Recently the classrooms and corridors of Tamatea High School reverberated to the stories, jokes and laughter of a large group of former students as they relived memories from 35 years ago.
Arran Culver, former Head Boy (1985) is a Paediatric Psychologist for the DBH based in Wellington. Arran contacted the school in January to advise that he and group of former classmates (enrolled in 1980 – 1981) were getting together and would like the opportunity to visit the school.
John Ryan, the school’s foundation principal, joined the group on the visit and thoroughly enjoyed catching up with his former charges and hearing about their life journeys. At the end of the school tour, John gave a very emotional ‘Principal’s Address’ which brought a tear to the eye of his former students.
The group remembered former student Norman Tong, who was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident at the end of his 6th form year. There is a plaque at the High School dedicated to his memory.
The school were grateful to the group who gave a kōhā to the school which will be used to establish a school Alumni.
Principal, Robin Fabish, said ‘It was a real honour to be part of the group as they walked down memory lane and shared their stories.’
Tamatea High School has been working with a philanthropic organisation called Connected Futures which has been created to support schools like Tamatea High to strengthen their connections to former students who often want to give back to their old High School but don’t know how.
Mr Fabish added “We’re interested in getting former students to work with our current students on their career pathways and we hope the new Alumni will assist with this.”