Rector’s eNews – 14 September 2022/ Rector's eNews
The death of Queen Elizabeth II has had an impact on many people throughout the world principally because of the example which she set in terms of her sense of duty and notion of serving others. Only a couple of days before her death, she invited Liz Truss to form a government and, thus, to become the new Prime Minister of Great Britain. The Queen’s promotion of collegiality within Commonwealth nations was a particular feature of her reign as she recognised the benefits of collaboration between a range of apparently diverse countries. She travelled widely in the cause of fostering good relationships and must have taken pleasure in South Africa’s re-joining the Commonwealth in 1994. Despite the fact that she had a privileged lifestyle, she set a wonderful example of leadership through service and of a life lived to the full.
Last week also proved to be another eventful one in the life of Michaelhouse with a variety of academic and cultural activities taking place and a number of sporting activities on the go:
- As preparation for their Matric Art Exhibitions, the B and C Block pupils of Michaelhouse and Treverton displayed their work over the past year on Wednesday evening in the Schlesinger Theatre foyer. In doing so, our boys learnt what the curation of an exhibition entails, and the exhibition enabled them to have their work on display for more than just their immediate peers as well as to learn about how to discuss their work with a public audience. Our boys commented on how much they enjoyed this opportunity and our thanks go to our Art teachers, Mrs Jenni Clinton-Parker and Mrs Lieschen Harrison for arranging the event.
- Later in the week, the Toastmasters’ Society held the 284th meeting of the Toastmasters at Michaelhouse for matric boys and their parents. Through impromptu and prepared speeches, the boys were able to engage with their audience and, most importantly, the boys present have learnt, over a period, the art of communicating in a formal way to an audience. Congratulations to Dakalo Nonge, Andrew Davis, Lwando Ntuli, James Kennedy, Sikhumbuzo Mabuza, Lekgotla Kebonang, Xihluke Marhule, Peter Woodland, Matt de Villiers, Reuben Baldry, Ben Frost, Joshua Hadley-Grave, Tristan Hoyle and David Nienaber on risking not being “word perfect” in order to develop their experience in the difficult art of public speaking. Places are necessarily limited on Toastmasters’ Courses, but you may like to encourage your son in his matric year to apply to Mr Dominic Gruijters and Mrs Mary McMichael who run the programme. Indeed, our thanks go to these two staff members who organised a splendid evening.
- Over the past 5 months, our Michaelhouse TARPS boys (top academics in each grade) and the top academics from St John’s DSG have been collaborating both electronically and in person on variations on the topic: “Dare to Imagine”. The groups had to produce an evidence-based essay in which they had to dare to imagine circumstances in the world, Africa or South Africa by 2032. From their research on current trends and predictions, they were required to imagine the future in 10 years time but were also able to add one completely unsubstantiated prediction based on their own intuitions. This provided a more creative slant to their research which made for excellent and exciting reading. This culminated in a final indaba which was held on 6 September at Michaelhouse. Here the groups presented their findings to an audience and were judged against criteria of content, clarity and charisma. The best presentation was awarded to Justin Higginson, Theo Apteker and Luke Kaufmann’s group who predicted a dystopian 2032 for South Africa due to a political, economic and societal “Mad Max” collapse. The best essay was awarded to Simon Bailes, Dylan Hewlett and Brent Tayengwa’s group whose predictions focused on the transition to renewables and the potential thereof in three African states: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana and South Africa. Finally, the best overall prize was awarded to Mark Conway, Ayabonga Shivane, Patrick Lambert, Aiden Jinnah and Johannes Zietsman who analysed the trends and changes likely to occur in life expectancy by 2032 and the implications on society, the economy and the environment of most people who are born today living well beyond 100 years. All in all, it was an excellent academic and social extension for these boys and girls.
- On Saturday the C Block departed on the much anticipated C Block Journey and reports are that, thus far, the boys are doing well with their paddling, walking and cycling.