October 21, 2020

Rector’s eNews – 21 October 2020

/ Rector's eNews

It was a great pleasure over the past weekend to see the boys in the pool and on the basketball courts as well as out on the fields in the sunshine as various training sessions and matches took place. Whilst we still cannot play any inter-school matches, we can play internally and, in cricket, this gave the staff the opportunity to play the boys at various levels, including a 20/20 match against the First XI. The staff team looked strong and the boys were concerned about recording a loss, but muscle memory was not as good as expected amongst the older cricketers and the boys were able to win reasonably comfortably.

These sorts of occasions highlight something wonderful about Michaelhouse and similar schools. This relates to the spirit in which such occasions take place. Prior to such a match, there is plenty of banter between the teams, then a determined effort by both and, afterwards, a friendly acceptance (usually by the staff) of an almost inevitable defeat. Underlying all of this is the fact that boys and staff are at play together in a respectful and semi-competitive way, appreciating and even delighting in the talents of the other. Such occasions demonstrate that Michaelhouse is a school where staff and boys work in confluence with each other, principally so that the boys can flourish and the staff take special pride in that. This may seem an obvious statement, but that special ambience does not exist in every school. There are many situations such as on fly fishing trips, on the C Block Journey, on canoeing outings and elsewhere where the friendly inter-change between staff and boys that takes place enriches the lives of both. It is a phenomenon that should never be taken for granted, even though the ethos of schools such as Michaelhouse is partially defined by relationships of this nature.

I want to mention this week, too, the impeccable manners of our paddlers who have been fortunate to have been able to compete in national events. They have been very successful and news of their particular success this week is recorded below. At last week’s event, their polite interaction with officials was very much appreciated. Later in the week, one of those officials sat before me as a prospective parent here at Michaelhouse partly because of the courtesy and engaging manner of our boys. Well done to our paddlers; you have made us proud for many reasons!

Last Sunday on a slightly damp, misty Balgowan evening we held our 2021 School Prefect Induction Chapel Service in the outdoor amphitheatre. It was the first time that we have been able to have a “live” chapel service since March! The whole school and academic staff were present, appropriately socially distanced. The 10 new Heads of Houses, and the Senior Prefect, for 2021 affirmed their commitment to their new roles by responding positively to the Rector’s questions regarding their responsibilities. They then came forward one by one, signed the School Prefects’ pledge in front of the gathering, and then were congratulated by him.

This was followed by a music item from our Music Department and then the Rector addressed us. He gave a wonderful talk about leadership drawing on the examples of various historical figures. He then spoke about the supreme leader, Jesus Christ, and referred to the Biblical account of him washing his disciples’ feet. As a gesture and to exemplify how important servant leadership is, the Rector then called forward three of the new School Prefects, asked them to sit in front of him, take off their shoes and socks, and he then knelt down and washed their feet. It was a very powerful and moving visual aid.

This important service in the school’s annual calendar was then concluded with some prayers.

Michaelhouse Rector, Senior Prefect and Second Prefect
The Rector, Antony Clark, with Senior Prefect, Kwande Dhlomo (Right) and Second Prefect, Jason Makhele (left).

Read the full Rector’s eNews here

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