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Christine McSporran


1920 - 2013

Christine was born on a dairy farm which her father managed to purchase as a Gallipoli veteran after WWI. It was located in an isolated area with little transport available and with roads just being constructed. From the ages of 5 to 8 years, Christine either walked alone or rode a horse for 5 kilometers to the nearest school. Later, her father managed to buy a house in a nearby town so that his growing family could attend school more easily.

Eventually, after local schools and two years in a boarding school, Christine attended Otago University to study Sciences. She then returned home to obtain a position in a small local library. There was a shortage of teachers as WWII was starting, so she moved to Auckland to train as a New Entrant teacher. After one year teaching New Entrants, she moved into Secondary work to teach Science and English. After 6 years teaching in country Secondary schools, she moved to London and taught in London schools for two years. On her return, she taught in Auckland post-primary schools but took some leave-of-absence to do more overseas travel.

Christine married at age 40 but continued teaching with four examination classes, coached netball in the lunch hours, and some Saturdays, refereed netball games as a Provincial referee.

At age 50, she decided to resign from teaching, and with her husband, Christine spent a glorious time wandering around Europe and visiting Welsh relatives. After returning to New Zealand in late January 1971, her last school asked her to return to start a Special Needs programme. Christine agreed to do this only as a part-time teacher. This work was most rewarding, and Christine continued working there until she was 71 years old.

During her teaching time, she had completed her University studies as a part-time student and returned to University, again as a part-timer, to attend Professor Marie Clay’s advanced lectures. These topics covered the teaching of reading, especially to those experiencing difficulties, and other lectures dealing with blindness, behavioural problems, intellectually handicapped and disabled children.

At 71 years, she decided to leave teaching, and, after the death of her husband, moved down to Mount Maunganui. At times, she helped as a volunteer with primary age children who needed extra help with reading. Mostly though, Christine's time in retirement was spent finding out about computers and taking piano lessons.

 

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