Saturday, September 10, 2016

I've waited years for you tonight (Carly Simon)

Tonight and forever (You may say I'm a dreamer - Chapter 6, part 1)

I've waited years for you tonight 
My faith in love has been my guiding light. 
I've heard your voice, I've read your heart, 
I fell in love with you though we were miles apart 
Tonight and forever - I am yours!                  
Carly Simon (Tonight and forever)

Warren Purdy - English teacher.
Pridham Hall, NPBHS
(complete with hilarious board notes)

An omnipotent force with a gruff manner, Headmaster Tom Ryder was a formidable presence at New Plymouth Boys' High School (NPBHS). 

The no nonsense phone call I took in the kitchen at Ramelton Road was brief and to the point. It was Mr Ryder calling. There were a few questions (which I don't remember much about except that I must have answered them okay). Actually Mr Ryder did most of the talking (he was very much that kind of guy!). He told me that my college report was impressive and then he said I could expect a telegram offering me a job the next day!!

I hung up the phone in a daze. What had just happened? After no real interview at all, suddenly, after all of those applications, I had a job. Out of the sixty plus applications I'd sent off, no other headmaster/principal had phoned me.

Huh. Destiny. I was off to New Plymouth.

First I had to figure out where exactly New Plymouth was. And what kind of a school it was. And where I was gonna live.

When I was a young kid, we'd passed through New Plymouth on a family holiday, I think. I have a dim memory of a North Egmont car park, dad is backing the car, of snow, trees, and vague strange thoughts that the car was going over the edge, backwards. Yoikes.

Apart from that I drew a blank on New Plymouth. Okay! I was about to leave Auckland and go some place I knew nothing about. Great!! A big challenge, but I was ready. It was my first step.

Unfortunately, it also meant not being close by for mum. Her cancer had spread and I was under no illusions. Things were not going to get better. She realised that, I realised that. But we didn't talk about it. It was too hard. 

Looking back on it, I realise I was pretty exhausted mentally.

She and I both knew that moving to New Plymouth meant only physical distance, the bond was and is unbreakable, but it was hard all the same.

In December, 1982, she and I drove to New Plymouth, staying in a hotel at the base of the hill on Coronation Road. During this trip I finally met Tom, my HOD Terry Heaps, the Deputy Principal Lyn Bublitz, and another new staff member Allan Elgar.

My face ached from smiling, body was sore from shaking hands, and my brain hurt from all the new sights and information.

NPBHS is a great school: the grounds, buildings, boarding houses - all with traditions going back over 100 years. I felt at home, it was so like MAGS. I left relieved that serendipity had rescued me again.

Now I had the summer to find a place to live.

Love and peace - Wozza

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