Retired school principal, Laurie Williams, has captured well the challenges of an education assignment in the Solomons.

Laurie Williams Solomons PS

Laurie Williams (second right, at back) and other VSA volunteers in the Solomons in 2014.

Laurie, who lives in Masterton, took on a range of roles in the Solomons from 2011 to 2014. From advising school leaders and running Honiara’s biggest school, to dealing with rats, weevils and education bureaucracies, Laurie gives an entertaining account of a volunteer’s life in a memoir that he self-published in April 2017.

Not that ‘volunteer’ is a term he relishes: ‘I disliked [it],” he says. “I was an experienced professional in my field and could happily stand with the other professionals I worked with”.

His Solomons’ reflections, 23 A4 pages in all including photos, are only part of a wider memoir he was encouraged to write by his sister and daughter. Most of his story is for family only but he’s happy to make the Solomons’ section available on request. It’s bound to be of interest to anyone who’s worked in education, has lived in the Solomons, or just enjoys a good read about the ups and downs of volunteering.