He was just a kid from Castlecliff who enlisted in the Army after leaving secondary school, became Governor-General and is now our High Commissioner in London.
There is no doubt the rise and rise of Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae has a fairy tale flavour to it.
Born on November 14, 1954, to the Andrews family, Sir Jerry was given to his mother's brother, a Mateparae, to be raised in the Māori customary adoption known as whāngai.
Raised in the Whanganui's seaside suburb he attended Castlecliff Primary School, Rutherford Intermediate School and Wanganui High School.
He enlisted as a private in the Regular Force of the New Zealand Army in 1972 and four ytears later graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea in Australia.
He served in both battalions of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment and in the New Zealand Special Air Service.
He had two operational postings to peace support missions, one with the UN in Southern Lebanon and then commanding a peace monitoring group on Bougainville in 1998.
A later he was promoted to brigadier as Land Component Commander, Joint Forces New Zealand and from December 1999 to mid-2001 commanded NZ forces attached to the UN administration in East Timor.
Sir Jerry was promoted to major general and became the Chief of General Staffbefore being promoted to lieutenant general in 2006 and appointed as the Chief of Defence Force which he held until early 2011.
He was then named director of the Government Communications Security Bureau for a five year term but stepped down from the role to be sworn in as Governor-General in August 2011.
He was NZ's 20th Governor-General and the second Māori person to hold the office after Sir Paul Reeves.
A year ago it was announced that Sir Jerry would be New Zealand's next high commissioner to the United Kingdom, a posting he assumed early in 2017.