“My primary school was Waharoa and it was the beginning of 1941 when I started at Matamata District High School, Form 1 in the then attached Intermediate school. Being wartime there was a considerable amount of Cadet military training which was mainly marching, so I joined the Signals platoon which had some modern equipment such as a heliograph and semaphore signalling flags. After a couple of Signal Corps Cadet Camps in the holidays at the Epsom Showgrounds I became platoon commander, which sounds a lot more impressive than it was – I told the others when they were out of step instead of the other way around.
The wartime period was a time when a number of recent old boys were leaving to serve overseas and there was always a farewell for them followed by afternoon tea with the staff. Then at assembly, and far too often, it was announced that an old boy had been killed, or was missing or was wounded in action.
At that time at MDHS School certificate was a Form 6 exam, and University entrance was the next year – second year sixth. I reached the end of the second term of the Fifth Form at MDHS in 1945 when I left and went to Auckland Grammar. There I was expected to sit School Certificate at the end of that year. While the expectation of students at Grammar was high and I was unable to maintain the top or second place in class which I held during my time at MDHS. I was very fortunate to have Vic Lewis who was not only a teacher of Pythagoras but also a tutor in life. The wisdom he imparted to me over a relatively short period of time has often supported me over the years.
I left school after the sixth form and did a B.Sc. at Auckland University, majoring in mathematics and then started on the path to becoming an actuary. It took me some years to realise I was on the wrong path and I then changed to law, completing my Law Degree from Victoria University in 1962 after being admitted as a solicitor in 1961. I practised as a commercial lawyer in Palmerston North for about ten years and then moved to Rotorua where I am now a sole practitioner specialising in Immigration law.
I was also member of the old Bay of Plenty Harbour Board in the days when members were elected and also an adjudicator in the Tenancy Tribunal when it was first formed.”