Peter Dowell



As a local Eastbourne boy, Peter says his first enduring memory was of the Wahine storm in 1968 and the rescue efforts beyond Burdans Gate.  Thereafter, he recalls vividly cycling to school battling the atrocious prevailing northerly.

Once at Wellesley, Peter says he embraced the school culture and outdoor education led by the adventurous Mr Purdie and Mr Woodcock, as well as tennis coaching by the Principal Mr Dreadon.

“I can still hear Mr Dreardon’s mantra while coaching – pivot, step, swing!” says Peter.  “As a sporty guy I relished the outdoor education focus at Wellesley.  I ran in cross country, played tennis, rugby, cricket, badminton and table tennis as well as joining in the tramps and camps into the Orongorongos.”

He believes they were spoilt for facilities with great tennis courts and cricket nets and the beach on the doorstep.  His parents supported Wellesley’s endeavours and donated both badminton and table tennis cups.

“Interestingly, I have a stronger affinity with Wellesley than with my secondary school.  It provided great grounding and independence of mind for a young boy to mature in, and although we are not locals now, I’ll be sending my young boys there,” Peter says.