Making cricket history at St Paul’s

Making cricket history at St Paul’s John Lloyd

16 December 2022

Long-serving former staff member John Lloyd (1974-1994) joined St Paul’s Collegiate School after Headmaster HR Hornsby (1963–1969) wrote to him in England and asked him to come and work on staff in 1964. This was when the school was surrounded by mud, had severely limited infrastructure and was running low on funds. Hornsby wasn’t selling the dream, but when he described it as a brand new Anglican school worth trying to save, it piqued John’s interest.

Mr HR Hornsby and his wife Mary were influential in persuading John to St Paul’s all those years ago. Feeling comfortable knowing that Hornsby had successfully led Christ’s College for 11 years before heading St Paul’s, John knew that if anyone could turn the school around, it was Hornsby. He agreed to make the international journey and join the staff, where he remained with his wife and family for a further 20 years.

During his tenure, John taught geography and led Williams House as Housemaster, but his main passion lay with cricket. In those early years, with next to no sporting facilities, John had to get creative to invigorate sport at St Paul’s. He visited Auckland Grammar School to explore cricket wicket and net options and was advised the costs would be in excess of $18,000. This was a considerable cost in the 1970s, but John and his colleague Michael Lawrence were compelled to take up the challenge.

Thanks to the generosity of staff, parents and the wider community who shared John’s vision, the wickets and nets were installed. He also negotiated free black netting from a Whakatane mill, which was made from rubber mats off a conveyor belt.

John spent many years coaching, managing and sharing his knowledge of cricket. In the early 1990s, John noticed an exceptionally talented bowler arriving at the school. He spent a bit of time with him and convinced him that spin bowling might better suit his technique. Daniel Vettori (Hall 1992-1996) has now gone on to represent the Black Caps and coach New Zealand cricket. The Vettori Gallery, upstairs in the Long Room, currently holds his name because of his sporting legend and his dedication to St Paul’s as a Collegian.

Despite retiring from St Paul’s in 1994, John is continually impressed with the evolution of the school and enjoys attending school productions, past staff morning teas, Good Vibrations concerts, Chapel services and, of course, attending the odd cricket match.