Slain teacher still in thoughts
July 16, will mark ten years since Jeanette Ginns’best friend – Lois Dear – was found beaten to death in her classroom.
The 66-year old school teacher was preparing for the start of term at Strathmore Primary School in Tokoroa when she was murdered by Whetu Te Hiko, 23, causing national outrage.
Ginns said her friend, who was a mother and grandmother at the time of her death, was always in her ‘‘thoughts’’.
‘‘I know it’s ten years coming up and in some ways its gone really fast and in other ways it hasn’t.
Whetu Te Hiko was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum non-parole period of 18 years, after pleading guilty to her murder at the High Court in Rotorua on February 27, 2007.
Ginns said it was unbelievable to hear that another Te Hiko – Jamie- was now linked to the murder of Queenie ‘Selena’ Thompson who was killed near Atiamuri last month. ‘‘It saddens me actually.’’ Ginns became close with Dear after the worked together at Tokoroa Central School
The friendship continued when Dear moved to work at Strathmore Primary School.
‘‘I will place my flower on her lovely stone outside the office.
‘‘That’s what I do every year.’’
It’s been almost 10 years since Lois Dear was murdered in Tokoroa.