Meet Mr Sowerberry a.k.a. Sam Teesdale Posted by Posted by Imogen Loakman on 2 March 2016 Posted on: 2 March 2016

Posted by Imogen Loakman

Posted on: 2 March 2016

Sam was recently a very proud artiste in van Asch Deaf Education Centre’s production of Oliver Twist. Sam played the part of Mr Sowerberry, who in the play buys Oliver and takes him on as an apprentice.

The play was performed entirely in New Zealand Sign Language with voiced interpretation. Sam says it was hard, but rewarding to learn his lines and perform them in NZSL. Since then his NZ Sign has continued to improve.

Copies of a DVD of the performance are available from and are highly recommended.

Sam Teesdale Oliver Twist

Sam as Mr Sowerberry from van Asch Deaf Education Centre’s production of Oliver Twist.

This year Sam is attending the van Asch transition programme which he says has been exceptionally good. Highlights have been many but some include:

  • A four day camp at Boyle River for van Asch and Hillmorton High School students. Sam particularly found the tramping and camping both challenging and rewarding. He reckons he probably walked more in those few days than he has for a long time. Also memorable were the camp cooking and the outdoor teamwork challenges.
  • Work experience at the Party Warehouse packing shelves, stocktaking, customer service and general retail responsibilities. Sam also passed his Red Shirts Customer Service award.
  •  Helping to run the on-site café at van Asch Deaf Education Centre
  • Getting his provisional drivers licence

Next year Sam plans to take some courses at Hagley Community College in computer studies and tourism and continue to refine his skills in living in both the hearing and Deaf worlds.

Sam would like to thank Russell Prince, his teacher for over 15 years, Julie Bacon his teacher at the transition programme and Becky Yau his NZSL teacher.

Sam Teesdale Boyle River CampSam Teesdale at Boyle River Camp

Story taken from Christchurch's Enabling Good Lives Newsletter | Summer 2015

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