The Blue Note

8 May 2019

Dear Parents/Guardians

The first few weeks of this term have been characterised by some wonderful weather, spectacular sunsets and an ever-present carpet of Autumn leaves. This beautiful natural environment is complemented by our recently completed second artificial hockey pitch that is already adding great value to our hockey programme, and by our new theatre complex and other wonderful buildings. I continue to consider it an immense privilege to be able to do the work that I so love in such a special place.


As of the beginning of this term, a number of new members of staff are able to share the experience of this beautiful “office space”. It has been a pleasure to welcome them and we look forward to them serving St Anne’s in a variety of staffing roles. (Please refer to the introductions at the end of this newsletter.)

Poor health has caused Mrs Caroline Darroch, who has been off work for a long period, to decide to take early retirement from teaching. We look forward to bidding her an appropriate farewell when her health allows it. The College has been fortunate to be able to call on the services of Mrs Brenda Sara, an experienced teacher, who has been appointed to join our Geography Department until at least the end of the year. Mr Rory Pennefather will lead the department for the rest of the year.


A highlight of yesterday’s assembly was the presentation of an Honours Award to Jessica Bompas in recognition for her outstanding athletic achievements since her arrival at St Anne’s. This award adds to those made at the end of last term, namely:

Equestrian                 Jessica Woollam

Tennis                        Storm Veenstra

Swimming                  Katherine Burnett, Leah Kriel, Olivia Rosenfels and Anna Thornton-Dibb

Water Polo                Anna Thornton-Dibb

This unusually large number of Honours awards is indicative of the very successful sporting year that St Anne’s is enjoying. (I commented on this in Newsletter No 2.) Other evidence of this success was evident in the performance of our various touring teams during the holidays, as well as in the sports results of the first few weeks of this term.

(At the end of last term, two other Honours Awards were announced, namely Service Honours to Lerato Moephuli and Olwethu Ntiyane.)


At the same assembly, I complemented the organisers of our recent Social Awareness Week, led by Alexandria Magero with the support of Ms Philippa Cameron, as well as the rest of the girls for the mature manner in which they participated in the week’s programme. The various topics dealt with by a line-up of very competent speakers proved to extremely relevant.


We are expecting over 170 young girls from 73 different junior schools to participate in the final stage of our enrolment process tomorrow and Friday. The girls arrive in the afternoon and leave at midday on Friday. Their brief St Anne’s experience includes writing our Academic Benchmark Tests. These ABTs (not Entrance Exams ……. there is a difference which I am happy to try to explain to any interested party) together with a number of other criteria will be used to finalise our enrolment offers. We are aiming at an intake of about 90 Grade 8 pupils next year.


Friday evening’s Confirmation Service is a very significant component of our College programme. We look forward to welcoming to St Anne’s the families of the confirmands who will be present on the evening in support of the girls, as well as Bishop Dino Gabriel who will be conducting the Service and confirming the girls.

Kind regards

David Arguile


“It is impossible for anyone to begin to learn that which he thinks he already knows.”
Epictetus, philosopher


THEMBELIHLE CELE, Intern & Boardermistress (Mollie Stone)

Thembelihle has taken over as Boardermistress in Mollie Stone following the departure of Emily Emsley who has left us to further her studies. Thembelihle is in her second year of a B.Ed Degree, majoring in Mathematics and Physical Sciences, and joins our Intern Programme. She is from Izingolweni, near Port Shepstone on the South Coast. She enjoys reading and doing yoga and is always on the hunt for new apps that students can enjoy whilst learning. She intends to gain instructional practice skills whilst at the College in order to fulfil her dream of travelling the country carrying out remedial work in Mathematics. She considers herself to be open-minded, enthusiastic and willing to take on any challenge.

ALISON GORDIJN, French Teacher

Alison was schooled in Zimbabwe and holds a degree from UKZN. She has taught both English and French at a number of schools in the Hilton / Pietermaritzburg area. She is married with five children – two daughters and three sons – four of whom are working and the youngest still at school. Alison lives in Hilton and enjoys spending time reading and playing the piano. She is excited to share her passion for the French language with the St Anne’s community and also to work close to home. Alison recently attended a summer school at the University of Nantes for French teachers from all over the world which was wonderful experience and an opportunity to develop and grow her teaching skills. With a keen interest in game viewing and birdwatching, she loves spending time in the bushveld and Drakensberg.


Phumzile joined St Anne’s in Term 2 as a Counsellor. She Studied Social Work at UKZN (Durban Campus) and worked for the Department of Social Development for five years before moving in to the NGO sector in the HIV/AIDS and orphaned and vulnerable children field. Phumzile is one of four siblings with two brothers and a sister and is the proud auntie to four nieces and two nephews. She is from Pietermaritzburg where she says she was “born, bred, buttered and toasted”, but lives by the saying home is where the heart is. She loves to read; her favourite way to spend money is on books; enjoys singing, learning piano and travelling. She is excited to join St Anne’s and be working with girls. She is passionate about people, particularly females and from a young age she knew that she wanted to be in a helping profession where she could serve others.

SHANTAL MOBAHIR, Business Manager’s PA

Shantal was born and raised in PMB and says she does not plan on ever relocating! She graduated from UKZN (PMB) with a Bachelor of Social Science and worked at Marion High School as the Guidance Counsellor and Life Orientation Specialist before joining the motor industry for eight years. She has recently celebrated 9 nine years of marriage to Vikash and together they have two little girls, Yosheeta (six years) and Vidhiti (three years). She enjoys spending time with family and friends. Shantal says she lives life to the fullest every day, as if it were her last. She prides herself on integrity, hard work and loyalty and enjoys working with people from diverse backgrounds.


We welcome Thokozile, who has joined our Housekeeping team. She is a proud mother of two who enjoys reading magazines and watching TV in her spare time. She is looking forward to getting to know the St Anne’s staff and girls and is excited about her role at the College. She is currently working towards buying her own home and giving her children the best education possible is a priority for her.

BRENDA SARA, Geography Teacher

Brenda grew up in the Eastern Cape and studied at Rhodes University. She has taught in Cape Town, the UK and most recently at St John’s DSG teaching Geography and Life Orientation. She is married with two boys who are at Hilton College and lives in Garlington. Brenda loves trail running and one of her 2018 highlights was a three-day trail run along the Wild Coast. Further to her running passion, she enjoys spending time outdoors, particularly in the bush, where she can hone her photography skills. She has a huge interest in Social Awareness issues and spoke at our recent Social Awareness Week on the topic of Cognitive Dissonance. She looks forward to interacting with our girls who she has found to be very welcoming and hungry for knowledge.

LIZELLE VAN NIEKERK, College Counsellor (HOD)

Lizelle hails from Cape Town where she grew up and studied at UCT and UNISA. She is a qualified Social Worker and Psychometrist, registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, and has been working in schools for 17 years. She is married with three daughters and lives in Hilton. In her spare time, Lizelle loves reading and walking. She enjoys working with young people and is particularly excited about working with girls at St Anne’s.


Zandile has replaced her mother-in-law, Beatrice, who retired from our Laundry Staff at the end of April. Zandile is married to Themba and together they have two children. Their eldest daughter is currently studying first year HR Management at Mangosuthu University in Durban and their young son has just started Grade 1. She has worked on a casual basis in laundries for around 10 years and is very happy to join St Anne’s in a permanent position. She is enjoying getting to know all the new people she is working with. Zandile is a Jehovah’s Witness and spends much of her spare time reading the Bible and preaching to others. She considers herself to be a quiet, humble person and if you spend time with her you will quickly find this to be true.