Well, the time has arrived.
I am leaving Oamaru for the bright (and windy) lights of our capital city. I’ve accepted a role with LIANZA (Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) as the marketing and communications co-ordinator.
It is with a great deal of sadness that I leave Oamaru. I’ve lived here my whole life. I attended Totara School then Waitaki Girls’ High School. I started working at Oamaru Public Library the year after I finished high school. I was originally going to study occupational therapy in Dunedin but I loved the
library so much I didn’t leave!
Almost seven years later and I’m still here. Who knew that a temporary job would end up being such an exciting roller-coaster ride?
While I’m incredibly excited about the adventures that await in Wellington, there are many things I will miss about Oamaru.
The biggest thing will be the people. I’ll miss having a chat to the ladies at the bakery where I get my coffee each morning. I’ll miss walking down the street and saying “hi” to at least three people. I’ll miss all the interesting people I get to meet at the library.
I’ll also miss the vibrant, exciting yet relaxed atmosphere of the town. In the last five years or so, I’ve had fun watching all the new businesses like Tees St Cafe, William Bee Merchants and Mrs Hyde appear.
I love the familiarity of driving to work via Humber St and seeing the beautiful coastline. I also love driving out to the beach at Kakanui for fresh air and head space.
We are so lucky in Oamaru to have everything we need right in town, large city centres in easy driving distance for those things we can’t easily access, mountains, beaches and lakes in close proximity, and a proud and passionate community spirit.
My work at the library has been an important part of my life. I’ve had so many amazing opportunities, from attending conferences all around New Zealand and meeting awesome librarians from all over the world to organising a conference in Oamaru and getting to showcase the beautiful opera house
and all the great things Oamaru offers.
There are so many people who have been an amazing source of support and encouragement. Everyone at the Oamaru Public Library, in particular Fiona Kerr, Jean Rivett, Philip van Zijl and Debbie Price-Ewen, has been amazing to work with. I have learned so much from them and definitely wouldn’t
be where I am today without their support. Jane Lodge, of the Waitaki District Council, has been an amazing mentor and friend, and my church family have also been an important part of my life.
I’d like to acknowledge my parents, Peter and Jacqui de Ruiter. They have always been there for me, helping me to keep things in perspective and encouraging me to aim high.
Oamaru will always be special to me and I look forward to my visits, of which I’m sure there will be many
Well, the time has arrived.