‘Poetic ending’ in store for school’s head of arts

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George Arthur-Amohau is leaving St Peter’s College with no stone left unturned.

When Mr Arthur-Amohau left the college as a pupil in 2008, he said there were three things he would not do: he would never do anything with music, he would never come back to Gore and he would never be a teacher.

After five years as a music and arts teacher at St Peter’s College in Gore, Mr Arthur-Amohau is stepping down.

He came into the job with big shoes to fill, he said.

“I came as the teacher in charge of music. When the wonderful Barbara Fraser left she left behind quite big shoes to fill. I thought I would have a crack at it and in the second year I got the head of arts role,” Mr Arthur-Amohau said.

Throughout his time as head of arts, Mr Arthur-Amohau had introduced three new classes, media studies, drama and photography.

“A big thing for me was focusing on showing that in a small rural school there’s enough creative people to have a big focus on those subjects,” he said.

Mr Arthur-Amohau said the subjects were already on offer but not as individual classes.

“There were kids sitting in the back of an arts class doing media studies .. I remember doing it as a pupil, a great credit to the teachers for facilitating these classes with so many different things.”

That was then .. St Peter’s College pupil George Arthur-Amohau plays Ebenezer Saltmash in A Dark and Stormy Night in 2008.

Mr Arthur-Amohau said he promoted the subjects to the pupils and parents as something they could go into seriously.

He said the classes had since taken off and were the most popular within the arts.

“Kids are going off every year now and are studying in that direction so they are really seeing it as a career choice, not just a paper in class.”

directing his final St Peter’s College production, A Dark and Stormy Night. He had a role in the play when he was in his last year at St Peter’s College.

Mr Arthur-Amohau played Ebenezer Saltmash, who is now being played by Oliver-Gordon Glassford (18).

Mr Arthur-Amohau said it was hard not telling him to do it exactly as he had.

“He has made it his own and I think he’s better than I was,” he said.

“We did it with no microphones in the school hall theatre. One night it was really rainy and stormy, ironically. The rain on the roof made this terrible sound and I don’t think anybody heard us throughout the whole show.”

Mr Arthur-Amohau said this show would be held in the Little Theatre.

“It’s perfect. You can hear everything and it has the right feel for the show.”

“This is my poetic ending.”

The show’s opening night is tomorrow.

Mr Arthur-Amohau said he would be heading off to work on his own projects including an online magazine supporting emerging artists and designing websites for others.

“I’ll still be in Gore quite often as I have projects here.”

He said he also planned to continue his theatre work, either as a director or actor.

“I hopefully will get into some Dunedin theatre groups .. It would be good to get on stage again. It’s a lot different to directing – you get to have more fun.”

Mr Arthur-Amohau leaves for Dunedin at the end of the year.