Margaret Matthews has paid her final visit to Switzer Residential Care in Kaitaia with her Paparore School musicians, the youngsters once again entertaining on piano and ukulele, many of the residents joining in on familiar songs.

"The conversations between children and residents have always been a highlight, perhaps more important than the music," Mrs Matthews said.

"Watching smiling faces and seeing others light up is a real treasure.

"Iris Aschebrock thanked the residents for inviting us into their home to visit once again, and the Switzer staff provided a lovely morning tea for the performers. Much appreciated."


Mrs Matthews said she had left classroom teaching and began teaching piano in schools almost 10 years ago, initially at Kaitaia Abundant Life School and Pompallier Catholic School, Paparore and Kaitaia Intermediate following on. At a guess she reckoned she had taught well over 100 young and not so young people to read, music, understand and love playing the piano and ukulele, some for a term or two, some for a year or two, and some right through to their NCEA performances.

"Over the years my students and I have made many rewarding visits to Switzer Residential Care, along with lunchtime Paparore Proms concerts and a few performances in the Te Ahu atrium," she added.

"I feel very honoured and blessed that so many parents have supported my endeavours and entrusted their children's musical tuition to me. Thank you all."

And that was almost that. Today is Mrs Matthews' final day before retirement, while her teacher husband Warren had his final day, also at Paparore, last week.

Having "retired properly," the couple are preparing to move to a new home on the Thames coast.