taking part in the move from Hamilton High School to the new site on Peachgrove Road.

 A six-week absence in 1953 allowed Dufty, as a naval reservist, to take part in the Queen’s Coronation Tour.  In 1959 he moved to Gisborne, to the brand new Lytton High School, as Principal.  An Imperial Trust Scholarship awarded to him in 1966 gave Dufty a year in England and after a year back in Gisborne, the Wilsons packed up and moved to London.  For five years, Dufty worked for the New Zealand High Commission, recruiting 120 graduate teachers a year for New Zealand secondary schools.

 Dufty returned to Hamilton in May 1974, as Principal of Waikato Technical Institute, now known as Wintec.  He also became President of the Fielddays Society.  Dufty Wilson retired in 1981.  Dufty was involved in the establishment of Alandale Retirement Home and has maintained a keen interest in bowls, rugby, golf and swimming.

 We are proud to honour Dufty Wilson in our Hall of Fame for his extensive public service to education.

Leon Narbey (HBHS 1961 – 1964) was born on 2nd August 1947, coming to Hamilton Boys’ High School in February 1961 from Maeroa Intermediate.  He gained his School Certificate in 1963 and an Endorsed School Certificate in 1964.  Leon proved a capable sportsman, playing in the Rugby Second XV in 1963 and in the First XV in 1964.  Leon gained a representative badge in that same year, and also excelled in the rowing team, gaining third place at the Ngaruawahia Regatta and fourth in the Thompson Memorial Shield in the Second Four.  During his 6th Form year, Leon also completed a Preliminary Diploma in Fine Arts, which was the entry requirement for Elam School of Fine Arts.  Leon began at Elam at the start of 1965, specializing in sculpture and lighting installations.

 In 1970 Leon had the opening exhibition at the new Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth.  The exhibition, entitled “Real Time” was a Light-Sound installation and ran for eight weeks, proving to be their most popular exhibition to date.  As Technical Instructor in the Sculpture Department for two years, Leon followed this with the role of Visiting Lecturer in Sculpture at Ilam School of Fine Art at Canterbury University from 1972 - 1973.

 Working as a news and documentary cameraman for NZBC/TV2 for three years set Leon on a successful journey into the film industry, beginning with documentaries such as 1975 Te Matakite O Aotearoa/The Maori Land March and Bastion Point: Day 507.  In 1993 Leon won the Best Cinematography Award at the NZ Film Awards for Desperate Remedies, (also selected for the Cannes Film Festival) followed by awards for Harry Sinclair’s second feature, rural romance The Price of Milk.

 Leon co-wrote and directed Illustrious Energy and The Footstep Man and was director of photography on the box office smash Whale Rider, winning audience awards across the world and at the Maui Film Festivals.  It also won the BAFTA best children’s film award and the best foreign film at the Independent Spirit Awards.  He was also awarded the Arts Foundation Laureate Award in 2010 for the movie No 2 and for his service to the film industry.  Leon’s most recent work is the movie The Orator/O Le Tulafale, which opens in New Zealand on 6th October, and has already seen great reviews abroad.

 We are proud to honour Leon Narbey in our hall of Fame for his extensive service to the Arts in New Zealand.


Warren Gatland (HBHS 1979 – 1982) was born on 17th September 1963 and enrolled at Hamilton Boys’ High School in January 1979.  He quickly showed promise as a sportsman.

 The 1980 Hamiltonian states that he was “an exciting batsman, who could go far…”.  In that same year, Warren was also in the Rugby First XV.  By 1981, Warren had become their Captain, retaining this role in 1982, leading his team to win the Tri-Colour Trophy and the Don Clarke Boot.  The Hamiltonian of that year said that the Number 8 “displayed a level of skill and leadership quite foreign to young men of his age … he was easily one of the most skillful forwards in the country.”  In 1982 Warren’s responsibilities increased, when he also became Captain of the First XI Cricket Team, winners of the Annual Quadrangular Tournament, and a well respected student leader.  It was no surprise that Warren was named Sportsman of the Year in 1982.  Warren left Hamilton Boys’ High School in 1982, headed for Teacher Training College at Waikato University.

 Warren’s first game as an All Black was in 1988.  One hundred and forty games made Warren the record-holder of the most games for Waikato in the 1994 season, and he announced his retirement at the end of that year.  Following this, Warren headed for Ireland and a coaching position at Connacht until 1998, coaching Ireland until 2001.  With the London Wasps from 2002 until 2005, it is said that Warren was “regarded as the most effective coach Wasps have had at the helm.”  They won three premierships, a Heineken Cup and European Cup.

 Returning to New Zealand in 2005 to coach Waikato in the National Provincial Championship, he led them to win the Air NZ Cup in 2006.  Later that year, Warren joined the Chiefs Super 14 team as Technical Advisor.  Taking up his position as the Head Coach of the Welsh National team in 2007, Warren led them to win the Triple Crown, followed by the Grand Slam in 2008.  Acting as the Forward Coach for the British and Irish Lions on their 2009 tour of South Africa, Warren Gatland retained his position of Coach for the Welsh team.

 We are proud to honour Warren Gatland in our Hall of Fame for his extensive service to Sport and Rugby in New Zealand and overseas.




Back to News