Take a trip down memory lane and immerse yourself in the rich history of Umhlali Preparatory School as you flip through the pages of the recently published Umhlali Preparatory School Centenary book, “Here As The Wind Blows The Cane”.
Capturing the significant events of Umhlali Preparatory School from its opening on February 11, 1918 to the very present moment, the book will transport you through the years page by page.
You may also notice a familiar name or two, or three, or more. From Major Edwin Swales and John Hulett, to Keith Armstrong and Allan Hirsch, people from all walks of life have walked the halls of Umhlali Prep.
Also read: Umhlali Preparatory launches Centenary book
At the tender age of five, Esenembe farmer John Hulett made his first appearance at Umhlali Prep. The school, as he remembers it, had only 40 pupils ranging from Class 1 through to Standard 6.
“Memories are few, but those that can never be erased were of the frequent visits our headmaster paid to our classrooms, always with cane in hand,” said Hulett.
“We regularly returned home with ‘striped bums’, too nervous to show our mothers!”
Star swimmer Keith Armstrong did the school proud when he went on to hold the South African record for 50m and 100m freestyle for nine years.
President Thabo Mbeki visited the school in 1999 and when head girl Nikki Chantler (née Heenan) was up to deliver her speech everything went wrong.
“I completely forgot what to say and ended up crying in front of everyone. What I remember of Thabo Mbeki in that moment was his ability to calm and encourage me to catch me breath and try again until I had the speech right.”
If you would like to read more buy your copy of the Centenary book from the school reception for only R220.
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