Ross and Kathy Callaghan were married in 1974.

This is our 40th wedding anniversary photo. 

It was shot on our cruise around the Caribbean on the "Carnival Glory" in June 2014.

Click here to watch our video for this amazing cruise:  Caribbean cruise 2014.






Ross

Ross grew up in Takapuna, Auckland.  His parents were Jack and Madge Callaghan and he has one brother, Brian.

   

When he was young Ross played rugby, but this stopped when he became good at golf. He won quite a few tournaments, played in the NZ Open twice and was on a one handicap as a teenager.  He won the NZ University title in 1965 and gained a University Blue.

Ross became a Christian in 1964 and soon became involved in lots of ministry activities.  See Ministry


In 1968 Ross graduated from Auckland with a B.Sc. and started his teaching career at Takapuna Grammar School.

 

Kathy

Kathy grew up in Hamilton and is the youngest of six.  Her parents were Eric and Joyce Andersen, and her brothers and sisters are Patsy, Sue, Mike, Karen and John.

Kathy became a Christian in 1970.  She has always been keen on music and in her childhood she sang in the school choir, the church choir and played the violin and guitar. She was born to sing! 

Later on Kathy worked in the office for the Department of Social Welfare.


 
Ross and Kathy

Ross and Kathy met at Christian Youth Camps in Ngaruawahia in 1972 when they were leading children's camps.  This was the start of a wonderful love relationship!!!

We got married in 1974 at Glenfield Presbyterian Church and have lived in Auckland, Wellsford, Warkworth/Snells Beach, Tawa, Lower Hutt, and now in Paraparaumu Beach. 



Our children and grandchildren

All of our children were born at Warkworth Hospital; Debbie in 1976, Sarah in 1979 and Philip in 1981. 

Debbie was Head of Sports at Queen Margaret College, then gained her B.Sc at Victoria University, and later a M. Phil in Emergency Management through Massey University.  Debbie won a scholarship to the University of Idaho in 1996 which was a life-changing experience for her.  She also represented NZ at Gaelic Football!  She went out with Fraser Cunningham for many years, and they got married in 1999 at Lower Hutt Baptist Church.  Debbie and Fraser now live in Melbourne and JJ (Joel James) was born in 2006, Heidi Joy in 2008, Luke Lewis in 2010, and Dan Caleb in August 2012. We get to see them regularly which is great.  Fraser works for BP's marine division and is a well-respected and successful businessman.  


                               

Debbie and Fraser with Dan, Luke, Heidi and JJ.  April 2015.

  

Sarah was Head of House at Chilton St James School and was particularly good at music, singing in the school choir.  Her barbershop quartet, Cutting Edge, won the NZ Secondary Schools competition.  Sarah graduated from Wellington Teachers College with a B.Teaching and has taught new entrants in Lower Hutt and Paekakariki schools.  Sarah and Michael Stevens were married in 2003, again at Lower Hutt Baptist Church.  They now live in Harbourview in Lower Hutt. Blake was born in 2010 and Isla in 2013.  Sarah is a great barbershop singer. She sang in the Faultline Chorus with Kathy, and in quartets called Stage Hans and Jigsaw, and later with the the Wellington City Chorus. Sarah now teaches part-time at Belmont School (where Blake is a student). Michael is an IT specialist and an expert in things technological. 

 

                                                                                         Michael, Sarah, Blake and Isla with Granna and Poppa. December 2014.

Phil
was Head of School at Hutt International Boy's School.  He has amazing abilities at playing music and being funny!!  He's also got interested in golf (but  hasn't ever beaten his father!).  Phil has twice been to the United States as a camp counsellor.  The second time there he met Sarah Verboom, from Nova Scotia, Canada.  Phil and Sarah were married in 2003 in Nova Scotia and settled in Wellington where Phil worked as the supervisor of the Discovery Centre at Te Papa, our national museum. Phil then set up his own business
making customised badges and T shirts, Verboom Badges and Tees, with a shop in downtown Wellington. Phil is a great cricketer, and Sarah is a massage therapist and has a B.Sc from Victoria University. Phil and Sarah moved to Melbourne in March 2013, but Sarah now lives back in Nova Scotia. Phil works as a host in the Science Museum, and also sells T shirts through stands at youth conventions. He is a great cricketer and organises the "Last man Standing" T20 cricket competition in Melbourne and Tasmania.

 

Sarah and Phil 

 
 Our family in 2015.

Our parents

Ross's father, Jack Callaghan, was a leading businessman and entrepreneur.  He loved his golf and was very proud of Ross's success at golf.  'Grandad' died in 1991.


Ross's mother, Madge Callaghan, was one of the famous Tyson girls from Runanga on the West Coast.  She met Jack in Egypt during the Second World War.  We were very sad when Grandma died in 2001.  She had a heart of gold!                       

Jack and Madge Callaghan had two sons: Ross and Brian.

 

Madge and Jack, with Debbie, 1977                                Brian, Madge (Grandma) and Ross 1999

Kathy's father, Eric Andersen was in the NZ Army in WW2 and afterwards worked with stainless steel.  Grandpa died suddenly in 1987. 

Kathy's mother Joyce Andersen was in the British Army and met Eric in London.  They married and she came out to NZ as a war bride in 1945. Joyce was a prolific letter writer and had friends all over the world.  Granny died in 2004.

 

   Joyce and Eric, 1947                Kathy, Mike, Sue, Joyce, John and Karen 1970                          Eric 1986              


Eric and Joyce had 6 children: Patsy Burton, Mike Andersen, Karen Dawson, Sue Andersen, John Andersen, and Kathy.


                                                          Kathy, Sue, Patsy, Karen, Mike, John 1959                              Back: Mike, Kathy, Karen, John.   Front: Sue, Patsy. 2010                                  


Here are highlights of our lives over the years:


1974-1976 Glenfield

We got married in 1974 at Glenfield Presbyterian Church on Auckland's North Shore. We were given a poodle (Kimi), some tropical fish, and an orchid as wedding presents.  We soon had 6 fish tanks and hundreds of orchids!  Unfortunately Kimi had bad legs and we were heartbroken when he had to be put down.  We went straight out and bought Sarita, another black poodle (and she lived with us for the next 14 years).  The fish tanks have long since gone, but we still have a glasshouse full of orchids.

   

         31st August, 1974                          Sarita, our poodle                                   Teaching at Takapuna Grammar                            

Ross was teaching at Takapuna Grammar School at the time and led a youth group (The Saturday Night Group), a mid-week Bible Study at Glenfield Presbyterian Church, and an ISCF group at Takapuna Grammar School.   We also had a band called Koinonia which sang when Ross spoke at camps and evangelistic outreaches. One night our house was firebombed as we were singing!  Someone wanted to kill off Christians!  Fortunately the house didn't catch fire and that night God gave us a scripture: "This slight momentary affliction is preparing you for an eternal weight of glory".  Very comforting!


1976 - 1977 Wellsford

We moved to Wellsford so Ross could do his country service at Rodney College. Soon after we arrived Debbie was born and our lives changed focus as we tried to be good parents. We loved having Debbie as a baby, but she sure was full of energy!  


                                                                                                                                          Debbie aged 20 months  


1978 - 1983 Warkworth and Snells Beach

We moved to Warkworth so Ross could be Head of Biology at Mahurangi College.  We lived in a school house in Warkworth for a while, then bought our own place at Snell's Beach.  While we were there Sarah and Philip were born.  They were both much more placid than Debbie!

It was great bringing up our children near the beach.  They sure had a wonderful childhood!                              


               

                   Sarah 11 months, Debbie 3, with Granny and Grandpa Andersen                             Phil aged 3 months                                        

Ross continued to preach in local churches, speak at camps and we had a great family-based home group meeting at our house.  

Kathy started her interest in crafts at this stage, particularly in fabric painting and was soon a Tri-chem dealer (later on becoming the Wellington Manager for Tri-chem).

At Mahurangi College Ross was responsible for setting up a new horticulture department, complete with classroom, potting room, shadehouse, glasshouse, orchard, vege garden and flower beds.  Later on he was a consultant for other schools wanting to set up horticulture departments.

In 1982 Ross started having problems with his voice.  He had his vocal cords operated on 3 times and ended up not being able to speak at all. He was on sick leave for a year but there was no way he could continue teaching, preaching, worship leading etc.- things which had been so important in his life up to that point. This was a very difficult time for our family, but we look back on it now as a time of great growth and can see how God used it to lead us on to better things.

 

November 1982  Phil 1, Sarah 4, and Debbie 7     

1984 - 1987 Tawa, Wellington                                                                       

Ross got a job as a Senior Science teacher at the Correspondence School, which meant he could continue teaching, but did not have to speak (as the Correspondence School's students learn by distance education).  The move to Wellington was a great adventure for our family as we knew almost no-one, and had no idea what life in the city was like.  We all adapted really well and are now so glad that we were able to live for so long in Wellington.

   

                            1986                                                                                         AOG 1987    

We went to Porirua AOG church which is very multi-cultural and we were able to take on significant leadership roles there: Kathy in getting alongside people, and Ross as an elder, pastor, preacher (as his voice gradually returned) and trainer.  Ross learned a lot about learning at the Correspondence School and that translated over into his preaching and training programmes.  He now focuses on communicating in a way that people will learn!

1987 - 2007, Lower Hutt

In 1987 we moved to Lower Hutt and lived there for 20 years.  We attended Lower Hutt Baptist Church and with Ross's voice becoming stronger were involved in many different ministry activities.  Ross developed and delivered training programmes in many aspects of Church life for Churches, home groups, Bible Colleges and family camps, and was able to get back into his preaching and teaching ministry as well, but with very careful management of his vocal cords!

In Lower Hutt we extended our house and redecorated it a number of times and made major improvements to the garden.  People often said it looked like a park!

    

   

     

Kathy worked for 13 years at Soma Medical Centre as their receptionist/administrator and then worked for two and a half years for Dr Hans Snoek. Through this she discovered she was able to learn complex medical computer programmes, and train others in them.

After 7 years at the Correspondence School Ross got a job as Training Manager at The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, at that time New Zealand's largest tertiary teaching organisation.  There Ross set up the Staff Training and Development Centre, focused on equipping the polytechnic's staff with the skills needed for effective distance teaching.  His work gradually changed over the years and he became more involved in doing revenue generating activities for clients all over the country.  He designed and delivered training programmes on a wide range of topics but his major project was to design an assessment system for the retail industry.  This took a number of years and involved developing unit standards and qualifications; designing assessment materials; training assessors, and moderating the quality of the assessments that were being carried out.  For a number of years Ross was the National Moderator for the Retail Industry Training Organisation.

After 14 years at The Open Polytechnic Ross left and we set up our own business, working from home.

While at the Open Polytechnic Ross delivered papers at many conferences including some overseas.  This led to our love of travel and we have been on trips to:

  • Australia (many times)
  • Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea, Japan
  • The United States and Canada 
  • Great Britain, Europe and Scandinavia
  • The Middle East (Turkey, Israel, Jordan and Egypt)
  • In recent years we have started going on cruises to explore different parts of the world.  So far we have been on cruises on the Nile (Egypt), and to Alaska, Hawaii, the Pacific islands, the Caribbean and Asia.


 

   

 


You can read all about these trips on our family website under: Recent travels

In 1999 Debbie married Fraser Cunningham, and in 2003 Sarah married Michael Stevens, and Phil married Sarah Verboom.  And then grandchildren started coming along ..... Yay!  Debbie and Fraser have four children: JJ, Heidi, Luke and Dan.  Sarah and Michael have two children: Blake and Isla.   


Fraser and Debbie                                       Michael and Sarah                                             Phil and Sarah          

2008 on, Paraparaumu Beach

We moved into our new house in Paraparaumu at the beginning of 2008 and, since then, have enjoyed exploring the wonderful beach environment around us, establishing new relationships and beginning a whole new phase in our lives.

We are now retired. This means we have time for our ministry work, and also for voluntary community work. We provide sing-alongs, soirees, travel programmes and Church services for elderly people in our local area. See EntertainKapiti.   Ross has taken up golf again and still plays well, despite his bad back. He has got down to 7 handicap and even had a 69, something he hadn't done for 40 years! Kathy keeps fit by riding her bike and swimming, and is very interested in genealogy. She is always researching our family history and continually finding out more about our interesting ancestors or helping others to find out about theirs. She also enjoys singing with the Kapiti Womens Choir.

 

  Our house in Paraparaumu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Over the years we have got involved in lots of different areas:


  • decorating and landscaping our houses in Snells Beach, Tawa, Lower Hutt and Paraparaumu Beach.


                                                         


Our back yard in Lower Hutt    

 
  • Kathy singing in Barbershop choruses and quartets.  She has sung in the US at the International Competitions: in 2003 with Greater Auckland Chorus in Phoenix, and in 2005 with the Kansas City Chorus in Detroit, (where she won a third place medal!). Kathy sang the baritone part and later on, lead.  She enjoyed her barbershop 'craft' and always tried to learn more about it.  You can watch the Kansas City Chorus rehearsing for the 2007 competitions here:  Kansas City Chorus Rehearsal Kathy finished singing barbershop in 2009, and now sings in a community choir.
 
Faultline Chorus                                                                                                Kathy with medals                                                        
                              
                  
  • Taking photos and making family and travel movies. You can watch many of our movies on YouTube. See calros3
   

Kapiti Island, taken from the beach near our home in Paraparaumu.
                                                                                                                                                                                              

  • Serving God in various ministries.  These have included leading lots of childrens camps at CYC; leading home groups; leading ISCF groups in schools; children and youth group ministries; eldership; pastoring; worship leading; preaching in lots of different churches; and, of course, Ross's Bible teaching and training.  Ross was also the National Chaplain for Girls Brigade New Zealand for a number of years, providing leadership and designing and delivering training. We ministered at Lower Hutt Church of Christ for a couple of years and were leaders at Gateway Christian Fellowship on the Kapiti Coast for 5 years. Gateway Christian Fellowship   For more details on our ministry activities, and a reflection on effectiveness in Christian ministry see Ministry
  • Ross continues to prepare Bible Studies and put them on this website so feel free to check them out regularly!  See Bible Studies
  • Ross has written a book called "Tomorrow I'm going to disappear". The book is 'faction' - a fiction novel based on fact, and tells the story of Kathy's grandfather Harald Oskar Andersen. You can read the book by clicking here: Tomorrow I'm going to disappear. Harald died over 50 years ago but in an amazing way our family in New Zealand have made contact with the family he left behind in Norway in 1904. This has been one of the most enriching experiences of our lives. Check out our family website for a full account of this incredible story! 
          


In the future we hope to continue traveling the world, spend quality time with our children and grandchildren, and serve God in whatever ways we can.

As a family and as a couple we have been incredibly blessed.  We are so grateful to God for His goodness towards us and for His unfailing love.

We hope you have enjoyed reading our story!


Ross and Kathy Callaghan.


For more details please check out our family website: http://callaghans.yolasite.com            


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