Shayle Robert Searle FASA FRSS FRSNZ (1928–2013) graduated from St Peter’s, Cambridge in 1941. Shayle was a New Zealand mathematician who was professor emeritus of biological statistics at Cornell University, and a leader in the field of linear and mixed models in statistics. He was one of the first statisticians to use matrix algebra in statistical methodology and was an early advocate for using applied statistical techniques in animal breeding. Shayle received the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation USA Senior Scientist Award, and was a fellow of the American Statistical Association, the Royal Statistical Society, and the Royal Society of New Zealand. In 2005 he was given an honorary Doctor of Science by his alma mater — Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
Adrian Rood Tarte CBE (1928–2012) graduated from St Peter’s, Cambridge in 1941. Adrian was a pioneering environmentalist and is credited with revolutionising the production of coconut oil in Fiji. He created the first certified organic coconut farm in Fiji and used a totally sustainable renewable energy source to power the entire plantation and plant facilities. His business was renowned for its high level of innovation, social responsibility and being an important source of employment for the local community. Adrian was awarded a CBE in 1982 for his service to the copra industry and community.
Peter Miles Otway (1936–Present) graduated from St Peter’s, Cambridge in 1950. Peter is an Antarctic explorer, geologist and surveyor — the Otway massif in the Grosvenor mountains was named after him by the New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition. In 1969 Peter was awarded a polar medal by the government of the United Kingdom for his exploration efforts. After training as a surveyor in the 1950s Peter began his Antarctic exploration in the early 1960s, much of it by dog sledge. He has lectured on his experiences in the Antarctic and has been featured in National Geographic magazine. He has also worked in Libya and Iran, where he was kidnapped by bandits. When he was shot at, the bullet hit and was deflected by his father’s binoculars which were slung around his neck — Peter kept the bullet! Peter credits his interest in the Antarctic to a class trip he went on at St Peter’s as a twelve year old boarder to see the film, Scott of the Antarctic! In his book on exploring the Transantarctic Mountains he writes, “I am also convinced that my five years spent earlier at St Peter’s immersed in the Christian ethics of honest endeavour promoted by the no-nonsense founding headmaster, Mr Broadhurst, also stood me in good stead for life’s challenges ahead.” Peter has generously donated a copy of his fantastic book to our school library.
Dr Roderick Boyd Ellis-Pegler MNZM graduated from St Peter’s, Cambridge in 1954. Rod is one of New Zealand’s leading infectious disease specialists and is internationally respected for achievements in his field. In 2006 Rod was awarded Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to medicine. He has also been awarded life memberships of the Australian Society of Antimicrobials, and of the New Zealand Aids Foundation for substantial work towards their causes. Rod has worked in London, Jamaica and Colorado. Rod was the only infectious disease physician in 1984 when the first patients with AIDS arrived in New Zealand. He was one of the first specialists to begin caring for gay men infected with what at the time was an unknown disease, when all that was available was basic palliative care. In the 22 years he spent working with people with HIV/AIDS Rod was always at the cutting edge of treatment methods. He championed the needs of the increasing number of gay and bisexual men who were infected with HIV, and worked tirelessly to fight the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS by helping to educate health professionals, the police and the public. Rod’s has also worked in the care of patients with severe and complicated infections, infections in immunocompromised patients, and those with tropical diseases. Rod has worked on and chaired a wide variety of committees and working groups for the Ministry of Health. He is known as an enthusiastic teacher, and was awarded the Denis Pickup prize for clinical teachers in 2000.
Sir Vaughan Frederick Randal Jones KNZM FRS FRSNZ FAA ONZM (1952–2020) graduated from St Peter’s, Cambridge in 1965. Sir Vaughan is one of New Zealand’s most distinguished mathematicians, having earned the Fields Medal in 1990 (the highest honour a mathematician can receive) and the Rutherford Medal in 1991 (the most prestigious award conferred by the Royal Society of New Zealand). Amongst other accolades Vaughan is also a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and the current Professor Emeritus at University of California, Berkeley.
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