October 20, 2021

Rector’s eNews – 20 October 2021

/ Rector's eNews

On Friday, we celebrated the success of a number of boys (mainly A Block boys) at our Speech Day. Whilst we certainly want to congratulate those who have excelled academically and whose names are reflected in the Annexure A attached to this letter, it is significant, too, that a large proportion of the certificates were awarded for effort and improvement. Allied to this, it would be appropriate to remember that there are many talents and skills which lead to people having a successful and fulfilling life. Emotional intelligence, for example, is vital in the makeup of people who are in a position where they need to influence others.

It is also clear that people have intellectual growth spurts at different times in their lives: some surge ahead at school and then plateau, whilst others only find their intellectual strengths at university or their real niche in the world of work.

Our guest speaker, Dave Scott, of The Kiffness, made a terrific impact on our boys, blending humour with a serious message in which he made three excellent points: firstly, it’s okay not to have everything figured out; secondly, we should pursue the things that make us happy, despite what others think and, thirdly, the “process is the prize”.

The Senior Prefect is elected by the boys of the school and the staff, and I am delighted to announce that Andrew Davis of Tatham House is to be our new Senior Prefect for 2022, taking over from Kwande Dhlomo. Andrew is a strong academic, a successful sportsman and a participant in a number of clubs and societies. He has engaged with service programmes and, in his manifesto, he will seek to continue to set the right example and to create a positive environment for the boys and staff of Michaelhouse. Our warmest congratulations go to Andrew!

Westville have just contacted us to ask us to tell parents that they will be allowing spectators at matches this weekend, but parents should arrive five minutes before a fixture and leave straight afterwards. Arrangements here at Michaelhouse are more flexible as per last Saturday.

Could I remind you that the Old Boys’ Club/bar facility at the Heritage Centre will be open on this Saturday after our Westville matches between 4.30 and 7pm? A basic bar facility, with beer, wine and soft drinks and some light meals will be available for parents, staff, Old Boys and opposition parents, and we will experiment with a ticketing system to enable us to operate effectively. We hope that there will be sufficient support to make this venture worthwhile.

This may seem trivial but, nevertheless, I find what follows an amusing story. As a precursor to what follows, I must point out that even those who are well-versed in the etiquette of cricket may not know what a “mankad” is. The term was first used to describe the dismissal of a batsman by a bowler who, on establishing that the batsman at the non-striker’s end who is backing up is out of his crease, whips off the bails. If he appeals, the umpire is duty bound to give the batsmen out, and he would be run out.

This practice was first employed by an Indian cricketer, Vinoo Mankad, against Australia in 1947 – hence the term a “mankad” for what is considered to be incredibly unsportsmanlike behaviour. Michaelhouse boys would never be coached to do this and nor would any of our opponents, but is entirely within the laws of the game to run a batsman out in this way and I foresee it happening more and more in future years.

In any event, a world record was set for a number of mankads executed by a bowler in a single innings; this was in a Women’s World Cup T20 qualifying fixture recently. The game was between Cameroon and Uganda and a 16 year old girl playing for Uganda dismissed no fewer than four batsmen in this way. They had backed up too far down the wicket and were seemingly unaware of the fact they could be dismissed in this way. However, you might have thought that batsmen 2,3 and 4 would have learnt their lesson after the first such dismissal.

By the way, Uganda made 191 with Cameroon only able to respond with 35 all out, thanks partially to their four mankad dismissals. Perhaps a bit of trivia, but I hope I am not the only one to see the funny side of this. And the Men’s T20 World Cup is about to begin.

Please continue to vote for Michaelhouse in the World School Awards.

Please see this attached invitation if you are interested in attending a drinks evening in Durban for Old Boys, their wives or partners, parents past and present and of course new parents of the 2022 intake.

Read the full Rector’s eNews here


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