Refurbished theatre dedicated to former principal

Howick College has re-opened its newly-refurbished school theatre.

Originally opened in 1983, the building has been named to honour the second principal of the school, and performing arts supporter, Bill Dimery.

Teachers were joined by former staff members, including former heads of English, dance, music and drama, to celebrate the Bill Dimery Performing Arts Centre, and all enjoyed the chance to share memories of past school productions and events held in the building.

Mr Dimery was joined by his family and was deeply touched by the event. The gathering included entertainment from dance and music students who were joined by some talented alumni of the school, two of whom reprised their roles from musical productions from their time at Howick College.

English teacher Geraldine Jamieson joined Howick College as head of drama in 1991, the same year Mr Dimery took on the principalship.

“I thought I was the luckiest person alive to have a principal who not only backed me every step of the way, but who was totally enthusiastic, passionate and supportive of whatever crazy idea the drama team and I came up with,” she says.

Mr Dimery’s passion for performing arts saw him take on the role of musical director and pianist for the school’s 1992 production Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

He says: “Performing arts is often one of the things students enjoy and remember most about their time at school.”

As a result of his efforts, in 2002 the theatre was linked to a new performing arts block with classrooms, dance studios, and music recording studios, the opening of which was officiated by then Prime Minister Helen Clark.

With the new look theatre now officially opened, the space is set for even more highly professional productions to come, including Die Mutter (The Mother) in term 1 and Animal Farm in term 2.