Thu 18 Oct 2018

WITT mourns student

WITT will hold a memorial service for student Shamuel BK, one of two international students killed in a two-vehicle crash on State Highway 3, between Waitara and New Plymouth.

Shamuel was part of an influx of Nepalese students to enrol at WITT in February. He had set himself a target of completing a Diploma in Professional Cookery at WITT by July 2019 before returning home to his wife.

His family has been informed of the tragedy and it is hoped his body will be returned to Nepal by the end of next week. A memorial will be held later, probably at WITT.

The driver in the second vehicle was Yatharth Vats, a student who travelled from India to study a Level 8 Postgraduate Diploma in Hotel Management at the Pacific International Hotel Management School in Bell Block.

WITT tutor Mike Sutherland paid tribute to Shamuel.

“Shamuel had a fantastic sense of humour, he was very much liked by his peers and tutors at WITT.

All Shamuel wanted was to be a chef and make his family proud.

He said Shamuel always spoke his mind but was also a very humble and kind young man.

“He will be deeply missed.”

The young student was busy outside of WITT, working part-time as a cleaner for New Plymouth dentist Julian Haszard, who has close ties to Nepal.

WITT has been a popular destination for students from Nepal this year.

WITT News reported in February that 25 young men from the city of Pokhara, in Nepal, were studying at WITT with plans to return home and work in their city’s bustling tourism industry.

Student Support Services director Zanetta Hinton said many of those WITT students were living together in flats in New Plymouth.

She said after learning of the tragedy, WITT tutors and staff provided support for those students by cooking meals and hospitality students were following suit today.

“At this sad time tutors and international students have come together to express and share grief and support their friends,” she said.

All international students were updated with news of the tragedy on Wednesday and offered support.

Shamuel’s sister, who is studying in Auckland, has been in New Plymouth this week.

Barbara George, the WITT chief executive, acknowledged the care and compassion of tutors and staff providing support and on behalf of the institute expressed her sincere condolences to the family and friends of both students.


Pictured: Shamuel BK