New Spiritual Home: About a year ago, Pamela and George O’Brien chose St Barnabas. Both are grateful for being made so welcome, the joy of worshipping in such a beautiful church and appreciate the traditional 9.30am service, as well as finding familiar faces. During Pamela’s 26-year tenure as Parish Administrator, St Peter’s Upper Riccarton, they worshipped there but have sensitively moved parish to allow the new Administrator settle in. They’ve used the year to quietly fit into St. Barnabas Church life. They are now Welcomers and have joined Dinners for Eight.
Faith Journey/Church Involvement: George was born in Hokitika and it was through Boy Scouts that he became involved with the church and his faith journey began. Pamela was born in Greymouth and attended Sunday School from the age of four. She found the illustrated Biblical stamps that the children collected in their special stamp books very meaningful and this played an important part in her faith journey. She still has the stamp book.
They were married 52 years ago in St. Peter’s and in the early years of marriage attended St Mary’s, Merivale. They moved to Timaru in 1986 and Pamela became Parish Secretary for St. Mary’s, Timaru. During Pamela’s recent time as Administrator at St Peter’s, both were very involved. George was a Worship Leader, Pamela a Chalice Bearer and both were Welcomers and Readers.
Careers and Working as a Team: After attending the same High School in Hokitika, Pamela was a Shorthand Typist at the Hokitika Borough Council; George was Assistant Town Clerk. Pamela moved to Christchurch as PA to the County Clerk, Waimairi District Council. After University, George worked in the timber industry in Christchurch. In Timaru he was Company Secretary, Dominion Breweries. Pamela has worked with 20 clergy bosses over a period of 32 years in the Anglican faith/church.
When Pamela was involved with La Leche League, George, as Treasurer, suddenly found himself doing a stocktake of breastfeeding equipment. Pamela’s involvement and drive did not stop there. Having had experience of the effects of asthma, she joined the Canterbury Asthma Society Committee/CanBreathe Board and was involved in all positions over 42 years, being on the Board as Member and President of Asthma New Zealand (Auckland) for 16 years and is now a Life Member of both.
They currently have an engineering business that provides designs and installations for dust and fume control in industrial situations. With customers throughout the South Island they spend time in a variety of locations, turning these into mini holidays. By choosing what hours they work, they sometimes pretend they are retired and sneak off to the movies or go out to a café etc.
Family and Interests: They have three adult children – Quinton, Briana and Logan. Quinton is in England, Briana Queenstown and Logan Japan. While in Timaru, being close to the mountains and lakes, made holidays with the children special. Although the business takes up much of their time George loves reading and gardening. Pamela enjoys card making and tap-dancing classes keep her fit. Both love travelling – the highlight trip a year ago – a Musical Tour from Nashville to New Orleans, with a special stop-off at Gracelands!
They both look forward to meeting more parishioners, taking part in activities and joining a study group. Pamela is keen to join the AAW.