Newspaper Article 2006 – Hastings Intermediate was Joe’s big passion

Hastings Intermediate was Joe’s big passion



We officially met at Hastings Intermediate School by the school pool in the year 2000. I had just arrived from the Waikato to take up my new position.

We soon discovered that we had something in common, both having attended Ardmore Teachers’ College in Auckland.

That was the beginning of a lasting and much-valued friendship that would extend over my five years and beyond, at the school that Joe so loved.

How can you express in a few sentences what a person may have achieved in their lifetime and what makes them so special?

The answer is very simple you can’t. You can, however, take a small snapshot and tell it how you see it. So here goes…

A lifetime is so short, but Joe made the most of every waking hour.

He was always the early bird. First to school (except when I managed to beat him – which wasn’t often) and first to lend a helping hand without being asked.

His nature was always generous and unconditional.

Joe always said that Hastings Intermediate was his passion. After all, he had been there some 26 or 27 years. I believe he said to me that to take a sickie was unacceptable and he was proud of the fact that his attendance record was so outstanding. This demonstrated the absolute total commitment of the man.

He loved his job and really didn’t see it as such! It was so much more.

Joe was certainly a unique individual in many ways and I was fortunate to be part of not only his professional life but also his life after school.

Joe had many quirky and familiar sayings that were part of his character – … “I teach for kids!” or when he was playing pool … “You’re not in the same league!” (if you were losing).

Or if things didn’t always work out after a game shot that he had made …  “It’s all part of a cunning plan!”(in that evil voice with a slight chuckle!)

What did he love? Well, from what I knew about Joe and my time spent with and around him and in no particular order, he loved being at Hastings Intermediate and his students.

He often spoke about his family and how proud he was of his boys, loved living things, loved reading his Herald in the morning, loved his beer, loved his snooker, pool and darts at the National Service Club, loved to sing (with a little incentive).

He loved his sport and in particular rugby and was an avid horticulturist whose knowledge and expertise were awe-inspiring. Joe was very much into conservation, land restoration and protection of all living things.

He just simply loved and respected the outdoors.

What were his pet hates? Don’t think there were many.

Well, I know he hated wearing long trousers. I believe I saw him wearing those famous “bell-bottom” trousers on about five or six occasions, mainly at school prizegiving ceremonies.

Ties were the same. But he did love to wear his equally famous shorts and long socks.
He once said to me that it felt comfortable and that it was his goal to wear them all year no matter what the weather.

“Down the coast” as Joe would put it, with friends for a break was a time he treasured.
And then there was Te Pohue, his own personal domain, where he led outdoor education experiences, for students of Hastings Intermediate for a number of years, and which he frequently recalled in general social discussion as being some of the most rewarding and satisfying times of his life. Joe you made such a difference in your lifetime in so many ways I think without you even realising it.

We celebrate your life Joe and we, I, thank you for your friendship and the influence, and the difference that you have made on my own life and the lives of so many who were so fortunate to cross your path.

Joe Cresswell; there will always be those who love and respect you, your family, close friends and just your friends.

You will not be forgotten, my friend. God bless.

By Stevan Sharpies, Mansell Senior School, Papakura.

Original digital file


Non-commercial use

Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ)

This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ).


Commercial Use

Copyright on this material is owned by Hawke's Bay Today and is not available for commercial use without their consent.

Format of the original

Newspaper article

Date published

10 August 2006

Creator / Author

  • Stevan Sharpies


Hawke's Bay Today


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today


  • Joe Cresswell

Accession number


Do you know something about this record?

Please note we cannot verify the accuracy of any information posted by the community.

Supporters and sponsors

We sincerely thank the following businesses and organisations for their support.