Monday, 13 July 2020


MBAS international footprint expanding

Having accepted an offer to participate in a year-long Rotary youth exchange to the Netherlands next year, Mercury Bay Area School Year 12 student, Cara Bosman, will be expanding the already-growing MBAS international footprint.

Cara’s achievement follows hot on the heels of last year’s MBAS head girl, Ella Tomkins, having secured a four-year scholarship to study at McDaniel College in Maryland, USA and Year 13 student, Petra Fisher, having just returned from Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, USA.

Cara will be the first MBAS student to participate in a Rotary youth exchange. She’s sponsored by the Thames Rotary Club. “We’re the only Rotary club on the Coromandel Peninsula and although we’re based in Thames, we support young people around the Peninsula to become the best they can be,” says Warren Sly, the president of the Thames Rotary Club. “We were proud to put Cara’s name forward for a Rotary overseas exchange. She’s a hard-working and dedicated young lady who have already achieved much in her life. We have no doubt that she’ll be a great ambassador for not only New Zealand, but also the Coromandel and MBAS.”

Cara likes to keep herself busy. Having achieved NCEA Level 1 with an “Excellence” endorsement last year, she’s working towards the same achievement in NCEA Level 2 this year. She’s one of the senior students at En Pointe Dance Studio in Whitianga and dances most nights of the week. She’s also playing netball, is part of the MBAS senior band and aeroplane build programme, and is a shift supervisor at Subway Whitianga.

With a keen interest in aviation, Cara started to learn to fly last year and flew solo on her 16th birthday nine months ago. With 16 being the minimum age any student pilot can fly solo in new Zealand, she may well have been the youngest pilot in New Zealand for a few days.

Cara is continuing to fly and became two weeks ago the first MBAS students to obtain an intermediate pilot’s licence. She hopes to obtain an advance local licence with a passenger endorsement in the next month or so. “An advanced local licence will allow me to fly within 50 nautical miles from Whitianga,” she says with a smile. “It will be quite cool if a friend, or my younger sister, and I can fly to Ardmore Airport in Auckland for some shopping. I’ve promised my Mum to fly with her first, though.

“I genuinely love flying and am seriously considering a career as a commercial pilot. I think it’s awesome that the young people of Mercury Bay have the opportunity to not only build aeroplanes, but to learn to fly as well.”

Cara is excited to live for a year in the Netherlands. “I was born in South Africa and came with my Mum and Dad to New Zealand when I was one year old,” she says. “My Dad’s family emigrated from the Netherlands to South Africa 10 generations or so ago. Bosman isn’t an uncommon Dutch surname. Who knows, I may end up bumping into some very distant family members next year.”

Cara spent Saturday last week at an orientation day in Rotorua with 10 other outbound Rotary exchange students (all earmarked to go to different countries in Europe, and North and South America) from Whakatane, Napier, Tauranga and Cambridge. She also met three inbound Rotary exchange students who have only last week arrived for 12 months in New Zealand. Kilian Wiesinger hails from Austria and is hosted by the Thames Rotary Club. Noé Pennequin comes from France and is hosted by the Te Aroha Rotary Club. Anne Lucas hails from the Netherlands and is hosted by the Te Kuiti Rotary Club.

Coincidentally Kilian and Anne also have an interest in aviation. Anne is, like Cara, considering a career in commercial aviation and Kilian recently did some holiday work at an aviation engineering facility in his hometown. He’s keen to come to Whitianga and look at the MBAS aeroplane build programme.

Cara is scheduled to fly out to the Netherlands in early January next year. “I’m already reading up on the Netherlands,” she says. “It’s a very interesting country. I’m also trying to learn a bit of Dutch. I’ve been offered a wonderful opportunity and am keen to make the most of it. Ik kan niet wachthen, which is Dutch for ‘I can’t wait.’”

Pictured: Mercury Bay Area School Year 12 student, Cara Bosman (second from the right), with Thames Rotary Club president, Warren Sly (on the right) and Rotary youth exchange inbound students Kilian Wiesinger (on the left), Noé Pennequin and Anne Lucas in Rotorua on Saturday last week.


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