June 22, 2022

Rector’s eNews – 22 June 2022

/ Rector's eNews

I am sorry it has taken so long to come back to you on the issue of the report of the legal consultant who was asked by Michaelhouse and St John’s to investigate the hockey incident in the match between our schools and to make recommendations thereafter. The report has to be kept confidential because minors are involved, but we are seeking to move towards a mediated outcome. This may not materialise, but it is our preferred route in line with the report’s recommendation and the follow up advice of the consultant. However, that course will require the support of all parties.

I do hope that you enjoyed the Michaelhouse-Hilton weekend of activities. Our boys did us proud in every way. Their commitment was evident across the board in all of our encounters and it was a great day of friendly rivalry. There is a wonderful story, not an apocryphal one either, regarding the U14D rugby fixture played in 2013. This involves a boy called Murray Short who was selected for the Hilton U14D side in 2013 to play at Michaelhouse. On arrival, the Hilton boys were informed that the U14D side of Michaelhouse couldn’t field a complete team. This was taken up by both Michaelhouse and Hilton coaches who were determined that the boys should play a fixture on such an occasion. Murray Short was duly allocated to the Michaelhouse team and so had to take off his Hilton jersey and put on a Michaelhouse jersey, but the integration of two Hilton boys into the Michaelhouse team, according to him, was seamless. Most boys were familiar with one another anyway which is a testament to the Michaelhouse-Hilton social scene. The boys formed a huddle, exchanged names and the Hilton boys were given red socks and a red jersey. The Hilton boys were put out into the backline and Murray positioned himself on the wing as he was not hugely enthusiastic about receiving the ball in any event but, with the score all level going into the exhausting final ten minutes, Michaelhouse managed to complete a “miraculous display of passes along the line to the wing”. (The words of Murray Short). He caught the ball and darted the remaining twenty metres crossing the line to score the winning try as a result of which he was embraced by his new team members (i.e Michaelhouse), leaving mixed views amongst everybody else, including his erstwhile team.

This was the only try that he would ever score in a Michaelhouse-Hilton encounter over the five years of his rugby career. The Hilton boys were allowed to keep their new jerseys and he remembers the game as being one which was full of laughter and became a recurring joke through the years when the situation was re-enacted at Michaelhouse-Hilton social events.

In this story, lies the essence of great encounters between great schools as both schools had won the day!

The Michaelhouse Board met on Thursday and Friday last week and, at the conclusion of the meetings, a portrait of the outgoing Chairman, Anthony Hewat, was unveiled in the Memorial Hall. Anthony Hewat has served Michaelhouse with distinction for over a decade including two terms as Chairman. He will remain closely associated with the school through his Chairmanship of our Trusts and we thank him for his huge and ongoing commitment to Michaelhouse.

The new Chairman is Dr Andrew Schaefer who has already served on the Board for several years, latterly as Vice-Chairman. Andrew is an Old Boy (Fairfield 1987 and post matric 1988) with a strong connection to the Balgowan valley as a result of having a family farm in the area and a beef farming interest. After graduating with a medical degree and enjoying two years of practice, Andrew transitioned into his current role in the property sector and he is currently Managing Director of the Trafalgar Group of companies. We wish Andrew every success and fulfilment as he takes on the Chairmanship.

At the Board meeting mentioned above, it was decided that the new quad should be called the Dloti Quad; Themba Dloti was tragically killed in the bus accident in 2018 and his father, Thabo, served loyally on the Board, including a period as Vice-Chair. At a later stage, we will have a ceremony to mark the renaming and I simply wanted to update you on this Board decision as soon as possible.

Read the full Rector’s eNews here


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