40 Jahre Goethe-Institut Neuseeland
I had visited the (still quite new) Goethe-Institut in Victoria Street in 1981 on my way North from a teaching position at Aranui High School in Christchurch to one at Green Bay High School in West Auckland. Peter Hubrich, the first director, had been a German tutor at Otago University in Dunedin, while I was studying there, and Michael Herd, the first „Verwaltungsleiter“, had directed the German play at Otago in 1975 and 1976. It was a social call, and I hardly dreamed I would return to work there three years later!
In January 1983 I attended a Goethe-Institut „Winterkurs“ for teachers of German - in Berlin and Bremen and subsequently presented at a Teachers‘ Conference in Wellington in the attractive rooms on the first floor of a building demolished a few years later to make way for the City Library, which has since been closed as an earthquake risk. I was offered a job teaching German language courses and supporting the teaching and learning of German in New Zealand schools early in 1984, but had committed to the year at Green Bay High School. I thought the fabulous opportunity was gone, but luckily the then German Advisor advised me that I was still expected at the end of the year. I was determined to only stay two years, so as not to lose my teacher‘s registration, but somehow that bumpy start based on misunderstandings turned out to be the start of a joyous 36 year journey encountering so many wonderful people along the way. I did get to go back into schools periodically and we frequently host groups of school students at the Goethe-Institut. And the people who come to learn German at the Goethe-Institut are all so interesting and delightful.