In the words of Pauline
My first job while I was still at university in Queensland was as a youth editor for what was then a fortnightly newspaper used as a means to communicate to the Methodist Church throughout Queensland, Australia.
I was handed a notebook, showed where the one Leica camera was carefully stored and asked to write three stories each week. I loved it and I loved the environment. Queensland was a big area for me to cover.
During most of my life working in the church, in the community and in television, I have had to write to deadlines. I worked alongside people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures.
Since living in New Zealand, Stan and I have lived and worked in both the Waikato and Auckland. Paeroa and Te Aroha were our communities for almost 12 years where we led a number of community projects.
Stan and I were church ministers in both towns. We have also initiated the Sights and Sounds of Christmas festivals, the establishment of the Paeroa Community Centre in the old Farmers Department Store with a number of associated services, and together we organised and produced a millennium event for the Waikato in December 1999. We loved our time in those communities and came north during that period to Whitianga to assist with the establishment of the Mercury Bay Day Camp.
Stan has also assisted St Andrew’s by the Sea Community Church in Whitianga to enlarge their church building while keeping its heritage status and architecture. This was a successful and significant project for the town.
In 2004, we became Aucklanders, living in St Heliers and leading the St Heliers Church and Community Centre. A feature of our ministry was the expansion of the facilities to an open-facing and multi-faceted centre as well as substantial colourful magazines sharing the lives and stories of the large community we served.
Stan and I are a team. We have been for many years. We are both writers and communicators, but with different styles. I am more the preparation and details person. Stan is the conceiver of big ideas.
From 1977 to 1992, we wrote, edited and produced an ideas and stories journal called “A People To Belong To” for community and church leaders across New Zealand, Australia, the USA and Canada. We loved writing about and disseminating others’ good ideas, and we have friends to this day because of that work.
We are Australians. Both Australia and New Zealand are home. We have family in both countries.
In the words of Stan
My work life has been varied - an apprenticeship in heavy industry, sales, life insurance, ministry, medical electronics and television production.
For a big part of my life, I have worked part-time for various parts of the Protestant church, including three years in Mercury Bay. As well as these commitments, I have worked as a writer, media producer, consultant and facilitator. I created local and international events and organised festivals.
For the last 40 years, Pauline and I have worked together on most of the things we were involved in. This partner arrangement is really our life.
Over the years I have become less religious in the traditional sense and more inclusively minded. My principal enthusiasm is building community. The kind of community I love includes all ages and a mixture of cultures and ethnicities.
I look forward to being part of the Mercury Bay community. I am sure it will enrich me and I will work to bring a contribution of value.
Pictured are Stan and Pauline Stewart, the new owners of The Informer as of this week.