Hostel 2015


A retired school Headmaster inherited a talking parrot from a relative who had run a very noisy restaurant and bar.  For the first few days in his new home the normally very talkative parrot was very shy and reserved.  The old Headmaster, despite his very stern and disciplined ways, felt very sorry for the bird, and gently encouraged it with fruit and other treats.  After a while, the parrot started speaking, just a little at first, and then more so.  Slowly the parrot, enjoying the special treatment it was receiving, began to speak more and more, until it starting using some of the rather rude expressions it had learned at the bar!  It even started passing insulting comments towards the kind old Headmaster!  Naturally, the retired Headmaster was rather horrified at this, but resolved himself to having to teach the parrot better vocabulary.  At first, he tried to reward the parrot for good behaviour.  This had absolutely no effect whatsoever – the parrot remained stubbornly rude.  Next, he tried to teach the bird a lesson by withdrawing it’s privileges and using a time out corner.  Still nothing – just a rude parrot.  Finally, one day, the retired old Headmaster had enough and snapped!  He grabbed the bird, clamped his hands around its beak, and thrust the rude bird into the top freezer compartment of his fridge, slamming the door tightly shut.

The rude sounds and insults continued for a few seconds, and then stopped abruptly.  The headmaster listened quietly for a while, and then worried that he may have killed the bird, opened the door to have a look.  The parrot slowly climbed out of the freezer drawer, and perched on the edge.

“Sir,“ said the parrot, “I must apologize for my most rude and disrespectful behaviour that I have been displaying up until now.  I promise never to use bad language ever again.  Oh, and by the way, “continued the parrot,“ That chicken in there – what did he do wrong?”

Ladies and gentlemen, the story above reminds me of our young Taylor House boys.  When they first arrive they hardly say a word.   Slowly but surely they relax and begin to feel at home and pretty soon we’re battling to keep them quiet.  Luckily, I haven’t snapped yet, so none of our boys have ever ended up in the cold room.  But I guess there’s always a first time...

What a wonderful year 2015 has been.  Our numbers have grown to 56 boarders.  We welcomed not only many new boys, but also Cole Cloete and Rileigh Genade.  Last term we welcomed Ms Nolitha Tyhwashu onto our hard working support staff.

Maintenance and development of our facilities is an ongoing priority.  Due to the increase in numbers, we have had to extend the dormitories.  There has been a real shuffle around upstairs, but things are more spacious and comfortable now.  We are very proud of the new wooden lockers which have been built and hope to equip all boarders with them by the end of 2016.  We have purchased new mattresses, a gas stove and a fryer.  Carpets have been laid upstairs and work has been done in the shower area.

Our hostel is definitely the heart of our school and it is always so rewarding to see how much our boys grow in confidence.  There is a very special bond that exists between both the boys and the staff.  This is evident on a daily basis through the jokes, laughs and hugs.

We are always so proud of every achievement our boys make - whether it be just an improvement made in a test or behaviour, to making sports’ teams and participating in cultural activities.  Special mention must be made of the following:

*        All of our boarders received Heron Awards this year and a number of our boys will be getting their Gold Heron Certificates.

*        L. Bomela, U. Mbula, O. Mqotsi, M. Dukisa and M. Kobo received Academic / Merit badges.

*        S. Zweni and A. Ntentile represented Border in rugby while S. Mkona got his Provincial colours for Chess.

*        L. Bomela, T. Buitendag, L. Xalisa. O. Mqotsi and M. Tyali received Dalian of the Week certificates.

Well done boys!

The Taylor House family had an enjoyable pool party and braai in the first term and we all embarked on an excursion to Hogsback in the third term.  Both events were a huge success and enjoyed by all.  We look forward to our end of year Leavers’ party.

At the end of this year, we will bid a sad farewell to Matron Moodie.  We thank her for her 3 years of love, service and dedication to Taylor House.  Ma’am, we wish you well and every happiness for the future.  You will be missed.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people who make D.V. Taylor House the special place that it is:

*           The Hostel Committee, under the leadership of Mr Fortune and Ms Thatcher, our Principal, for their guidance and support;

*           The kitchen staff, matron and duty staff - thank you for your incredible dedication and hard work;

*           The parents and extended Taylor House and Dale Junior family who show such an interest in our hostel;

*           Our D.V. Taylor House boys - thank you for your efforts, loyalty and spirit;

*           and finally, to my family for always supporting and encouraging me.

To our Grade 7 leavers, thank you for all you have done for the hostel and all you have meant to us.  As you go forward, remember these words by Steve Jobs:

“Your time is limited,

 so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

 Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

 And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

 They somehow already know what you truly want to become.

 Everything else is secondary.”

Thank you

Mr Esterhuizen