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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