Beacon Hill High School held a special event to acknowledge the role grandparents play in the lives of their pupils.
The initiative, a collaboration between the school, Gift of the Givers, Beacon Hill High’s alumni, MJ Foods and Angus Lakay Transport, was hosted in the school’s quad where grandparents were given food hampers.
Gift of the Givers volunteer Juven Rittles said they wanted to honour the parental and pivotal role the grandparents play in the pupils’ lives.
“They attend the meetings and most of them are the first contact for the pupils. It is important we make them feel special and say thank you for all their hard work with our children,” he said.
Alessio Marcus, a pupil at Beacon Hill and chairperson of the Representative Council of Learners (RCL) in the Western Cape, said grandparents were the “rock of the family”.
“The token of appreciation that was given to them does not compare to the many things they do for us but we still appreciate all they do,” he said.
Faiez Jacobs, the ANC Member of Parliament for the Greater Athlone constituency, and whip for small business, is also one of the founder members of the Beacon Hill alumni and a 1990 matriculant.
His parents lived in Eastridge when he attended Beacon Hill High.
At the grandparents appreciation day event, held on Thursday December 10, he said he was grounded in the community and committed to helping Mitchell’s Plain.
“It is a beautiful thing to honour our grandparents at this school. You have all come along way, and stand by your families. Thank you for all you do,” he said.
Principal Gregory Kannemeyer thanked the grandparents for keeping their children in school and making sure they showed up every day.
“We will keep on showing our grandparents we appreciate them. My heart goes out to you. We still need you to have a good and safe holiday. Look after yourselves and the family during the festive season,” he said.
Grandmother Diaan Boonza, 62, from Eastridge, who celebrated her birthday on Thursday, said she felt special and honoured by the school.
Grandfather Mohamed Moosa, 66, from Beacon Valley, said he was grateful for the food hamper they received, and these sentiments were echoed by Mabel Christian, 61, from Tafelsig.
“It was emotional for me. Most people do not worry about the grandparents. They don’t know what we go through. We really appreciate the kind gesture,” she said.