A big loss to the school
This December, Onehunga High School will be saying goodbye to five staff members whose combined time at the school totals 112 years. Adrienne Booth has been the school librarian for 32 years; Sue Maney has been at OHS for 24 years as its resource manager, including nine years as manager of the girls First XV; finance manager, Rosemary Jellard, has been at the school for 22 years, and Jas Govind has been the school’s chaplain and counsellor for 21 years. The principal’s PA, Lyn Hede, is the junior of the group with a mere 13 years at the school!
Principal, Deidre Shea, paid tribute to them at the school’s prize-giving in November. She said, “Each of these amazing people has contributed so much to Onehunga High School.” She added special praise for Adrienne Booth, “The library she leads is the only one I know of in a co-educational school, where boys routinely outnumber girls in break times.”
All of the women agreed that the school and its community were the best things about working at OHS. Lyn Hede says, “The fact that we’ve all been here so long speaks volumes.” Their connections go beyond employment at the school; Sue Maney’s children are former pupils, as is Adrienne Booth’s husband, John. Jaz Govind also attended OHS in the 1960’s, with her brother, Olympic Gold Medallist Ramesh Patel.
Along the way, they have all faced a few challenges. When Adrienne took over the library, all the records were still in card files, and she says it took her two years to computerize the old card system. Meanwhile, Rosemary Jellard endured a far more stressful challenge during the introduction of the controversial Novopay system. She was caught between staff who were not getting paid and Novopay, who at times simply stopped answering their phones. She admits it is not a period she has fond memories of.
All five are looking forward to spending more time with their families, especially their grandchildren, but they say they will not doubt get involved in community work to keep busy.
(From Left: Adrienne Booth, Sue Maney, Rosemary Jellard, Jas Govind and Lyn Hede)