School’s ‘great leader’ takes a bow

Rhodah and Faseeg Manie with Aalia and Fayaadh Horne.

After nearly 19 years at the helm of Lavender Hill High School, Plumstead resident Faseeg Manie has retired.

The stalwart principal had a great send-off at a farewell lunch on Wednesday June 12 where those who’ve worked with him over the years had an opportunity to sing his praises.

He was described as humble, humorous, a futurist, a visionary, a pragmatist and a great leader.

Professor Ruben Richards told of how on Mr Manie’s very first day, a gruesome discovery was made in one of the school’s classrooms.

“His introduction to Lavender Hill High school was all but gentle. One of his first encounters, with the harshness and gruesomeness of the environment was his discovery of the body of someone who was murdered in one of the school classrooms. What an initiation.

“A clear message that the environment was not for the faint-hearted. He could have decided on that day that that was not what he signed up for but he was not scared off. He stayed the course and here he is many years later and his leadership has breathed new life into a dismal environment.

“Under his leadership the school now has infrastructure including world class sporting facilities and has become the envy of the surrounding schools. His leadership has turned a location which is often described as one of South Africa’s most dangerous townships, into a beacon of hope and a living monument of success,” said Mr Richards.

Annelize Robson, acting principal and academic head, said it is an end of an era at Lavender Hill High.

“There’s a sense of great joy and happiness as we celebrate his many achievements and invaluable contributions to our school and society while on the other hand, it is with great trepidation that I take over the baton from him. He has huge shoes to fill. He is a builder, a politician, a mentor and father of Lavender Hill High School.

She thanked Mr Manie for his service: “We thank him for his visionary leadership, outstanding mentorship and exemplary service to the community of Lavender Hill High School. He single handedly and tirelessly went around networking with many of our friends to invest hundreds of thousands of rands into our school. The results are evident for all to see and under his tenor the school has achieved remarkable academic success and produces leaders of the highest calibre. He will be dearly missed,” said Ms Robson.

Mr Manie thanked all those who supported him over the years, including his family.

“My wife Rhodah, my daughter Aalia and son Ziyaad were my support system and for that I am eternally grateful. I also want to thank the previous principals Joe Abrahams and Abie Appels who mentored me. They laid the foundation and mentored me so I would not have been where I am today without them. I also thank the staff and the likes of June Orsmond and others who have been pivotal in making Lavender Hill High school what it is today,” he said.

“My wish for Lavender Hill High is that it continues to flourish and grow from strength to strength,” he said.

Mr Manie will be doing some work for the University of Cape Town and will be assisting NPOs.

“I do not plan on just sitting at home and relaxing. I feel that there is so much more that I can do so I will be helping wherever I can and luckily I am still in good health to be doing so,” he said.

In honour of Mr Manie’s service, the school hall was renamed after him and an unveiling ceremony was held at the school on the last day of the term.