When Larry Naylor was a young Yorkshire lad, he dreamed of either travelling the world or becoming a chef.
But rather than choosing one career, he found a way to combine both, and this experience made him a logical choice to facilitate SIT2LRN tourism and travel papers.
“I left school at 15 and at my parents’ request - or insistence - got a job as a trainee chef in a large department store for a year before I joined the British Merchant Navy. What a shock that change was!
“This was at a time when some of the classic liners were still afloat, including the £10 migrant or tourist ships to Australia and New Zealand. I loved the majesty of the old liners, especially on world cruises. One of the liners turned out to be the ‘Love Boat’ for me and I ended up marrying a New Zealand girl and swapping the ocean-going life for terra firma in Auckland.
While Larry had joined the Merchant Navy as a chef initially, he moved to a role as a steward, which led to him developing a passion for customer service, before returning to cooking as a gueridon chef, specialising in table cookery.
He also developed a love for tourism by guiding passengers and showing them the sights while on day trips in port.
“I’ve always enjoyed the hospitality, travel and tourism industry – I firmly believe it is a profession that is both exciting and fun, that needs to be fostered and encouraged for the new students of today, to provide the exacting standards of tomorrow.”
Larry’s impressive CV includes a Bachelor of Applied Management with a food and beverage management major, a Diploma in Wines and Spirits (Wine & Spirit Education Trust, UK), and an Advanced Diploma in Food Service Techniques (City and Guilds UK), all of which have proved extremely useful for his facilitation role with SIT2LRN.
That CV, combined with more than 30 years teaching or lecturing at various polytechnics and private providers around New Zealand, gives him an innate understanding of the student’s needs and expectations while learning.
However, his connection with SIT2LRN didn’t start with facilitation – he has also been a student, studying the Diploma in Digital Film.
Larry had been working as a part-time industry workplace assessor and thought there might be an opportunity for the rest of his time to be put to good use teaching in an area he was so passionate about. He approached SIT2LRN, where his skills were quickly recognised, and he began facilitating in 2013.
“I’ve always been interested in distance learning as it seems to me the best way for education to reach a wider audience. To me, the idea that a subject can reach everyone – irrespective of age, background and even location – is an exciting prospect,” he said.
“I get such an immense feeling of pride and pleasure at seeing how students learn and progress.”