October 14, 2020

Rector’s eNews – 14 October 2020

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Those who were able to ‘tune in’ to our streamed Speech Day on Friday will have noticed the pride with which our boys came up to receive their prizes and awards and, indeed, they were mostly matriculants who did so. For those who are new parents we need to explain that there is also, by tradition, a Prize Giving which is a separate event held in the 1st quarter and at which prizes are awarded to the rest of the school based on the previous year, including the year end examinations. The fact that there are two ceremonies is, perhaps, unusual and I simply wanted to let those who might have been used to prizes being more widely distributed at this stage of the year know of the position.

A list of the special prizes and awards made is attached as Annexure A. I would like to thank, in this letter, Alan Adlington-Corfield, Win de Wet and Wendy Kelly of our Academic Team, all of whom were instrumental in orchestrating a successful afternoon.

Apart from applauding the matriculants and wishing them all well as they prepare to write their final examinations, one of the messages which I gave to them related to the continued respect for women which they should demonstrate as worthy and honourable men as their lives unfold. In Monday’s assembly at school I re-iterated this message to the remainder of the school who were not able to be accommodated in the Schlesinger Theatre on Friday but watched the proceedings from their House day rooms. I explained to them that I was recently given an article published in a KZN newspaper and written by Nicholas Farrell, a seventeen year old boy, who apparently is at a private school in this province. I confess that I have not been able to track down its precise provenance, but it chimed with the silent protest which our matric boys staged at this time last year on the death of the UCT student, Uyinene Mrwetyana, about whom I commented in my Speech Day address. The article is entitled Stand up all Male Feminists and, in it, Nicholas Farrell makes out a case for males striving to be feminists, indicating that the true meaning of feminism is someone who believes men and women should be treated equally politically, socially and economically. He also talks about how boys can become sexist and says that the problems start in our schools. I quote from his article: “One only has to listen to school boy conversation. When boys call women bitches and sluts, it has an impact; when boys refer to women as objects and not people it has an impact. When boys tell sexist jokes and the people around them laugh, it endorses such behaviour and it plants seeds in the minds of future rapists.

Some people refer to rape and sexism as “women’s issues”, creating the idea that women must solve the problem. Rape and sexism are not women’s issues – they are men’s issues. We need strong male leaders who are not afraid to call themselves feminists. We need to learn that what we say has an impact on women worldwide and the war against sexism.

We need to start appreciating women for what they can add to our community and not just what they can add to our egos.”

I will leave you to read the rest of the article should you wish to do so (Annexure B), but I thought that I would use this opportunity to let you know that Tim Jarvis has designed a programme around this issue which will be taken up in tutor groups during the course of this term and that the article has been placed on the Rector’s noticeboard for boys to read and absorb.

Senior Prefect and Chree Bright Award
I had great pleasure in Assembly on Monday reflecting on the role of the Senior Prefect which is a huge responsibility and honour bestowed on a Michaelhouse boy who is called upon through the voting system involving staff and boys and discussion by the Deputy Rectors and Housemasters to represent the school in the company of his peers and juniors, staff, parents, potential parents, Old Boys, the Board and benefactors associated with the school. Our outgoing Senior Prefect, Michael Bradford, was on hand to present the Chree
Bright award to Kwande Dhlomo who was warmly applauded by the school gathering. We wish Kwande every success in his role and also congratulate the Second Prefect and Head of Pascoe, Jason Makhele, and the incoming School Prefects who are Heads of their Houses as follows: Founders: Alexander Vermeulen, East: Connor Sesink Clee, West: Hilton Giles, Farfield: Sedipa Ramokoto, Tatham: Callum Porrill, Baines: David Acres, Mackenzie: Adrien Fisher, Ralfe: Luke Larsen and McCormick: Joshua Naudé.

Michaelhouse School Prefects 2021
Rector and 2021 School Prefects

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