From the Desk of the Headmaster – 10 December 2021

It is with a sad heart that I now put pen to paper for my final “Message from the Headmaster” especially after serving education for 37 years.  It is with further sadness that this will serve as my last message to our DPHS community with my own Prep journey as a DPHS scholar, student teacher, coach, teacher, HOD and Headmaster covering a total of 31½ years.

You can thus see that I basically lived in these facilities for ‘half of my life’ journey in my involvement at our beloved school DPHS.  As I said in my “Prize Giving address” – I left as a son of DPHS to return as the ‘Dad’ of Prep in my position as Headmaster for these past 5 years.  What I will always cherish is that although I am the 12th Headmaster of DPHS in our 111 year history, I have served as Headmaster as the first DPHS Old Boy to have proudly led our school.

Prep has blessed me with an overwhelming amount of life-lasting memories with abundant success that we have all contributed to in the academic, sport and cultural activities.  However, it is the added bonus of the relationships/friendships that I have so thoroughly enjoyed with School Board Members, Management, Staff, Old Boys, Parents and especially the thousands of children who I so fondly remember through my teaching and coaching experiences.

Once again, I must emphasize the amazing staff team in all departments of the school.  DPHS has always insisted on and produced the levels of excellence which we all believe in for our school and the “engine room” of our staff, always delivers every year.  There have been some trying and new challenges as in the Covid pandemic but our staff have gone beyond the call of duty to care for and focus on the needs of our boys.  Prep will never falter with the calibre of staff who are so committed to their school on a daily basis – and this will continue well into the future years of Prep.

My very best wishes and full support goes out to our dedicated School Management Team and Staff who are already so well prepared to embrace the 2022 academic year, under the leadership of our “Acting Principal” Mr Grant Phipson.  May you Mr Phipson enjoy your leadership position and together with the staff continue to raise the Prep flag to even higher levels from the start of 2022.

I also pay my utmost respects to our School Governing Body Chairman, Mr Stefan Terblanche who I personally acknowledge for your passion for Prep and your commitment to your position.  These sentiments are also clearly noted in our SGB members who with the staff and Prep Community will “pave the way for even better fortune to follow.”

Rest assured that DPHS will continue to lead the way by producing the levels of excellence in all aspects across our school.  May I respectfully request that all DPHS partners, including the parents and boys, never lose focus on the excellent manners, positive caring attitudes and high standards of appearance that are of paramount importance in developing our Prep boys for life.

I also take this opportunity to pay our respects and appreciation to the following staff members for their dedication and professionals expertise in their service to Prep.  At the same time, I, on behalf of our school, also officially welcome any new appointments who are noted, to the staff team:

There are those staff members who have served the staff and school with distinction and leave Prep at the end of the year namely Mrs Nomthandazo Ntshingila JP Zulu Specialist, who retires to look after her elderly parents.  Mrs Nobushle Majola from St Martins will take up this position.

Miss A J Logan Grade 3 teacher leaves our shores for England to begin a new family life there.  Mrs Karyn Glock well known to Prep is her replacement.

Mrs Kate Martin Grade 2 has decided to be a full time mom for the family and their two precious young children.  Miss Tayla Osler a Grade two teacher from Winston Park will be joining Prep. 

Mr Barry Thatcher – SP Natural Science Specialist takes up a teaching position in the Highway Area closer to home.  A Prep Old Boy in Mr M J Elliott will serve in the SP phase – welcome to Mr Elliott.

Mrs Kasia Vosloo our JP Drama Specialist travels in from Ballito and has secured a position closer to home.  Mrs Daisy Spencer will bring her passion into this position. 

Hannah Tostee, as a teacher Assistant, in the Grade R section will leave to focus on her studies and career opportunities that lie ahead outside of education – thank you Miss Tostee for your valuable service in your time at Prep.

Our Prep staffing is thus ready and in place for 2022.

Thank you in abundance as well to the parents and boys of Prep that I have so enjoyed interacting with during my years as Headmaster.  Your constant encouragement and support has inspired me on a daily basis in leading our school.  I remind all Prep boys of my personal motivation that:

  • “Once a Prep boy, always a Prep boy”
  • You may, at times, knock a Prep boy down but you will never knock him out!”

Carry these powerful reminders above in your heart and you will continue to find those rewards and success in life whilst at DPHS and beyond your time at Prep.

My appreciation will always go out to the Old Boys of our school, those in recent years and during our 111 year journey.  Your belief in Prep, the Management, staff and may I add to me personally, is so greatly valued and respected.

You are all well aware of my retirement now at the end of this academic year – so a few ‘sleeps’ left!

Please allow me in conclusion to express my love and appreciation to my wife Melanie and my family who have been there for me during my career.  The reason for my retirement is to now spend quality time with the family especially our three grandchildren who are all at primary school.  I look forward to the joy of maybe fetching them from school, watching their extramural activities which includes ballet and sneaking in those “Grandpa” treats.  We will be relocating to join the family in Cape Town from March 2022, which does not leave too much time to find a suitable home and to pack up home in Durban.

Please remember that I will always remain forever a Proudly Prep and Sharks supporter.  I will be looking forward to cheer Prep on from a distance and definitely when Prep is on tour in Cape Town.

May each family celebrating be blessed with a wonderful festive season and a safe and happy holiday.  Take that necessary time out to relax and enjoy with your family.

It has been an absolute honour and pleasure to have served with you at Prep throughout all these years and during my five years as Headmaster,

Your proudly Prep Headmaster forever!

Kind regards
Barry Wilson

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