060819 LC 0043 tom marriott Canvas Fabricator webAshburton canvas fabricator Tom Marriott has been recognised as the top apprentice in his trade. Photo Linda ClarkeFive years ago Tom Marriott was the after-school boy at Ashburton canvas fabricator Peter May; now he’s the country’s top qualified apprentice in the industrial textile fabrication trade.

Marriott, who turns 20 in October, was named top tier two apprentice and overall apprentice of the year at the recent national Motor Industry Training Organisation apprentice competitions.

The awards were presented at the Outdoor Fabric Products Association national conference in Napier at the weekend.

To win the title, he designed and made a workproof seat cover, which included a certified air bag seam, a dome, zip and Velcro closing.

The work was assessed by a panel of judges.

Marriott said he spent a day working on the cover, taking extra care with the one-way pattern and other tricky details.

In the process he used a computer to design and cut the fabric, then sewed it perfectly together on an industrial machine at May’s factory.

He said he made seat covers on a regular basis at Mays, but his work included a wide variety of projects from making huge 30m-long haycovers to small sunshades.

His after-school job five years ago included sweeping the floor, but it also allowed him to see the workshop in action and he left Ashburton College at the end of 2016 and took up an apprenticeship in the canvas fabrication business.

He was a natural fit with his attention to detail, love of numbers and skills passed on from his builder dad.

Owner Peter May said Tom had shown he has the ability to be a very skilled tradesman with lots of potential.

“We are thrilled that he has been recognised at the awards.”

Marriott said he enjoyed the variety of work, which saw him mostly working with PVC and vinyl.

He is responsible for the whole production process, from measurement to finished item.

He is also responsible for his own clients, which is teaching him another side of the business.

It was rewarding to construct new products, but also to give new life to old ones with a fabric make-over, he said.

Marriott’s apprenticeship has involved practical and theoretical modules and courses away, but he said a lot of his learning had been in the workshop with May, who had over 40 years’ experience in the trade.

He said May and his wife Toni had been great support.

The couple accompanied him to Napier, where he also won a $750 cash prize and a hot air plastic welder worth over $1000.

Marriott is the fourth May apprentice since 2002 to have won the national award.

By Linda Clarke - © The Ashburton Guardian - 7 August 2019

Alumni gathering Ross Preece webAshburton College principal Ross Preece tells former students and teachers about plans to replace the school’s leaky library. Photo Linda ClarkeThe architect for Ashburton College’s $50 million rebuild will be announced soon, though building work on the new campus will not begin for another two years.

Board of Trustees chair Jeremy Savage said the footprint of the 76 new classrooms and administration block had not yet been decided but options included the existing netball courts, playing fields and former community pool site (now a gravel carpark).

Savage said the Ministry of Education would manage the project and the school would be able to have its say on the space functioned.

He also hoped local businesses would engage when it came to awarding contracts for the work, which is timetabled to begin after the Ashburton District Council’s new building is constructed.

“We can get a school we think will suit our community and the needs of our community in the future.”

Savage talked about the significant build to former students and staff at an Ashburton College Alumni event on Friday.

He said the school had changed a lot since their day and was now a multicultural reflection of New Zealand with a roll that included 14 per cent Pacific Island students, 14 per cent Maori and 14 per cent Filipino.

Alumni chair Peter Gluyas said the gathering marked 50 years since the laying of the foundation stone at the Walnut Avenue site, not to be confused with the 50th anniversary of the merging of Ashburton High School and Ashburton Technical School in 1965.

The two schools functioned over two sites until the college was built.

The concrete block design served it well at the time, but has been found to be too hard to remodel.

The current classroom and technology blocks, and the administration area, will all be demolished once the new school is complete.

Principal Ross Preece said the campus would be built to cater for 1350 students and flexible learning spaces for large groups and individual cells, as well as specialist rooms for subjects like hospitality and woodworking, where subjects used commercial machines they would find in the workplace.

He said the curriculum was changing to ensure students had the soft skills and disposition needed for the modern workplace, where they were more likely to have a succession of short-time employment contracts rather than be in the same job for 40 years.

He said computer labs would be a thing of the past as almost all students now brought their own digital devices.

“They don’t need to remember the periodic table, they can just ask Siri.”

The alumni group visited several classrooms and the school library, where staff had prepared for an expected overnight downpour with buckets positioned to collect water that dripped from the ceiling when it rained.

The event also included the opening of a time capsule, created by the class 3BT for an English project in 1996. Teacher at the time Denise O’Halloran did the honours, then invited four former students to read their work – students had been asked to write about themselves and what they thought would happen in the future.

The former students, Steve Carr, Jackie Hurst, Amy Clark and Laura Davidson, were a bit nervous reading their 14-year-old thoughts aloud, but did, with some minor editing to avoid embarrassment.

Steve, now an accountant, had predicted he might become a builder or a mechanic and own a Harley-Davidson motorbike.

Former teacher Lynne McDonald had a surprise of her own and presented a framed and embroidered Ashburton College crest (a raffle prize from the 25th jubilee) to alumni chair Peter Gluyas, to act as his badge of office.

By Linda Clarke © The Ashburton Guardian - 6 August 2019

college logoDefending champions Celtic A returned to their best with a 30-24 win over United A in Thursday night’s latest round of the Mid Canterbury Netball premier one competition.

And they weren’t alone when it came to producing some of their most clinical netball of the season, with the table-topping College A side also coming away with an impressive win over Hampstead A 41-23.

They were results that ensured that with just one game to go before semi-finals, College A and Celtic A were shaping up to be the two teams to beat, with College A topping the leaderboard and Celtic A in second spot.

College A are yet to drop a game in the competition’s third and final championship round, and their latest win was set up by an outstanding first half where they led Hampstead A 22-9 by half-time.

College A coach Kaye Kennedy said the first half was great, but there was still work to do.

“We are working on just getting our structure and our composure right through all four quarters, we just seem to have one quarter where we drop off a bit,” Kennedy said.

On Thursday night, that was the last quarter, but by then College A had already done more than enough to secure the win.

It was a strong performance by the young side, but the game of the night belonged to Celtic A and United A.

As expected, little separated the two sides early on, but early in the second quarter Celtic A got on a mini-roll which helped them to a 22-16 led at half-time – a six-goal margin they still held at the end of the 40 minutes.

United A moved Olivia McLennan to the bench, and moved Anna Edzes from goal keep to goal shoot in the third quarter, but Celtic A’s defensive duo of Anna Holland and Olivia Hutchinson continued to make life difficult for United’s attack end.

Life wasn’t easy for Celtic A’s shooters either, though, with Sophie Worsfold producing numerous turnovers, but unfortunately for her side, all too often the ball found its way back into the hands of Celtic players before they could capitalise.

The gap was still six at three-quarter time, 22-16, and United A again made a move, reintroducing McLennan in the final quarter – at goal keep instead of goal shoot.

While United did manage to make some late inroads, they also made errors at crucial times, and Celtic made them pay.

Celtic A were having the sort of night where it would have been tough picking a player of the day, and against a side like that you couldn’t afford to make mistakes.

Celtic A coach Angela Leadley summed her side’s performance up in one word – awesome.

“Defensively we stepped up and that made a huge difference, which gave us confidence in our attacking game and we just seemed to find each other,” Leadley said.

Thursday night’s round also featured a bottom-of-the-table clash between Methven A and Mt Somers which was won by Methven A 21-14, which put them into fifth position with a round to go.

In premier two, Southern A’s top form continued with a 31-16 win over College B, while Methven B beat Hampstead B 33-22, and an all-Celtic battle was won by Celtic B over Celtic C, 41-30.

By Erin Tasker © The Ashburton Guardian - 2 August 2019