Farewell Mrs Nicole Hughes

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Farewell Mrs Nicole Hughes

Delivered by Mrs Hesté Oelofse

I cannot believe I am standing here today to say goodbye to Nicky. We both really hate speeches and we have survived 15 years at Herschel without having to do one! And now today, it is my turn.

Nix started in 2009 when I was away on maternity leave. I came back for about a year and then she went on maternity leave for Tom. Nix was here to help me cope with the shock of expecting twins, and a year later I was gone for 6 months. And the following year she went off again to have little Jess. So, after playing tag for the first 4 years of working together, we finally settled in and the Maths department could finally stop looking for locums to stand in for us. I am sure Andrew Scott was also relieved. 😊

The conversations we used to have in those early years were not only consumed by baby, toddler, and nanny-related themes – but I could go to Nix for help with any maths problem and she never made me feel stupid. Nix’s patience was calming, and her subject knowledge was solid. I know how the girls she taught over the years must have felt in her class because I used to be “one of them”.

In the Maths department, Nix will leave a void that is going to be hard to fill. She is one of our best exam setters by far. We might bribe you to come set papers for us next year! Nicole’s admin is amazing, she plans very well and has an exceptional eye for detail. She knew the girls she taught very well and always fought for them. Making sure we do right by the girls when setting assessments and so on. We will miss you in our Maths meetings – your calm, confidence with a giggle every now and again will be missed.

Nix has a memory like an elephant, which will be great as she will be able to remember all the good times we had together at Herschel over the years. Like when we were house heads together with Tracy and Sarah Mac and we did the “cup song” on stage for the girls! Then there were the camps, hikes and enrichment outings. Singing farewell songs to matrics at valedictory. The red bus trip to Camps Bay. The conference at the Houw Hoek hotel. Those council dinners… actually – our termly Maths socials were lots more fun. And on a more serious note – praying together in the chapel for Michael during that crazy time and seeing how God answered all our prayers.

Your footsteps will forever be in this school, up, and down the corridors (or between desks when invigilating 😊). A part of you will be left behind when you go, and that part has made a massive impact on our lives and on the lives of the girls you have taught over the years. Just go read through your box of letters written by your girls from time to time… and remember.

How do I say goodbye to such a special friend? A genuine, kind friend who will go out of her way to try and help if she knows of a need. The only way I can remotely cope with this is that I managed to convince you to start running with me. So, I know we will meet up regularly to catch up.

I must add a maths joke… “Why was the equal sign so humble? Because he knew he wasn’t less than or greater than anyone else!” Haha – but this is true for you Nix. You never thought you were greater than anyone else but remember that you were most certainly not less.

School Song

We are assembled here in love,
We are united, we care for one another.
The greatest lesson of all is the one
That teaches us to live together, together.

Refrain:
Everyone’s a spark and in the night
Together we make a light, a fire burning bright
Ad Dei Gloriam; Inkosi mayibongwe:
To the glory of our God: this is what we believe.

In times of trouble we support
Our fellows; we are taught to be there for our friends.
And all around us, there will be
That special unity, that binds us all together.

If we come back after many years,
We will think fondly of the things that we remember,
And the friends that we made then,
These will be friends forever, forever.

By Thandi Siebert, Head Girl 1993