A Virtual Party

This week the founder of ESLNews, Pat Syme, is retiring after building and taking care of this website for over ten years. The new administrator of this website is myself, Melissa Cassidy. I wish that we could throw a party for Pat to thank her for her selfless work, but we are all in many places, so a real-life party would be difficult to manage.

But imagine that we could have a party. Please post in a comment below some information about what you would do. Who would you bring with you? What food and drink would you bring? We would use Youtube for our music, and each guest can choose one song. Please tell us what song you would like to play at Pat’s virtual party. Also, please write what you would say to Pat! I know that your comments will be fun to read. Thank you.



retire (v) – to stop working

selfless – not selfish, thinking of others

administrator – someone who manages a website

real-life – existing in the physical world

virtual – not existing in the physical world, but rather through software or the the internet

balloons by jean_victor_balinballoons by jean_victor_balinballoons by jean_victor_balinballoons by jean_victor_balinballoons by jean_victor_balin

31 thoughts on “A Virtual Party”

  1. Hi there.

    I have listened to your news pretty much every day. This is useful and well organized for students like me. I appreciate your efforts. Thank you to the founder, Pat Syme again and I hope this site goes well. Thanks.

  2. Hi,Pat,
    I’ve read this website and listen to you for one year. I have learned English and known more about New Zealand. Thank you very much for your selfless work.

    I’d like to play this song for you.

  3. Gilbert from Burgondy France
    August 25th.at 21:30pm

    hello good evening.

    I am 69 years old. I started to learn English when I am retired (60 years) Nearly every day I was listening to your news .It was a great pleasure for me.I like to danse tango too.I will like to share a glass Champagne and invite you to danse.May be one day in Australie….Thanks for your excellent work and generosity .

  4. Hi Pat and Melissa
    Thank you so much for your amazing job.
    I would bring to Pat’s party a huge hug and thank you for help so many people!!!

  5. Hello Pat and Melissa

    Thank you for your effort !!!
    ESL News was very helpful for me to hear and speak English,
    So I think, you make me travel around the world because of hearing English.
    I’d like to dance with you Waltz in Virtual Party.

  6. Hello Pat and Melissa
    Thank you for your effort !!!
    ESL News was very helpful for me to hear and speak English,
    So I think, you make me travel around the world because of hearing English.
    I’d like to dance with you Waltz in Virtual Party.

  7. Hi

    I am new to this site and have enjoyed the variety of articles, many have raised good discussions in my class.
    Enjoy your retirement, Pat, and I look forward to Melissa’s contributions.

  8. Hi Pat,

    I would like to express my sincere thanks for your selfless work and kindness.I also greatly appreciate the time and effort that you showed to manage this precious website.
    My best wishes to Melissa for starting her amazing role.

  9. Hi Pat,

    Thank you for all your hard work. I often share this website with my students. Not only can they improve their English skills, but also find out about culture, history, current events, politics etc.
    I know that a lot of people have benefited from your efforts.

  10. Hi Pat and Mellissa,
    I often use your site for my international students in Timaru. Pat has done a fabulous job and I really appreciate her work. She manages to choose relevant stories from the plethora of news we are bombarded with that often fit in with the topics I planned months earlier.
    I would play “So long, farewell” from the Sound of Music!
    Good luck!

  11. Thank you for your hard work Pat!!!
    I really appreciate that you had posted all
    the nice articles!!
    So I could study!

  12. Hi Pat, Hi Melissa,
    I began to visit this website 3 years ago when I was new to NZ from China.
    It is very helpful for improving my listening English. Also it is a very good way to know topics local people focus on.
    Really appreciate your wonderful work. Will share the website to more English learners.
    I would like to choose a beautiful song ‘送别’for Pat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiLCA-U_f8E
    All the best!

  13. Hi Pat,

    Your great work help me a lot. I came to NZ last year. At the beginning, it is very hard to understand kiwi accent. After using this website 3 months, my listening skills improved. And luckily I got my first job in NZ.

    Thank you for your time and effort maintaining this website in the last 10 years.

    All the best

  14. Hi Pat
    I am a students in DynaSpeak, my teacher shared this website without us. I enjoy it every day, it helps me to improve my English skills. I really appreciate your work, i would like to bring a bundle of flowers to you, and wish you enjoy your retirement. I would play ‘Only Love’ at the virtual party.

  15. Hello Pat! Thank you very much for your selfless working for the website. You are the best teacher I’ve ever known!! Enjoy your retirement life ! Thank you again.

  16. Best wishes for your retirement Pat. Over the years I have used your website in a variety of ways – listening, reading, discussion etc. Therefore I want to say a huge thank you for all the work you have done. It is greatly appreciated by myself and many many other teachers and students alike.
    Enjoy your retirement. You will be missed.

  17. Hi Pat
    Thank you so much for all your hard work! I’ve used your website regularly over the past few years with a range of students, and always found interesting and relevant topics so that they learn more about NZ and current events. This site is really a treasure trove for teachers and learners of English! Enjoy your well-deserved retirement.

    Thanks Melissa for taking on the site and I look forward to more great articles from you!

    All the best

  18. Just wanted to say thanks for all the years of hard work from the English Language Institute team at Victoria University! A virtual party is better than no party at all.

  19. Hi Pat and Melissa,

    I woukd like to thank you for your great work on this website. Thanks to it, it’s being quite easier to understand what kiwi people say, haha. I’ve been living here in NZ for just two weeks and Im going to stay for more six months. Eslnews was one of the firts podcasts I signed when arrived.

    All best wishes

  20. Hi Pat & Melissa,

    Thank you wonderful job. I’ve used the website regular over the past three years. I am very interested in these topics which help me know more New Zealand. Pat, enjoying your retirement life.

    This song often give me power, Celine Dion: A NEW DAY HAS COME

    Thank you Melissa plan the party.

    All the best


  21. Dear Pat,

    Thank you for all the you have done.
    You like my friend I’ve never meet ,I have been listening ESL for a years, even when you are no longer here with us, the fruits of your kindness continue to multiply. Thank you very much again! 🙂

    Best wishes!
    Enjoy yourself

  22. Hi Pat and Melissa,
    We appreciate Pat’s persistence and contributions for last ten years.I wish we have a real party and I will bring Chinese dumplings to share with to warm up the atmosphere.
    I just started listening to ESL and thank you Melissa that you take over the job so we are able to have this programme to help us improve our English.


  23. I really appreciate your great work. I am a studentof an ESOL class. Ever since I learnt of this website, I have been following the website, wherever I go.
    I have benefited from your work. You have helped me to understand so much more about the culture of New Zealand. You have inspired me to be a contributor to the community. I will remember your voice forever. Thank you so much!

  24. OMG – thank you so much for all the interesting news – and not just the lead stories. This has been a well used resource in our ESOL department and we really appreciate being able to access this for our students.

  25. Pat: I would come and salute you at your party. I have such deep awe and respect for your website and am so thrilled it will continue. I was very grateful for it in my roles at Ara and have continued to use it as a wonderful resource in my Community ESOL class. Go well Pat.

  26. Hi Pat,
    I’ve used this website to practice my speaking since last year. This website posted a lot of local news about NZ which helped me a lot. I appreciate your efforts and contributions. Best wishes for your retirement.
    All the best

  27. Hi Pat and Melissa.

    I hope you both are doing well. Personally, I think it is such an amazing idea to develop the website. It helps us, who have English is a second language, to enjoy reading in English as well as updating what happens in New Zealand.

    All the best to you two.

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