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comment by Foveaux
Foveaux  ·  163 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A tale from my grandfather

I like to think I've inherited a few of his traits! I didn't get to inherit his imposing height, but I did inherit his piano and love of music. I didn't inherit his endless patience, but I did inherit his love of grassroots movements and community focused projects. Creativity and risk-taking does sound like me. That combo has gotten me into and out of some sticky situations as a youngster.

He was a teacher for most of his life. He and my grandmother both became teachers after meeting at the same University (that I also attended, and now work at). They would travel the country taking early jobs as teachers. As a result, my mother and aunts were all born in different towns and on different islands. Mum in Whakatane awaaaay up north, the sisters in rural areas down south. He mainly wanted to teach students Music, but had to have something more substantial up his sleeve when looking for positions, so he taught English initially then wheedled his way into taking over the music scene in whatever school he was situated at.

Eventually he settled in a small town (the very one he himself grew up in), as principal at the local high school (that he attended in his youth!). His daughters attended the school, one daughter met a boy, they grew up and had me and my siblings, who also lived in the small town and eventually attended the same school. He taught at the school until retirement and then, when met with too much free time, sought to uplift the community around him.

The whole "education" bent is noticable in our family. My mother went to Uni to be a teacher, as did both her sisters. My sister did the same thing. I was this close to following the same route, and I'd probably really have enjoyed being a teacher.

My graduation day was a bit of a blur, I was more keen to get the whole thing done after 3-4 years of studying. But I distinctly recall my grandparents beaming in the crowd. Now that they're both gone, and unable to see what we're all up to, I'm very, very grateful they got to see their grandkids succeeding when the opportunity arose.