When I go back to Richmond or Nelson, I’m not Kurt Friedrich Gänzl internationally famed, multi-award-winning author and blablabla…
I’m Dr Gallas’s son. Dr Fred Gallas, longtime headmaster of Waimea College, Richmond, and remembered with enormous respect (and occasionally just a little twinge of fear) by the many, many thousands of local boys and girls who attended the school during his long period at its head.
Even this week, leaning over the bars of the horse-yards at the racecourse … ‘YOU are Dr Gallas’s son…?!’
I sure am. And couldn’t be prouder of it.
This year was of course Waimea College’s fiftieth birthday, and the odd bit of uninformed twaddle found its way into print (as these things do) for the occasion. I could have reacted, but I didn’t bother.
If only those people knew the truth. And (chuckle) if only those thousands of boys and girls could have looked into the box of photos my mother gave me yesterday, and seen their benignly stern ‘Victorian’ headmaster when he was in his teens and early twenties.
Mountaineer, international skier, gymnast, health and fitness teacher, Ph D (and half a dozen other sets of letters) … and heck, how come I never inherited those good looks, not to mention that elevation….!
My wonderful father. God bless him.