School celebrates 120th anniversary

Former teachers, from left, are Anita Scott, Adrienne Mullins, Susan Woudberg, Pam Ludlam and Megan Spencer.

St Agnes Primary School in Woodstock, on Saturday, celebrated the 120th anniversary of its founding.

Principal Alfonso Louw, who has been at the school since 2002, says he is proud to be part of a school that lasted so long.

“It is a very diverse community of kids here. The demographics of the kids have changed over time.”

The school was established in 1899, when six nuns from the Dominican Catholic Convent took over a government school. St Agnes is a public school owned by the Dominican Catholic Convent.

The milestone anniversary started with an early morning mass at St Agnes church and was followed by a celebration in the school hall where former teachers and pupils celebrated with current staff and pupils.

Pam Ludlam, the former deputy principal, spent 15 years at the school until her retirement in 1993.

“I am very proud that I was part of the school, and I am astonished by the changes which are much more trees that exist on the premises. They weren’t there in my days, and there is a safer playground.”

Rene Londt, who has taught at the school for 13 years, paid tribute to the church for keeping the old school in good shape.

“The sisters have looked well after our school. They have sponsored us, and the governing body works very well together. We always try to add to our school. We’re not a rich community, so whatever we have we needed to work for it.”

Reverend Rico Talisic, who has recently joined the St Agnes church, said it was a privilege for him to work with the teachers and pupils.

“I firmly believe that education is a catalyst for change.”

Shamiel Abbass, the chairman of the school governing body, said the school’s computer room had yet to be furnished and computers were needed.

Mr Louw said they hoped to introduce the school’s pupils to digital learning with the help of donors.

“At the moment, we are still using chalk boards. We want to use white boards, digital projectors and get the kids exposed to electronic media to stand them in good stead for the future.”