Hero photograph
Photo by Clare Wilkinson

Kaikoura Past, Present and Future

Sandy Jefferies and Clare Wilkinson —

A trip to Kaikoura for an Old Boys gathering is not complete without a visit to...

March 29, saw St Bede’s Boarding School and Community team host their third Past, Present and Future event, this time in Kaikoura, at the Lobsters Inn. We caught up with a wonderful group of past Bedeans, who entertained us with stories of their time at St Bede’s, how after the holidays, or a weekend at home, they would catch the train back to school and how they loved playing rugby. Our regional visit was a lovely evening.

A trip to Kaikoura for an Old Boys gathering is not complete without a visit to our oldest living Old Boy, Pat Harnett. 

Pat Harnett and Justin Boyle — Image by: Clare Wilkinson

Patrick Joseph Harnett attended St Bede’s from 1938 – 1941 and enjoyed reminiscing with Clare Wilkinson and Rector Justin Boyle. He remembers many details fondly and in detail about his days at St Bede’s, telling stories of the Rectors, teachers and students. Pat is now 97 years old, approaching 98 in July, with an impressive memory, a sharp mind and a wide and welcoming smile. Daughter Mary Gray and nephew Roger Ford (1968 – 1971), were also present with Pat when we visited and we went on to meet another nephew of Pat’s later, Willy Ford (1962-1964).

Pat sits in his chair proudly showcasing his St Bede’s memorabilia around his room (he now has more to add to his collection), opposite a wall full of family photos and a white board full of the names of the nurses and staff that care for him. Pat explained it is important to address people by their names, so he writes them on the board to help him remember. Pat could tell us a story about each of the people whose names are on his board.