August 2009 - Mt Maunganui sailor departs on Peacekeeping Mission.
Mount Maunganui man, Andrew Wilson, a Lieutenant in the Navy Volunteer Reserve , is all packed and primed to depart on a peacekeeping mission to Sudan shortly. Born in Gisborne, Andrew spent 30 years in Devonport and attended Takapuna Grammar School. He has resided in Mt Maunganui for the last 13 years and has spent all his adult life working within the Merchant Shipping Industry. Andrew haw worked overseas with an international ship owner and with the shipping agency business In New Zealand. His most recent employment was working for the Port of Tauranga and as a contractor to the Tauranga Harbourmaster. It is no surprise with such a vast maritime interest that Andrew decided to join the Naval Reserves in 2004.
Andrews parents still reside in Devonport and he is one of four children. Andrew thoroughly enjoyed working overseas and being able to bring his merchant shipping experience into the New Zealand Defence Force. Listing his service career highlights to date, Andrew has no hesitation in stating the top two as joining the Navy Reserves and his recent selection as a United Nations Military Observer in Sudan.
Andrew leaves for Sudan at the end of the month to take up the position as a United Nations Military Observer in Sudan. He is expected to be based in the south of Sudan, but to date he has not been allocated a sector or team site. Andrew acknowledges that his peacekeeping role will be personally testing and he will miss his family very much, however it will also be an incredible opportunity to contribute to international security and assist humanitarian organisations.
Andrew says, "My family are nervous and anxious but are understanding that the job is worthwhile on a humanitarian level. Being in the Naval Reserve has given me the opportunity to make a worthwhile contribution not only to New Zealand but to serve on a bigger level. It teaches skills that can be used in both the commercial sector as well as within the military environment. It allows personal development and growth within a supportive environment".
Andrew and his wife Clare have two school age children, Thomas and Sophia.