The family of former St Peter’s pupils Dr Don Mackay and Private Morgan Fraser gave the college two cups in their memories recently.
Pte Fraser’s stepbrother and Don Mackay’s son, Dr Sam Mackay, said the awards were to recognise excellence in history.
“The Don Mackay Cup for excellence in year 11 history and the Private Morgan Fraser Cup for excellence in year 12 history will be awarded for the first time at this year’s prizegiving,” Dr Mackay said.
“Morgan Fraser (1994-2017) was a student at St Peter’s College from 2008 to 2012, where he was McAuley house captain, played in the first XI and made an impression with memorable Eisteddfod performances.”
Dr Mackay said after leaving St Peter’s, Pte Fraser enlisted in the New Zealand Army where he further developed his skills in Signals Platoon, and eventually moved into Reconnaissance Platoon 63B patrol as the patrol gunner.
“Morgan died on the slopes of Mt Taranaki earlier this year.”
“Morgan’s commanding officer noted how Morgan lived his life. [It] epitomised how we want our soldiers to live – he was adventurous, he was resilient and he was courageous.”
Dr Mackay said reflecting on this, the back of Morgan’s cup was inscribed with a quote noting “it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years”.
“Morgan’s stepfather, Don Mackay (1961-2014), attended St Peter’s College from 1974 to 1977.
“By his own admission he was not the most diligent of students at school. However, his passion for history led him to enrol at the University of Otago as an adult student, where he ultimately gained his PhD in history.
“A visit to Gallipoli in 1998 left a lasting impact on dad and provided inspiration for his subsequent studies in writing . among many publications and community projects around Southland Don published The Troopers Tale, the history of the Otago Mounted Rifles.
Dr Mackay said both his father and Morgan had a keen interest in military history.
“These cups are a small way in which our family can help pass on Morgan and dad’s passion.
“We hope they help inspire and recognise the next generation of budding historians at St Peter’s for years to come.”
St Peter’s College principal Kate Nicholson said the school was thrilled the special connection between the school and Morgan Fraser and Don Mackay would be acknowledged through the cups.
“Both of these men played an important part in the St Peter’s College community, Don as a local historian, parent of past pupils and as a long time supporter of our college and Morgan as a special ex-student who is remembered by current staff and senior students,” Mrs Nicholson said.
“Thank you to the family members who made this happen,” she said.