Roderick Gairo – Farewell speech

Rod farewell speech

Rod farewell speech

Where do I start? It remains a mystery to me how exactly I came to be a part of this big family. Still,
Wiles family have been such a big blessing to me. Coming over to Vanuatu I had very little idea
of just what exactly I was going to do. Being only 16 years old at the time, just about to complete
year 10 then trying to transition into a new home, a new country, new friends, new culture, new
lifestyle, new language, everything was new for me. The first few months were all about school. My
daily routine was school, home, basketball (at the time I was playing with Sia Raga Basketball Club).
There really wasn’t much for me to do. Then on New Year’s Eve of 2008, I got the chance to sit in
the church with Rodney after the New Year’s church service and then I started playing the keyboard.
Then I remember Uncle Richard Edwin come across and started singing “Homesick” then I started
singing along and then uncle Rex joined in and before I know it we singing a trio then Uncle Richard
asks if I would like to join the group and sing the song and I agreed. I didn’t know what I was getting
myself into but I knew it was the start of something really good. And now 6 years later and I was

My journey with the Wiles Memorial Singers has been amazing! As a music ministry together we
have performed in numerous concerts, counting those in the Brisbane tour and big camp, the third
album DVD launching which was my first concert with Wiles and our 4th album launching and not
forgetting Aore. I have had such a wonderful time with the group, so many good memories to share
and so many people to thank.

Firstly, thank you mum and dad for supporting my interest in music and for supporting my decision
to join this group of elderly men to minister through music. You both knew my potential in music
and supported me throughout the years and now we are here. Thank you!

Uncle Joel Toa, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to join the group 5 years ago. Back
home watching the Pasifik Waves DVD’s and watching the group sing, I remember playing the
keyboard and singing along to your songs and when we came to Vanuatu I wanted to meet the
group members. Little did I know that the very church we would attend was where all members
worshipped too! Thank you!

Teten, you introduced me to a new way of vocal practice and the tracks you gave me I still have to
this day and will continue to use them to get better. Thank you for also letting me be a part of your
family and for being good mates with Jermaine. I’m really gonna miss playing with him and hearing
the funny things he has to say. Hopefully when I come visit some time down the years from now he
will still remember me.

Uncle Johnson, thank you for all the funny stories and those times we would just stand together
and tell stories. You would always come and greet me when I would return from school the first
Sabbath and ask how school was, how long I would be here for and when I would go back. Those
conversations we had were never long but those little things I will always remember.

My brother Karl, you were the first brother I came to know and trust. You and I have had a whole lot
of fun through the years and even to my final weeks here in Vila and the fun keeps on going. Thank
you for being trustworthy, listening to me, keeping my secrets and being a brother to me. You truly
are my brother from another mother. Thank you!

Kensly, you came later on but you allowed me to fit right in with the way you did things. We
recorded that 4th album together and that is one of my favorite memories with this group among so many others.
I’ll never forget hanging out together in Brisbane and all the fun we had. Thank you!

Graham, we became friends even before you joined Wiles and when I found out that you would be
Max’s replacement when he left for Aore I was glad that we would get to share the stage together
and we did. Thank you for being such a good friend and brother to me.

Brother Max: We sang the same part together for almost a year and a bit and it was so much fun all those practice sessions and getting the opportunity to travel with you and the group twice to Brisbane for tours. As well as the rest of the boys, I’ll miss your jokes and funny stories. Thank you for the memories and for everything you and your family have done for me. God bless you and family!

Jimmy, you were initially my piano teacher but ended up teaching me music. It was from you that
I learned a lot about the piano and appreciating real quality music. From the piano to setting up
both the analog and digital mixers and mixing sound and even recording on the iMac. Thank you for
sharing your knowledge with me.

Uncle Richard Edwin, you were the one you initially asked me to sing with the group and through
the years we shared a lot of stories, you encouraged me, gave me advice and for that I thank you

Bro Rodney, it was so much fun and I count it as a grand blessing to have been able to learn from
you. You are one talented brother and it was always so much watching you play and learning from
you. I’ll always remember and cherish our hard work in the studio as iron boys for the 4th
put together ideas and you showed me true musicianship by allowing me to implement my ideas
regardless how inexperienced I was. It’s from watching you play that inspired me to get better.
Thank you for sharing your talent and knowledge with me.

Uncle Steve, it took me 4 years to finally get to sing your part. I started off singing Tenor with uncle
Rex and then joined Teten and Max before I eventually got to sing your part. You taught me a lot
about singing that high part and it’s been a joy and a blessing to have been able to sing alongside a
very powerful vocalist as yourself. When we went to Brisbane you would look after me like your own
kid and I am really grateful for that. Thank you.

And last but not the least, Uncle Rex. You were like a father to me in the group. Watching over me
when we went on tour to Brisbane twice and even here in Vila. I remember before when I couldn’t
drive and you would come and pick me up for practice and drop me off. Even when the group was
invited to sing somewhere you would always come and pick me and then bring me back home.
Thank you for everything you did for me.

However boys, sadly, our time together has come to its unfortunate end. And if there ever has been
anything that I did that didn’t represent the group quite well or whether it was my attitude toward
practice or whatever it may have been, I apologize and hope you all can forgive me.

So in conclusion I would sincerely like to thank all of you for everything you have all done for me.
You all have helped me develop into a musician and singer and have all watched me grow not only
as a musician but into a man. These last 6 years with the group have been the best memories of my
time here in Vila. You all invited me into your families and allowed me to be a special part of this
ministry. I will never forget our tours, recording the album together and all the fun we’ve had along
the way. These memories will last a lifetime. Thank you for giving me a lifetime worth of memories.

So from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU WILES MEMORIAL SINGERS!