Matthew and family, 1978

The early years

Teaching Experience

Between 1973 and 1986 Matthew taught music in Auckland: at Penrose High School (1973–76), Nga Tapuwae College (1977–78) and Takapuna Normal Intermediate School (part-time, 1983–86). From 1979 to 1986 he also worked as a free-lance professional musician and musical director for television, theatre and light entertainment.

Since 1987, Matthew and Alison, who are people of deep Christian faith, have spent 15 years in teaching and school administration in Africa. They were on the staff at Bishop Mackenzie School in Lilongwe, Malawi, for five years, where Matthew held the post of Deputy Headmaster in his final two years. After a year in Auckland with the family in 1992, during which time he lectured in Music Education and Teaching Practice at the Auckland College of Education, the Raymonds returned to Africa. Matthew taught Music and English at Gateway High School in Harare, Zimbabwe, before being appointed Principal of Sakeji School in Zambia in 1994, a post he held for six years. In 2003–04, during an extended leave in New Zealand he was Lay Pastor at his home church, Greyfriars Presbyterian in Auckland.

Matthew teaching music at the Limapela School in Zambia

Matthew teaching music at the Limapela School in Zambia

In 2005–06 the Raymonds spent 18 months helping to establish the new Amano Christian School near Chingola in Zambia, where Matthew was the Educational Administrator and acting Secondary Head Teacher. In addition to administrative duties Matthew has always taught music and a variety of other subjects.

Matthew and Alison have a passion for the people of Africa and the educational needs of its children. They have more recently turned their attention to poorer communities. In 2007 Matthew and fellow Greyfriars elder Terry Webster established The Limapela Foundation which has now purchased Cedric’s School in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia, with the objective of ensuring a good future for it as a self-sustaining school. They returned to Zambia in 2009 to start this project.