Such A Perfect Day

Posted by on Dec 04, 2010 | Leave a Comment

SBS principal Glen Vinton: the consummate MC

SBS principal Glen Vinton: the consummate MC

I still haven’t quite put my finger on it, but there was something different about the  Stanley Bay Primary school event last weekend. I don’t know if it was because I was there partly as an observer (for your pleasure dear reader) as well as being there as a participant.

It wasn’t as if the event was hugely significant, or even that it was attended by thousands of people; because neither of these things were the case.

The word that springs to mind that comes the closest to expressing the feeling is “harmony.”

I’ve been attending these types of events for almost 15 years, so I’d like to think I have a fairly comprehensive database of experience on which to draw when considering what was different about this event.

This feeling began with the opening ceremony, and lasted throughout the day. It started with Rau Kapa and the challenging situation in which he found himself; freshly ordained that morning, and called in at the last minute to conduct the proceedings. How appropriate that he was standing near the deep-end of the school pool.

If there is one thing we miss out on in Devonport, it is regular day to day exposure to the culture of our tangata whenua, so it was wonderful to have the ceremony opened with our country’s most ancient language.

Principal Glen Vinton then spoke with genuine gratitude to the group of parents and professionals who had pitched in to help. She also reminded us how lucky we are with our political representatives. We get so used to politicians’ shameful deportment, it can be easy to forget that some are effective operators who get things done. Dianne Hale and Mike Cohen are shining examples of the role local politicians can and should play at the community level (I have been to many community events in the last month or so, and Mike Cohen has been at every single one).

And what a nice touch to have the sweet Mia Rennie – the girl who had been wheelchair-bound  and provided the fillip for the additional funding – cut the tape to open the extension, assisted by the guy who thought the whole thing up (Dave Moore). Nice work Glen.

After the ceremony was completed, and a squadron of balloons was released (much to the joy of the kids), we all moved down to the field where a random collection of parents, teachers and kids set about entertaining themselves for the afternoon under a glorious blue sky.

Again, the mood was unusual; despite their being tons of kids tearing around, there was a sereneness to the adults’ behaviour. There were some low-level, not really competitive activities for the kids, some of  the teachers volunteered to go in the stocks and have sponges thrown at them, and there was plenty of food and shade.

I guess what I’m trying to express is this; one could sense a harmony in the way the community had worked as a team to achieve its goal. The parents, the architects, the politicians and the builders; all were fulsomely praised by the principal. And there we all were; enjoying the fact that the community had stepped up and done its bit.

A final word too for SBS principal Glen Vinton; the day was stage managed by her. The parents, the Board and the builders had all delivered something to celebrate. Glen emerged as the consummate Master of Ceremonies whose skills did all their efforts justice. All in all, pretty much a perfect day.

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