Maritzburg college ex-headmaster to receive national award

2011-04-27 00:00

FORMER Maritzburg College headmaster and Michaelhouse rector Dudley Forde (71) will receive one South Africa’s highest awards from President Jacob Zuma in a ceremony to be held in Pretoria as part of the Freedom Day celebrations today.

The National Orders are the highest awards that can be bestowed by the president of South Africa — not only to its deserving citizens, but also to members of the international community who have made a meaningful contribution in making the country what it is today.

Forde is being honoured with the Order of Baobab for his outstanding leadership in the field of education. He was also involved in the Boy Scout Movement for 52 years, where he developed leadership training courses that were later used as leadership programmes in schools.

“I’m a little overwhelmed,” Forde told The Witness yesterday from Pretoria in preparation for today’s event.

He admitted that it is pleasant to be honoured while he is still alive. He said he was fortunate to be one of the groups of teachers and school principals who worked to refine and extend adolescent leadership training and development opportunities as part of the school programme.

Forde started his teaching career as a young professional at Maritzburg College in 1965.

He credits College’s revered deputy headmaster, the late Skonk Nicholson, among others, with being an inspiration to hold on to what he calls the “remote possibility” of one day becoming headmaster.

This became a reality in the 11 years he spent at the school. He became a headmaster at other schools before moving to Michaelhouse, where he retired in 2001.

While he does not miss what he describes as “mundane routine, the messy, stressful and unpleasant issues that are an inevitably part of a headmaster’s life”, Forde says consulting and training have kept him involved with schools, principals and teaching, which has provided an opening to enjoy the best parts of teaching.

Forde was among the 7 471 graduates at the University of KwaZulu-Natal this year. He was capped for his research, which involved bringing together two of his life-long interest, education and leadership.


Read about William Khanyile and Bhekimuzi Magubane, two other city people being honoured at today’s ceremony, on page 4

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