Above: A picture of New York taken by Joy Mills-Hackmann from Grant Astrup (1976) helicopter.  He took Joy and the Headmaster Elwyn van den Aardweg for an amazing tour over Manhattan when the Choir visited in 2012
Welcome to the inaugural issue of the

The regional focus is, in the main, prompted by having a regional fund the USA-KCOB Centenary Bursary Fund, but besides keeping you updated on the Funds progress, we really hope to create a more unified connection between Old Boys in the USA and strengthen our virtual Kearsney network here.
We would like to feature one of our USA old-boy donors in each issue. In this edition we feature Joe Jensen and Joe Hansen.  We would also like a catch-up section with your News & Views.  We invite you to send any personal or KC-related information that you would like included in the next issue to Athena Fisher on or Such news might include job promotions, relocations, “hatched/matched and dispatched”, recent arrivals of Old Boys in the USA, information that you might want our USA Old Boys to know, or perhaps a photo of KCOBs meeting in the USA.  Your ideas are most welcome.
Carpe Diem!
Michael Hall (1953)                                               
The USA-KCOB Times: Editor
Chairman: USA-KCOB Centenary Bursary Fund   

Athena Fisher: Foundation Coordinator
Joy Mills-Hackmann: Foundation Director, co-Editor
Grant du Plooy: USA KCOB Branch Chair

USA-KCOB Centenary Bursary Fund
This is an invitation to you to Seize the Day!  We invite all USA Kearsney Old Boys to contribute to this fund to support talented and deserving students in financial need who have the potential to add value to our great College.  You can get involved by clicking here or go to our webpage >Foundation>Specific Funds>USA-KCOB Centenary Bursary. 
The USA KCOB aim is to raise $600 000 for this Fund by the Centenary in 2021. This goal is broken down to an annual target of $100 000 for each of the next 6 years. With the USA dollar so strong against the South African Rand, now is a wonderful time to give because your gift goes so much further. Each dollar that you donate at this time will give our bursary fund over R12, allowing us to reach our goal that much sooner. 

A special thanks to our USA donors who have kicked started the drive:


We are pleased to bring you a short Biography on two of our first Donors to the USA-KCOB Fund.

Joe Hansen (Gillingham ‘50)

Well, first a little bit of family history! I was born in Piet Retief in the Eastern Transvaal in 1933. My family owned a hardware business in town, Hansen Brothers, which was in the family until 1974, as well as timber plantations The Hansen family are descendants of missionaries who arrived in Port Natal in 1862.  My great grandfather, Jes Nicolai Hansen, was with this group of early missionaries who came to South Africa to commence missionary work in Hermannsburg, Empangeni and in the Western Transvaal. He married Sofia Kothe and their great, great, great grandchild Martin Rohwer, a Kearsney old boy, is a noted golfer at Alabama University in Birmingham. It’s a small (Kearsney) world!

I attended Primary Schools in Piet Retief, Vryheid and Warner Beach and then Merchiston Prep. School from 1944 through 1946 before attending Kearsney from 1947-1950. I was in Gillingham, but lived in the old Milner House in 1949-50. I was a prefect in 1949-50
During my years at Kearsney I actively participated in rugby, cricket and athletics. I was captain of rugby in 1949 and 1950, attained rugby Honours in 1950 and represented Natal Schools’ rugby that same year. I played cricket for the First XI from 1947-1950 and was cricket captain in 1949 and captain of athletics in 1950. I loved watching the Comrades Marathon runners passing Kearsney and committed myself to do the up and down runs sometime in the future. This was completed in 1976 and 1977—what a tough run! But what a wonderful personal achievement!

After matriculating I studied at the Glen Agricultural College, in the O.F.S where I was mainly interested in veterinary science and horticulture.

From 1958 until 1975 I worked at Pfizer. I was appointed to the position of General Manager of Asgrow Seed Company, S.A., owned by the Upjohn Company and in 1976 I was offered the position as Regional Marketing Manager of their International Division, located in Kalamazoo Michigan. From 1980 after the usual advancements, I was promoted to the position of Regional Manager of Asgrow Seed. My area included South Africa, the Far East, Australasia, China, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, Korea and India. As you can imagine, this involved a huge amount of travelling. I finally retired from Asgrow in early 2002. Do I miss the traveling? Not anymore! So I have been in the USA for 39 years and still live in Kalamazoo. Michigan. I guess I’ve gotten used to the winters!

I have three children Peter, Claire and Alan from my first marriage to Pamela Mansfield
and I subsequently remarried Charlene Card in 1995.

Finally, I enjoyed my years at Kearsney immensely. Over the past years I have visited the college many times and used to enjoy playing in the Old Crocks Rugby game on Founder’s Day. I’ve been proud to observe how it has grown over these years and become one of the premier private schools in the country. I have always been proud to tell my close friend's that I attended Kearsney during a formative part of my lifetime.

I can credit Graeme Shuker and Gavin Bester, during their visits to the USA, for inspiring me to begin supporting my old school. I am delighted that I have managed to contribute to the Kearsney Foundation every year since 2003 and I shall continue doing so. It is a privilege to be able to give back some of what I was fortunate enough to be given by attending Kearsney. read more.


Matric 1950
Joe Hansen, third from the right, second row.

Joe Hansen
leading Kearsney 1st 15 onto the field against Maritzburg College (1950)

Joe Jensen (Gillingham ’42)

I was born in New Jersey. When I was one year old, my family returned to Mhlotsheni, Swaziland where they were missionaries. There they built primary and secondary schools and a church, which we have returned to visit a few times over the years.
I attended Stellawood Primary School in Durban and then Durban High School for my first two years, but had very mediocre grades. When I transferred to Kearsney for my last two years (1940-1941) my grades markedly improved; I attribute this to being motivated by excellent teaching and to learning better study habits.  Mr. Milner, the biology teacher at the time, was a great help to Denis Benningfield and me in preparing us for medical school.
I excelled in rugby, playing front row and propping the ‘to-be-famous’ Newton Walker, who went on to be Kearsney’s first Springbok! In my senior year, our coach, Mr. Medworth, decided our team would play other school's First Teams; up until then we had only played Second Teams. When we played Durban High School (a school of 800 kids) we lost 6-8 in a close game.  Coach Medworth was so pleased with our effort he took us all to a movie. What a treat in those days!
 After Kearsney I attended Medical School at the University of Witwatersrand.  The second year I diverted to earn my BSc degree, but during my third year I received my draft orders since I was born in the US.  I spent 2 years in the US Army from 1946-48 one of them being in the Aleutian Islands, a world away from South Africa.  After being demobilized, I was admitted to the University of Illinois Medical School where I obtained the MD degree and subsequently took my residency training in Psychiatry at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas, which specializes in psychiatric treatment and study.
While at the University of Illinois I met my wife Patricia. We married in 1952 and had 63 great years together. She died recently after battling cancer for a year. We moved to Denver in 1959 where we lived for 56 years and where I practiced psychiatry for 40 years, working with individuals, couples and conducting group therapy. During this time I published articles and served on various boards in my profession.  I volunteered for the Grief Education Institute for 20 years, helping people deal with their grief.  When I retired, I kept working as a volunteer at the Coalition for the Homeless. 
We were blessed with three children.  Bruce Jensen, a hydrologist lives in Seattle with his wife Susan Welch and their children, Conner and Kevin. Our daughter Kathryn McClintock, an educator lives in Denver with her husband Bruce, and has two children, Jamie and Hanna.  We also had a son Richard who died from cancer in 2001.
I was very fortunate to be able to attend Kearsney on a scholarship, as the son of missionaries.  This benefited me immensely by turning my academics around and was the big reason I was able to get into medical school. My donations to the USA-KCOB Centennial Bursary Fund are my way of giving back some of what I was so fortunate to receive, and saying ‘thank-you’.


Dr Joseph Jensen at 89

Left: Kearsney Rugby First Team 1941.Joe is on the top row, 1st on left
The beneficiary of the USA KCOB Bursary Fund is an outstanding Kearsney boy, Wandile Linda, who is now in Grade 10.
Wandile has excelled at Kearsney and is a shining example of someone who has taken the opportunity given to him and run with it. It was all made possible by this generous fund. Wandile is a mostly an ‘A’ student and is a member of the Under 16A rugby Team and of the Kearsney Choir. He is part of the Student Christian Association and is a keen member of the debating team.
 School News
Kearsney has enhanced its focus on academics by offering an annual overseas academic tour. This year our boys visited the East coast of the USA, spending time at Harvard, MIT and the New York University before heading off to Washington.
On the sporting front, Kearsney is still flying the flag with pride. Our national and provincial representation in all sports is excellent. This year close to 60 boys have gained provincial or national selections in a variety of sports and activities.
Dr Shuker recently mailed the Headmaster some updated 1st XV rugby statistics. Over the course of our 94 years of existence the Kearsney 1st XV has beaten Maritzburg College on 10 occasions and drawn on two. In the last 12 years, Kearsney has beaten College 7 times, this year by 23 to 20. We have even beaten the mighty Glenwood 1st XV three times in the last four years – this year by 13 – 11.

  Old Boy News
Left: Chris Coetzee (2005), Jil Hall, Michael Hall (1953),
Sean Coetzee (2003), Megan Coetzee. At lunch in Laguna Beach.

The USA KCOB would like to welcome Sean (2003 Finningley) and Christiaan Coetzee (2005 Finningley). Sean and his wife have just moved to the USA from Cape Town and are currently living in San Diego. Sean was a passionate tennis player and captained the Kearsney Tennis team in matric, leading Kearsney to a #2 ranking nationally. He received a tennis scholarship to study at the University of Nebraska.

Sean currently works for the largest importer of South African wines in the USA, Cape Classics, and is in charge of their West Coast operation, showcasing the great quality and value of South African wines. “My wife and I were sad to leave South Africa but are excited to be able to represent one of South Africa’s finest exports – wine”
We now know who to call when we need a great wine!
Christiaan Coetzee has been in the USA for several years. Chris attended the University of San Diego (2006-2009), also on a Tennis Scholarship and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Accountancy degree. Although not practising, he is a licensed CPA. He currently works as a project manager in acquisitions and development for the investment realty estate firm, CT Realty. He recently bought a condo in Newport Beach and enjoys surfing, golfing and reading. What a life!

Founders Weekend

Founders Weekend (19 - 20 June) is a particularly special time each year for Kearsney Old Boys and all at the College.  It is wonderful to see that the Kearsney spirit is alive and well!  Many travelled from far and wide and all agreed that they had a fantastic evening, particularly when Mr Dave Goldhawk took to the podium and shared anecdotes of old boys which rivalled those of our MC Doug Carmody… read more

From Hammarsdale to Kearsney to Haute Cuisine 
Mzwandile Hector Mnyayiza’s enrolment at Kearsney College in January 2000 was made possible through the award of a Kearsney rugby scholarship. Raised in nearby Hammarsdale, Hector had dreams of playing for the Sharks and even the Springboks one day.
In 2004 he played for the 1st XV which, under the captaincy of Bradley Barritt, enjoyed an outstanding season, scoring victories against Maritzburg College, Durban High School, Hilton, Michaelhouse and Glenwood (on our Founders Weekend). Part of a star-studded team, Hector was selected for the KZN U19 Academy Invitation XV. He also played for the 1st Basketball team that year.
A conscientious student, Hector gained his matric in 2004 at the end of a difficult year in which he lost his father. He then had to make a decision about his future – further study or the rugby academy? He opted for the former and chose catering as his field of study.
He recalls that his mother taught him how to cook and that from the age of ten he had been cooking family dinners and Christmas lunches. He had worked during the school holidays in the kitchen of the Camelot Country Club in Hillcrest where he remembers the chef saying, “If you don’t have the passion for being a chef, don’t come into my kitchen!”
Past parent Russell Stevens, the father of Matt Stevens (2001), British Lions 2005 – 2013, gave him the life-changing opportunity of studying at the International Hotel School in Durban, where he enrolled at the beginning of 2005 and graduated at the end of 2007.  He did his in-service training at the Royal Hotel where he was in awe of Chef Luke Nair, a demanding perfectionist from whom he learned much of value and to whom he still turns for advice from time to time.
He took up the offer of a position of chef de la partie at the hotel and worked with Nkosikhona Manqele who encouraged him to enter competitions. In 2008 he was runner-up in the Chaîne de Rotisseurs Young Chef of the Year Competition.
Later that year he and Nkosi decided to venture out on their own and opened the 3 Chefs Bistro in Umhlanga where Hector assumed the responsibilities of sous chef.
Believing that he still had much to learn in the kitchen, he turned down an attractive position as head chef and general manager at a five star boutique hotel in Plettenberg Bay, instead, his next move was to Sun International’s Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom on the North Coast. As executive sous chef, he was privileged to work under Chef Keshun Rambarun. He soon rose to the position of executive chef, managing a staff of thirty chefs and cleaners.
Last year Hector was a finalist in the prestigious Unilever Chef of the Year Award. He entered the senior section of the competition together with thousands of other applicants and then proceeded through the regional finals before reaching the national finals with one of his favourite signature dishes, chicken roulade. He is entering the competition again this year in September.
Hector, whose dedication to his profession and passion for the art of food are palpable, is presently serving his notice at Sibaya’s Aqua Restaurant before starting a new chapter in his career as executive chef at the State Theatre in Pretoria. Without the support provided by a rugby scholarship, and the extraordinary generosity of Russell Stevens, Hector would not have been able to attend Kearsney, or to pursue his dream, and the talents of this gifted young man might never have come to light.

Kearsney Supporting the Rhino
Kearsney boys added their voices to the #RHINOSHOUOUTCHALLENGE after being challenged by Maritzburg College. 

Watch the video.
Finally, take a moment to enjoy this beautiful performance of ‘Asimbonanga' performed by a mixed choir from various South African schools, including Kearsney. The lead male singer is Alex Gibb, a current grade 10 member of the Kearsney Choir. The lead female singer is Khwezi Mchunu (The Wykeham Collegiate).

Message sent by the Kearsney Foundation 
Joy Mills-Hackmann (Director), Athena Fisher (Foundation Coordinator), Kerry-Lynn McMaster (Secretary) | Tel: +27(0)31 765 9600 / 28 / 27 / 50  | Fax: 086 511 0594


Service provided by Karocki Media