The staff at Red River Primary School gave teacher Linda Hardenberg a grand send-off for her retirement, after she served the school for more than 40 years.
On Tuesday July 31, the school’s hall was stylishly decorated, and a three-course meal was served in honour of Ms Hardenberg.
Principal Everett Poole said Ms Hardenberg had a fitting farewell, as she is known for her stylish decor.
“I wish her all the beauty of a well-deserved retirement. Ms Hardenberg always lit up any gathering with her warmth that she radiate and reflected to the pupils, staff and parents. She brought so much joy, and we will miss her being the first one to sing happy birthday early in the morning to whomever was celebrating a birthday.
“I also admire her inner-strength and her ability to persevere. She has a very bubbly personality and Ms Hardenberg must take that flavour with her wherever she goes. We wish her God’s blessings on all her endeavours during retirement,” Mr Poole added.
Many of Ms Hardenberg’s colleagues became her life-long friends, like Shirley Moses, who started teaching at the school at the same time as her.
“Somehow we just clicked and for more than 40 years we shared many special moments together. We are not just colleagues, but we have become dear friends. I wish her well on her next journey,” Ms Moses said.
When Ms Hardenberg relocated to Cape Town from the Eastern London in 1978, she moved in with the school’s former principal, Ursula Jacobs.
Said Ms Jacobs: “She must enjoy her life. She is a hard worker and she has given her all to the children. Now she must enjoy her retirement. I am honoured to call her a friend. She is my son’s godmother.”
Ms Hardenberg said she will carry Red River Primary and Manenberg with her always.
“My teaching career was set in motion here at Red River. It is also here in Manenberg where I understand the importance of forming good relationships. It is here that I got to grips with the reality of poverty and hardship. I then learnt to truly understand that my vocation as a teacher was a calling,” she said.
She added that the pupils are her “pride and joy”.
“They are oblivious to their surroundings and they live for the moment. I can proudly say that doctors, lawyers, teachers and a host of other professionals come from this community.
“I also formed good relationships with the parents. My years at Red River were filled with sadness and joy. I want to also thank all my colleagues for the role they played in my life – for all the support and prayers. Thank you for the good memories,” Ms Hardenberg