Bay boys’ re­union in old stamp­ing ground

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By BERNIE GRIF­FIN

The boys from the Bay are com­ing back.

Gary McCormick and Sam Hunt are to meet again.

The boys from the Bay are hav­ing a home­town re­union on Wai­tangi Day, at Porirua’s renowned Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments.

They will be rekin­dling their long­time friend­ship in a dou­ble cel­e­bra­tion – not only the Wai­tangi Day fes­ti­val, but also Porirua’s 50th an­niver­sary as a city.

Gary McCormick is the Ti­tahi Bay surfer now rid­ing the ra­dio waves, while Sam Hunt is the hippy from Bot­tle Creek who taught English and po­etry at Mana Col­lege.

Hunt is near­ing 70, but is still burst­ing with mag­i­cal words.

‘‘ Peo­ple didn’t re­ally know what a hippy was in those days,’’ he chuck­led.

Many of his Porirua po­ems are in­cluded in his book, Knuck­le­bones, which was pub­lished in 2012 and

pro­vides a ver­bal por­trait of life. Some­where near here, many miles, this night of rain is fall­ing hard on cor­ru­gated iron in­let shacks. Here, on soft tiles... ...the rain hit­ting down hard while this State sub­urb sleeps: you would hardly know... another world some­where near here; many miles. (Some­where near here; many miles – Porirua)

Mana Col­lege was where the two celebri­ties met.

Hunt’s way with words im­pressed prin­ci­pal ‘‘ Baldy’’ Smith, whose in­spired ap­point­ment led a gen­er­a­tion of young peo­ple into the world of cre­ative writ­ing.

One of those from that group was Gary McCormick, the head boy who went on to be­come an award-win­ning writer/poet.

Since then he and Hunt have done more than 400 road trips to­gether and they are still go­ing strong.

‘‘When I left col­lege I stud­ied law at Vic­to­ria Univer­sity, but de­cided I was far too in­tel­li­gent to be a lawyer,’’ McCormick said, straight-faced.

Later, he spent a ‘‘tor­rid’’ time as a Porirua postie ‘‘be­ing chased by dogs ev­ery­where’’.

He said he and Hunt were cer­tainly old friends, but the de­scrip­tion ‘‘old troop­ers’’ could also be close to the mark.

Both are en­trenched Porirua favourites – Hunt with his words and per­form­ing skills, McCormick with his hu­mour and pre­sen­ta­tions.

McCormick has been MC at the Wai­tangi Day Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments for many years.

The next show will have a spe­cial flavour, be­cause it is Porirua’s 50th an­niver­sary.

Many well-known Porirua ex­pats are ex­pected to be present, but for two of them it will be a unique get-to­gether – the boys will be back.

Photo: DEAN McKEN­ZIE

Old friends: Sam Hunt, left, and Gary McCormick are look­ing for­ward to a catch-up at Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments 2015.

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