So long, Mr Lewis

2019-06-04 06:01
Learners of Bokmakierie Primary School waving goodbye to their principal, Larry Lewis. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Learners of Bokmakierie Primary School waving goodbye to their principal, Larry Lewis. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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Bokmakierie Primary School learners and their parents bid farewell to the outgoing principal, Larry Lewis, at Holy Nativity Church in Hazendal last Tuesday.

The retirement comes after 41 years of service at the school.

Ex-teachers were also invited to join the surprise celebration and two Ajax Cape Town delegates made a grand appearance at the end of the event, handing over their gift to the 64-year-old Lewis.

Lewis received thank you gifts and learners staged different performances, all saying in one voice that Lewis must go well, he has served his purpose at the school.

He was praised for the impact he has had at the school, the learners and the community of Bokmakierie at large.

The speakers said Lewis served with passion and dedication.

Lilly Thorne, an ex-teacher, recalled that during the 37 years of working with Lewis she could not recall him being off-duty for no serious reason. She said up until today Lewis was only off for seven days.

Another speaker and current teacher, Rodger van Blerk, said no one can match the love and all that Lewis has done for the school. He said it has been an honour for all the staff members to serve under the leadership of Lewis. “It was with a compassionate drive that you persevered and achieved the positive end results in all you did. A legacy has been moulded for the young generation to carry forward,” said Van Blerk.

Learner, Thabiso Makhanda added that the principal has been a role model to most learners and would be missed “dearly” for his kindness.

Of the four decades, Lewis only stopped teaching in class about four years ago, however, he said: “I never stopped teaching, once you are a teacher there is no ending, it does not matter where or how you teach. I still have students who come to me for assistance and as long as I give and interact with them, I am teaching.”

He said the 41 years was not a smooth ride. “It took sacrifices, hard work and a vision. It would be very tough at times but giving up was never an option,” said Lewis.

Being born and bred in Bokmakierie, Lewis said he took on the job knowing what he was going to face. He said over the years he would establish ideas of empowering and improving his learners.

Lewis used his passion for soccer to inspire and be an example to those around him. He encouraged learners to grab every opportunity presented to them and nourish their talents.He is going to be at the school until the last day of this term, Friday 14 June and he has not decided what he is going to invest his free time on.

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