Chap­lain to hit the road

Midwest Times - - FRONT PAGE - Jon Sol­mund­son

A man with more than 20 years ex­pe­ri­ence as teacher at a Ger­ald­ton high school is now rack­ing up around 600km a week as a trav­el­ling chap­lain for Mid West schools.

Spend­ing Sun­day to Tues­day in Kal­barri, and driv­ing back home on Tues­day night to at­tend Northamp­ton Dis­trict High School, Peter Han­ra­han said he had reached a point in his life where he had time to travel, and he spends an hour and a half each way in his lit­tle blue Yaris.

“There’s a lot of places in Perth or other places that you’d be trav­el­ling an hour so for work — but I get to do it at 110(km/h) with a beau­ti­ful coun­try­side as well,” he said.

“I am clock­ing up the kilo­me­tres, though and I pray the Roo-Shoo whis­tles I have fit­ted will do their job.”

Mr Han­ra­han said in his 40 years teach­ing, 22 of which were at Strathal­byn Chris­tian Col­lege in Ger­ald­ton, he’d re­alised that to get the best out of kids’ read­ing, writ­ing and arith­metic abil­i­ties you had to come along­side them to take care of them emo­tion­ally and spir­i­tu­ally.

“As a teacher you’ve got a cur­ricu­lum to stick to, but now as a chap­lain I’ve got time for those spir­i­tual, emo­tional things — I can be­friend stu­dents to work with them,” he said.

“I ac­tu­ally get the chance to shut up and lis­ten in­stead of al­ways hav­ing to have the an­swers.

“One prin­ci­pal said hav­ing a chap­lain in a school means you have a soft place for stu­dents to fall and it’s a soft place for staff too.”

Mr Han­ra­han said in some cases the dis­tance ac­tu­ally helped him in his work, be­cause be­ing from out­side the town meant peo­ple felt more com­fort­able shar­ing things with some­one who wasn’t an in­grained part of the com­mu­nity.

YouthCARE area chap­lain Doug McGhee said the schools were very happy to have him.

“I think Peter will have a very good im­pact on both schools,” he said. “He has heaps of school ex­pe­ri­ence, is a tal­ented drama teacher and has a pas­sion for pas­toral care.

“Peter is also nat­u­rally friendly and fun, and has huge qual­i­fi­ca­tions.”

Pic­ture: Peter Han­ra­han

Peter Han­ra­han acts as chap­lain for Northamp­ton and Kal­barri dis­trict high schools.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.