The heart of the school is the canteen

Monday 11th November 2019

Well they say that a way to a man’s heart is through is stomach. The Canteen at McGlashan had played that role forever – here’s the Joe Chagger canteen story

Pip Hayward, Canteen Manager and Joe Chagger
Pip Hayward, Canteen Manager and Joe Chagger

One of the long-lasting memories of my time at McGlashan was the Canteen and the people who ran it. Back in the 1960’s it was in the basement of what was the main school building. In my early days I’m pretty sure Tom Ross was involved, and I know that at the end of my McGlashan career Mike Bryan was in charge – complete with pencil behind the ear and a focus on pies.  A canteen staff reunion???

These days it is much more like a real canteen with a real manager, but still assisted by the boys. It was a pleasure to receive the following letter from Pip Hayward, the current Canteen Manager. Like Tom Ross, and Mike Bryan I’m sure Joe Chagger will go on to a great career.

A letter from Pip Hayward (plus photo of Pip and Joe)

It was with great honour I was invited to one of my first canteen helper’s Graduation celebrations.

Joe Chagger came as a Year 7 to John McGlashan as a shy, quiet, well-mannered young boy.

His parents, Mick and Mo, had emigrated from England to Whakatane.

When Joe was due to go into Year 7, they decided they wanted the best education for him.

They got prospectuses from every boys’ school in New Zealand and John McGlashan was the chosen school.

They closed their business, bought a home in Maori Hill and the rest is history.

I spotted Joe standing alone in his early days and asked if he would like to help me in the canteen. He stayed as my helper until he left in Year 13.

On leaving school Joe went to University to do a degree in law and music.

On the sad and sudden passing of his beloved Dad, Joe took leave from his studies to complete his dad’s dream of building a home for his mum and himself.

The home completed he returned to his studies and has now graduated with his music and law degree.

In his speech at his graduation party he was humble and told us “I feel that chapter of the book is completed and can now be closed”.

I believe Joe has grown from a John McGlashan boy to a John McGlashan man.

Congratulations Joe. Good luck for the future.