Harry delighted with stand-in, stand-in nana for school grandparent day

By Peter de Graaf -
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Harry Fox shows his stand-in nan's stand-in, Nana Jos, how to do computer coding during Riverview School's grandparents day. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Harry Fox shows his stand-in nan's stand-in, Nana Jos, how to do computer coding during Riverview School's grandparents day. Photo / Peter de Graaf

A Kerikeri boy has gone from having no nana to having two stand-in nanas to choose from.

When 9-year-old Harry Fox didn't have anyone to take to his school's annual grandparents day his mum, Nicola George, put a plea on Facebook to "borrow someone else's for a morning". The response was immediate and heart-warming.

The first person to answer the call was Barbara Nock, better known as Nana Nock, who has four sons, 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, so she's an expert on talking to boys.

The pair met on Friday and Harry, who is in Year 5 at Riverview School, already thought of her as part of the family, Mrs George said.

However, on Saturday Nana Nock received news that she had to go to Palmerston North for a funeral, so her golfing friend Jos Archer - now known as Nana Jos - offered to step in as Harry's stand-in, stand-in nana.

Nana Jos, who has no grandchildren of her own, was delighted with her grandson for the day when the pair met at school today.

"He's very informative and polite, a delight to be with. I'm very proud of him," Nana Jos said.

Meanwhile Harry was just as delighted to have "an extra nan".

"I'm really glad she came. I love having a nana. I love it that Nana Nock offered, and that Nana Jos stepped in."

As he was showing his new Nan how to write computer code on a tablet he was already thinking ahead to next year and whether he could bring both of his stand-in nanas.

Harry does have a grandmother but she lives in the UK so he doesn't see her very often.

His mum's father, former Kapiro Garage owner Martyn Payne, died in 2015 and both his father's parents have passed away.

Riverview School principal Ken McLeay said about 250 people attended Monday's grandparents day. More than 30 had come from Auckland or further south and two had come all the way from Christchurch.

After an assembly and powhiri the children showed their grandparents around the school grounds and classrooms.

Nana Jos said she was amazed to see what children did at school these days and how classrooms had changed with the advent of digital technology.

"Gone are the rows of desks with flip-top lids."

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