From the head’s desk: 15 October 2021

Deanne King

Last week was filled with rites of passage and celebrations in the Senior School. The marking of transitions is a meaningful aspect of school life. The Form Vs celebrated their final days of school and they handed over the leadership of the school to the Form IVs. We were able to celebrate the occasions in The Close, which meant that we were together as the whole Senior School for the first time since March 2020.

The week began with parent teacher meetings, followed by the art exhibition on Tuesday, which showcased the interesting and well-executed work of the art students. We were also entertained by the music students, while enjoying the exhibition. This event showed that the arts are alive and vibrant at St Mary’s.

Both the leaders’ elect assembly and the final matric assembly were joyous occasions filled with symbolism to acknowledge the change in status of the Form IVs: the class of 2022.

St Mary’s matric valedictory service and function acknowledges those leaving school with dreams and aspirations; parents whose love, support and encouragement of their daughters is visible and emotional; teachers who bid farewell to their students and the Old Girls’ Association who welcome the new alumni to the association with a lantern and St Mary’s candle - a light to show their way.

The image of the St Mary’s matrics leaving the chapel for the final time and walking under The Rose windows, through the doors and into the afternoon sunlight was a beautiful and emotional image for me.

The week ended with the celebration of prizegiving. Our guest speaker, Dr Yanila Nyasulu, was an inspirational speaker who captured the audience with her warm charm. Dr Nyasulu is a St Mary’s Old Girl and a specialist doctor who leads the intensive care units at Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital in Pretoria. Dr Nyasulu recently featured in the MNET documentary Zero to Zero, which presented the experience of frontline health care workers in their fight against Covid-19. Yanila Nyasulu embodies our school’s values. She is an Old Girl whose courage and integrity have assisted others and made a meaningful contribution to our country.

I wish the matrics self-belief and a sense of calm as they begin writing their final examinations. Their achievements during a very difficult and trying year are noteworthy and deserving of the celebration on Friday night.



Old Girl, Dr Yanila Nyasulu (class of 1998), addressing the matrics and their parents at prizegiving

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