Douglas William Albert Day: 18 May 1936-6 August 2018.

AuthorMcGibbon, Ian
PositionOBITUARY - Obituary

All who were involved in the NZIIA in the last three decades will be saddened to learn of the passing of Douglas Day, a longstanding member of the Standing Committee.

Born at Stratford, Doug was educated atWestport Technical College and Ashburton High School and went on to study at the University of Canterbury from 1954. He graduated with a master of science degree with honours in geography in 1959. After attending teachers' training college in 1958, and gaining a diploma in teaching, he embarked on a secondary school teaching career at Putaruru, where he met Louise Watson. Married in 1962, they would have two children. At this time Doug resigned his commission in the Territorial Force, in which he had served for the previous six years.

In 1960 he won a Rotary overseas travel award, which allowed him to spend four months in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and India, later described by John Russell in his eulogy at Doug's funeral as a formative experience, challenging his thinking and opening his eyes to the enormous demands' facing developing nations like India but also leaving him impressed by the dignity and acceptance he found among chaos and despair.

In 1962 Doug moved to Wanganui Boy's College, where his father was headmaster. One of the highlights of his time there was organising a school trip for six boys to Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand (Operation Asia) in 1963, possibly the first such secondary school enterprise. He then spent six years in Hamilton heading social sciences at Melville High School before, in 1971, becoming rector of Waimate High School. Gaining a four-month Woolf Fisher Trust fellowship, he studied education in five countries in North America and Europe, looking particularly at how schools could flourish in different socio-economic areas. In 1976, following his return to New Zealand, he was appointed principal of Mana College, where during a thirteen-year stint he enthusiastically promoted a multi-ethnic approach. He was at the same time studying part-time for a master of public policy degree at Victoria University of Wellington, graduating in 1984. His successor, John Russell, noted that Doug was a man with a deeply inquiring mind and intellectual curiosity, highly motivated to do his bit to improve the lot of those most disenfranchised by the world around them; by political ineptitude, weak governance, racial and religious discrimination, lack of access to education and all the other factors that stop people reaching...

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