Where more than 120 years of history embrace the future …
Dear Fellow Alumni,
I trust that you received the recent letter from Jacques Tredoux, the Executive Head of St Patrick’s CBC recently (see under latest news) where he commented on the continuing increase in the number of enrolled pupils at the school (from 467 in 2015 to 964 in 2018), the excellent 2017 matriculation results, the increased offering of, and participation in, Arts, Music and Drama, and the ongoing renovations and expansions at the school.
These favourable developments are all consistent with the mission of St Patrick’s CBC “to be a faith-based school of distinctive excellence, growing well-rounded young people who are equipped to be socially responsible role-models in an ever-changing world”.
But much remains to be done. Quite frankly, very little maintenance was done to the school buildings over the past 50 years, resulting in the dire and urgent need of major renovations and upgrades across the whole school now. Likewise, the sporting facilities (Back Field, Keeley Park, etc.) have deteriorated over time and now require similar major renovations and upgrades. Compounding these challenges, the school has performed poorly financially, incurring operating losses and debts of late.
Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel. With the assistance of major donors, the school has been able to absorb the recent losses, pay down outstanding debts, and yet still invest R5mill in improving buildings and facilities over the past year as mentioned in Jacques’ letter.
More importantly, our 5-year projections reveal that, despite continued investment in renovations and capacity to accommodate 1200 learners (including 250 in pre-school) the school will be financially sustainable by 2021, the 125th anniversary of the school’s existence. From that date onwards, the school will offer three classes of maximum 25 pupils in each primary and high school grade, will continue to offer the prestigious IEB curriculum at competitive fees, will have state-of-the art facilities, and will generate sufficient cash to maintain and enhance all buildings and facilities into the future. In short, St Patrick’s CBC will, once again, be the school that all alumni can be proud of.
So, how can alumni help St Patrick’s to pursue its mission?
Firstly, re-engage with the school’s activities and become a proud member of the family once again. Attend the anniversary celebrations in early September of each year, especially those classes celebrating 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years since matriculation. Come and see for yourself the positive changes that have been made. In addition, attend the functions arranged by local St Patrick’s chapters in major cities that we plan to establish with the help of alumni.
Secondly, make donations to the St Patrick’s Development Trust according to your capability and in gratitude to your parents who most probably sacrificed much to provide you with an excellent education at St Patrick’s CBC. Furthermore, the standard of education in South Africa is in crisis and, in the interests of future generations, it beholds us to contribute to the upliftment thereof. So why not start with your alma mater?
below, please find the latest list of projects that we have undertaken in 2017, and envisage undertaking up to and including 2021. All these are dependent on donations. In addition, donations towards bursaries for deserving children would also be most welcome.
Accordingly, the Trustees of St Patrick’s Development Trust call upon all alumni to favourably consider a financial donation to the St Patrick’s Development Trust, either as individuals or together as a class (grade).
The donations can be allocated, at the donors discretion, to the general fund or towards one of the specific projects listed in the attached. As examples of the latter, we have received a major donation towards the renovation of the boarding facilities in erstwhile Nazareth House, an individual donation to cover the full cost of renovating the Main Chapel (including organ, stained-glass windows. leaking roof), a major committed donation towards upgrading all IS/IT infrastructure and computer laboratories, and two class donations towards the primary school Science laboratory.
All donations to the Trust by RSA taxpayers are subject to favourable tax treatment – the Trust has recently been granted the status to issue Section 18A tax certificates.
Furthermore, if the donation is made by a company rather than an individual, there may be Black Economic Empowerment benefits to be gained depending on circumstances specific to the company.
In conclusion, this is an exciting time in the proud history of St Patrick’s CBC. Much progress has been made of late but much more remains to be done. The benefit thereof to future generations is invaluable.
Kind regards and God Bless,
Class of ’66 and Trustee St Patrick’s Development Trust.
The bank account details of the Trust are:
Account name: St Patrick’s Development Trust
Account number: 2007687526
Bank: Nedbank (savings account)
Branch Code: 198765
SwiftCode: NEDSZAJJ (for international payments).