25 YEARS OLD 1992 – 2017
Welcome to this special Awards Day. My name is Mondy Powell. 25 yrs ago most of you were not yet born, I was already 50 yrs old! Mrs. G. asked me to give you brief history of the school – I hope the next 6 mins. will not be too boring!
There is a saying ‘Look at the path behind you if you want to find the road ahead’
I believe the Lord prepared me
I trained as a teacher at Grahamstown Training College and through UNISA and have taught in all the Primary School grades as well as group classes. In Mahekeng I ran a Coloured Sunday School, in Lichtenburg I worked with a Creche, Phatsima Primary school and part-time in an Indian school.
I believe the Lord guided me
We moved to KZN in 1987 and I was soon volunteering 2 afternoons a week at the Emseni Children’s home being run from the Ziphakamise Creche at Inyandezulu near Paddock. Legislation and budgets purposefully created gross inequalities in the standards of Black and White education. Mother tongue instruction was compulsory, and most black students encountered English for the first time in Gr.5.
English is the most universal language, an international language of commerce and education. Knowing English opens doors to more opportunities and to better employment. I wanted to be part of the healing of our people and the best I could offer was to open doors to the the best schooling I know.
I believe the Lord enabled me
In 1991 the Anglican Church, at its Synod, appealed to its parishes to help meet educational needs wherever possible. St. Katharine’s Church in Port Shepstone kindly offered me the use of their church hall for a school. You know the church on the hill near the taxi rank?
In Jan 1992 Hlanganani School opened in St. Katharine’s Church Hall and soon had 37 children in Grs R and 1 and at the end of 1992 the first 26 black children were accepted into Port Shepstone Junior Primary from Hlanganani. A new rector, Father John Green came to St. Katharines. He became the Chairperson of the SGB and gave many hours and talents to the development and support of the school and its staff. The Church elected to to exercise a development option on adjoining church property in which a local businessman built shops with classrooms on top for Hlanganani. We were so happy to move out of the church hall!
In 1994 the Education Department registered and subsidized the school. With 135 learners in Foundation Phase the school continued to grow and spearheaded by Fundisi Green the SGB negotiated the use and refurbrishing of the old railway house at Izotsha in which Siyakhula School opened in Jan 1995. A non-profit Trust was registered and the 2 schools were administered as a unit and catered for 265 learners. The Gr.3s were increasingly unable to find places in the English schools and Hlanganani was forced to open a Gr. 4 in a garage. The schools were overcrowded. Fundisi John interceded with the Municipality who, under Mayor D.D. Naidoo, donated the land opposite Merlewood for a school. On 18 Nov. 2000 250 children and over 400 adults met on the new building site for a powerful Thanksgiving.
By mid. Feb. 2001 Hlanganani had vacated both St Katharines and Siyakhula and moved to the new site, surrounded by builders, a work still very much in progress. In Nov. 2001 Bishop Rubin Philip opened and blessed the school at it’s 10th birthday celebration, and I retired as principal, but remained on the school management for 10 more years.
In 2004 the final 2 classrooms were built for the first Gr. 7 classes, with a staff of 17 and 370 pupils.
HPS was founded on faith and prayer. The Ed. Department subsidy covers about 50% of school running costs and school fees must cover the balance so all the money for buildings, toilets, plumbing and security, books and furniture was obtained from a wonderful group of Trusts and Funders, including PS Rotarians, who donated money for specific purposes to HPS. We experienced many miracles and saw direct answers to prayers happen.
I can’t close without paying tribute to the quiet strength and steady support my husband, John, has given the school and this rather head-strong woman. We celebrated our Golden wedding anniversary while HPS celebrates it’s Silver anniversary! This year Hlanganani is 25 years old.
The school belongs to you, the children, to you the dedicated staff, and to you the parents who have put your trust in the school. I have no words to express my appreciation of you all. May we continue to walk in the light and the love of the Lord, to be guided by Him and to be blessed by Him.