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UCOL Alumni Recognised

By UCOL on Friday, 24 March 2017

Ray Beech receiving an award at UCOL Graduation 2017

An alumni of 78 years, Ray Beech, received special recognition at one of UCOL’s graduation ceremonies this week.

UCOL Council Chair Malcolm Inglis presented Mr Beech with a certificate in recognition of his achievements as an alumni of UCOL, which all began with a two-year trades course at the Technical College seventy-eight years ago.

The course covered carpentry, electrical, metal work, and mechanical. Upon graduation, Mr Beech went into an apprenticeship in Wellington in 1940, became an electrician and has had a long and varied career.  

UCOL Council Chair Malcolm Inglis describes Mr Beech, now in his nineties, as an inspiration to graduands attending graduation. “Ray is a shining example of how to build a career after completing a trades qualification. His certificate, just like the certificates awarded at graduation ceremonies this week, lead to a new, brighter future, full of opportunity.”  

“It is my pleasure on behalf of the UCOL Council to recognise a very special alumni of UCOL, Mr Ray Beech. We recognise Ray as an alumni of the institution spanning 78 years, with training which began in the building on the corner of King and Princess Streets here in Palmerston North. We are delighted to hear how this education guided his career.”  

Ray Beech at UCOL March 2017

“We are very keen to keep in touch with all our graduates – tell us what you are doing and where you are. Your story, just like Ray's, will inspire others. We know that UCOL alumni work throughout New Zealand and the world, and in today’s digital world it is easy to keep in touch. We want to keep the strong bonds that have been formed with your classmates and lecturing staff during your studies by providing professional development, networking and job opportunities, as well as feeding back your experiences to today’s students and future curriculum. By creating a platform where UCOL graduates can network and build links, our graduates will have the critical connections to industry that make UCOL graduates stand out.”

Alumni of UCOL can register on, and join UCOL’s LinkedIn page to keep up to date with event and networking information.  

The Electrical Workers Registration Board acknowledges Mr Beech as an example of an Electrical Worker who has had a successful longstanding career in the Electrical Industry. He is proof that a career in the Industry can be rewarding and a good long term option. Ray remained a registered and practising electrician wiring houses 3 days a week into his late eighties.