There is no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs

MARLONÉ SURTEES

AT THE 99TH ANNUAL SPEECH NIGHT, Emily Chikobvu received a Gold Laureate, the highest honour St Michael’s can bestow on a learner. Silver Laureates were awarded to Abigail Holloway, Kopo Licela, Regomoditsoe Mmusi, Rachel Sweetlove and Kombe Chiwila. Honours badges were awarded to: Jessica Chuang and Genevieve Engeström for Academics, Aisha Camara, Gabriella Marais, Phemelo Radikeledi, Dimpho Motsie, Robyn Gordon and Nobiel Kifuabala for Sport, Tia Dasram for Culture and Relebohile Mosea for the Eskom Science Expo. The Work Cup was awarded to the Grade 10s of 2019, while the Queen Cup went to Buxton.

Speech Night was an opportunity, not only for parents to celebrate their daughters’ achievements, but also for the learners to showcase their talents, abilities, and most of all, their hard work throughout the school year.

The event was opened with a reading, prayer and hymn. The reading was taken from Jeremiah 17 verses 7 & 8 which reads, ‘But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.’

The Chapel Choir, conducted by Ms Joanie Prinsloo, then graced the audience with a beautiful rendition of Psalm 150 and Praise His Holy Name. Everyone was reminded that God should be praised through all the things we do and that through Him, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.

Dr Ruth Govender, the chairperson of the Board of Governors, welcomed the audience. In her speech, she mentioned the power of gratitude, and how it is beneficial to all who practise it. She also spoke about how grateful the parents of St Michael’s learners should be, as their children have been allowed the opportunity to grow spiritually, be part of the unity of sisterhood, and develop their talents and excellence throughout the year.

Mr Braam van Wyk reported on all the activities that had taken place throughout 2019, as well as the accomplishments of many of the learners. This included cultural, sport and academic achievements. He pointed out the benefits of being in a school like St Michael’s –  a small school with a big heart.

St Michael’s allows for exposure to many extra-murals, and therefore more individual opportunity for the learners. He also congratulated the matrics of 2018 on achieving a 100% pass rate, and encouraged the matrics of this year to strive for success by putting God first and letting Him work His graces through them.

The guest speaker was the international motivational speaker, Shéri Brynard, who is proof that your circumstances do not define you. She is determined to prove to herself and others that you can achieve anything you set your mind to, even if you were born with Down syndrome. This international ambassador for all people with Down syndrome, is the first down-syndrome female in South Africa to acquire a university degree, without having any amendments made especially for her during her studies. Although it was not always easy, she worked hard to achieve her dreams, trusting in the fact that God would always hold her hand. She focused on helping the audience realise that in order to achieve our goals, we must change our mindset towards our circumstances.

Speech night 2019 proved that it was a very tough, yet very successful year for St Michael’s ladies. It just goes to show how hard work and determination will make you reach heights you thought to be impossible.

Rachel Sweetlove receives Half Colours Academic and Full Colours Squash from Sheri Brynard. Photo M Carson