Saturday, September 24, 2016

Come inside, the show's about to start, guaranteed to blow your head apart (ELP)

Tonight and forever (You may say I'm a dreamer - Chapter 6, part 4)

Eek - all those walk socks! Wozza (top left next to former All Black hero Murray Watts) is joined by Alan Elgar (in front of him in the snazzy vest), Rosie Mabin (row two second right), Terry Heaps (front row second left), and captain of the team Tom Ryder (mouth always open in pix).
As a newly married couple, we lived in three New Plymouth flats through 1983 and 1984.

From Lorna Street to Devon Street East (corner section on a busy intersection) to List Street (the pink house). The last two with our new baby boy - Keegan Warren Purdy (the Family Man chapter will detail his, and our other children's emergence).

With Nana Pat and KW in Pukekura Park (NP)
After my second year at New Plymouth Boys' High School, I graduated from List 'A' to List 'B' and was a proper teacher with a certificate and everything. 

In many ways NPBHS was the perfect place to start my career. Although a traditional and well disciplined environment, it still gave me plenty of challenges. I knew where I stood with both my HOD (Terry Heaps) and my Headmaster (Tom Ryder). They didn't suffer fools!

Holed up in Pridham Hall, I taught English and (ha) social studies. I was close to the boys in age, being 26 when I started. The oldest boy I taught in my first year is turning 51 this year and I'm only 59.

I was game for anything - cricket team? Sure! PTA rep? Why not! Magazine helper? You bet! Football coach/manager/player? Crack on! School newspaper editor? No problemo. Organising speech competitions? Sign me up!

I never said, "No".

Staff Notes in 1983's Taranakian has this to say about me: Mr W Purdy, a teacher of social studies and English, also joined the ranks. He has shown an early promise, taking a full part in the life of the school. A dynamic class-room teacher, he coaches the second soccer XI, cricket and has edited The Whistle.

Player/Manager with a great bunch of lads (Bill
Lawsons Snr and Jnr - coach and captain, are also featured
- these guys will be getting on these days!)
Football was awesome. After my apprenticeship with the seconds, I was given the first XI in 1984. They played senior league teams and we were able to play some overage players. That would be me! 

It was fantastic. I managed the team and played during the regular season. Ar - Sunday football injuries - how I miss you!

After three years I started to feel the pull away from New Plymouth. The lure of Auckland and my dad became too strong to resist. Keegan was one year old and needed some firmer connection to his grandad we felt. At that time Jacky's whanau were all spread out and not in physical contact with us. Pat was still in Southland, Brian was overseas working on oil rigs and Sallie was not grandma. So, Auckland!

I applied to three schools and in stark contrast to previous attempts I was offered two of them - Keri Keri High School and Macleans College.

Keri Keri was too far away, even though we loved the northern lifestyle. So - Macleans College in Auckland's eastern suburbs! 

I'd been up for an interview with Colin Prentice, the Principal, and loved the school. I remembered, too, how Colin had been encouraging on my earlier application back in 1982. In the flesh he was imposing but I have good instincts and knew it would be a great fit.

As it turned out, it was an inspired choice. The next four years came to represent the pinnacle of my teaching in so many ways.

Love and peace - Wozza

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