School Veteran Retires

Diane with Jan (left)  and Fiona (right), her office co-workers.
Diane with Jan Crafts (left) and Fiona Charters (right), her office co-workers.

Diane Armstrong honoured for 26 years’ work at Waikanae School

By Peter Corlett

At the final school assembly for the school term, longtime staff member Diane Armstrong has been farewelled by fellow staff and pupils at Waikanae School.

Mrs Armstrong began working in the school office in 1987 when her own children were at the school.

It had been Diane’s first assembly for many years as usually she remained at school running the office and answering phones while all the pupils and teachers headed off to the assemblies in the Memorial Hall.

During her time at the school Mrs Armstrong had served as PA to three different principals, Graeme Benbrook, Alan Tichbourne, and current principal Bevan Campbell, and attended to the needs of a multitude of pupils and parents from several generations.

Speeches thanking her for her contribution to the school were made by Board of Trustees chairperson Elizabeth Couchman and  Principal Bevan Campbell.

‘No laptops or computers’

In his speech Mr Campbell helped children grasp the length of time Mrs Armstrong had worked at the school by pointing out that when she started she worked with a typewriter as there were no laptops or computers.

It was before there were iphones or cell phones or photocopiers and printers, he said, and  copying was done on a machine called a banda.

It was even before some of the parents of current pupils were born, and for others, their parents were the age that they, the pupils, are now..

He  commended Mrs Armstrong for her professionalism, trustworthiness, ability to give thoughtful and considered advice, her happy and cheerful attitude when dealing with others, and the  discreteness and relaxed ease and calmness with which she handled the myriad of issues during all the ups and downs of the school community.

Mrs Armstrong was presented with a  a large bouquet of flowers and a large book with pages created for her by the pupils from each of the school’s 16 classes, many containing comments and thanks from individual pupils.

As Mrs Armstrong intends now to do some travelling, she was also presented with a gift voucher to buy luggage.

A morning tea to honour Mrs Armstrong was held in the staffroom on her final day on July 12.