Central Park in the winter

Butchart Gardens at Christmas

USA and Canada - Kearsney College Old Boy Times

Dear <<First Name>>

Welcome to our USA and Canadian Old Boys
In a recent discussion with our Foundation Director, Joy Mills-Hackmann, I learned that we have 29 Old Boys who live in Canada, and to my extreme embarrassment, I have not been including them in our Old Boys Times, an omission that I plan to correct, starting with this issue.
So—our USA Old Boys will notice that we are no longer just the USA-KCOB Times, we are now the USA and Canada-KCOB Times, and to cement this union, and to welcome our Canadian old boys we have changed the logo that usually adorns the top of this newsletter.
Additionally, since one of the two goals of this newsletter was to raise funds for the USA-KCOB Centenary Bursary Fund (the other was to increase connections and communications between Old Boys living in the USA, and now in Canada as well), we have changed the name of our centenary appeal to the USA and Canada KCOB Centenary Bursary Fund, thus giving our old boys to the north an opportunity to contribute to this important effort. If any of our Canadian old boys would like to catch up on the first 4 volumes of the Times, please click here.
I recently received an article from Cambridge University about their 2015-2016 fund-raising effort, in which they noted that “nearly 80 percent of all gifts made were between $1 and $1,000”, and yet Cambridge was able to raise $103 million in a single year!  I bring this up again to reinforce what Lawrence Polkinghorne, the President of the Kearsney College Old Boys said recently….’no gift is too small’….a hundred gifts of $100 each would raise $10,000 towards our bursary fund…and if those 100 old boys were to donate that $100 each year until our centenary in 2021, it would massively contribute towards achieving our goal of providing bursaries to talented and deserving students.

Leif Gjestland was recently featured in Volume 3 of the USA-KCOB Newsletter. In that bio. we mentioned his support of deserving students, particularly those from a missionary background. What I didn’t know, and was not stressed in that article, was just how incredibly generous Leif has been over many years. In addition to supporting numerous causes at Kearsney, Leif has established two permanent bursaries: The Gjestland Ministerial Bursary and the David Stranack Memorial Bursary and he still continues to contribute to our USA-KCOB Centenary Bursary Fund! Joy recently sent me a ‘thank you’ letter to Leif from a student who was supported by Leif’s benevolence. Leif has given me permission to print a part of this letter:
My name is Nicholas Hudson and I am the grandson of the late David Stranack (Gillingham 1950). I would like to thank you for the opportunity you have given me. Without your assistance, I would not be able to attend a school such as this. The passion that I have attained for this wondrous school is endless. Kearsney has not only presented me with the means to obtain the best possible results I can, but has also provided me with a home away from home. I have really seized all opportunities, with this being my last year at Kearsney College………In grade 7 I was attacked by a hyena and thought I would never be able to repair the damage done, but it is these five years that have healed the wounds……..I have not only survived, I have conquered and it is this school that has assisted me in conquering my obstacles.’
Nicholas has excelled in all areas; academically, achieving 5 A’s in the first term, in singing as a member of the Kearsney Choir, in the visual arts, as a member of the 1st team Rugby and is a prefect in Haley House. He will study Architecture at university next year.
‘Congratulations Nicholas’ and ‘Thank you Leif’

Nicholas Hudson (Gillingham 2016) at Speech Day

As usual we include a ‘Connections’ (catch-up) section in each issue 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 at: or Such news might include job promotions, relocations, “hatched/matched and dispatched”, recent arrivals (or departures) of Old Boys in the USA and Canada, information that you might want our USA and Canada Old Boys to know, or perhaps a photo of KCOBs meeting up in the USA and Canada. Your ideas and contributions are most welcome.
Carpe Diem!

Michael Hall (Gillingham 1953)
(310) 702-1636 – LA, California
Editor: The USA-KCOB Times
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! You can get involved by clicking here
In Volume 1 of our Times, I included information about the financial advantages of contributing directly to our Bursary Appeal from an IRA if you are over age 70-1/2 and are required to take an annual Minimum Required Distribution. My financial advisor recently told me that Congress has made this route of charitable giving permanent, rather than approving it on a year by year basis. This route of giving has some clear tax advantages, as well as disadvantages. Your personal situation will determine whether this is a giving route for you. Follow this link to read that article.

Please click on this link for complete information on how to make a
tax deductible donation to the USA-KCOB Centenary bursary through GBGM.

Meet David Emanuel (Pembroke 1996)

We have a rather large family, all of whom besides myself, are in South Africa, and most of whom live in Durban, where I was born in 1978. I have three sisters, and numerous cousins who are more like brothers and sisters, which makes for great family gatherings. My Grandfather, Joe Emanuel, started the family business, known as the Key Group today (Key Delta when it started back in 1976) ,which is still run today by the Family in Pinetown and other Durban locations. They are Kwa-Zulu Natal’s leading GM retailer.
I went to Morningside Primary in Durban. It wasn’t well known but it did produce some incredible Kearsney athletes like Keith Arnold (Pembroke 1972) and Bevan Manson(Pembroke 1995). 
Kearsney for me was an incredible time. I remember arriving at Hayley House like it was yesterday and had no idea at the time how much Kearsney would shape me or forge some of my most important relationships, many of which I still have today. My sporting interests varied from rugby, gymnastics, athletics and swimming… but my educational interests were definitely lacking and I unfortunately did the bare minimum to pass, only putting in the effort because of the encouragement of a couple of teachers like Mr Decker and Mr Candotti. Randomly, music and reading became a major part of my life while at Kearsney and still are today. I may have had a direct involvement in the “After 12 Club” during my final years at Kearsney.
The friendships created from my time at Kearsney play a huge role in my life today and although I was not a very committed student, my Kearsney education instilled a level of discipline that I bring into my work and my personal life.
After leaving Kearsney in 199 I started a Computer Science Degree but never completed it.
I moved to the US in 2011 and currently reside in Mill Valley, 15 minutes North of San Francisco. At the end of 2011 I started a software company called Medlert Inc ( to help high risk patients get faster urgent care from 911 (the national emergency hotline). The company has evolved dramatically since it started in 2011 and now provides the backbone for patient logistics for over 500 hospitals in the USA. I have an incredible daughter named Taylor and two chickens named Pete and Fiona.

Taylor, David Emanuel (Pembroke 1996), Fiona and Pete

The Arts at Kearsney

In this issue, we are delighted to feature the Arts at Kearsney—Dramatic/Performing Arts, Music, Dance, Words and the Visual Arts. We have asked the faculty of each of these disciplines to provide us with a short biography as well as some information about what their discipline involves at Kearsney and where they think it is going in the future. As you will see by reading these accounts, the Arts is thriving at Kearsney. Clubs and Culture at Kearsney is under the direction of Andrea Fripp who writes: ‘my role is more one of ensuring that the vast cultural offerings of the College are maintained and remain relevant’. Our school is certainly fortunate to have Andrea, with her strong organizational talents, to oversee and nurture the current success and the future growth of the Arts at Kearsney.
I think we are all aware of the success that the Choir has had, domestically and internationally over the years, but did you know that our drama students are furthering their talents at institutions worldwide, that the Drama Department takes talented boys on overseas tours to participate in workshops with professionals, that our school puts on a year-long Culture@Kearsney
festival showcasing art, drama, music, dance, photography and words, with over 700 students from 27 schools participating, and over 2,500 attendees in 2015, take a look at this link ; that our current Head of Music, Brett Alborough is a Kearsney Old Boy who says that ‘his passion for music was fostered at Kearsney’? I could go on and on about the success of the Arts at Kearsney, but encourage you to read the accounts that have been provided by each of the faculty associated with each facet of the Arts programs. I would hope that the funds raised by the USA and Canada-KCOB Centenary Bursary Fund will provide bursaries to attract talented art students to our school, to prepare them for careers in their chosen fields, to add to the already rich artistic milieu of the school, and by example, to encourage all boys ‘to take the stage and entertain’ as our Headmaster recently wrote. To enjoy short clips from the Dance events at the 2016 Culture@Kearsney, click on the following link.
Andrea Fripp (Director of Clubs and Culture): I have been a teacher at the College since 1997.  I am the sister of an Old Boy, Christopher Spencer (Finningley 1984), so I have had an over 30 year association with the College. 
Read more to meet the team 

Left to right: Andrea Fripp, Emily Stockil-Smith and Glenda Pitcher
Ulaetha Singh posing with the boys at Lincoln Memorial
Brett Alborough (Finningley 1996) and Marshell Lombard on Choir Tour 2016

School News

An inspiring update: In February of 2015, we launched our USA-KCOB Centenary Bursary Fund Appeal in a mailing to all our known Old Boys living in the USA. In that letter, the school identified a student who showed outstanding promise, but whose continued enrolment at Kearsney relied on the ability of the school to provide bursary support. Fortunately Kearsney was able to do so, and that young man, Wandile Linde (Finningley 2017), has just been appointed Head Prefect for 2017! Had it not been for the generosity of some of our old boys, and others, this deserving and talented student, might not have been able to fulfil the potential that he has shown.
There are many other Wandile’s out there, but our school has limited bursary funds—your generosity will enable Kearsney to reach out to them and to give them the opportunity to shine that Wandile had. These boys will benefit from a Kearsney education, Kearsney will benefit from having these youngsters as students and as alumni with loyalty to their school, and you will benefit from knowing that you made this possible. It is a wonderful feeling and a win-win situation for everyone concerned.


James Sutherland (Deputy Headboy) and Wandile Linde (Headboy) in the Chapel at the matric’s final assembly

Alex von Klemperer (Finningley 2006, Dux of the College), who attends Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, has been awarded his Master’s degree with distinction. He was one of only five in the class of twenty-two to achieve this remarkable feat.
Alex von Klemperer (Finningley 2006) on campus in 2015
Congratulations Myles Brown (Pembroke 2010) on setting a new South African Record for the 400m freestyle and participating in the Rio Olympics
Congratulations to Jean-Luc du Preez: (Sheffield 2013) who has been included in the Springbok squad for the Barbarians match at Wembley and for the Tests against England, Italy and Wales. What an amazing achievement for this young man.
Jean-Luc du Preez (Sheffield 2013) winning the Player of the Year award, seen here with Patrick Lambie 2016
As part of Kearsney’s Enviro Day programme on 18 August , the Kearsney boys and staff were privileged to watch a screening of the incredible "Blood Lions" documentary and to be addressed by Pippa Hankinson, the producer of this movie and Amy Webster from The Wildlands Trust. The boys carried out a hunger lunch and all proceeds went to The Wildlands Trust.
The producer of the documentary, Mrs Pippa Hankinson (centre). Chris Moore (second from the left) and Rod de Villiers (far right)  handed over a donation from Kearsney raised from our Hunger Lunch to members of the Wildlands Trust (Ms Amy Webster on the left and Ms Simone Dale second from the right)
(Finningley 2012) joined the boys on campus before leaving for the Paralympics in Rio where he participated in the 100m and long jump. Mpumi MhlongoMpumi’s story is an inspirational one. He was born with a congenital disorder which left his right foot severely deformed and the chance of amputation strong. The development of his fingers was also affected. Mpumi was a Bursary recipient and he earned Academic Honours Cum Laude and in the final examinations where he achieved seven distinctions. He has continued with his academic achievements at UCT, where he is currently in his fourth year of Engineering studies, having earned a place on the Dean’s List in his first 3 years.
L-R Mr Bongi Ndaba, Mrs Glenda Pitcher, Mr Matt Saville, Sue Murray, Mr Jason Rottcher, Mrs Andrea Fripp, Mr Bruce Thompson, Mr Mpumi Mhlongo, Mr Elwyn van den Aardweg, Mrs Tracey van den Aardweg, Mr Andrew Morgan, Mr Anthony Willows and Mr Manzini Zungu

Your News & Views


USA and Canada Old Boys Reunion 2016: On the weekend of November 4, 2016, a group of Kearsney Old Boys living in the USA met for the first ever Old Boys Reunion in America.  This was held at the Flamingo Resort and Spa in the lovely Northern California town of Santa Rosa, which is in the heart of the Sonoma wine region. What is less well known is that Santa Rosa was the home of Charles Schultz, the creator of Snoopy and the gang, and the town is a paean to both Schultz and to the famous cartoon characters.

Michael Hall (Gillingham 1953) and his BFF

Organized by the Chairman of the KCOBC-USA, Grant du Plooy (Pembroke 1978), assisted by your faithful editor, and with a dinner hosted by Leif Gjestland (Gillingham 1950),eight Old Boys and their partners spent a delightful weekend together, traveling from as far away as Port Washington, WA and San Diego, CA.  After arriving in Santa Rosa on Friday afternoon, we gathered for a welcome cocktail party at the resort, hosted by Grant and Michael, which gave us the opportunity to meet old friends and to make new ones, and to share stories about our lives at and after Kearsney. 

Friday night cocktail party. Jill Hall, Daniel da Silva (Gillingham 2001), Sean Coetzee (Finningley 2003), Dave Croudace (Gillingham 2000), Michael Hall (Gillingham 1953), Grant du Plooy (Pembroke 1978)

Grant, and his wife Soon Len, provided enough hors d’ouvres that our plans to go out for dinner were shelved and when the gathering broke up about 10:30 pm, the younger old boys went into town and celebrated until the wee hours of the morning.  The Headmaster Elwyn van den Aardweg had recorded a welcome video in front of Kearsney’s new cricket score-board and Athena had sent a short video highlighting the beauty of our school—which together had all of us feeling a bit nostalgic!

Elwyn’s video being shown at Friday night cocktail party

After breakfast on Saturday, we were picked up by a limousine for a tasting tour of a number of excellent wineries, with a picnic lunch at one of them along the way.

Wine tasting. Daniel da Silva (Gillingham 2001), Sean Coetzee (Finningley 2003), Dave Croudace (Gillingham 2000), Grant du Plooy (Pembroke 1978), Michael Hall (Gillingham 1953), Megan Coetzee, Nicola da Silva, Leif Gjestland (Gillingham 1950), Ian MacGregor (Gillingham 1952), Ranwei Chiang, Brenda Croft, Susan Garbini, Tom Croft (Pembroke 1974)

Lunch amongst the vineyards

We returned to the resort in mid-afternoon which gave us a chance to enjoy the pool and spa before meeting at Leif and Nan’s beautiful home for drinks and snacks before dinner. As Leif had done when Elwyn and Tracey visited in 2012, he arranged a superb dinner for us in a private dining room at the complex in which their home is situated.

Champagne in the Cave: : Leif Gjestland (Gillingham 1950), Ian MacGregor (Gillingham 1952), Michael Hall (Gillingham 1953), Tom Croft (Pembroke 1974), Grant du Plooy (Pembroke 1978), Dave Croudace (Gillingham 2000), Daniel da Silva (Gillingham 2001), Sean Coetzee (Finningley 2003)


Old Boys and wives. Brenda Croft, Tom Croft (Pembroke 1974), Susan Garbini, Ian MacGregor (Gillingham 1952), Grant du Plooy (Pembroke 1978), Jill Hall, Leif Gjestland (Gillingham 1950), Michael Hall (Gillingham 1953), Nan Gjestland, Dave Croudace (Gillingham 2000), Ranwei Chiang, Nicola da Silva, Daniel da Silva (Gillingham 2001), Sean Coetzee (Finningley 2003), Megan Coetzee

To complement the wonderful meal, Sean (Cape Classics) had selected delicious wines from South Africa. Our school had generously provided school caps for everyone, including our partners, and a pair of wine glasses, both engraved with the school logo and the reunion date, as mementoes of the weekend.

Kearsney Pride! Back row: Megan Coetzee, Nicola da Silva, Renwei Chiang, Daniel da Silva (Gillingham 2001)
Front row: Sean Coetzee (Finningley 2003), Grant du Plooy (Pembroke (1978), Dave Croudace (Gillingham 2000)

Of course your editor, as Chair of the Centenary Bursary Fund, couldn’t help himself and just had to make a short speech encouraging everyone to donate to this very worthy cause, to help us reach our goal of $550,000 by 2021. After breakfast on Sunday, some of us had to leave early to catch planes or for a long drive home, while others rented bikes and took a bike tour of the beautiful Sonoma vineyards, most of which were showing glorious fall colors.

Biking in the vineyards. Dave Croudace (Gillingham 2000), Sean Coetzee (Finningley 2003), Ranwei Chiang, Nicola da Silva, Daniel da Silva (Gillingham 2001), Megan Coetzee

As one of the organisers of the weekend, I did have some apprehension about how old boys spanning a 50 year age range would interact with one another—but my worries were quickly proven to be unfounded. When we were all together, conversation and laughter flowed—like the wines we were enjoying—and when the youngsters wanted to go off on their own, they did so with no fanfare. We said our goodbyes hoping that this would be just the first of future old boy reunions, not just for those of us who live on the west coast, but also for old boys scattered around this vast country. There is a special chemistry when Kearsney old boys get together, even when the age range spans the decades which we represented! I think the email sent by Daniel to everyone, summed up what we all felt as we left:
“Give me a K! Certainly a cracker of a weekend!
Thank you very much everybody! Great organising, fantastic stories and fond memories to see us through to the next get together! I was inspired by the story and examples of how a little bit of help from many can go a long way to help a promising young lad have similar adventurous stories at his reunion many years from now. Cheers to the centenary bursary! All the best gentleman”
If anyone is inspired to replicate this reunion in other parts of the USA and Canada, Grant or Michael would be happy to share our experience with you. It is more than worth the effort!


Connection Section

It’s gratifying to see our USA Old Boys making time to catch up with each other. If you have any stories and photos like this please remember to send them to Athena at:

The Chairman of the KCOBC-USA, Grant du Plooy, suggested that it might be helpful if all old boys in North America had access to the locations of their colleagues so that they could arrange to meet as their travels took them to various parts of the country. Accordingly, our wonderful Foundation Coordinator, Athena, has put together this interactive map showing the location, address, house, matric year and email of all of our Old Boys living in North America. Merely by clicking on a pin you can see who lives where and how to contact them. Realising that some people would not want to have this information ‘out there’ (although it would only be available to our Old Boys), an email to Athena will quickly have any information that you don’t want to be included on your pin, removed.

David Emanuel (Pembroke 1996) and Ross Littlejohn (Gillingham 1998) taken at Daniel da Silva’s coffee shop in San Francisco ‘The Station’

Dolphin Coast Branch Chair Tim Johnson (Gillingham 1999) recently visited the USA and met up with David Emanuel (Pembroke 1996)

Anthony Crafford (Pembroke 1989) who lives in Australia and Alex Hall (Finningley 1989) living in the USA, met up in Australia in August
Sonoma, a winemakers Dream: Angelo van Dyk (Sheffield 2006) was recently in the USA and he told us of his time spent there: ‘I have been living in London for the past two and a half years, where I work as the Wine Manager for a company called Bedales, managing their selection and wine list. It was after attending a recent Californian trade tasting and seeing the exciting new shift taking place in the production methods and styles of wines being produced there, that I was certain I wanted to delve into it deeper and get a more hands on approach to this new era that the region was coming into. So having been granted a short hiatus from work in London, I am now based in Sebastopol, a small town in Sonoma, California with Wind Gap wines, which is considered to be one of the pioneers of moving to a fresher, more vibrant style of wine based on higher natural acidity, as opposed to the historically rich and tannic styles which California has built its reputation on.  Under the mentorship of owner and winemaker Pax Mahle, I’ve been fortunate to spend three incredibly inspiring and informative months making wine alongside one of the first to take the step away from tradition, towards more vibrant and authentic wines. As well as having had the opportunity to see some top quality vineyards dotted around the Sonoma Coast, I’ve been able to explore some of the natural beauty that makes Norcal such a special place. The journey has been nothing short of spectacular.
                   Angelo van Dyk in Sonoma
Welcome to the USA: A few weeks ago I was doing my usual morning workout at one of UCLA’s gyms, wearing my Kearsney vest, when a sweaty young fellow walked up to me and, without a word, pointed at the gym shorts he was wearing…which, unbelievably said ‘Kearsney College’--- over 50 years at UCLA and this was a first! He introduced himself ---in a wonderful SA accent—as Nathan Pilbrough (Pembroke 2011), who is studying for a PhD degree in Electrical engineering at UCLA. He had arrived in Los Angeles at the beginning of September and is just settling into his new life here. Jill and I had him over for dinner recently, and those Kearsney manners and politeness showed. We look forward to seeing a lot more of him during his studies here. ’Welcome to the USA Nathan’.
Michael Hall (Gillingham 1953) and Nathan Pilbrough (Pembroke 2011)

Michael, Joy and Athena wish you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas and New Year filled with Joy, Health, Happiness and Peace

Finally, we leave you with this wonderful performance of the Kearsney Choir singing a Christmas song, O come all Ye Faithful
Song 13   O come, all ye faithful

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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

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