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News > OP updates > Meet our Competition Winner, OP Colin Maber

Meet our Competition Winner, OP Colin Maber

OP (1968-74) Colin Maber won our PGS Connect competition at the beginning of the year - we caught up with him to find out how his life has changed since PGS
19 Jan 2022
Written by Millie Ansell
OP updates
Left: Colin in New Zealand and with MCC in Nepal, Right: Dalai Lama visit and with wife Helen in NZ!
Left: Colin in New Zealand and with MCC in Nepal, Right: Dalai Lama visit and with wife Helen in NZ!

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Congratulations to our PGS Connect Competition winner Colin Maber OP (1968-74) who won a £100 Amazon voucher for adding a profile picture to his PGS Connect account!

We caught up with Colin to see how his life has changed since PGS...

What subjects did you study and then go on to study at University? 

I did Maths, Physics and Chemistry at A level, which was far from ideal to become an architect but symptomatic of the fact that I always seemed to be sort of OK at everything but never great at anything. I didn’t appreciate it at the time but having a grounding in lots of things and knowing a great number of people is in fact perfect preparation for an architect. My A Level results got me to University of Nottingham where I ultimately gained a First Class Honours degree in Architecture & Environmental Design.

Where has your career taken you? 

From Uni I spent a formative year in the USA and then got a job in an architect’s office in Nottingham for a year, which I had to do before I could take professional practice exams. I gained RIBA status and immediately set up my own practice in Nottingham in 1983, which grew well and was (and still is) very successful. I sold the practice to my management team in 2005, which has enabled me to write another chapter in my life. Since then I have continued to work for myself, mainly in property development & investment. I also do plenty of “charity” work and anything else that grabs my interest. For example, following a significant trek in the Himalaya in 2005, I was grabbed by a particular set of circumstances that prompted me to set up a charity & I spent five years raising funds and building a hostel for 400 children in Kashmir. The culmination of that experience was that the Dalai Lama officially opened the hostel and spent a whole day with the kids.

One of your best PGS memories? 

Sport and the outdoors helped to define my life. Cricket has been a huge part with both playing from PGS 1st XI onwards (MCC playing member from 1981 until 2005 with numerous overseas tours) and working (Masterplanning and remodelling Trent Bridge Cricket ground from 1990 to date and working on the masterplanning and redevelopment of Lord’s for six years until relatively recently).  PGS 1st XV led to Havant RFC, University of Nottingham, Nottingham RFC, English and British Universities (and getting to know literally thousands of people that shaped my working life). Another fond memory was going to Buckingham Palace to meet Prince Philip and to be presented with the DoE Gold Award.

Sum up your time at PGS 

I was never a great academic but ground out 2 Bs and a D. I loved sport and I developed a love for the outdoors via the DoE scheme. I gained Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards at PGS. I have spent as much time as I possibly can outdoors ever since. I have been privileged enough to have been able to spend 4 months each year for the past 15 years (prior to Covid) living in New Zealand, which I class as my second home and where I am at my happiest as a result of the scenery and the outdoor life.  

How has your life has changed since PGS?

I went to Uni in Nottingham where I spent 6 years and got married. My wife and I had a year in the USA and then returned to Nottingham, where we have been based ever since (as well as New Zealand of course!). We have two adult kids, one of whom lives reasonably close to us and he runs a couple of his own self-established businesses. Our daughter and her husband live and work in London. We visit them and our only (18 month old) granddaughter as often as practicable. I have not come close to running out of excitement and ambition yet. I typically work with start up businesses and absolutely love helping them to gain confidence and to get up and running. 

 

A huge thank you to Colin for giving us a fascinating insight and update on his wonderful post-PGS life - we are extremely jealous of yours and Helen's New Zealand adventures!

 

If you would like to be in for a chance to win our PGS Connect competitions - be sure to sign up here!

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