I have retired!!..This marks the end of four decades and more of being an educator. I marvel at how swiftly the years have flown. What a privileged life I’ve lead. The many wonderful children, great colleagues, and appreciative parents have made my life meaningful.
I have been lucky to have taught in both Primary and Secondary. The little people so eager and full of discovery!! I have had something to laugh about every single day in the early years. It kept me grounded.

Music has been at the centre of my life in and out of school. God gifted me with the ability to use it to bring love and joy and an appreciation of its many benefits.
The school assemblies, class and grade concerts, church services, Eisteddfodds and more…

I wonder how many remember Louis Mountbatten being the first school of colour to win the coveted Junior Mixed choir trophy, my first big win early in my teaching career.
Who remembers Belvedere Primary School’s many wins of the same Junoir Schools Mixed choir trophy years later? Or Belvedere’s televised shows on Mbuya Mlambo’s children’s programs?.We worked so hard to perfect these shows Mrs Lorraine Marshall A perfect team. Our Carols by Candle light services were pure magic with the Salvation Army band in attendance.

St. Michael’s Prep School where our services and concerts ensured House-full audiences. Wonderful boys!! More Eisteddfod trophies and children leading church services under the guidance of Sr Margaret and the wonderful staff, Catherine Shadwell .

Hartmann House was magical!! Not so Paul Nenjerama?!..Year on year of continued delight in ensuring the superb retention of the Juniour School Boys trophy… Our Christmas shows were first class, we even had a parents and friends band!!..Thank you Dr De Sousa , Vincent Haddad, and Gerald Hickey. Fun rehearsals!!
The Carmina Burana!!!..Wow did the boys rise to the occasion under the baton of the brilliant Paul Colman !!…Parents uncomplainingly spending their Saturdays carting boys to and from rehearsals. We couldn’t have done any of it without them.

St George’s College…What can I say??…The boys thrived on music!!…Again the enviable reputation established the many years before was fiercely held!!…trophy after trophy, year on year, from all our year groups!!.. Fr. Paul Edwards and Vincent Haddad lead the highly emotive Advent Service signaling the end of a busy year and the coming of reflection, relaxation and family time.
My afternoon choir sessions in the 80s at Allan Wilson, Girls High and Blakiston were wonderful. I met so many ex-Belvedere pupils there who encouraged others to attend choir practices I had huge groups to make music with.

My biggy was the Junior Combined Schools Choirs. The late Peter Joyce handed the baton to me and I didn’t look back. I directed these over 16 years helped by Alan Mayger, of Chisipite Jnr, and the different school Heads when they had to host the show. This massed choir was made up of twelve schools, four hundred voices, wonderful music teachers, a band of great friends- Liz Matthews (who so generously and brilliantly, became my right-hand partner and accompanist from the 70s and then over the many years), Vincent Haddad from the beginning!! With Rachel (keyboard), and Gerhard Van Stryp (bass guitar.)

My time here in the UK has been different and yet the same!!..Children are children wherever you are. I have loved being in the classroom, and also making music!!
I have been bowled over by the amazing dedication displayed by children. Choirs are totally voluntary. It is humbling to see them attend week after week; giving up their break times, eating lunch in record time to attend micro-practices; the respect, fun and acceptance by them has been truly humbling.

My Deputy Head sent me a lovely message this morning where she says, ‘Ava, Christmas wont be the same without you’) Lol… Not me, I think, but the enthusiastic singing of carols and Feliz Navidad by the wonderful children…
I must explain that I was in the classroom teaching and when done for the day, racing all over the place to take my choirs!! Gloriously busy!!

A massive ‘THANK YOU’ to each and every one of you for making the years fly by, filled with amazing memories that I will always cherish.

None of this would have been possible without the love, encouragement, sacrifices, guidance and full support of my darling, God-fearing, hardworking parents, grandparents, siblings, treasured husband Edgar and our beautiful family…Cyrus, Jodi, Lucas and Edgar.

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