The following e-mail has been sent out to the mailing lists by Claire Ryan to announce her resignation as chair of council of the World Schools Debating Championships and that she will not be attending the upcoming championships in Dundee. However the good news is that she is stepping down to take up a position as a District Court Judge in New Zealand.
Congratulations to Claire. She has contributed a huge amount to schools debating around the world and she will be missed. I'm sure she will have a long and successful judicial career ahead of her.
Greetings everyone from an unusually sunny day in wintry Auckland - great for astronomy tonight!
I was planning on letting you know some other news today but with the exciting announcements emerging this morning about WSDC 2011 ( the draw!) and WSDC 2012 ( the newsletter!) which hopefully will take the limelight, I am grateful that my less interesting news can slip quietly in behind.
My news is that I have been appointed as a District Court Judge and will be sworn in on 5 August 2011. I am very fortunate to be able to carry out my judicial duties in Auckland and not have to work and live somewhere else although I may go on circuit to other places in New Zealand from time to time. I will be presiding over jury trials and working in the Youth Court which will be wonderful and I look forward to it.
I will need to leave WSDC and I have tendered my resignation to the Executive to be effective from 5 August 2011. In accordance with the rules, Beth James, as Vice Chairperson will step into the breach until the elections in Dundee when you will choose a new Chairperson. I ask you to give Beth every support in this time. As you know, she is doing a fabulous job as co-CA and her organisational and leadership skills are phenomenal. I am sorry that I am imposing such an extra burden on her prior to Dundee.
I also want to thank the other members of the Executive for their service to you and the debating community; Hayah Eichler, Mehvesh Mumtaz Ahmed, Sherria Ayuandini, Effie Giannakouri, Irene McGrath, Mert Onen and Joshua Park.
Sadly, I will not be able to attend Dundee. As a number of you know, I intended to stand down as chairperson at Dundee anyway but my appointment has moved matters forward more quickly. It means I can't say goodbye and thank you in person and I'm sorry about that. But as my little (6 ft 6) brother says, "it is what it is."
What I can say by email is that it has been an honour and a privilege to work with you for almost 10 years and to watch our school debaters grow into fine young men and women who contribute in positive ways to the community. I have made some wonderful friends from the WSDC community (you know who you are!) and know that those friendships will continue.
I end with two phrases in reo (Maori language).
First a whakatauki (or proverb) for our young people and their call to leadership;
Ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi.
The old net is cast aside, while the new net goes fishing.
Second, from within me;
Ko kaiwhakawā tōku mahi; ko nga hoa tōku mauri
Judging is my job (but) friends are my life-force.
Kind regards and thank you for all you do and all you are.