Teachers lauded for distinction, dedication

These retired teachers and principals were honoured in a ceremony for their long service to society.

A non-profit organisation honoured retired teachers for their long and “invaluable service to society”.

The event, held in Lansdowne on Friday July 27, was arranged by the Movement Against Illegitimate Leaders (MAIL).

Spokesperson for Mail, Abdurah-
man Khan, said: “Some of these teachers have all taught during the dark days of the apartheid era with distinction and dedication. To them teaching was a calling, rather than merely a career. To them, education was more than just teaching in a classroom. Many of them were struggle stalwarts fighting for the liberation of the mind and for a just, anti-racial and a democratic society.”

The teachers hailed from schools throughout Cape Town and many of them taught for more than 30 years and became community leaders in their own right.

“It was an absolutely amazing sight to witness the joyful reunion of these retired teachers after so many years,” Mr Khan added.

Professor Ali Fataar, delivered the keynote address on education, for which he received a rousing applause from the appreciative audience.

Yusuf Abrahams, 80, who spent more than 34 years in the profession and who taught at Cathkin High, Grassy Park High, Salt River High and Trafalgar High schools, was honoured with the Principled Principal award.

“I am standing here with mixed feelings. It was an honour in a sense that I was serving children in an era when we were harassed by the then apartheid regime,” Mr Abrahams said.

Mr Khan said people are often honoured after they have died, and that his organisation was fortunate to honour Mr Abrahams while he is still alive.

A posthumous award went to Theodore Bruinders, who used to teach at Livingstone High School.

Every retired teacher received a medal and a certificate of recognition for outstanding service in education in South Africa.

Others who were honoured include Bayer Laattoe, McArthur Errol Urion, Garth Lakay, Professor Aslam Fataar, Yusuf Abrahams, Ebrahim Adams, Ebrahim Ismail, Riyaad Najaar, Achmat Chotia, Stella Naomi Urion, and Zeenat Meeran Edros.