On 6th March, 1935, a Limited Liability Company, known as St Peter’s Limited, was established under the terms of the1933 Companies Act.. In terms of control of the school, the two founding headmasters Mr A.F.B. Broadhurst MA (Oxon) and Rev. J.M. Beaufort MA (Dublin) were technically equal. At the end of Term 1, 1937, after four terms with the school, the Rev. Beaufort left to take up a Parish in Yorkshire, England.
For nearly two years Broadhurst remained sole director of St Peter’s Limited, until he appointed Professor Riddet of Massey Agricultural College. Then in the beginning of 1939, when most of the key building and development of the school was complete, Broadhurst established the St Peter’s Trust to which he gave the whole of his interest in the school, which by then consisted of 264 acres of land, buildings and equipment valued at over 100,000 pounds. Broadhurst was to remain one of the four Trustees; the Trustees were also Directors of St Peter’s Ltd., and Broadhurst remained Chairman of both bodies, as well as Headmaster.
So in 1939 the Directors of St Peter’s School were Broadhurst and Riddet, while the Trustees were Broadhurst, Riddet, T.A.H. Oliphant, Broadhurst’s solicitor, and Mr Noel Gibson, Headmaster of Dilworth School (who may have been brought into contact with Broadhurst by Roy Lipincott, who drew up the rules for the competition for the design of Dilworth School). In 1940 Broadhurst spoke to the parents of his debt of gratitude to “my fellow Directors, Major Oliphant and Professor Riddet”, a debt he re-acknowledged in 1945. In 1946 the Trustees, who were still the original four of 1939, were published in the Chronicle for the first time. In 1950 Mr T.A.H. Oliphant died, and his nephew Mr J. Oliphant succeeded him both as a Director and a Trustee. Noel Gibson’s last year as a Trustee was 1956; in 1957 he was succeeded by Malcolm McDougall. Nineteen fifty-eight saw the death of Professor Riddet who had been vital to the school from its very foundation; he was succeeded in 1959 by his son, C.L. Riddet, who as an Old Boy, as well as his father’s nominee, was able to fill one of the Trust conditions; that an Old Boy should, if possible, be one of the Trustees. At this stage the Trustees, who in effect owned the school, only met once or twice a year. The day to day running of the school was in the hands of the Directors, who on the death of Professor Riddet numbered only two: Broadhurst himself, and J.B. Oliphant. To this number Broadhurst now added two more men: Dr C.P. McMeekan, a leading agriculturalist, and R.R. Gibson, for a long time a member of the staff and Bursar. It was also announced that the Rev. D.A. Cowell, Chaplain and Second Master (as the old first Assistant was now known) would take Broadhurst’s place, both as Trustee and Director, in 1960.
In 1960 the Chronicle places all six men together as trustees, which was not correct in either title or function, but which was becoming common parlance. In the event Mr Broadhurst never relinquished his position as Trustee or Director, and in 1961, when Mr Cowell had been succeeded by Mr Thornton as Headmaster, an enlarged composite group of men is listed as the Governors of the School, though the new member, Dr E.C. Brewis, long time school doctor, when acting as spokesman to the parents, described himself and his colleagues as Trustees.
In 1962 Dr Brewis was Chairman, and G.J. Hodgson joined the ‘Governors’. In 1964 Mr R.R. Gibson was no longer with the Board, closing an association with the school that began in 1936. The Rt. Rev. J.T. Holland joined the Governors in 1965; in 1966 Mr C.W.D. Clark and V.K. Lellman were added. In 1969 Mr J.B. Oliphant succeeded Dr Brewis as Chairman of the Board; Rt. Rev. Holland and Mr Lellman left, while Mr A.A. Johnson and K.H. Wade joined. In 1970 saw more changes: Mr Brewis, Mr Johnson and Mr McMeekan all departed, while Mr K.C. Chandler, Dr J.E. Horton and B.E. Woodhams were added to the body. In 1971 Mr Oliphant departed, bringing to a close the long connection of the Oliphant family with St Peter’s School. He was succeeded by Dr Horton as Chairman and Mr A.M.A. Ivanson and Mr W.R. Morgan joined a Board which now consisted of 11 men. Mr Clark left in 1972, but was not replaced; in 1973 Mr Wade and Mr McDougall left and to the Board wee added Messrs A.T. Clougher, D.B. Harry and C.D. Sorenson. In 1974 Mr Wade returned. In 1979 Mr Harry and Mr Woodhams took their leave; in 1976 the Board was joined by Mr H.C. Allan and Mr J. Coles while Mr Wade again left. In 1977 Mr R. J. Stevenson joined for a year. In April 1979 Messrs P.M. Smith, A. Thomas, D.J. Thornton and T.J. Thorrold were all appointed to the Board. The four Trustees and four Directors at the close of Mr Broadhurst’s era (in effect only six men) had now grown to a composite body, known as ‘Governors’, comprising 15 men.
In 1980, the first steps were taken towards resolving this anomalous situation. Four men, Messrs Broadhurst, Thornton, Hodgson and Riddet were specified as Trustees; Mr Broadhurst was no longer a Director; Mrs S.E. Wrigley was added to the 1979 Board, while Mr Chandler left; all remaining members from 1979 were described as ‘Directors’; together with the Trustees they were styled the Governing Board. In 1981 Mr Clougher moved from the Directors to the Trustees, Dr Horton was Chairman of both Trustees and Directors, while Mr Thornton’s death in December 1980 brought to a close his immense service to the school.
In 1981 a further attempt was made to regularize the position. The body was now described as the Governing Board, Company Directors and Trustees – as Directors and Trustees could be only appointed within the legal definitions of the Companies Act 1933 and its successors and the conditions of the Trust Deed of 1939. This styling was continued in 1982, but in 1983 pending the passage of appropriate legislation, there was a Governing Board comprising Chairman C.L. Riddet and Messrs Horton, Broadhurst, Hodgson and Morgan; and three Advisory Trustees: Messrs Coles, Sorensen and Thorrold.
1984 brought further change with Mr Morgan being appointed as Chairman and Mr Horton, after many years’ valued contribution, retiring for business reasons. The prospective new Constitution was still passing through the parliamentary process so it became necessary to apply to the High Court for approval to appoint Mr Sorensen as the replacement Trustee.
27 June 1985 was an auspicious day in the history of St Peter’s when the Bill received its third reading in the House and, subject to Royal Assent, became law. This was forthcoming and the revised Constitution enabled the Board to proceed with the next (1986) Annual General Meeting. The existing four Trustees, Messrs Morgan, Hodgson, Riddet and Sorensen were joined by T.J. Thorrold, N.J.A. Woodall and J.E.S. Jenkison.
From St Peter’s Jubilee Register 1985