Tēnā koutou e ngā tama toa me ngā pouako o tēnei kura.
Ngā mihi o te wā ki a koutou.
Kei te hoki taku maumahara ki a rātou kua haere ki te pō.
Ngā rangatira i waiho pai a rātou Pā Harakeke arā, Ko Celia Lashlie tētahi mana wahine ā, Ko tētahi nō tātou a Dawson Tamatea He momo rāua ā, he taonga tā rāua tauira ki a tatou
Greetings to you the young men and the teachers of this school.
Today I would like us to remember two leaders who have passed on.
Champions who left behind a better place,
leaders such as Celia Lashlie, a woman of great mana
and Dawson Tamatea, one of our very own.
Both were special Leaders who left a wonderful legacy for us all.
Early in 2015, the year that our Year 13 students started at PNBHS a lady by the name of Celia Lashlie passed away.
I wouldn’t expect our Year 13’s to remember Celia Lashlie, however she was highly regarded for all the work she did with young men throughout New Zealand, in particular with boys’ schools, and notably our own. In fact Celia worked with twenty-five boys’ schools throughout New Zealand as a result of her interviews with students from those schools she created her 2004 - ‘Good Man Project’ This project aimed at providing a definition of what it is to be a ‘Good Man’ and she identified three areas which families and communities needed to address.
One was… Emotional confidence
The second was… Relationships with Parents
and the third was… Leadership
I had the opportunity to listen to Celia when she was invited to talk at the Palmerston North City library in 2008. The direct and matter-of-fact way that she addressed the group was something that I personally found refreshing. I’m sure that had it been a man talking the message would have been received in a completely different way.
Her advice was the culmination of years of organic research based on her personal experiences and her message to mothers and fathers was clear, “Let your son’s learn from their mistakes, have them accept the consequences of their actions, both of which are important components in a young man’s journey to manhood” Not only did she connect with the adults in the audience but more importantly she connected with those young men also present.
Her desire for good boys to grow into great young men and become role models for the next generation will be a message I will never forget. She acknowledged that more and more boys grow up without the Leadership of a significant male role model in their lives. Due to the low number of male teachers in primary schools the first real male figure in their life often occurred when they went to secondary school.
One such example of this was in action at PNBHS and the teacher’s name was Dawson Tamatea.
Sadly on the 20th of July the same year that Celia Lashlie died Mr Tamatea, a teacher at PNBHS for nearly 30 years, also passed away. The school haka performed at his funeral service by students both old and new was testament to the outstanding mentorship he gave young men throughout those thirty years, young men like yourselves. A clip of that school haka received unprecedented viewings on YouTube and attracted media attention from around the world. As of last night the count was in excess of eleven million views. What the World saw was an expression of our schools grief, respect, pride for Mr Tamatea and what our school stands for.
Like Celia Lashlie, Mr Tamatea was a great leader, a great role model and a person of outstanding character. However, both considered themselves ‘to be no different to you or I’.
This Friday the Year 9 students will reinforce the legacy Mr Tamatea left us they will do this when stand with their form classes and perform our school haka. One Year 9 student will be given the honour of being named the best leader and he will wear the school’s Korowai. A Korowai that was woven by Mr Tamatea’s wife, Andrea and their whanau. A Korowai gifted by them to our school on his behalf.
Four weeks after Mr Tamatea’s funeral, Mrs Tamatea returned and spoke to the entire school. She presented to the school the following seven values that Mr Tamatea lived by, they are:
1. Step out and step up
2. Focus on and celebrate the positive things in your life
3. Smile and see the good in others
4. Cherish the people in your life
5. Be the Best you can be
6. Always be Humble
7. Enjoy each day and be happy.
These values provide a solid foundation for both our Barrowclough and Leadership programmes at PNBHS.
Nō reira. Kia kore e mutu te mihi ki a Celia ki a Dawson hoki
Moe mai e ngā rangatira, e moe.
Kua waiho pai koe Celia i tō Pā Harakeke.
Ā Dawson, kei te tū Tangata ēnei tama, nā te mea kua
whakarangatira e koe tēnei kura.
Kia kore koe e wareware
Well, Celia and Dawson, we will never stop thanking you. Rest well. Celia, you left behind a greater understanding of what is needed to take good boys and grow them into great young men. Dawson, these young men and many others who have walked through these doors stand strong because of your contribution and example. You will never be forgotten.