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2018 OBHS Head of School House and Prefect Tom Howie

The Last Word

Tom Howie —

I was originally born in Scotland. This is my home country and where I spent my first 8 years of my life. This is something that I cannot be more proud of.

We are a country of ginger men with great beards walking round in skirts, drinking whiskey from the bottle, eating mashed up sheep intestine with a touch of cow liver… whilst pumping out “O Flower of Scotland” on the bagpipes. We are as proud as they come. Proud of our low life expectancy, proud of our mass stabbings, and proud of our high obesity levels caused by our deep-fried Mars bars. We also have pride in our national teams. No matter who we take on, we believe we have a 90% chance of winning. Do we ever win? 90% of the time we don’t. But no matter how much we lose or how much we aren’t understood, we are proud of who we are.

The Kiwi male stereotype of “she’ll be right” and a good Kiwi bloke is a big, rugged, tough man. I tell you what I think - that manly man loves an icy cold Speights after a hard day of “yakka” on the paddock.

But what if you don't fit into this category? What if you enjoy a low carb, dairy-free smoothie instead of a beer. What does that make you? Fellas, I can tell you right now what you are! You are... You. Easy! And no one does you better than you. I know what you are saying, “How can we take this advice from Tom. He’s the perfect representation of the classic kiwi bloke; he’s big, rugged and tough”. But boys trust me on this one.

Being proud is one thing that I have taken from Scotland and try to implement on myself. You are who you are. Be proud. Back yourself. ESPN says, “Life measures height, Sports measures heart”. I thought at first that this is was a very good theory until I realised that no one cares if you are 5 ft embarrassing, but what, and how life measures you by, is having a little bit of ticker, showing a little bit of heart, having some want, and ultimately backing yourself. Just remember fellas you can be proud of you, no matter who or what you are. Your pride should never be measured in how many suds you can drink. This is what you call being full of yourself, not being either a proud, or a good bloke.

As is the tradition, I’ll finish off with a quote from one of the greats… my old man. As he would say “Tom you don’t have to change the world, just get in there, do your best, and show some heart cos at the end of the day you're going to be remembered if you were a good bloke or not”.