Every Monday the Chronicle fires 10 questions at a Whanganui local. This week Logan Tutty puts Westmere School principal Phil Walker in the spotlight.
How long have you been a principal for?
I have been a principal for eight years in total, just coming to the end of my fifth year at Westmere School.
2020 has been a pretty tough year. What has it been like as a principal in this time and how has your school done this year considering all the disruptions?
It certainly has been a different year for everyone. The children have missed out on so many sporting events, camps and trips. We have focused on keeping routines and expectations high but trying to find a balance of fun cooperative activities. The children have adapted brilliantly, I am very proud of them.
What is your family history in Whanganui? What do you love about the town?
My family came from London in the 1970s and we moved to Patea. The freezing works were going strong and we were training greyhounds. We moved to Whanganui in the early 80s. Whanganui is a great place, like everything in life, it is what you make of it.
What is the worst job you have had in your life?
On my overseas trip, I was a hoddy. I carried bricks up and down ladders and stairs all day long, I hated it but I did meet some crazy guys on London building sites.
Is there something you have accomplished outside work life you are particularly proud of?
I have always lived sport: cricket and football being high on the list. Winning Central League with Athletic, playing cricket for Whanganui, great times.
How do you like to spend your downtime?
Family, weekends away and time on our lifestyle block with the chooks, dogs, cats, sheep, cattle and alpaca.
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
Live life to the full, you only have the one.
Where are some of your favourite places you have travelled?
Anywhere away from home. I Love travelling around NZ camping but also have loved travelling in Europe, Thailand, Australia. Overseas I would have to say Italy - stunning country.
If you could have one superpower, what would you choose and why?
Fly. That will help with more travelling adventures.
If you could only have one cuisine for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?
Thai food with a lovely cold beer.