Bringing the past and present together

September 8, 2023

Re-elected as President of DOBA for a second term Gerry Smutz (1986-1990, Dungannon) has a fresh new perspective and a clear mission to help build connections between Dilworth old boys - across the age levels.

Gerry is a ‘we’ and not an ‘I’ kind of guy who cares deeply for the community he serves. Passionate about Dilworth and the opportunities it provides he sees the role of DOBA is to bring old boys together. Extending the camaraderie and support for each other ‘beyond the green gates.’

Gerry is committed to building a team of outstanding talent and a stronger and more cohesive association. He intends to revert to the traditions and history of Dilworth as the foundation for this rebuild. He is committed to leading a council that will provide a fresh approach and concentrate on building greater community spirit and involvement.

Gerry goes so far as to say “If there was a “Dilworth in every New Zealand centre it would make a huge difference to our country as Dilworth instils a sense of self-responsibility and a pride in the families and communities, we all become involved in. Those relationships and responsibilities go far beyond our own self-interests.” He went on to say that many of his childhood friends from Otara didn’t get access to the opportunities Dilworth provides for all those lucky enough to be gifted a full scholarship to the School.

Gerry makes an interesting point that Dilworth creates leaders “You look at the typical Dilworth guy and they are intelligent, well-adjusted socially, self-responsible, they have learned critical skills and are capable of achieving great things.” He believes that a strong sense of leadership is cultivated from not only being accountable in the classroom environment but also to your peers and Housemates.

A Dilworth student during the 1980s Gerry said you quickly worked out how to fit in with the “mix of different characters you lived with”. Dilworth was a life-changing experience for Gerry that gave him access to education, music, and friends for life. Gerry says Dilworth opened his eyes to just what is possible in life “employment and travel”.

But he also knows it wasn’t the same experience for everyone and through his role as President of DOBA he doesn’t shy away from talking about aspects of the school’s past.

“We need to be the best we can and to let everyone know about the help available – the strong team that is there to listen and will be available for as long as it needs to be.”

What Gerry loves best about DOBA is the fact it is “For all old boys who want to come together to celebrate their stories, for camaraderie and fellowship, irrespective of when they left Dilworth or their history at School.”

As DOBA President, Gerry is looking forward to growing the Old Boys’ association, reinforcing the amazing strength of Dilworth across our Communities whilst finding and forging a better way forward - together.

DOBA Council

President: Gerry Smutz – president@doba.nz

•       Vice President: Connor Bindon – vicepresident@doba.nz

•       Secretary: Andrew Gladding – secretary@doba.nz

•       Survivor Liaison: Luke Stopford – survivorliaison@doba.nz

•       Treasurer: Pernell Callaghan - treasurer@doba.nz

•       Past President: Cody Carnachan

•       Councillors: Stuart McDonald, Colin Stewart, Keki Wilson

To access the confidential and independent Listening Service, please email assist@dobsupport.com 

To find out more about the Dilworth Trust Board’s response to historical abuse at Dilworth School, visit www.dilworthresponse.org.nz.