If there is one thing Mandalay Primary School principal Eddie Swarts will miss, it is the free “genuine” hugs and friendly greetings from his pupils.
After 22 years, Mr Swarts has retired and on Wednesday March 16, the school held a farewell party for him where guests were entertained by the school choir and a gumboot dancing group.
Principal at Alpine Primary and former teacher at Mandalay Primary, Pauline Rix, said Mr Swarts has excellent leadership ability and had been an inspiration to many. She worked with him for 14 years.
“Working with Mr Swarts has been amazing. As teachers he allowed us to grow and develop professionally and personally. He is passionate about teaching and has the pupils’ interest at heart.
“Mr Swarts had a positive impact on pupils and staff, and will be missed,” said Ms Rix.
Parent and school governing body member Marianne Diedricks worked with Mr Swarts for 22 years. She said Mr Swarts was a strict but loving principal.
“Well done. You have done good work at the school. Parents, teachers and staff are grateful for your services. Throughout the years the school has improved and excelled academically and sport wise. Thank you for your contribution to the school and community,” she said.
Mr Swarts said it had been an absolute pleasure working at Mandalay Primary, and that he had made good memories. He thanked the staff for their hard work and dedication.
“It has been an adventurous 22 years and I appreciate the work of the staff and teachers, past and present. It has also been challenging as we are the only primary school in the area. We have had challenges with textbooks, furniture, and placement of pupils.
“Thank you for the support of the SGB, and most importantly, our pupils who have done exceptionally academically, on stage and on the sportsfield,” he said.
Mr Swarts said the pupils were extremely talented, and hopes they strive for the best.
“I will miss their smiles, hugs and humility. I hope they excel in their studies and be the best they can be. Goodbye Mandalay Primary.”