September 7, 2022

Rector’s eNews – 07 September 2022

/ Rector's eNews

With the change of season and the arrival of Spring in Balgowan, we see bursts of colour and we become aware of jasmine and other fragrances in the air. Suddenly, the cold of the winter has been dispelled by warm sunshine and Michaelhouse is, once again, reflective of the climate that James Cameron Todd, on moving the school from Pietermaritzburg to its current site, described as “glorious”. This will be short lived and the cricketers, in particular, will curse me for talking of the good weather as rain tends to coincide with the start of the summer sports season. So, whilst we have the Inter-House Soccer this Saturday, we are also shifting to our summer sports season this week in alignment with the other KZN schools. A particular feature of today is the Inter-Schools’ athletics meeting this afternoon; in this we are twinning with our sister school, St Anne’s, and taking on a Hilton College/The Wykeham Collegiate combination, as well as St Charles College/St John’s, Clifton College/Durban Girls’ College and Maritzburg College/Epworth. This will be on Willows shortly, and we will be streaming the event live on the SuperSport Schools App.

One of the major events in the Michaelhouse calendar is the C Block Journey, which starts this Saturday and continues for 13 days. The boys have a Chapel Service at 7am and parents are welcome to attend this before the departure of the boys at about 7.30am.

I am aware of the impact that the C Block Journey makes on the young men who, in many cases, have to “dig deep” to sustain themselves over that period and are often well outside of their comfort zones. Here are some of the reflections of boys who are currently in the A and B Block as well as one or two who have left the school, on their perceptions of the experience:

“When you have done C Block Journey you become a senior boy. It is the gateway to the senior years at Michaelhouse.”
“It is the biggest growth experience I have had in my time at Michaelhouse.”
“I got to know some boys as never before. The biggest challenge is not the summiting or having a sore bum from cycling, but the solitude.”
“I remember that it was quite emotional getting a letter from my parents.”
“C Block Journey gives you time think about your life away from any distractions such as social media.”

Our congratulations go to the cast and stage crew of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This was an outstanding production which involved Michaelhouse boys with girls from Howick High School and was directed by our theatre director, Mr William le Cordeur. Michaelhouse staff, such as Mr Dominic Gruijters (Oberon), Mrs Sally Cahill (Titania), Ms Aldi Smith (Hippolyta) and Mr Righardt Kotze (Egeus) were a perfect foil to excellent performances by Seth Segal (Lysander), Erich van Zyl (Demetrius), Gqamile Mbuyazi (Puck), Kian Moses (Nick Bottom) and Ethan Cockram (Peter Quince). The schoolboy audience, in particular, loved the “play within the play” and great credit must go to our boys and staff who managed to reach considerable heights after only three weeks of rehearsal.

As part of our Heritage Month celebrations, the boys were allowed to wear dress, on Monday, which celebrated their culture as part of our addressing our heritage; we have a multiplicity of backgrounds, cultures and ways of doing things and we hope that young people in South Africa will see the diversity of our people as a strength. To celebrate the day, some wore Zulu regalia and others Springbok rugby jerseys, but most wore their normal shorts or chinos and shirts. We welcomed a guest speaker, Mr Manzini Zungu, the Deputy Head who is in charge of Pastoral Care and Student Affairs at Kearsney College. He gave a detailed, factual talk on Zulu culture and the reasons why there is a dispute amongst the Zulu people as to the rightful king. We thank Mr Zungu for his insights and the engaging manner in which he presented his talk.

Read the full Rector’s eNews here

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