1963-1964 / NZBTI Diploma (Henderson Campus)
The memories of our lecturers with the 1963-64 intake are treasured: Alan (Bunny) Burrow, Les Rushbrook, Frank England, and Rev. John Pritchard in particular. I also remember picking apples in the orchard with Owen Henton.
One memory is the matter that arose in my second year on a day of prayer. I brought the matter to God at morning devotions and then just opened my Bible and it dropped open at Psalm 133: "How blessed it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." Huh? I went to men's worship before breakfast and before leaving one of the men asked for a replacement at Matron's table as he was also on dishes duty. I offered. At breakfast, Matron (Miss Jaggers) asked the lady next to her what she spoke on at morning worship. "Oh, Psalm 133: How blessed it is for ..." Was God trying to tell me something?
I put the fleece out and said to God, "Say it one more time and I will believe it". Before lunch we had small group prayer. When it was over one of the four men in my group said, "Do you mind if I read you a Psalm? It’s meant so much to me lately.” It was Psalm 133: "How blessed it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." Okay, Lord.
As the men had no fraternising with the women on the other side of the campus, it was not until we had graduated that I struck up a friendship with Nancy Watt. We were married by Les Rushbrook in April 1966.
I went to NZBTI with the desire to know God better and therefore to know the Bible better as this is where God reveals Himself more than anywhere else. At the end of our two-year course I noticed how the men I entered with had changed over those two years - they were more like Jesus...for they had been in company with Him like the Apostles had. Then I realized that must mean that I had changed too. Many of the rough corners had been knocked off. The College equipped us and prepared us to continue in our Bible study and walk with the Lord and to be available for Christian service.
After leaving NZBTI I completed my Civil Engineering studies and worked for the Auckland City Council for four years. I then worked as Deputy County Engineer for the Otorohanga County Council for two years, then County Engineer for the Thames County Council, before going out on my own as an independent Consulting Engineer for seven years. During this time I was a Sunday School teacher, Sunday School superintendent, and a Deacon, as well as being on two camp boards, including CYC at Ngaruawahia.
I then moved to Queensland and spent five years in Mount Isa and back to Huntly, NZ, developing coal mines for two years. We had five children by this stage (one adopted), and now six grandchildren. From there I moved back to Brisbane and spent eight years in PNG, Solomon Islands, and Fiji, building the Port Moresby International Airport, facilities for the South Pacific Games in 1991, and the 4-lane road to Honiara from the Lungga River (Airport), and a resort with golf course at Denarau in Fiji, among other things. I finished my career with Queensland Main Roads, building motorways and interchanges - the last the duplication of the Gateway Bridge.
I have made five trips to Israel and worked on archaeological digs, finding the factory which made the Pitum Ha Ketoret (Temple incense powder) prepared for the Temple prior to its destruction in AD70.
Nancy and I are retired with 56 years of marriage under our belts. I have been property officer for our church and have maintained the courtyard gardens for an Aged Care facility. I am a JP (rostered in the local shopping centre) and President of a garden club in Redlands where we live (a bayside city of Brisbane). I received an award as a 'Redland City Inspiring Senior' in 2017.
Nancy is a Spiritual Carer at the Aged Care facility and runs a Plein Air painting group. I have written two books, one a hard copy forty years ago and a recent one in e-book format, covering God's plan for the ages and where we are now at. We both keep ourselves busy as the Lord enables us.
Photo 1: Peter and Nancy in the garden
Photo 2: Peter Read Auckland University badge
Photo 3: NZBTI Ladies
Photo 4: 2000 year old Ketoret Temple Incense Qumran
Photo 5: NZBTI Graduation Ceremony Program