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From the window with a view - week 5, term 4 2017

A Window with a View

This week we received the very sad news that John Shaw has passed away, and it has certainly rocked those of us who had the benefit of working with, and knowing John.

When we moved from our Leura site to Hazelbrook there were major construction works that needed to be undertaken in a brief amount of time. Mark Thomas contracted John Shaw to do the earth moving and road works on the new site, working against the clock to ensure we were ready for the start of the school year in January 2009.

Being the person he was, John committed unequivocally to this project, consulting with Mark, excavating and constructing our school driveway and turning circle, preparing the staff car park and landscaping gardens. Over this period of a few months, we got to know each other. John would take the time to the connect with the individuals he was working with. Mark, Nancy, Steve, Jill, Annie, myself, and many contractors and parents, all worked with John as we set up the new site. He was part of the team that made the impossible possible. We shared many laughs and heart felt stories about life, our families, and our school.

John had a way of cutting through to the heart of a matter, of getting to know you. He would pick up where you left off last conversation when next you met. This could be months later! His memory was quite phenomenal. So too was his genuine interest in you as a person.

Over the past nine years we have contracted John to do further works for us. Most recently he completed the stone landscaping at the school entrance, the pathways to the hall and meadow, as well as the new bridge and landscaping to the meadow, and the sealed surface of our staff carpark. John’s hands surround us at Korowal. He paid acute attention to detail and we have been the beneficiaries of his fine work.

On behalf of the Korowal community we send our thoughts, thanks and commiserations to the Shaw family. A man with a huge heart has left us, and we grieve this loss not only to us, but to his family, and the Blue Mountains community. He has literally paved our way through the Mountains as he constructed many of the pathways and roads we travel every day. We will miss him dearly.

Our school oval was constructed by John, and this Thursday we held our annual fun run for students from Kindy to year 12. It started and finished on the oval, around which parents and students cheered the participants on. It was a fabulous event organised by Kizz, and even Kindy students ran up to 5 kilometres! The sun was shining as children and adults enjoyed time together. It was a delightful event.

So, as we say farewell to Week 5, it is a timely reminder to turn to those we love and smile in appreciation for the gift of their presence.

May you have a mindful weekend,


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