Kensington Ridge Primary celebrates its 80th birthday

Ingrid Chetty, Bharathi Naidoo (deputy principal), Gladman Faku, Rukhshana Jamal (principal) and Silvia Rosin, the principal of Eastgate Primary School, at the Kensington Ridge Primary School's birthday celebrations.

Kensington Ridge Primary School recently celebrated its 80th birthday on August 18.

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The school’s 80th birthday cake.

Learners were treated to cupcakes and other goodies.

The school was officially opened on August 3, 1937, with the aim of serving the Malvern and Kensington areas.

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The school enrolled 356 learners in its first year and catered for learners from Standard Two to Standard Five.

The first principal of Kensington Ridge was F de Guigneand, who led the school until December 1948.

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He was followed by GL Edwards, who was principal from January 1949 to January 1953, then DS Van der Merwe, who headed the school from January 1953 to May 1975.

Van der Merwe was followed by WJF Drew, who was principal from January 1977 to July 1997 and he was followed by PH Ford from July 1997 to August 2001 and then J Downing from March 2002 to March 2013.

The current principal is Rukhshana Jamal.

The school’s name comes from its location, the upper northern slope of the Kensington Ridge, with a magnificent view across to Cyrildene, Bedfordview, Kensington South and Bezuidenhout Valley.

Lorvica Matthews, who was once a pupil of the school, now teaches at the school.

Matthews said it has been a privilege to be able to come back to the same school that moulded her as a child.

Kensington Ridge Primary School is 80 years old and still going strong.

“I was a naughty child but my teachers were patient with me and helped me to see my potential. Ms Jenny Fraser, who was my teacher, became my mentor as she guided me, supported me, believed in me and inspired me to greatness,” said Matthews.

She said she is happy to be part of the school’s 80th birthday celebrations.

She said, “The school, teachers, and my mother, who is also a teacher, played a big role in my becoming a teacher. When a teaching post opened at the school I applied and was happy to able to come back to the school and give back and inspire the children like I was inspired.”

Ingrid Chetty, also a teacher, who has been at the school for 15 years, said she is happy for the school reaching this milestone.

“It has been a journey seeing the school and children grow. There were changes over the years and we have learned to adapt as a school. I wish the school many more years and for it to grow from strength to strength,” said Chetty.

Jamal said she is happy that the school celebrated its birthday and wishes it many more years.

“My wish for the school is to see it grow and have more support from the community. We are a diverse school and we no longer just cater just for the Malvern and Kensington areas. Times have changed and that means we have changed. We ask the community to support us as a school, as we are here for them,” said Jamal.

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Busi Vilakazi

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