November 23, 2022

Rector’s eNews – 23 November 2022

/ Rector's eNews

Tomorrow is a big day for the majority of our matriculants who will be finishing their IEB examinations and, in accordance with our tradition, walking down Warriors’ Walk and out of the school gates. They will be accompanied by the President of the Old Boys Club, Wayne Witherspoon. In undertaking the walk, the present generation pays tribute to the past generations some of whom are commemorated by the trees which Rector Currey planted, one for each Old Boy who fell in World War I. The current boys, thus, become Old Boys of Michaelhouse, an enduring brotherhood and more than a presence both here in South Africa and in many other countries around the world. We wish our Old Boys success and fulfilment as well as God’s blessings in all they undertake as they move on to the next stage of their lives.

As we approach the end of 2022, we would like to inform you of the changes planned for the medical team for the year ahead. We bid farewell to Dr Jonathan Cook after 28 years of outstanding service to Michaelhouse, and welcome Dr Stuart Poole as the incoming Michaelhouse GP, and Dr David Ogg as specialist Match Day Doctor for our winter sports fixtures.

We thank Dr Cook for his dedicated service and enormous commitment to the school, our boys, and staff since he joined us in 1994. We are immensely grateful to him for his care, 24/7 availability and unwavering support, particularly as he steered us through the Covid pandemic. Dr Cook will be sorely missed here at Michaelhouse but will continue to work as usual from his practice in Howick.

We are delighted to introduce to you Dr Stuart Poole who lives in Hilton, and will be taking over from Dr Cook as the Michaelhouse GP from January 2023. Dr Poole is married to Lee and has a son, Caleb, aged 9, and daughter, Jordan, aged 7. He grew up in Ballito, was schooled at Northwood and studied Medicine at UCT, graduating cum laude in 2009. He did his Internship and Community Service in Durban before spending six years working at the Madwaleni Hospital in the Eastern Cape, where he ran their interdisciplinary rehabilitation ward and oversaw the medical student program.

Dr Poole returned to KZN, joining the Hilton Life Trauma Unit before going into a Private GP Practice. He remains interested in education and teaches the UKZN Fifth Year students once a week. Dr Poole was a keen surfer but now enjoys running and exploring the Midlands with his family.

We also welcome Dr David Ogg to our medical team where our boys will benefit from his specialist sports and trauma expertise as he takes on the ‘Match Day Doctor’ responsibility for our winter sports fixtures. Dr Ogg was schooled at Clifton, Nottingham Road, before attending Hilton College, from which he matriculated in 1987. He studied Medicine at Wits University, graduating in 1993. Following his internship at Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, he spent four years working in Emergency Medicine in the UK.

Dr Ogg returned to South Africa to take up a partnership role in the Entabeni Trauma Unit from 1999 to 2018, after which he became Head of the Hilton Life Trauma Unit. He is currently completing his Masters in Sports Medicine, and doing his thesis in adolescent concussion. He also recently completed the World Rugby Advanced Immediate Care in Rugby certification.

Dr Ogg’s other interests include expedition medicine, alpine skiing, mountain biking and trail running.

We will send more information on some adjustments to our doctors’ offering in due course. In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming Drs Poole and Ogg to Michaelhouse and believe the boys will benefit from these enhancements to our medical programme.

As part of our programme to make boys aware of their responsibilities to others and how to conduct themselves vis-á-vis other boys, I should mention the following arrangements facilitated by our School Counsellor, Tim Jarvis.

Earlier this year psychologist, Tim Barry, spoke to our D Block about the teenage brain, how to maintain good mental health and developing their ‘preferred self’. Tim stressed the importance of the teenage years in laying down strong neural pathways that lead to lifelong reflection and empathy. This presentation was part of several interventions to help junior boys think through their time at Michaelhouse and make it significant. The focus of these inputs is on how to create and maintain healthy relationships.

Continuing the programme this term, Derek Redfern, an attorney based in Pietermaritzburg, spoke to the boys on the topic, ‘Actions Bring Consequences’. His presentation looked at the consequences, legal and otherwise, of poor decisions when relating to others. Derek was able to share what the law says about various behaviours, particularly bullying and initiation practices. Derek gave real-life examples from schools around the country, including the sanctions or punishments that were given, some of which had to go through the courts. Derek highlighted the fact that it is never a defence to say, ‘But this happened to me’. Knowing these boundaries will help empower our boys to make good choices as they move forward through the school.

A similar programme is in place to assist senior boys to make good decisions and will be repeated at the beginning of next year, involving those in leadership positions.

Read the full Rector’s eNews here


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