19th September 2018
The evening was clear but a little chilly and the heater had to work very hard to keep the marquee to an acceptable temperature. Despite this all the boys were very appreciative of the opportunity to have a whole evening with their fathers and the consensus was that it was the best Father and Sons night yet.
The guest speakers spoke from a wonderful mix of interests and enthusiasm for their chosen careers.
Ryan Ammar spoke about his path since leaving Waihi, studying in the UK at Cambridge and then Oxford, focusing mostly on New Zealand and Japanese literature and culture. Then returning home to New Zealand to work in Wellington for the Department of Internal Affairs, looking at issues of race relations and ethnic diversity – specifically ways of helping former refugees and new migrants to feel a sense of home in New Zealand. Speechwriting is part of his role, including for the Prime Minister whenever she’s addressing ethnic community groups in New Zealand, or discussing any kind of race-related issue. He thanked Waihi for asking him to come back and he had a wonderful evening, as did his father too. Ryan said it was very special to see the school again and to meet some of the new boys and teachers. “As Mr Short said, the place does truly get under your skin (in the best possible way).”
George Harper Jnr explained his varied path to how he came to work for New Zealand Golf and the amusing scrapes he found himself in, but also how to achieve your goals with determination and drive. He also enjoyed visiting Waihi again with his father and brother Jack saying “it was an amazing night and very special to check up on the school once again. I hope both boys and parents took something from my speech that they can use in the future.”
Rob Nichol also produced a passionate speech about his work with the sporting elite. He was hugely complimentary about Peter Prosser’s influence on him as a child and how he has brought many of these traits with him into his work with the sportsmen he deals with. He also thanked the school for having him and said “I enjoyed the evening.”
There was once again another very fine meal provided by our Waihi kitchen and its staff, and the evening was a terrific success, with some very tired boys retiring to bed after all the excitement of the evening.