farewell, miss du preez

BY Administrator

Farewell, Miss du Preez, our beloved Afrikaans, Library and Interact Teacher.
Miss du Preez was due to retire a few times, but kept being persuaded to stay a little longer. She is now starting her retirement. Here is an article by Wade-Lee Müller, Dr Boucher and Hasti Pansuriya:

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” - Semisonic
In 2009, Riebeek College had the honour of welcoming Miss H du Preez to the Riebeek family. However, Riebeek was not Miss du Preez’s first home. It was only after previously teaching at three schools that Miss du Preez finally found her place and took “Once a Riebeek girl, always a Riebeek girl” to heart, in her case - a Riebeek teacher. Miss du Preez, who grew up on a farm, had indeed grown into a well-experienced and passionate educator.
Du Preez attended school in Cradock and thereafter started her studies at the University of Port Elizabeth, where she received a BA degree and BA Honours in Philosophy. Miss du Preez recalls enjoying each minute of her Honours, except the exams of course. However, Miss du Preez was not done yet; she then received a Higher Diploma in Education (HDE) at the University of the Orange Free State. This displays her dedication and diligence in how she treasures her education.
After receiving her well-earned qualifications, Miss du Preez pursued her passion for teaching. She first taught History and Afrikaans at King Edward High School, in Matatiele. Next Miss du Preez taught at Eshowe High school and afterward got transferred to Victoria Girls’ High School in Grahamstown.
During her years in Grahamstown, she completed an Honours Degree in Afrikaans-Nederlands and became a matric examiner. It was at that point that she met the examiner Dr Rika Boucher who at the time taught at Riebeek College. The two examiners soon became good friends and eventually found themselves as colleagues at Riebeek College. This was after Dr Boucher encouraged du Preez to apply to an open vacancy position in the Afrikaans Department at Riebeek. The very next day after her interview, Miss du Preez got the position as a senior Afrikaans teacher.
Alongside teaching Afrikaans, she became Riebeek's very own Library lady and teacher-in-charge of the Interact Committee. Many of her memories have occurred in the library after school and during Interact outreaches.
Afternoons after school in the library served as the calm in the chaos for so many students. Miss Du Preez’s presence and her natural ability to keep the library in such an orderly manner made the room one of the most peaceful places in the whole school to be in. The Riebeek girls know that Miss du Preez is a lover of books. This passion for reading certainly shined through in her effort and dedication in maintaining the school's library books to their best condition with the assistance of the library girls and the “du Preez” way of covering books. The Library girls shall always remember this method especially Sitha Kondile who recalls Miss du Preez often saying,” Sithatjie, you're not covering the book the ‘du Preez’ way.”
The Interact Board fondly recalls wholesome and cheerful visits to the old age homes with flowers, making winter boxes for the less privileged children, and Christmas cookie-parceling at the end of every school year. These events are almost needless to say, but owing to these occurrences the girls were able to get rewarding opportunities to learn, experience, and enjoy immensely as a team under Miss Du Preez.
Miss Du Preez lives by the words: ‘’Do to others what you want to be done to yourself.” These words speak heavily of her very character. Never has it been seen that she has stepped back from offering help and enriching the girls with concepts ranging from Afrikaans to cats. Her enthusiastic nature and keenness are what make her stand out and will make her unforgettable in many years to come.
In her retirement, Miss Du Preez looks forward to overseas travels and exploring new places, as well as becoming more involved in her church and community. Her never-ending love if teaching gives her great pleasure in wanting to offer Afrikaans classes. She hopes to read more, complete more cross-word puzzles, watch good movies and make memories with her loved ones. She aspires to start knitting and sewing, and also investing more time into bringing life into her garden.
Miss du Preez, you are a remarkable, passionate lady, extremely knowledgeable woman, as all the students would describe you as. However, along with all that, you are a kind-hearted and extremely caring person whose personality should be cherished in a glass case.
Even though we are having to say goodbye to a teacher, we will always cherish and preserve her helpful spirit, never-ending enthusiasm to teach, beautiful personality, and an extreme passion for the language. Farewell Miss Du Preez, you will be missed dearly by many and we wish you all the best for your new journey in life as you say goodbye to this one.
A message from Dr Boucher:
I want to echo the words of Hubert Humphrey who said, ”The greatest gift of life is friendship and I have received it.” But to have a true friend who happens to be your colleague, is like a four leaf clover – hard to find and lucky to have.
The Afrikaans department ran like a well-oiled machine and it is honestly hard to explain how integral you were to it. You have got a killer workethic. I could never appreciate enough, your time and all the things you did to keep everything running smoothly. Thank you for being there for me. I am so grateful for all I learned from you. I have no other way to say it, I’d be lost without you!
If there was an award for ABOVE and BEYOND, you would be a worthy recipient. You knew the reason why your job exists, above just knowing how to do it. You were polite, well-spoken and presentable – all part of being professional. Your honesty and integrity beyond any doubt. You were dependable, reliable and utmost responsible. You were open-minded to new ideas and above all - fun to work with.
I believe C J Langenhoven had you in mind when he said the following:
“Gee my ’n man
Wat sê wat waar is
as die duiwel daar is,
Wat doen wat reg is
as die regter weg is
Wat trou by sy gewete bly
as hy straf in plaas van beloning kry.”
People say that a man never knows how to say good bye and a women never knows when to say it. Well, Hetta, this is not true for you. You have decided it is time to say good bye and to embrace a new hello. Retirement offers a whole new kind of life, full of experiences just waiting to happen.
My prayer for you is:
dat jy vir altyd jou liefmense sal kan vashou
naby jou hart
styf teen jou siel
soos ? skitterblink ster
mag jou bome altyd
blink blink blare
en stroopsoet vrugte vir jou dra
mag die windjie wat daardeur suis
altyd stories vol hoop
en magic in jou ore fluister
mag goedheid en guns altyd en ewig geil om jou blom
mag daar altyd ? kat iewers naby jou snoes
of jou gebied om dadelik sy kos te kom gee
mag jy altyd spesiaal kleurvol mooi
in jou eie prentjie inpas

 July 01, 2021
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