Page 41 Maungaturoto Matters
Mrs Perry Retires from Otamatea High School
In 1965 the young Miss Elizabeth Bell, now Mrs Elizabeth Perry, faced her first class, at a girls’ secondary school in Derby, England. On 12 December this year, more than 18,500 km across the world, she retires from her posi-tion of Assistant Principal at Otamatea High School in Maungaturoto, where she has taught for the past nine years. Mrs Perry has mixed feelings approaching the end of her teaching career, “I’ve loved teaching and I’ll miss the excitement and the challenges of the classroom, but I won’t miss having to do all the late night marking, report writing and documentation that we have to do … but I also want to build a new life for myself … and I’m quite excited about that … but I will go with regrets and I will miss the students and my colleagues very, very much indeed,” she said. In 1974, Mrs Perry successfully applied for a one-year exchange position with a New Zealand teacher that brought her to Grants Braes Primary School in Dunedin. She enjoyed the experience and decided to come back again, shortly after returning to England – as required at the end of the exchange. Back in New Zealand Mrs Perry was promoted to higher positions, including Head of English at Northern Southland College and Assistant Principal at Dannevirke High, before being invited to take up an appointment as lecturer in Communications Studies, at Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT). After her stint at MIT, Mrs Perry decided to return to secondary teaching and gained her present appointment to Otamatea High School, where she has relished the op-portunity to develop NCEA drama in addition to teaching English and working as a member of the senior manage-ment team. Never one to rest on her laurels, Mrs Perry has continued to improve her professional qualifications throughout her teaching career, completing a Higher Di-ploma of Teaching, a Cambridge Certificate in English Lan-guage Teaching to Adults and a Master’s Degree in Educa-tion with First Class Honours, since coming to New Zea-land. Outside the classroom, Mrs Perry has welcomed opportunities to become involved in amateur and profes-sional drama. In New Zealand she has written scripts for the television children’s series “Play School”, acted in and directed productions in professional and amateur theatre, and directed more than 25 school productions including “Feathers to Fly”, a play she wrote herself, based on a Dannevirke Maori legend. More recently, Mrs Perry accepted an invitation to join the Rotary Club of Maungaturoto and Districts. Mrs Perry will be remembered by many students in England and New Zealand as a teacher who insisted on high standards but was also kind and understanding.
Never Mind Mother Goose
At the opening night of Otamatea Repertory Theatre's lat-est pantomime, 'Never Mind, Mother Goose' a thief stole the much-coveted raffle prize. It only took a minute but that was all the opportunist needed to run off with the huge basket of goods, many of which were donated by members. But even the actions of the thief couldn't dampen the en-thusiasm of the cast and crew. 'Never Mind, Mother Goose', written and directed by Helen Morton-Jones, is pure entertainment from start to finish. The show features a chorus of cute children, talented teens and dependable doyens, working as a team to create a memorable tale of good triumphing over evil. The stellar cast is headed by the inimitable dame, Mother Goose, played by the very talented Nathan Roberts, who had the audience in hysterics with his sparkling perform-ance. His mother, Coralie Roberts, makes a wonderful solo debut for ORT as the Christmas Angel of Hope. The show fea-tures two other members of the Roberts family - Rachel who is in the chorus and Bruce who is helping in the back-stage crew. Suzanne Lappin gives a stunning performance as the hap-less goose, in a role which is entirely mimed. ORT stalwarts, Maura and Peter Flower play the villains Madame Chlorophyll and Sir Sly, delighting in their malevo-lence and evoking many boos and hisses from the appre-ciative audience. They are aided and abetted by their fiend-ish side-kicks, Vomit and Grommet, ably portrayed, by new-comers Danielle Jamieson and Ngaio Heron-Fraser, respectively. Mother Goose's children, Andy and Mandy, (Paige Carter and Myra Van Den Bergen) and their friends, Neeva and Sophia (Chris Dent and Jesse Lovie) were convincing in their roles as the heroes and heroines of the piece. Watch out for some stunning choreography in the sewer scheme, and some toe-tapping sequences by the chorus. The black-light scene, as with every ORT pantomime, is a highlight. The show also featured wonderful costuming and make-up, with creative lighting effects and some great cameo performances throughout. From the team at ORT