Linking faith and science
Religion and science do not go hand in hand for some people but for 71-year-old Bryan Drake they are a perfect match.
Last week he graduated from Auckland University with a masters in geology after spending 40 years as a parish minister.
The Pakuranga resident says in his mind science and religion go together without any conflict although he understands not everyone sees it that way.
"I have found even in some church groups when I say that I am a geologist you can almost hear the steel shutters slamming closed because they assume I must be an atheist."
But he thinks of science as an explanation into the way God made the world, not a dismissal of the creator.
"Cars are made by machines but that doesn't mean they aren't man-made, man designed the machines that make the cars - God and science are the same."
Mr Drake says his life is governed by keeping an open mind and making the most of the opportunities that come along.
"It's just the policy of ‘well why not?' Why live a dull life when you don't have to, why not take an opportunity and let it lead you?
"I went back to university at 61 years old for one unit out of pure interest and I got hooked, I just didn't stop, I kept on going and now I have a masters in geology."
Mr Drake was raised an Anglican and his love affair with science started when he studied physics at Canterbury University in the 1950s.
But he soon found that maths was not his strong point which he says "doesn't end well when your major is 90 per cent maths" so he changed to theology.
After graduating he went into the church and became an ordained minister which took him into the army, New Zealand police and overseas to Singapore.
He says being able to offer spiritual support to the men and women who found themselves in challenging situations was a gratifying and worthwhile job.
Mr Drake says he will be excited to put his geological skills to the test if the right job opportunity arises.
"But I'm not prepared to move to the middle of the Australian desert - I don't think my wife would come with me.
"I might leave that one for the younger ones to do."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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