Rector’s eNews – 18 November 2020/ Rector's eNews
As we move towards the end of the year, heads are bowed over desks as boys write their exams and conclude the academic year which has brought many challenges and some changes in our modus operandi. By this time next week, the matrics will, hopefully, be walking down Warriors Walk armed with their Old Boys ties and stepping out into the world full of hope and expectation. Their results will only be with them in mid-February in order to comply with the regulations of Umalusi, the overarching authority controlling results across all of the examination boards. So an anxious waiting period will lie ahead for them.
Inasmuch as we are gearing ourselves to say farewell to our senior boys, we are also wanting to bid some staff farewell: I paid tribute to them at Speech Day, but not all parents were able to be online on that occasion so I wish to take this opportunity to thank them in this eNews.
Peter Stevens has been a valued teacher in our Maths Department since 2011 and has been to the fore in an array of other activities, perhaps notably as a group leader on the wonderful C Block Journey. His enthusiasm for all things related to Michaelhouse has been evident in everything that he undertakes and we wish him well on his retirement. Hélène du Toit started at Michaelhouse as a part-time Afrikaans teacher and then took on a full-time role from 2003; we wish her a fulfilling retirement as she leaves us after 21 years of dedicated service.
Ephraim Mshengu, our Assistant Housekeeping Manager since 2017, started with us as a young boy in the role of a herdsman in 1973 and gradually worked his way up into Housekeeping. Ephraim has not been well for much of this year, but we want to pay tribute to him for his impact on many lives over 47 years! In similar vein, Simon Zondi has given selflessly and unstintingly of himself over the past 40 years in the Audio Visual Department as a technician. His cheerful presence and enthusiasm for the task before him has impacted very positively on our community. We pay tribute to him! Rita Bhugwandeen is another long-serving member of staff who has left us after 38 years of service in the Bursary. She was born on the property and grew up at Michaelhouse with her parents and grandparents who worked in the Laundry or laundered clothes in a private capacity. Rita studied commercial courses which led to her being an astute and hardworking member of the Bursar’s Department.
Susan Dawson, our Assistant Bursar, is sadly leaving us, too, and moving to Scotland where she is to be the Bursar at Lomond School. We wish her well.
Alan Adlington-Corfield, our Deputy Rector: Academic, is taking up his position as Executive Head of the M-PESA Academy in Thika, Kenya. He had a significant role as Head of our Maths Department after joining Michaelhouse in 2006 and, since 2013, has been in his current role as Deputy Rector in charge of our academic development. Our reputation as a strong academic school has much to do with Alan’s determination over the years to drive up the results and to ensure that the boys are more than motivated to succeed. We wish him well as he moves up north.
Lastly, our Chaplain, Alan Smedley, has ministered for 28 years to the boys, staff and the broader Michaelhouse community. The extent to which so many of our boys are involved entirely voluntarily with our Christian Fellowship and the fact that so many leave the school with a strong Christian faith is testimony to Alan’s inspiring work over the years: he has been alongside the boys in and out of Chapel, on the C Block Journey, for example as a group leader, and elsewhere. It is almost impossible to quantify the impact of his chaplaincy in the school and we thank him for his pivotal role in the lives of the Michaelhouse community.