St Annes

Old Girls News

Nikki Syme (née Kirkland, Andrews, 1998) and Pippa Mitchell (née Kirkland, Andrews, 2001)

Sisters, Nikki and Pippa, along with their partners; Pretty Gumbi, Brightness Mlangeni and Ntombi Mthembu, recently started a business making beautiful domestic clothing. Pretty Bright Girls named after Pretty, Brightness and Ntombi (meaning girl) was created when Pretty decide she would like to wear something different to work and approached Pippa with a dress design. They agreed that there should be better clothing options that were practical and attractive. The networking skills of Brightness and Ntombi were used to grow sales and they, in turn, have recruited more domestic workers keen to earn extra income by doing sales. Nikki and Pippa run the marketing and advertising, and have got the business up and running while providing training to the team in different fields of expertise. These lovely dresses are now available in a number of retail stores and online at

Date: 30 September 2017

Pretty Bright Girls

Nicola van Ravenswaay (née Chadwick, Usherwood, 2012)

Nicola married Lawrence van Ravenswaay on the 2 September 2017 at Calderwood Hall in the Midlands. It was a beautiful wedding, attended by close family and friends. Nicola studied Occupational Therapy at UFS, and is completing her Community Service year at a clinic in Hammarsdale. Lawrence is a graphic designer, and works in Hillcrest where they are now living.

Date: 02 September 2017

Nicola van Ravenswaay

St Anne's Career Morning

The St Anne's Life Orientation Department recently organised a career morning for our Form 5 girls. They enlisted a number of our Old Girls to come and share their experience and advice on a wide range of careers. Twelve ladies addressed small groups of girls allowing them a fantastic opportunity to engage with one another. We would like to thank Morag le Roux (née McAllister, 1995), Vuyo Mthethwa (née Tshabalala, 1986), Debbie Martin (née Dunton, 1981), Sarah Cawood (2010), Dudu Tshabalala Hadebe (1986), Callie-Anne Gavazzi (née Rodgers, 2006), Sadie Bosworth-Smith (2004), Shea Karssing (2005), Nina Kitching (née Torr, 1997), Megan Berning (2011) and our two outside ladies, Caitlin Scott and Dr Claudine Lee, for the time that they took out of their busy schedules to spend the morning at St Anne's. They were a wealth of information and it is hoped that this will become an annual event.

Date: 30 August 2017

Dudu Tshabalala Hadebe

Jo James (née Brown, Frances Baines, 1967)

On Old Girls' Day Jo James was awarded with the prestigious St Anne Award for her incredible service to mentally challenged children. After completing her Bachelor of Social Science degree majoring in Social Work, Jo immediately began making a difference in the lives of numerous children. She began her positive impact on young people while working for the Empangeni Child Welfare after first doing social work for the Pietermaritzburg Mental Health Society. Jo later became Principal of Sonskynhoekie Special School for mentally handicapped children which at that time was only open to white pupils. While the Director of Zululand Mental Health, she was alerted to the desperate need for help to assist the high number of black handicapped children in the area. In 1981, she started Thuthukani Special School in her garage. From the initial 4 children, the number rose to 100 children in 6 months and she realized the enormous need to build a school. Relying solely on donations she struggled to find suitable land. In 1990, Jo was granted R500 000 by the government to build a school from scratch and was also gifted a piece of land from a local farmer. The first ever multi-racial special school for mentally challenged children in South Africa was built and officially opened in 1993. What an accomplishment! The school now has 412 children of all races with 180 on a waiting list. Jo remains a Trustee 36 years later and is a worthy and deserving winner of the St Anne Award for 2017.

Date: 03 June 2017

Old Girls Day (41) (1024x683)

Sarah Collins (Usherwood, 1987)

On 2 June 2017, the St Anne’s Old Girls’ Guild awarded Sarah Collins with The Award of Excellence for her incredible journey empowering impoverished women with the Wonderbag. In 2008, during the rolling blackouts that gripped South Africa, Sarah had an idea. She had found her destiny and was about to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of women across impoverished areas of Africa. The next day, Sarah created the prototype for her heat-retention cooker, the Wonderbag. After food is brought to a boil, the pot is placed in the heavily-lined bag where it slow-cooks for up to 8 hours. "Finding firewood for cooking takes a huge amount of rural women's time," explains Sarah, "and gathering it is very dangerous. The wood fires used to cook then cause indoor pollution, a leading cause of death worldwide in children under five. Having the Wonderbag would empower the women to feed their families, generate an income, and save them time." The Wonderbag eases the impact of health, social, economic and environmental problems facing Africa and developing countries. It enhances people’s quality of life by reducing time spent cooking. This small home business has expanded into a global social impact business. It is a dual model company with The Wonderbag Foundation focused on distributing bags to the poor. The busy Wonderbag factories produce hundreds of Wonderbags daily and a percentage of the proceeds from each Wonderbag purchased around the world are donated to the Foundation, helping them distribute Wonderbags to poverty-stricken communities. Sarah's new goal is to sell 100 million Wonderbags to people worldwide. With the sales of these Wonderbags, the Foundation is committed to programs that continue to support the donation of bags to families in need which will act as catalysts for change! Sarah spent an afternoon interacting with the St Anne’s girls and imparted much inspiration. She is a true visionary and has an incredible heart for people. Her enthusiasm and dedication for this cause can only lead to its continued success.

Date: 02 June 2017


Susan Abro (Frances Baines, 1981)

This week we were able to honour one of our remarkable Old Girls by presenting Susan Abro (Frances Baines, 1981) with the Award of Excellence. This award is presented to Old Girls who model determination, success and excellence in their chosen field of endeavour and Sue certain fulfills all these criteria and so much more. She has always been passionate about her career and is highly regarded as a specialist in family law where she has focused on the rights of women and children. Sue is regarded as an international specialist on Family Law matters and has done much work in connection with the abduction of minor children. She was the first woman vice-president of the KZN law society, is a member of the Law Society of SA, and the Chairperson of the Family Law Committee of SA. Sue has really excelled and the outstanding accolade of being named SA’s Family Lawyer of the Year for 2016 is a credit to her integrity, dedication and skill. Sue's firm has also been named the South African Boutique Family Law Firm of the Year for 2017. She is an incredible role model as she has forged her way through commitment to her chosen career and the community she has served, and she has managed to retain a balance with family, friends and work - and she has a wonderful capacity for fun! Our current girls were delighted to hear Sue's advice and insight into pursuing a career in Law as well as her stories from her time here at St Anne's.

Date: 03 May 2017


Cathleen Frost (née Forsyth, Andrews, 2007)

“John Frost and I both went to school in Hilton; he attended Hilton College while I was at St Anne's. Although we both matriculated in 2007, we only met in our first year of study at UCT in a Maths tutorial - which is appropriate for engineers! We became good friends, started dating in second year and since then have shared all of life's ups and downs. John proposed to me at Hilton College in early 2016 and we got married at the St Anne's Chapel on the 18 February 2017 surrounded by family and friends. Our reception was held at the Fleur de Lys Club at Hilton College. We are currently living and working in Cape Town and love being close to both the mountains and beaches, where we spend a lot of our free time. Both of our families live in Hilton which gives us a good excuse to come back and visit regularly!”

Date: 18 February 2017

Cathleen Frost

Jane Linley-Thomas (née Linley, Macrorie, 1997) and Rebecca Pinnell (Andrews, 2013)

Jane, representing East Coast Radio’s Toy Story, was on hand to receive a number of beautiful bears from Rebecca, who founded The Care Bear Project. Both these NPO’s are involved in the distribution of toys/bears to underprivileged children and in some cases these will be the first gift the children have ever received. East Coast Radio’s Toy Story is aimed at giving joy with toys to every child in a government hospital, children’s home, and crèche in KwaZulu-Natal. Now in its 16th year, the campaign is one of the longest-running annual CSI initiatives in KwaZulu-Natal. Rebecca founded ‘The Care Bear Project’ as a voluntary project which approaches women in the community to make knitted Care Bears, supplying them with the materials necessary to complete the bears. In return for the completed Care Bears the women are paid for their services. The Care Bears are distributed to needy recipients and create a joy of their own – every child needs to own their own bear! This is something that so many children take for granted, and such a simple pleasure to give to those in need.

Date: 09 November 2016

Jane Linley Thomas and Rebecca Pinnell

Rosanne Clark (nee Briscoe, Macrorie, 1965)

Congratulations to Roseanne Clark (nee Briscoe) for being recognized as one of WESSA's (The Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa) 90 Lifetime Conservation Achievers whom were chosen for their dedication to improving and promoting Wildlife Ethic. She was presented with this award for her long time involvement in environmental affairs which has taken her to numerous conferences world-wide, many as South Africa's representative. She has also represented the Living Lakes organisation which keep watch on lakes under pressure throughout the world and is headed by the Global Nature Fund in Germany.

Date: 15 October 2016


Sarah Collins (Usherwood, 1987)

Wonderful to see that Old Girl, Sarah Collins, is a finalist in the Fairlady Women of the Future Competition. Sarah is being recognised for her Wonderbag which is a revolutionary non-electric heat-retention cooker. To quote Fairlady: "The women in line for this award are over 25 and have been in business for longer than 1001 days. They're smart, creative, innovative and switched on!" The winner will be announced on 19 August. Good luck Sarah!

Date: 25 July 2016

S Collins

Christie Bradford, Spoen Green, Emma Greene and Katie Polkinghorne (2013)

St Anne’s Old Girls; Christie Bradford, Spoen Green, Emma Greene and Katie Polkinghorne are all set to travel Southern Africa as an all-female team competing in the Put Foot Rally. They will also be distributing shoes to needy children along the way and have raised money for the Tutors4tomorrow education project in which they have actively taken part, helping a school in a township near Stellenbosch. The Put Foot Foundation gifts underprivileged children their first pair of shoes and has to date distributed 15 000 pairs of shoes across Southern Africa. We wish these ladies all the best for their upcoming adventure!

Date: 01 June 2016

put foot rally

Sadie Bosworth Smith (Usherwood, 2004)

We are extremely proud of Sadie Bosworth Smith who recently won the the 2015 New Generation/Emerging Designer award at the Durban Fashion Fair. She will be leaving shortly on a fashion internship to Milan as part of her award. Sadie was also the proud recipient of the Dean’s Merit Award for academic excellence and graduated cum laude for her National Diploma in Fashion and Textiles qualification during DUT’s Faculty of Arts and Design’s 2015 graduation ceremony.

Date: 07 September 2015

Photo Credit: Simphiwe Kevin Mkhwanazi

Sandisiwe Shoba (Andrews, 2013)

Congratulations to Sandisiwe Shoba on being one of four winners of the Future News 2015 competition. The British Council ran this competition in July for young, aspiring journalists. The prize is attending the Future News Conference held at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on 4 – 6 September this year. Large media groups and news entities including Reuters, BBC and CNN will be present at the conference, identifying talent from the participating countries. We wish Sandisiwe all the best for her trip!

Date: 03 September 2015

Sandisiwe Shoba

Carolyn Robb (Andrews, 1983)

Congratulations to Carolyn Robb on the release of her cookbook: 'THE ROYAL TOUCH - Simply stunning home cooking from a former royal chef'. Carolyn has had an amazing career as a chef since leaving St Anne's and most notably was hired at the age of just 23 by TRH Prince and Princess of Wales as personal chef to them and Princes William and Harry. She was in their employment for 13 years before perusing her numerous food dreams. We wish Carolyn the very best for her future endeavours!

Date: 15 July 2015


Deborah Kirsten (née Cassidy, Andrews, 1992)

Congratulations to Deborah on the release of her first book, Chai Tea and Ginger Beer. Debbie shares her untold story from her childhood in a small village, to her extraordinary and unexpected life as the wife of international cricketer and coach, Gary Kirsten. Unraveling the highs and lows of their life together, Deborah shares honest insights into the pressurised world of professional sport and the reality of managing marriage, family life and faith within this space.

Date: 14 February 2015

Debbie Kirsten

Laurie Smorthwaite (Mollie Stone, 2008)

Congratulations to Laurie Smorthwaite on being awarded one of only two prestigious positions for the Codorniu Raventos Wineries Scholarship. The award was for her excellence in the sparkling wine section of the Diploma that she is currently completing at the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) in London. She is set to leave for Spain in October, where she will be applying her skills at three different wineries across the country. We wish Laurie all the best in her future career in the wine industry.

Date: 31 January 2015


Julia Church (Usherwood, 2014)

Congratulations to Julia Church who auditioned at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (Patron: Paul McCartney) in Liverpool, United Kingdom, and was unconditionally accepted to study music next year. LIPA only accepts 7 international students per year. Your talent and passion for music are an example to so many. St Anne's College and the Music Department are very proud of you and we salute this exceptional achievement.

Date: 14 December 2014

Julia Church

Molly Coxon (née Train, Frances Baines, 1932)

Congratulations to Molly Coxon on her 100th birthday! Molly was born on Kinloch farm on 16 November 1914 and attended her high school years at St Anne's. We trust that she had a wonderful day and enjoyed her celebrations surrounded by family and friends.

Date: 16 November 2014

Molly Coxon

Erica Platter (née Ladlau, Andrews, 1965)

Erica has done it again with her latest book, Durban Curry: So much of flavour. Teaming up with photographer Clinton Friedman and Devi Sankaree Govender (better known for her work on Carte Blanche), they have created a book that pays homage to the only city in South African which has its own signature dish.

Date: 30 October 2014

Erica Platter 1

Prize Giving Guest Speaker, Jane Linley-Thomas (Macrorie, 1997)

Jane delivered an amazing and inspirational speech as Guest Speaker at our 2014 Prize Giving. The girls absolutely loved her bubbly and fun take on her days at St Anne's and of course her life since leaving our College. She may matriculated without a clear idea of what career she wanted to pursue, but she has certainly found her calling and we are so proud of her success as a well-loved East Coast Radio DJ.

Date: 17 October 2014

Jane Linley Thomas

Dumile Cele (née Zungu, Frances Baines, 1988)

Congratulations to Dumile on her appointment as the new CEO of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She joined the Durban Chamber in 2013 as the Business Services Manager and brought with her 10 years of experience in the Maritime sector. We are so proud of her amazing achievement and success. We wish Dumile all the best in her new position. Picture by Rogan Ward.

Date: 09 October 2014

Dumile Cele, newly appointed CEO of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Amy Letcher (Andrews, 2010)

Casting Announcement from the set of the new U.S. comedy show Get Educated: Congratulations to Amy Letcher! She amazed us in her audition with talent and an incredible skill for cold reading. We are happy to announce that Amy will be playing the role of Rachel in the new television series, Get Educated.

Date: 08 October 2014

Amy Letcher 2

Jamie Aldous (Marianne Browne, 2006)

Congratulations to Jamie on her cover photograph for the latest edition of Fairlady Bride magazine.  This is her second cover in a month. What a beautiful lady, inside and out!

Date: 22 September 2014


Johannesburg Old Girls' Drinks Party

Our annual Old Girls' Drinks party in Johannesburg was held on 4 September 2014 and was attended by approximately 55 Old Girls from the class of 2008 to that of 1964.  It was a wonderful time to reconnect with old friends and enjoy a relaxed evening together.  There was much laughter and chatting as stories were told and many memories of St Anne's shared.  A big thank you to our wonderful host, Penny Dalais (nee Catto, 1977), who graciously opened her home to us and helped so much in organising the event.

Date: 04 September 2014


School Shop Celebration

We recently held a celebratory tea to thank the founding members, and the Old Girls who have significantly contributed to the success of the St Anne's School Shop, for their vision and dedication to this endeavour.  The School Shop began in... 1962 and all profits from the sale of merchandise are allocated to the Old Girls' bursary fund which enables daughters' of Old Girls to attend St Anne's.  We would once again like to extend our thanks to Sybil Moxham (nee Moor, 1942), the late Evelyn Oscroft (nee Fleming), Ros Nixon (nee Martin, 1949) and Sarah Dottridge (Smythe, 1968) for their hard work and commitment to the School Shop.  The shop was also blessed by Rev. Susan van Niekerk.

Date: 20 August 2014


Foundation Day

Today we celebrate Foundation Day marking 111 years since the foundation stone was laid at the St Anne's Hilton site on 8 August 1903. Just over a year later the School reopened in Hilton and has now been educating girls for 110 years in this beautiful setting. Happy Foundation Day everyone!!!

Date: 08 August 2014

Main building

Gillian Sanders (née Curr, Andrews, 1999)

Congratulations to Gillian Sanders on winning a silver medal last week at the Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow. Gillian was a member of the South African Triathlon Mixed Relay team who were narrowly beaten by the English team in an exciting finish. We are very proud of Gillian and her amazing achievement. Gillian is in the photo 3rd from the left with her South African team.

Date: 01 August 2014


Jean Powell (née Petrie, Usherwood, 1944)

We are very excited about the opening of 'Jean Powell, a retrospective exhibition' at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg this weekend. Jean recently attended our Old Girls' Day for her 70th reunion and we are so proud that her life's art is to be wonderfully showcased.

Date: 29 July 2014


Jacqui Castle (Mollie Stone, 1985)

We would like to say a big thank you to Jacqui for so kindly hosting three of our Form 4 exchange students, Amy Hewat, Claudia North and CJ Bergs, in Sydney as they made their way to St Margaret’s School in Brisbane.  I was overwhelmed by Jacqui's eagerness to be a part of our girls’ experience of Australia and her enthusiasm for her old school.  St Anne's certainly has a wonderful Old Girls' community of which we can all be proud.  Amy's Mother had this to say:  ‘I have always known, from my friends who are old girls, that St Anne’s had a strong alumni and your generosity has confirmed this.  Amy is indeed privileged to be part of such a school and to know that she will be included in such a community one day’.

Date: 28 July 2014


Megan Berning (Usherwood, 2011)

We would like to congratulate Megan on her wonderful work with Ardmore’s first ever accessory handbags which are inspired by the Qalakabusha fabric range that was launched in 2010 by Mavromac fabrics and Ardmore Ceramics. Megan, Fée’s youngest daughter, has worked with a renowned South African bag manufacturer and added coloured leather to these vibrant fabric designed bags, which are big enough to fit a small laptop and everything essential to a modern woman. Each ceramic toggle is hand-painted with the Ardmore ‘a’ to give the bags a unique touch and to remind the owner of the bags design’s origin. They have been enthusiastically received by both South African and international Ardmore clients and we are so happy that people enjoy wearing them as much as we did making them. Visit for more details.

Date: 24 June 2014


Theresa Rattray (née Goodman, Usherwood, 1977) and Sally Chance (Frances Baines, 1977)

The St Anne's Old Girls' cookbook, A Dainty Morsel, won first place in its category at the World Cookbook Awards held in Beijing! We would like to extend huge congratulations to Theresa and Sally on this excellent result.  Our Cookbook is filled with delicious recipes from numerous Old Girls and has been beautifully put together.  Each recipe was tried and tested by Theresa and beautifully photographed by Sally.  We are so proud of your commitment and dedication to this project and this award is testament to the magnificent book that you have created.

Date: 05 June 2014


Franciska Pile (née Buys, Frances Baines, 1991)

Congratulations to Franciska Pile on being awarded her Protea Colours for Fly Fishing. Franciska will be competing in the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships 2014 to be held in England this June. We are so proud of this amazing achievement and we wish Franciska all the best for her competition!

Date: 14 May 2014

Franciska Pile

Ashleigh Uys (née van Woerden, Mollie Stone, 2008)

Congratulations to Ashleigh who married Terry Uys on 19 April 2014 in a little town called Val.  We wish Ashleigh and Terri a life filled with happiness.

Date: 19 April 2014


Mary Stainbank Commemorative Function

St Anne's College hosted a drinks party to commemorate the work of Mary Stainbank, significant South African sculptor and Old Girl. Stainbank's family very kindly loaned three of Mary's pieces for us to view and admire - and Andries Botha, a South African sculptor of renown, addressed the guests.

Date: 15 October 2013

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