Brenda Hogue has left Gore three times!
In 1978 happily teaching primary school children at East Gore Primary School, she was persuaded to join the staff of St Peter’s College by Father Michael Hill, with assurances that she would have no trouble at all teaching seniors. She was to teach English, but as Form 2H’s class teacher, was also responsible for their other core subjects: Social Studies, Religious Education, Health Education and P.E. So began her first spell at SPC.
Teaching hadn’t been Brenda’s first job – she started her working life with an accountancy firm, but quickly realised that was not the life for her. She had been brought up at Wreys Bush with a farming background and went on from St Patrick’s Primary School at Nightcaps, to St Catherine’s College at Invercargill, as a boarder. Accepted for teacher training at age sixteen, she decided that she was too young for such a commitment and went on to do Year 13 at Central Southland College in Winton. Having applied for teacher training again at seventeen, she decided to hedge her bets and applied for jobs in an architectural practice, a laboratory and the accountants. She got them all!
Having chosen the accountants and then realised her mistake, she finally went to teacher training college in Dunedin. While there, she also gained an ATCL and LTCL in Speech and Drama developing skills which have proved very useful in later years.
Her teaching career began in Invercargill with her first job in a primary school. When she married John, who was teaching at Gore High School, she moved to Gore for the first time and eventually arrived at St Peter’s.
After three years teaching here, the Hogues had their first baby, Katie, and a move out of the area to Temuka in 1981. It was there, doing voluntary work with Vietnamese refugees, that Brenda became enthralled with other cultures and the richness and diversity that other peoples could contribute to life here. But again by 1985, the Hogues were on the move, this time to Dunedin and accompanied by two little ones, Katie and Laura.
Again, Brenda found work with an international dimension, teaching Cambodian refugees and training volunteers, as part of the ESOL Home Tutoring Scheme. Then along came baby number three and in 1987 a move back to Gore, where John was again teaching at Gore High School and Brenda doing home schooling in speech and reading. She also ran a Nanny Course in Gore for Southland Polytech, concentrating on the value of play, human growth and development, communication and negotiating skills.
By the mid 1990s John was Deputy Principal at St Peter’s College and Brenda took on the post of Hostel Manager, which entailed them living on site with their three children, Katie, Laura and Jenny.
Things had changed at the school – gone were many of the Sisters of Mercy and Rosminian Priests but there was now a wonderful lay Principal, John Boyce, and Brenda found the school in good heart.
When John was appointed Principal of Roncalli College at Timaru, the family moved north again – leaving Gore for thirteen years this time. Brenda was employed in the Language School at Aoraki Polytechnic as a part time teacher before joining the staff at Roncalli College as the main ESOL teacher. She was able to develop the job and move into marketing and travelling abroad to meet agents and families, ensuring a smooth transition when they came to New Zealand.
Then early in 2010, it was back to Gore again, when John was appointed Principal at St Peter’s. There had been an international component at the school here, but it had gone and when the Board decided to rebuild it, Brenda took on the responsibility . From three international students in the early days, she built it up to eighteen, from Japan, Germany, Thailand, Hong Kong and South Korea, achieving the diversity of nations that she has always wanted.
A particular satisfaction has been the development of students from SPC now going to Thailand and Germany and acting as ambassadors for the school and experiencing what it is like for foreign students studying here.
Brenda left St Peter’s for the third time in December 2013 to relocate for John’s new job in Dunedin. The likely scenario is that she will continue to work with students and adults struggling with the English language and adapting to their new lives in New Zealand.
Her new students might struggle with this quote from Brother Ted in “The Rock” of 1978….
‘Mrs Hogue threatened to spiflicate 3J.
There never was such a run on the dictionary!”