Ceremony of Recognition for Dr Marguerite Poland - St Andrew's College

Ceremony of Recognition for Dr Marguerite Poland

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Ceremony of Recognition for Dr Marguerite Poland

On Friday 15 March, St Andrew’s College honoured Dr Marguerite Poland by naming part of the gardens around the Clock Tower after her in a moving ceremony that will mark a significant moment in St Andrew’s College history.

In 1997 Mr Antony Clark (OA Armstrong, 1974) and a past Headmaster asked Dr Poland to be Writer in Residence as her novel ‘Shades’ was the Grade 9 set work. She spent a week at the school giving presentations to the pupils, staff, and the public.

In 2002 Dr Tim Nuttall (OA Espin,1978) and past Second Master requested Dr Poland to write the history of St Andrew’s for the 150 Jubilee. The Boy in You: A Biography of St Andrew’s College was published in 2008. Dr Poland remains a close friend of the school.

The Ceremony of Recognition was attended by several dignitaries from St Andrew’s College, including Prof Geoff Antrobus (OA, Espin 1962) and Mr Bruce Steel-Gray (OA, Armstrong 1966) past Chairman of Council.

Our Headmaster, Mr Tom Hamilton, warmly delivered a warm welcome and introduction. The opening devotions were conducted by Dean Mzinzisi Dyantyi (Grahamstown Diocese, Cathedral of St Michael and St George), and Mr David Wylde (OA, Armstrong, 1962) a past Headmaster and the keynote speaker shared humorous and sentimental stories of his experiences with Dr Poland over the years, paying tribute to her and her important work.

Piper Mr Murray Roodt serenaded the congregation by playing Highland Cathedral at the opening of the ceremony. Pupils from St Andrew’s College, The Diocesan School for Girls DSG and St Andrew’s Preparatory School rendered beautiful music. The Chamber Choir sang a harmonious rendition of Awesome God. A St Andrew’s Preppie excellently delivered a reading of an extract from Dr Poland’s book The Boy in You.

Dr Marguerite Poland (Honorary OA) responded with many memories, stories, and history of her decades of involvement with St Andrew’s College, sharing her love of research and her process of creatively writing the history of St Andrew’s College in the historic book: The Boy in You. She has written many other books and novels over the years, one of her most recent being A Sin of Omission. Dr Poland is the recipient of two national Lifetime Achievement Awards for English literature, one from the Department of Arts and Culture in 2005 and then in 2010 from the South African Literary Awards. In April 2016, the Order of Ikhamanga – Silver (OIS) was conferred on Marguerite Poland‚ for “her excellent contribution to the field of indigenous languages, literature, and anthropology,” by the President of the Republic.

Mr Jacko Maree (OA Upper, 1973) current Chairman of the Council delivered the vote of thanks and shared special memories and stories about Dr Poland and thanked her for her immense contribution to St Andrew’s College.

Also, in attendance at the event, as a special surprise for Marguerite, was her daughter Verlie Briscoe and granddaughter Hope Briscoe.

The Head of DSG, Mr Jannie de Villiers and Headmaster of St Andrew’s Preparatory School Mr Jakes Fredericks were in attendance along with other special guests: Rev Mpole Masemola (College of Transfiguration), Rev Lawrence Nzwana (St Matthew’s Mission Church) and Mrs Nzwana.

Dr Poland is married to Mr Martin Oosthuizen (OA Espin, 1966) who served on the Council.

Marguerite, we honour, love, and respect you and you are an absolute treasure to St Andrew’s College and the Andrean community.