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Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Grill: "Hot Jeremy", the Sign Language Guy

The Grill: "Hot Jeremy", the Sign Language Guy

Last updated 17:52 28/05/2011
 
 
Where were you during the earthquake on February 22?
In C1 Café on High St.

How has life changed for you since then?
I now allow twice as much travel time anywhere in Christchurch. I am always aware where our torches and gas cookers are and I appreciate a hot shower and a flushing toilet more than I ever have.

What inspired you to learn sign language and when was that?
I have a deaf sister and our family used sign language to communicate with her, since I was about seven.

Is there any myth about signing you'd like to bust?
Sign language is not an international language, and no, I don't know Braille!

What has been the public reaction to your signing on television?
The deaf community has really appreciated getting information in their first language at the same time as everyone. The general public has been really supportive and wonder why there is not more sign language on television.

What's it like being recognised in public?
Very strange! I am an extremely average guy, so that just doesn't fit with people recognising me in the street.

... having a Facebook fan site?
Even stranger! 

... having Mayor Bob Parker describe you as "hot"?
This definitely has to top the list of things I never expected to happen in my lifetime, especially when I was standing next to him interpreting on live television.

What's a typical day for you now?
I am now back to a relatively normal workload, so I am interpreting in various locations around the city each day.

What's been the best thing to come from the earthquake?
The people of Christchurch really coming together in support of each other. There is an amazing community spirit.

What has been the biggest loss?
The lives lost. Nothing compares to that.

Leaving Christchurch or staying?
Definitely staying. Even though I have not quite been here for three years, I have such a sense of pride in Christchurch and feel a responsibility to stay as the new Christchurch takes shape.

Best restaurant that's still standing?
Cook 'n' With Gas [Worcester Blvd].

If money was no object, what's the first thing you would buy?
A yacht for a round-the-world trip.

What's your favourite place to escape to?
Marlborough Sounds.

What kind of child were you in the classroom?
I was a bit of a goody-good really, but always got in trouble for talking too much!

Christchurch's best-kept secret is ...
The people.

What are some key features you'd like to see in "new Christchurch"?
I love the idea of an environmentally friendly city and think that a Shweeb network [human-powered monorail] should be part of our public transport system - a great way to avoid traffic, stay fit and help the environment.  

Describe Christchurch in three words ...
My favourite city.
 

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