I love what I do! Most of my academic teaching career has been focused in Maths and IT – although these have been the themes giving me an open door to reach the hearts and lives of my learners.  My years as a day scholar- and boarder-housemaster were demanding and challenging, energising and humbling. Enormously fulfilling. My family: Tracy my wife, and Simone and Kian, my children, have been integral in allowing me to invite and include so many others to be a part of our family… and only by our Father’s grace and favour.
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I am Mandla  Mnikathi. I am from Lidgetton. I have been working at Treverton with Chris Ackermann for seven years. Chris is a good manager. He is easy to talk to about everything. He listens with a smile. I like to paint and play soccer. I am a Christian. I have two sons and a wife. I like it at Treverton because we have friendly staff including teachers and groundsmen and cleaners, everybody. I am happy to have nice management.

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For thirty years I lived and breathed and had my being in the great smoke of Johannesburg. For the last three years, I have enjoyed the vast open spaces and clean, crispy, and occasionally, cold air of the marvelous mountainous midlands. Below is the short story of how I came to work at Treverton.
I grew up in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg in the nineties when ‘hit me baby one more time’ and ‘I want it that way’ were the leading musical masterpieces. Besides listening to these classics (now) from Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys, I spent much of my time playing cricket, tennis, and hockey, or any other sport that had a ball. At this point, academic work was not of particular importance to me. I learnt to read, write and count because I had to, not because I wanted to.
It was in 2002 that I first came to know and experience the wait of my sin. I came to know of Christ’s sacrifice for sinners and my need to respond to his call for all sinners to repent. I responded the best way I knew how at the time, yet I am uncertain if my soul was counted among God’s people at this point or at some later time.
After I matriculated in 2005, I went to live at St. John’s College as an intern and studied a Bachelor of Education through the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). For the first time, I was exposed to rock climbing, hiking and mountain biking. These new sports were of great physical and social benefit and quickly replaced my enjoyment of traditional sports. This love for the outdoors was enhanced by my first exposure to Treverton College in a three-week-long teaching practical in April 2008. It was during this time that I first met Derek Brown and had my first trip to the summit of Giants Castle.
While at Wits, I met my wife, Sonja, and we began our courtship which would culminate in our marriage in 2010. I also learned to love the local church at this point and became a member of the Brackenhurst Baptist Church (was it at this point that God made me his? I am not sure). After leaving St. John’s College and living in the south of Johannesburg, it became clear that my value to my then employer was on the sports field and not in the classroom. With the birth of my eldest daughter Rachel in 2011, and my son Eoin in 2012, I began to believe that my Bachelor of Education degree and supposed value on the sports field were not going to feed and educate my children. I, therefore, pursued a post-graduate Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree through the University of the Witwatersrand in 2014. During this time, and to my absolute bewilderment and exasperation, my wife fell pregnant with our delightful (so she later proved to be) third child, Lydia. I graduated with distinction in April 2016 and received a cash award called the P.M. Anderson Scholarship (for academic excellence – who would have thought?) and used the money to continue studying a Master of Science degree at Wits. I also changed schools during this time to give me more time in the classroom and less on the sports field.
While studying in the post-graduate students’ office of the Oppenheimer Life Sciences building at Wits in December of 2017, Derek called and asked if I would be interested in working at Treverton. He gave me the details of the job and I applied. Dave Cato offered me the position not too long after and my family and I moved down on the 28th of March 2018. In order to move down to Treverton, I had to put my Master’s degree into abeyance for six months. This was a much-needed break from the pressures of family, work and studies. I picked the degree up again in September of 2018 and gratefully graduated with distinction (Me? impossible!) in June of 2019.
I currently teach Grade 8 and 9 Physical Science and Life Science at Treverton College. I am also house parent to the forty-two senior boys in Harland House. Treverton has thus far provided some wonderful opportunities for personal growth and development. My children have an incredible life roaming the grounds on the campus during their spare time. They also love school and can’t wait for it to resume after a holiday break.
Each morning I wake up and walk the 20 meters between my house and the Harland boarding house. As I walk, I often look to the east and catch the first rays of sunshine for the day. It is in the orange-red glow of these first rays of sun peering over the rolling hills of the Natal midlands that I feel most grateful for the place I currently live and for the work that is mine to do. To learn, to teach, to exist in such a place is truly a privilege

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My name is Chris Ackermann and I am the Estate Manager. I’ve been at Treverton for thirteen years now and am truly grateful to God for providing me and my family with this wonderful opportunity. I share this blessing with my beautiful wife Kerrie who is the catering manager here at Treverton and two lovely daughters, Tayreen and Sadie.

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As the uniform shop manager, I am one of the few Treverton staff members who gets to meet the parents and pupils of both Treverton Prep and Treverton College. I have seen several “batches” of pupils arrive in Grade 1 as little kiddies, only to finish their schooling here in Grade 12 as young men and women. In addition to my Wearhouse duties, I had the honour of being Lind House assistant housemother for 5 years and have special memories of my time there.
Way back in 2007 , I was very happy to be able to return to living in the Midlands, we left Mooi River in 1991 for Swaziland ,then went onto Pmb in 1994. My son, (the youngest of four children) had just completed his Matric year in Pmb when I moved onto campus in  December 2007. My oldest child, Anita , ( then “Miss Kerr “, now “Mrs. Msimango”)  was already a Grade 5 teacher in the Prep and over the next 13 plus years, my 3 daughters married and have blessed me with 7 grandchildren. What an incredible joy it is for this granny to have 2 grandsons, living just metres away from me on this stunning campus and the other 5 grandchildren a short drive away in Pmb.
To live near and work with fellow, like-minded disciples of Christ, is truly a privilege , I am very thankful for our amazing staff. When I speak with past pupils at Founders Days, some admit to not fully appreciating their education by dedicated teachers on this spectacular campus , at the time while still a pupil, but they do so now ! Let us all be thankful for and appreciate our blessings every day.

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My name is Kwandokuhle Shange, I was born and raised in the valley of 1000 Hills: Botha’s Hill to be specific. I joined Treverton at the beginning of 2020 after serving 5 years as an intern at Winston Park Primary School.

Growing up in a very disadvantaged community made me realise that everything comes from God and I then learnt to appreciate everything in life even the so called little things. I never imagined myself as a teacher but the bible says ” Many are the plans in the human’s heart but only God’s plan prevails: Proverbs 19:21″ hence I’m teaching today. I never enjoyed working with the kids at first, however, a few years into my teaching internship I saw an opportunity to make change, this came after noticing a lot of people thinking and believing that Mathematics is a no go area, I saw the need to help pupils unlearn this and start believing in themselves. And this is the reason why I majored in Mathematics.

However, I’m currently teaching isiZulu at the Prep and at the College, and I’m also an Assistance House Master in Jonsson Boy’s dorm. This has been an exciting journey for me as a multilingual person, I’ve learnt a lot and I have been exposed to interesting things here at Treverton. I’m still enjoying my stay here and I hope to be here longer.

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My name is Xolelwa (Gloria) Matse. I was born in the Bruntville clinic and grew up on a farm called Vrystaat Farm. I moved to the Bruntville location in 1998. I started work at Treverton in 2005. I first started at the Alan Staples Centre working with Mrs Fuller, Mr Nolan and Mr Clark. Then I worked at sickbay. I really enjoy working at sickbay. I enjoy seeing all the different children that come into sickbay. People that work here are kind. They are so humble. I can talk to them about anything. When my son was sick in 2007 Treverton was so supportive (emotionally). I got married last January. I have two sons. I just learnt computers here at Treverton. It was an interesting experience for me because I have never touched computers before.

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Raise up a child I the way he should go even  when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverb 22:6
Five years ago I was blessed to be accepted at Treverton as the boys boarding house mother. My aim was to provide a home away from home in a structured and happy environment. I encourage the children to communicate issues and challenges they may have. That way they can be helped. It’s so important to understand that boys and girls are hugely different and that children need time to be children.
Treverton being situated in the KZN Midlands gives kids fresh air with top notch private education and a boarding that offers safe boundaries and encourages school work, play time and time with God.
My team and I work hard at raising children in boarding who understand that good grades take hard work and extra study, however its important to relax and enjoy the beautiful outdoors that God has provided. We understand that boys think differently from the way girls think. Each child is an individual and we are privileged to be part of each child’s life.

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My name is Angela Jackson and I am a College Cleaning Supervisor

I’m from the Western Cape, a place called Grabouw. I have been working at Treverton since July 2008. I was married in 1991 and was blessed with a daughter and a son. The same year that I started working at Treverton my husband was killed. I like working at Treverton. Treverton has provided for me and they have been good to me. I have a good relationship with everyone. I like reading magazines. I can speak three languages. Afrikaans, English and IsiZulu.

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I have been at Treverton for 5 years. I am a family man with a passion for cooking. A meal shared is often the best time to minister into the lives of our students. I love a good joke and a hearty laugh.

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It was with great sadness that we received news that our beloved Marge Hudson-Reed, wife of the founder Headmaster of Treverton, had passed away peacefully just 3 days after celebrating her 90th birthday in the Care Centre at Woodgrove Retirement Village, Pietermaritzburg. Marge will be greatly missed by her close knit family and by Trevertonians the world over. We rejoice in knowing that Marge has been released from her frailty and is safely at Home with her Lord and Saviour whom she loved and served so faithfully. It was wonderful that in spite of lockdown restrictions, special permission was granted to Jenny, Colin, their spouses and Marge’s grand daughters to share this momentous milestone birthday with their precious mom and granny. Because of the Covid travel ban, our thoughts and prayers have been with Barbara who was unable to visit and had to miss the family gathering because she teaches in the U.K.

My January 1964 arrival at Treverton as a 19 year old founder member of staff, a thousand miles from home and loved ones, is indelibly etched in my memory. After a two day train journey from Cape Town, Lyn Gowar and I were warmly welcomed by Derek and Marge who immediately made us feel part of their family and it’s been my joy to remain life long friends. The Huddies as they were fondly called, were an Amazing Team. From day one, Marge proved to be one of the most unassuming and selfless ladies I have ever met. She taught me much about the gift of Christian hospitality. Besides being an expert knitter, Marge was a wonderful homemaker and by creating a magnificent garden in each of her Mooi River and Pietermaritzburg homes, Marge brought pleasure to many passers by.I was amazed at how youthful Marge looked in 1964 and was impressed that at only 33 years of age, she was about to immerse herself wholeheartedly in the hectic life of a brand new headmaster with a zeal and a passion for education that left us gasping. Before long Marge revealed through her tireless devotion that she was also an extremely competent young Mum to their three children, Donald (11) Jenny (9) and young Colin (4) Then in 6 months’ time, we were all to share the excitement of the arrival of baby Barbara on 5 June.

It amazed us that Marge was able to share Huddy so generously with numerous folk who all made demands on his time and talents, or simply wanted to enjoy his kindly friendship. Their home was a welcoming haven and a nurturing Home from Home for boys and staff alike. As new young teachers not yet accustomed to the icy Mooi River winters and without heating in the dorms, we were invited to mark our school books and prepare new lessons at the Huddies fireside. Staff Bible studies and fellowship evenings in their lounge proved to be great times of enrichment and spiritual blessing.

Marge learnt to be totally adaptable and flexible, never knowing exactly when Derek would return from his many meetings and extended interviews. She could never be quite certain how many she was catering for because passers-by and new comers were often invited to join the family circle. Marge always seemed to be making up or stripping beds and their spare room was seldom unoccupied.

Guests aways found a vase of beautiful fresh flowers and a bowl of tempting  sweets to welcome them. Marge’s tea trolley in the lounge was kept permanently laid with welcoming China tea cups and the biscuit barrel was frequently replenished.

We all loved Marge’s infectious sense of humour and her hearty chuckle. In my 15 years at Treverton and in our 57 years of friendship, I never once heard Marge utter an unkind word or lose her temper. She put up with many intrusions and unexpected inconveniences.  Huddy was a magnet to hordes of endearing little Prep pupils in orange and grey tracksuits who thronged their bedroom window at 6.30 to see if he was ready to accompany them on the early morning run. Others came knocking late at night for Huddy’s famous chocolate coated homesick pills while others wanted him to mend a bicycle puncture, make a kite tail, help saddle a horse, shoot the rapids with them or help them pitch a tent for weekend sleepovers.Marge was the Prep School secretary for several years and remained cheerful and serene at the most frenetic times of the school year. She was a skillful touch typist and typed all our exam papers on wax stencils and printed them on a Gestetner machine. Marge was highly respected in the community when she served alongside Huddy as Mayoress of Mooi River and was greatly loved as the Pietermaritzburg Rotary Ann President.

At age 80 Marge was still  corresponding via email with past pupils and staff members all over the world.
Marge and her elder son Donald, ran the prep. school tuck shop which proved to be a Saturday morning highlight. She always had a friendly word for each little customer and was keenly interested in each boy’s welfare and family affairs. Marge was a wonderful example of a true Biblical help-meet in her support of Huddy when he became Mayor of Mooi River and Rotary President.Marge never murmured when Huddy took on expanding roles of mentorship or responsibility, such as when he shared his wisdom and educational vision with the newly founded Drakensberg Choir School or served on numerous committees relating to literacy and the upliftment of the Bruntville community.

I salute Marge and Huddy for being an awesome A Team, a United force for good, as tireless workers and utterly selfless surrogate parents, confidantes and mentors to scores of Treverton pupils, staff members, school parents and local community members. We shall never forget the difference you made in our lives and we thank God for every precious  memory we have.

Marge loved her four children dearly and spoke fondly of their loyal commitment to her. Donald stood by his mom valiantly after Huddy’s death and she greatly missed his company and practical help in the home after he too succumbed to cancer. Barbara’s regular visits from the UK and frequent phone calls cheered Marge greatly. My heart goes out to Jenny and Heiko, Colin and Clare and their daughters Jess and Kate, who have supported Marge with such loving devotion. It’s been particularly difficult for the family and very distressing for Marge as there have been strict lockdown rules in the Care Centre. The Treverton Family shares your enormous sense of loss and sadness at saying farewell to such a precious mother and Gran. We send our heartfelt condolences across the miles and we pray that you will experience the peace and comfort of our Heavenly Father in the days ahead.

From Ruth Stott (Taylor ) Founder member of the Treverton staff
1964 – 1978 

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