So Long, Farewell!
The final assembly of Term 2 was held on break up day, Friday 22 June. It was a special assembly as we bid farewell to two loyal staff members who, between them, served Durban High School for more than 80 years.
Mrs Marlene Els joined the Finance department in 1985, where she was known for her efficiency and her cool, calm and collected manner. In 2014 she moved across into the Admissions Department which she continued to run with her unruffled resourcefulness. Mrs Els retires after nearly 28 years of dedicated service. Her family flew down from Johannesburg to attend the Assembly. Deputy Head Master, Mr Alan Norton, paid tribute to Mrs Els and she responded, talking directly to the school boys and asking them to make the most of their days at school and to learn all that they can from their teachers.
Living Legend, Mr Tony “AJ” Human, joined the staff of DHS in 1965 at the age of 20. 52 years later, in 2016, he retired from teaching Physical Science and joined The DHS Foundation Trust where has been working with subjects very close to his heart, the DHS Old Boys. Mr Human is now retiring from the Foundation and he was honoured at this, his very last assembly, which was attended by two of his previous Head Masters, a number of Old Boys, some of his personal friends and the Staff and Boys of Durban High School.
Mrs Vermaak, Deputy Principal, paid tribute to Mr Human and his commitment to School, sharing some anecdotes and opinions of the Old Boys, and telling the audience of some of his achievements, including being awarded Freedom of the City of London. Mr Human responded, thanking the Staff and Old Boys of DHS for the long road trip which has been such a special part of his life. He said that the Old Boys, who were spread worldwide, are a close knit family, one he intended maintaining his ties with. He made special mention of the very loyal and dedicated Estate Staff and thanked them for all they had done to assist him over the years. Finally, Mr Human wished the Matrics well in their exams and shared a short message with them about respecting others and being responsible for their actions.
The entire School stood and clapped as Mr Human and Mrs Els left the School Hall for the last time.
A special tea was then held in Blackmore House to celebrate their retirement, attended by the staff and visitors. Ms Natalie Rungan, Head of Music, sang a powerful rendition of Wind Beneath My Wings in tribute.
Later in the day, farewells were also said to three other staff members who were leaving: Mr van der Merwe is returning to Amanzimtoti, Mr Chetty is immigrating to Ireland and Mrs Gray is returning to live in the UK.
We bid them all farewell and thank them for their contribution to Durban High School.