Doreen Booysen, Muizenberg High School’s Afrikaans teacher, has retired after 27 years at the school.
Originally from Upington, she looked back on a teaching career that started with a R300 bursary to help with her studies.
That might seem like a pittance now, she said, but “it assisted me a lot when I got accepted at Stellenbosch University for a teaching diploma”.
She taught at a school in Van Rhynsdorp where she was in charge of the library. She worked at another school library in Bothasig before moving to Belgium, where she was an office assistant, but she found the work monotonous.
“Towards the end of 1989, I quit my job and moved back home, and to my luck, I scored myself a job at the Upington municipal library where I stayed for a few months until I got another job offer at an all girls school in King William’s Town.”
“In 1991, I applied for a teaching post at Muizenberg High, and in 1992, I started. Little did I know I would end up spending 27 years of my life teaching. I found my niche, right here.”
She said that while teaching carried great responsibility, it could also be great fun and one thing she would miss the most was the chidren’s jokes and the stories they told between lessons.
She said pupils and colleagues had become like family to her over the years and she would miss no longer being part of that.
At the farewell for Ms Booysen on Friday July 19, school principal Leonie Jacobson spoke movingly about the woman she called a “lifelong friend”.
“Doreen, ek gaan jou baie mis… ons gaan jou mis en jou wonderlike energie.” (Doreen, I am going to miss you so much… we are going to miss you and your wonderful energy).
Fellow Afrikaans teacher Nelia Hillier- Havenga said Ms Booysen was a “loving and nurturing” person and a perfectionist.
“The one thing I learned from her was the value of showing gratitude, and I will miss her dearly.”
Children recited poetry and the school band performed some of Ms Booysen’s favourite songs.
Ms Booysen said she planned to travel, visit family and “take a break”.
After that? “After that I want to give back as much as I possibly could in teaching children how to read,” she said. “Sixty-five doesn’t mean that I stop to live, my passion lies in a lot more things.”