Dr Ernest Willoughby recognised as one of Saint Kentigern’s Inaugural Distinguished Alumni

September 08, 2022 at 5:11 PM

It is our honour to recognise Dr Ernest Willoughby as one of four inaugural recipients of the Saint Kentigern Distinguished Alumni Awards. The award recognises our alumni who have achieved excellence in their professional lives and lived the values of Saint Kentigern in their pursuits, whilst simultaneously showcasing great leadership, and are role models for our students.

Ernest Willoughby left Saint Kentigern College as a Dux Medallist to attend the University of Otago Medical School. He had immediate and considerable academic success as he won prizes for anatomy, clinical and theoretical medicine before starting as a House Physician/Surgeon at Auckland Hospital. Dr Ernest became Senior Registrar in Neurology before heading to the USA where he was Clinical Fellow at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre and the Cornell Medical Centre, both in New York.

He returned to New Zealand to become a Senior Lecturer in medicine at the University of Auckland School of Medicine and Neurologist at Auckland Hospital. He has served on various University of Auckland School of Medicine committees in areas of training, education and research, the New Zealand Neurological Foundation where he was Chairman, and both the Auckland and New Zealand Medical Research Councils.

He has also served on various Australasian medical working committees. It is his considerable work in the field of multiple sclerosis from Auckland to New Zealand society, to the USA, to International Federation, and World Health Organisation that he is internationally recognised. Dr Ernest is a widely published author and co-author of Academic medical papers and abstracts.

About the Saint Kentigern Distinguished Alumni Awards

The inaugural Distinguished Alumni Awards was celebrated last weekend at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. At the ceremony, we recognised the achievements of four esteemed winners:

  • John Beckett (Saint Kentigern College, 1958-1962)
  • Philip Recordon (Saint Kentigern Boys’ School, 1959-1960 and Saint Kentigern College, 1961-1965)
  • Sir Noel Robinson (Saint Kentigern College, 1958-1961)
  • Dr Ernest Willoughby (Saint Kentigern College, 1959-1963)


The Distinguished Alumni Awards will be hosted every two years to recognise Saint Kentigern alumni for a series of achievements of note in the fields of business, social, cultural, sporting or environmental well-being of the community, and for an illustrious career of exceptional national or international accomplishment.

Recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award received a specially commissioned handcrafted commemorative award designed and created by local artist and Saint Kentigern Boys’ School teacher Tom Barter. The handcrafted award is distinctly Saint Kentigern with the design inspired by our Scottish heritage.

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