Bruce Anderson — Curriculum Leader Science 1997–2015

E te aka mātauranga, e te pūkenga, e te ahorangi, e te tauira kei whea rā koe, kei whea rā koe? Ki tua o Paerau ki te kāpunipunitanga o te wairua. Haere atu rā, haere atu rā, haere atu rā. Rūpeke atu rā ki tua o te ārai hei tūhono anō ki ō mātua tūpuna. Haere, haere, haere. E tangi ana te ngākau, e riringi ana ngā roimata aroha, auē te haehae i te tau o te ate. Ka taka! Ka taka! Ka āpiti hono ka tātai hono, ko te hunga mate ki te hunga mate. Ka āpiti hono, ka tātai hono, te hunga ora, ki te hunga ora.

He maimai aroha tēnei ki te whānau kua pania nei i te huringa atu o tō tātou pāpā ki tōna okiokinga. Ko tau mamae, ko taku mamae, ko tau hotuhotu, ko taku hotuhotu. Tūngia te ururua, kia tipu whakaritorito te tipua a te harakeke. Kia Kaha, Kia Toa, Kia Manawanui.

Bruce Anderson was due to retire at the end of 2015, after being away all year due to an ongoing battle with cancer. He very reluctantly decided to call it a day after 19 years at Ōtaki College, but only when he knew that there was no chance of a return due to his health. His passion was the teaching of Science, in particular Chemistry. He was strongly connected to the College and respected by the students, staff and parents.

Bruce commenced his teaching career in 1979 with his only gap in service being a 10 week sabbatical in 2007. Bruce was offered a position as a PR2 HOD Science at Ōtaki College in 1997, having taught at Kapiti and Aotea Colleges prior to this appointment. As Curriculum Leader of Science he worked tirelessly to keep the Science curriculum vibrant and meaningful to students. In recent times he has been a key player in the collaboration with clean technology businesses, Energise Ōtaki and KCDC, moving the curriculum towards a focus on environmental sustainability. He created a world first by designing a Chemistry unit for students on blended fuels. This resulted in the College vans being run on a fuel of blended diesel and water that gave 75% less noxious emissions, greater mileage per kilometre and reduced maintenance bills. This collaboration was recognised by the World Wildlife Fund in 2014 when Energise Ōtaki and Ōtaki College won the National award for community collaboration and $20,000 to go towards future projects.

Bruce was a people person and will be remembered for his warm smile, ability to build relationships with students, staff and whanau and his genuine, undeniable love of teaching! He leaves behind a legacy of success among his students, many of whom have gone on to use science as a way into the careers they have today.

At our Senior Prizegiving, Head Boy, Tevita Kata, spoke of about how much he had gained from Mr Anderson’s teaching and positive influence.

“I’d like to make special mention of one teacher — Mr Anderson — the one who has been that one in a million teacher, who has made a lasting impression on me.

Mr Anderson you may not know the genuine impact you have had on me — but for me it has been very real. I have missed having you here this year — your humour, your genuine caring attitude and the fact that you always believed in me and encouraged me to have that belief in myself. You have taught me not to settle for mediocre but to always reach for the highest point I can. Throughout the years you have managed to put up with me and my antics, for example throwing cheese on your roof, or putting frozen rats on your tables. Through it all our relationship grew so strong. It was like you wanted to throw me off a cliff but then rush to the bottom to catch me. Bruce, you are truly a special person to me and I thank you for the effort you have put in for me.”

We know that Tevita’s thoughts are echoed by many, many students.

Bruce was a much loved member of staff and he will be missed by his colleagues and his students.