|The Horrell family have been closely involved with St Peter’s College over many years, as both the parents, Claire and Bill and children, Susan, Lisa, Anne-Marie and Rohan, played an active part in the development and day to day life of the school. As the family lived in Riversdale, all the children boarded in Gore – Rohan at St Paul’s hostel and the girls at Miss Kelly’s in Kitchener Street.
Theirs was a very sporty family. Claire was involved in school hockey for many years and all the children involved in sport, especially tennis where they were all winners of Southland Doubles Matches. Susan’s tragic death in 1975 in a motor accident led to the establishment of the Susan Horrell Memorial Tennis Courts at the school.
As well as her involvement in sport, Claire taught ballroom dancing to the pupils and remembers that at the first lesson, the girls were very bashful and it took Brother Ted to get them all organised and dancing with the boys. When Brother Ted organised a hockey tour to Australia, Claire and Bill went along as helpers. The group travelled around in a bus and as Brother Ted didn’t believe in motels, they stayed in convents and church halls, where Claire would help to provide meals for everyone.
She has many memories of Brother Ted on that trip. He notoriously wouldn’t tolerate people being late for rendezvous times and when Bill went to get ice creams at a ferry port in Sydney, he was left standing on the quayside, an ice cream in each hand, as they departed without him. On another occasion, Lisa and another pupil were late for the bus and Brother Ted went without them, trusting them to return safely on their own to their anxious parents (which they did, via the Sydney underground).
Brother Ted had scant regard for parking regulations in Australia and would just park on the pavement if there were no spaces, declaring that he already had parking tickets from all over Europe. If the traffic was heavy he would lean out of the bus window and say “We’re from New Zealand, would you let us in?”
Over the years, Claire also served on the PTFA and like the mothers of many other St Peter’s pupils, was a member of the Catholic Women’s League. She took part in many Fairs and has seen children and grandchildren perform in school productions and Eisteddfods. From these they have moved on to diverse careers - Lisa as an anaesthetist in Dunedin, Anne-Marie as a primary school teacher and Rohan as a farmer on the family farm. The next generation of Horrells have also passed through the school. Zelia Horrell was Head Girl and is now Marketing Manager for Destination Taupo. Sarah McCrostie was also a Head Girl. Zeb Horrell was a 7th Form leader and is currently coaching rugby in San Francisco. Zack Horrell did an engineering degree and is at present with American Ninja in Las Vegas.