St Peter's College teachers and students are mourning the sudden death of a much-loved teacher.

Peter Lyons, an economics teacher and Herald columnist died at his home on Wednesday.

"Peter's death has been a huge shock and devastating for the whole school community. We have lost a beloved colleague and popular teacher," principal James Bentley said.

Bentley said St Peters had a robust pastoral system and had called on the Catholic church for support.

"Yesterday we had a liturgy from one of our priests at school to acknowledge Peter. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends," Bentley said.

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Lyons, 55, was a well-know economist with extensive experience in teaching economics in secondary schools in New Zealand.

"Peter wrote a lot of textbooks on economics. He made it fun and introduced concepts like the stock market and how stocks worked. The boys fell in love with that. He set up trading clubs for the kids to invest in stocks - he taught them how to monitor and when to sell - we are taking small amounts of money.

"There is absolutely no doubt his influence led to hundreds if not thousands of his former students pursuing careers in finance and economics," Bentley said.

The staff at St Peter's College would also go to Lyons for financial advice.

"He would tell the staff when to fix mortgages and when not to - he was incredibly knowledgeable."

Lyons, 55, was a well-know economist with extensive experience in teaching economics in secondary schools in New Zealand.
Lyons, 55, was a well-know economist with extensive experience in teaching economics in secondary schools in New Zealand.

Lyons taught at schools around New Zealand and the South Island and had been an economics teacher at St Peter's college since 2007.

"Peter was a bachelor but he had a very large extended family. He was an avid traveller and used his school holidays going around the globe," Bentley said.

Although Lyons had a degenerative eye condition and his eyesight was rapidly deteriorating, it never held him back. He was independent in how he lived his life.

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Liz Lyons, Peter's youngest sister said her brother was passionate about financial literacy in schools.

"I will miss Peter's caring nature. He was the sharpest wit in the room, he was curious, adventurous and kind. He was the most amazing uncle and looked after our dad for about 14 years. Peter lost his great mate when he lost dad this year.

Lyons was also a follower of Stoicism, which is a philosophy about living each day.

"That's what Peter did," Liz said.

Lyons was also a well-known and well-informed writer for the New Zealand Herald and Otago Daily Times.

"He told me people would track him down by email to either congratulate him or criticise him. He was quite happy to get into debates with people, he enjoyed it. He was a great entertainer and public speaker."

Bentley said some of Lyon's former students have contacted the school to pay their respects.

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"He was just one of that great teachers - anyone taught by Peter remembers him with great fondness. Peter had a strong bond with the pupils in his class - it's a huge shock to them. But this generation of kids is very resilient and strong they will bounce back, we know they will and Peter would want them to ."

Peter Lyons funeral will be held next week at Eden Park.

WHERE TO GET HELP:

If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.

OR IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE:

0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP) (available 24/7)
https://www.lifeline.org.nz/services/suicide-crisis-helpline
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757 or TEXT 4202

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