Today the Cruise ship Volendam visited Dunedin on its way from Auckland to Sydney for the Gay Mardi Gras next week. It is the first time there has been an all Gay cruise in these waters.
On board was Paul, a student of mine from 1979-1980 and his partner, Matt.
Paul is always profuse in thanking me for helping him come out back in those days. Actually Paul is one of those guys who is so exuberant that it is fairly obvious he is gay on first meeting. However he tells me he was having problems with harrassment and dealing with the whole situation at the time. Due to various events I was also being outed in the school at the time.
He has kept in touch and visited me in my mountain home a few years ago. Paul moved to the States many years ago and is now a US citizen. He has passed all his exams and is a psychiatric nurse in Hawaii.
I met them in the Octagon just after 11. Any plans to have lunch in that area were quickly dispelled as the Royal NZ Pipe Bands Assn Otago Branch Annual Otago/Southland were also holding a Provincial Contest in the city. There were bagpipes playing everywhere. We went to one of the arcades for coffee and they bought a few souvenirs.
Then I drove them up the hill to look at my new home. The present owner invited us in but I am sure was relieved that I declined as she was busy packing. Instead I drove them to the beach side suburb of St Clair for lunch and then we drove across the Otago Peninsula on the high road with views of ocean and harbour and back along the southern side of the harbour, through the city again and to their ship at Port Chalmers on the northern side. It was a beautiful day with the sun shining and the temperature reaching 26'C.
As Paul said like Spring or autumn in Sydney but a hot summer's day in Dunedin.
Photos show Matt on my right and Paul on my left at St Clair Beach, then Paul in the centre as I dropped them at the wharf.
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