The Last Word

By Eric Peita | Posted: Tuesday May 10, 2022

As a boy born in Auckland, the environment I grew up in was corrupted.

There were many bad influences around me and therefore my parents had to make one of the hardest sacrifices of their lives. They had to move away from everything they knew, the place they grew up in, and move away from all our family. They did this to give my brother and myself a better chance at life which I'll forever be grateful for. 

Ten years down the track, and here I am standing in front of you saying my Last Word. This right now is one of the many opportunities that have been presented to me over the time I've been growing up, because of the work my parents have put in for me, and for that I'm forever grateful. They support me 100% of the way no matter what decision I make. Whether it be good, or bad, and for that I'm forever grateful. They've taught me everything I know in life so far and for that I'm forever grateful.

Now boys I ask, what are you grateful for? What do you possess that others don't? Each and every one of us are fighting a battle no one else knows about. Whether that be something as small as trying to complete your assignment, or something as big as losing someone you hold dear to you. We are all fighting our own battle day by day. 

Someone's battle could be worse than yours but you won't ever know, and for that I ask, what are you grateful for? What do you possess that others don’t? We all have roofs over our heads, but many don't. We all have food to feast on, but many don't. Many of us will still have loved ones here, but many of us won't. We all have so many opportunities presented to us at this school, but some people out there don't. And so once again I ask, what are you grateful for? What do you possess that others don't? 

Appreciate the things you have right now, whether that be family, friends or something you own, or the opportunities you are given. Because before you know it, time will pass by and some things you possess now will be gone in the future. To the Year 11s and 12s, be grateful that you have more time to be part of this school's history. Along with the support of so many people who are always willing to help you out because before you know it, your time here will come to an end and you will bear a greater responsibility. Finally to the Year 13s, be grateful that we have made it this far. Savour these moments we have at school. As we near the end of this chapter here, we will all be moving on to bigger and greater things in life. The moments we have made here, will soon become memories.

Now by OBHS tradition I will finish with a quote by Frank A. Clark. “If a fellow isn't grateful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be grateful for what he gets.”

Thank you.