Friday 2nd February 2024

Climbing tree roots and fighting bush lawyer off-track in Arthur's Pass. Masochism or an important lesson for the year ahead?

Bush lawyer or tātarāmoa
Bush lawyer or tātarāmoa

A very warm welcome and welcome back from the Chaplain to all our community. I hope you all managed a restful and restorative break over summer. During the break I spent time in Arthur's Pass with my wife, kids and some extended family. This is one of my favourite places that holds many happy memories for me. 

This year, spying a radio mast up on a ridge behind the village I enthusiastically suggested we climb up through the bush to find it. A short time later our party of three adults and five cousins charged confidently into the undergrowth. Trustingly following their dad and uncle completely off-track.   

Five minutes later enthusiasm was ebbing - we had struck bush lawyer. With care, and assistance from the taller members of our party, we battled through this nasty foe emerging unscathed into more open (and steep) bush further up the ridge. 

I had the privilege of watching our small group working together and gaining in confidence. The more able helping the younger ones avoid bush lawyer, or scramble up steep sections of tree roots. Until, nearly an hour later we emerged onto the flat and open ridge top to find a rough marked trail that ended at our radio mast just two minutes walk away. 

The joy which battling through and working together brought was obvious. There were grins all round even before we trotted down the hill for jelly and ice-cream. One of my recurring prayers for our school community is that we will battle together to take the path less travelled, the narrow path. 

I look forward to sharing this journey with you and your boys this year - and leave you with the prayer I shared with the staff at our initial meeting this year.

God Bless,


The Year Ahead - Author Unknown

May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding us from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening us to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making our path easy,
But by making us sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from us,
But by taking fear from our heart;
Not by granting us unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping our face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making our life always pleasant,
But by showing us when people and their causes need us most,
and by making us anxious to be there to help.
God's love, peace, hope and joy to us for the year ahead.