Ex­change stu­dent re­vis­its Mata­mata

Matamata Chronicle - - Mews - By LAURA MCLEAY

Thirty years ago a 16- year- old stu­dent with a limited English vo­cab­u­lary sat at the din­ing room ta­ble in Don and Jackie Stan­ley’s home ready for her first day at Mata­mata Col­lege as a Ro­tary ex­change stu­dent. Now Tina Bruger is back from Ger­many, to pay her for­mer host par­ents a visit.

And this time she has an added ad­di­tion – her hus­band Wolf­gang.

‘‘ I re­ally en­joyed it here in Mata­mata. This is my sec­ond time back; I came about 10 years ago when I was tour­ing New Zealand and Australia,’’ she said. ‘‘Now we are here with my hus­band’s work but I said we can’t come to New Zealand with­out see­ing Don and Jackie, so we took an ex­tra week to come up here.’’

They have vis­ited Wairere Falls, taken a trip to the Coro­man­del and been back to see Mata­mata Col­lege.

‘‘And it is funny the news­pa­per is here, I was in the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle 30 years ago too,’’ Mrs Bruger laughed.

Both cou­ples have found a Ro­tary ex­change is a great way to build in­ter­na­tional re­la­tion­ships that can last a life­time.

The Stan­leys have been back to Ger­many to visit the pair and were at their wed­ding last year.

‘‘ Dur­ing the time Tina was here, she be­came a Kiwi and be­came a part of our fam­ily so we have kept in touch and the re­la­tion­ship has stayed as there was such a good rap­port,’’ Mr Stan­ley said.

Now Tina and Wolf­gang have met the Stan­leys’ grand­chil­dren who all reckon they will be go­ing to Ger­many soon to visit the cou­ple.

Back to visit: From left, Jackie and Don Stan­ley with Tina and Wolf­gang Bruger.

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