Bay boys’ reunion in old stamping ground
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.
Old friends: Sam Hunt, left, and Gary McCormick are looking forward to a catch-up at Festival of the Elements 2015.