The oldest of three children, Alex grew up in Hyndhope Road in a devout Baptist family. What is a little more unusual for a traditional Baptist family is that he was sent to the Catholic school, St.Thomas' in Sockburn. On a school trip to India at age 16, he observed the church's strong commitment to being actively involved in making a difference. These strong spiritual influences continue to shape Alex's character and choices today.
|Alex and the Grand Canyon|
Travelling is also of interest. After finishing his degree, he went to live in Phoenix, Arizona for a year, where the temperature is over 30 degrees celsius 100 days of the year and reaches a high of 49. At the other extreme, another favourite place that he has been is Northern Iceland and he loved it because "it was so remote and there are only four hours of daylight and we got to see the Northern Lights" He has also been to some more unusual destinations: the Sahara Desert, the coast and mountains of Morocco, Georgia and Armenia.
While Alex enjoys travelling, it is also clear that having a strong connection with his local area is also very important to him. When asked about this, he explains " I grew up in Halswell when it was a village and I'm afraid we are losing that. It is important to me that I live in a place of belonging, not just a place of rest or a dormitory suburb and that I live here and contribute to the area. I think that we can have village "hub" with food, and recreational space, (including a skateboard park) right here in Halswell.”
Alex has been a youth group leader at the Halswell site of South West Baptist Church for eight years. The aim is to is to provide a place where young people can "have fun without getting into trouble". Some of their activities are: camping, tramping, (recently they went to Able Tasman) and going on various outings around the city. There are also opportunities to develop leadership skills at the youth group and to help in other ways. Alex explains his role there further: "All people crave belonging and value, especially young people. My aim is to do my part to show them how to interact with the world in a positive way."
If you see Alex, skating in the neighbourhood say "Hi!" or if you would like to check out the youth group, it meets in Balcairn St at the church on Tuesdays from 7-8.30.