Earlier this year Tony resigned as a Director of the Queenstown Education Foundation after being involved with the foundation since its inception. He was its first CEO and managed it through its early years.
This tribute was delivered in a speech by Allister van Schoor who was the Chairman of the Foundation for virtually all of this time at a special farewell function held in Tony’s honour earlier this week.
A special word of welcome to Tony the man of the moment. It is wonderful to see you back in Queenstown and looking so much more relaxed than the last time I saw you, which was when you were completing your 8th downhill bicycle road trip from JHB.
I am grateful to Roddy our current Chairman of the QEF for giving me this honour to say a few words today, because I really and truly valued my time that I had working with you on the Foundation.
Tony, working with you was a real treat, I actually grew so much personally during this time and I learnt so much from your huge experience with all your extensive dealings with the WWF and many other corporates. Your passion for education was infectious and so encouraging.
- Starting as far back as the first QC Foundation meeting in the Queen’s Hall which was held on the 12th of April 2012
Soon thereafter in 2013 the QEF was formed from the original QC Foundation.
QEF is accountable for building a transformed educational platform in Queenstown – the aim of becoming an education destination.
To transform Queenstown into a universally recognised centre of educational excellence driven by the nucleus of the Top Town Schools
This is such a powerful vision statement and I am still confident that we as the QEF members will aspire to making this Vision Statement part of our goal planning strategy for the future.
It is actually almost impossible to thank Tony for what he has done for the Educational Institutions in Queenstown, to name but a few projects that you were instrumental in helping us with :
- From introducing the QEF Schools to Sarah Sephton at the LRC in Grahamstown, who helped us with our claim against the Dept of Education, through a very competent Dr Nick Taylor, a previous Director of the QEF Board.
- The digitalization project, starting with the first meeting on technology in the Billy Shacklock Pavilion in December of 2013. This initial meeting was with Always On, but Michael Berger, who then moved to Supertron Technologies was awarded the contract with the QEF Schools. It is very encouraging to see that QCS, QCJ, Balmoral, GHS and Hangklip Junior all went with the same technology for the backbone of the networks in the schools. This has been a very exciting project for me personally and I am very excited and optimistic about the future of introducing more and more technology into our schools.
- Maths project, with Dr Pam Austin making a huge impact on the parents of the QEF Schools. I know that this project now needs to get some real momentum.
- Tony you have also arranged Melodie de Jager, a wonderful motivational speaker to address a large component of the QEF community.
- Tony, you even introduced us to the D6 Communicator team and now all QEF Schools make use of the D6 communicator.
- The Critical Thinking project has been running very successfully over the past few years and we are enjoying much success in this regard, all thanks to you Tony. The High Schools are now also interested in having a similar programme run at the High Schools.
- The English programme is currently run at Southbourne Primary and running in Balmoral. This is part of why we do what we for Education, to help the learners of our Schools become better students and ultimately better citizens of SA.
- Now it would be an absolute sin if we did not thank Tony for his most amazing contribution to all the Educational Institutions in Queenstown with his very successful 1965Ride for education. Tony this was your 8th year cycling from JHB to QTN for the benefit of bursaries for the nominated QEF Schools in Queenstown.Your initiative has brought in more money for the schools, than any other fundraising initiative, for which we are eternally grateful. Your hard work and dedication to this cause, has allowed so many bursary holders to benefit from the 1965Ride.
There have been no less than 22 ride Bursary Ambassadors to date. This is the main reason why you put your butt on a bicycle saddle for 827 km. So to you and your committee and all the cyclists we wish to say another big thank you for raising millions of rands for the benefit of the Queenstown schools.
We are not sure just how many more downhill rides you have left in those old bones of yours Tony, but I know we all salute you for what you have done. You are a true legend and you will be remembered for what you have done for the Queenstown community. Your legacy will live on for the rest of time in this community.
Well done Tony. We salute you