Mrs Judith Brown becomes headmistress

Mrs Judith Brown, a teacher of mathematics and chemistry, is appointed headmistress to succeed Mrs Pitt in 1989.

One pupil is to write in 1993 that “Every day that we live consists of violence and war. Every day people are dying because of anger. People fear what they see and hear and run from it, but no matter where they go, they cannot escape it! The world is being ruined in front of our eyes and South Africa is dying …” This is the world that the youth in South Africa are growing up in and Mrs Brown has to negotiate. For the majority of St Mary’s pupils it is not a first-hand experience, fortunately.

The late 1980s and 1990s are a time of changing social norms and expectations, and to provide support, Mrs Brown appoints the first school counsellor and introduces a system of peer counsellors. She devises a leadership course for the Form IVs and, with the help of the head girl in 1996, draws up a code of conduct for the pupils. There are workshops, guest speakers and parents’ evenings.

Mrs brown

Mrs brown

Mrs brown Ys induction

Mrs Brown's induction

Painting by matric pupil wendy lewis in 1996

Painting by matric pupil, Wendy Lewis, in 1996