School seeks SIC sto­ries for 20th an­niver­sary

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By MAR­JORIE COOK

For­mer Mt As­pir­ing Col­lege prin­ci­pal Mike Al­li­son’s Woolf Fisher Schol­ar­ship tour of the US, Canada and Bri­tain 20 years ago sparked a com­mu­nity pro­gramme that is still serv­ing Wanaka two decades later.

The Mt As­pir­ing Col­lege’s Stu­dents in the Com­mu­nity (SIC) pro­gramme wants to cel­e­brate its 20 year an­niver­sary by col­lect­ing mem­o­ries, rem­i­nis­cences and sto­ries from over the years.

Co-or­di­na­tor Liz Breslin said when Al­li­son re­turned from his tour, he in­te­grated a pro­gramme that de­manded aca­demic, sport­ing and cul­tural ex­cel­lence, and a more holis­tic sense of al­tru­ism.

Parks and recre­ation grad­u­ate Diana Schikker set up the pro­gramme in 1995, us­ing ex­ist­ing com­mu­nity con­tacts and quickly forged more.

‘‘It was ac­tu­ally straight­for­ward. Peo­ple were so re­cep­tive when I ap­proached them. It was a won­der­ful job!’’ Schikker said.

She stayed in the role for two years be­fore Lo Scurr took over.

Scurr still en­thuses about the role and be­lieves there are some amaz­ing sto­ries out there that should be re­mem­bered.

‘‘I re­mem­ber one stu­dent who went to visit an older lady and still kept on vis­it­ing her over the years that he went away to uni­ver­sity. They had a real link.’’

Mary Chaf­fey was in charge be­tween 2002 and 2013. She cal­cu­lated the ac­tual stu­dent hours ev­ery year that went into the com­mu­nity and by the time of the col­lege’s 25th re­u­nion in 2012, ser­vice stood at at least 46,888 hours. Ser­vice hours topped 50,000 in 2014.

Breslin says one of her favourite things is vis­it­ing stu­dents on place­ment, ‘‘be­cause they’re al­ways do­ing good, out there, mak­ing a dif­fer­ence. And we have so many neg­a­tive stereo­types of teenagers and I don’t see them here, and nei­ther do all the peo­ple that the Stu­dents in the Com­mu­nity visit. They see gen­er­ous young peo­ple do­ing good stuff.’’

Breslin is keen to col­lect at least 20 sto­ries from peo­ple in the com­mu­nity. She can be con­tacted at 443 0499 or email bres­linl@mt as­pir­

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