Video: 'I just stood there weeping' - school principal surprised by flash mob before retiring to fight cancer

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The principal of a small Christchurch primary school considers himself the luckiest man alive after hundreds of students surprised him with a stirring flash mob before he retires today to fight cancer.

Watch: Cancer-stricken principal left dumbfounded after surprise flash mob from Christchurch primary school
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Paparoa Street School’s Phil Harding thought he was headed to an assembly, but was surprised with a farewell performance.
Paparoa Street School’s Phil Harding thought he was headed to an assembly, but was surprised with a farewell performance.
Source: Supplied

Phil Harding thought he was heading out onto the field at Paparoa Street School for a fire alarm assembly at 9.10am, only to be surprised by the orchestrated flash mob from his 560 adoring students and about 55 staff.

The kids danced to Rachel Platten's 2015 hit Fight Song, which goes: 'This is my fight song, Take back my life song, Prove I'm alright song.'

The whole event was captured on video and posted on YouTube.

"I just stood there weeping," Mr Harding told ONE News Now as he prepared to leave the primary school this afternoon, officially retired.

He said he had been working in his office when, along with everyone else, he evacuated. Then he was hit with the flash mob.

He said he was honoured and is "utterly privileged".

"My head's spinning," he said.

Mr Harding says it's been a very emotional week and day and he's had more treats than in a lifetime - cards, gifts, meals out, farewell guests and he was presented with a leather chair.

Mr Harding has been a principal for 28 years in different schools and says while leaving for cancer treatment is not the ending he wanted, "I think I'm the luckiest man in New Zealand at the moment".

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