On Monday, 20 November, we said “Bon Voyage” to Nolan Kearns (Campus Manager: Protea) and Pierre De Waal (Campus Manager: Parow) two great giants in Northlink and the education sector who will go into well-deserved retirement at the close of business this year. The occasion was held at the Encore Restaurant and invited were the management team, colleagues who worked alongside these stalwarts and the retiree’s family members.

Raymond Smal, recently appointed Parow Campus Manager: Parow (Acting) was the master of ceremony at this auspicious occasion. He meticulously set the tone with his humouristic references to create a calming atmosphere for the anxious retirees. Among the speakers was Tania Coetzee, recently appointed Campus Manager: Protea (Acting), who worked alongside Nolan for many years, “it is bitter sweet to take leave of Nolan- I am reminded of his work ethic and managerial style, hard work and honesty. We wish him well in the next phase of his life and we are grateful to have been part of his journey. His presence will be missed,” said Tania. Ina Louw, Manager: Blended Learning spoke fondly about Pierre and said: It is a privilege to give honour to you today and I am reminded of how you went the extra mile especially when you were the hostel superintendent at Tygerberg Campus. The sense of humour and the words spoken were always of such a nature that it would bring a change to the mood of any given situation. Pierre you will be missed, but you are granted a wonderful retirement. Thank you for your unselfish service to Northlink College.

Leon Beech, the Principal said: “A special welcome to the retirees and their families. The sector will lose two giants at the end of this year. Together they have over 70 years of service in the education sector. I have shared wonderful years with these men who were also confidants. These men portrayed a sense of seniority amongst their colleagues. Pierre established the Quality Management System at Northlink and Nolan will be remembered for his leadership roles. Today they can be acknowledged for the dedication to the job and true commitment to Northlink College. We wish them good health- no money can buy. God bless wherever you go and whatever you do in the future. Don’t forget about Northlink, added Leon Beech.

Nolan Kearns: “Thank you all for arranging this occasion and for the kind words spoken. 35-years is a long time, but I made it and trust that I made a difference. Approximately 30 000 students successfully completed their studies during my leadership. Thank you to the staff at Protea Campus, although at times matters appeared to be daunting and challenging yet I’m reminded of the words of Leon Beech, Principal “manage it”. Thank you to my family who supported me and a special thanks you to Leon. I am going to miss you, but I will enjoy the permanent holiday. We have an excellent staff composite and I wish Northlink all the very best for the future and may you grow from strength to strength.”

Pierre de Waal: “Thank you to Northlink and to Leon Beech for this farewell occasion. A special thank you to my wife who supported me throughout the years. When I first started in the education sector it was very difficult to adjust especially with the language barrier. When I was asked to become the acting Campus Manager of Parow Campus even though for a short while, I saw it as a challenge and as a result it was a great learning opportunity for me. In my experience I have learnt it was also important to treat people well and had often visited the office of Neil Maggott, Deputy Principal: Corporate Services who also oversees HR Matters for advice. I won’t forget Northlink and will help wherever I can. Thank you to all staff for the wonderful years at Northlink College.”

Rulaine Cunningham, Deputy Principal: Education and Training, conducted the vote of thanks and acknowledged all the role players who contributed towards the success of the occasion. As a token of appreciation of these two giants, Leon Beech, Principal handed bouquets to Cairenn, the wife of Pierre de Waal and to Kristi, the daughter of Nolan Kearns. No matter how many degrees, skill development courses and professional accreditation’s you have received, there is one more qualification you will still receive after your retirement – Master of Doing Nothing, these were the closing words to the retirees.

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