Our Readers' Opinions
March 15, 2013

A tribute to the late Mrs Norma Keizer

Fri Mar 15, 2013

Editor: When I reminisce on my youthful, inspiring, secondary school years of 1965-1970, I wish today were that time, way back at St Vincent Girls’ High School.{{more}}

After the funeral of the late precious teacher Mrs Keizer, I felt so proud, especially dressed so immaculately with my tie, and watching people judging me. Outwardly and inwardly, and those who do not know me, were gossiping: “She went to High School?” and I proudly answered one saying “Yes, I did”.

I sat under the tent proudly, and took in the whole inspiring service. I was proud to understand that she deserved every word of every tribute that was said and done that afternoon. On behalf of the (school) class and teachers of 1965-1970, those teachers who are even deceased and those still yet alive, we all loved her and may she rest in peace.

Mrs Keizer was warm, sweet, beautiful, affectionate and proud. She was the best teacher any student with goals and aspirations could have. As a teacher, she taught me history, my worst subject, yet I was never unsuccessful in history, but English Language was my best and she taught the best; always slipping in a class when a teacher was absent or late, smiling at us when we were naughty, and patiently waiting for us to correct our wrongs.

Every subject she taught it with dignity and never gave up until her students had achieved better goals. She loved sports; Staff (green) was her favourite house. In the presence of bad behaviour, while we were doing our school work, she would say minus five and the scolding begins: “next time you do better”. For she was always smiling; then we would start to do better because nobody likes minus five. She always dressed neatly with her hair always cut short and fitting, that it leaves me to believe that she has passed the legacy onto Simone, her loving daughter, who’s a doctor, to always wear short hair that makes her resemble her mother.

She also left the legacy of teaching, and doctrines, and understanding and character of being a good principal, for a very long duration, unto Andrea her daughter and both their incumbency lasts for a long time. They receive the ratings for the best headmistress in the land. Proud to say she never forgot me and even when she was editor of Searchlight newspaper she assisted me with a free column.
Every time she saw me she would say “Cerena, are you okay, are you still poetic?” I would say “Yes, Mrs Keizer, I wish I was back in school” and I really mean it. But that was long ago, and time flies like the wind in the storm and I do hope that the Girls’ High School would keep its honour for years to come and bear in mind that each child has a goal to achieve. I won’t say much more, although I can, but thanks for the tributes and the inspiring service, and thanks for my Per Ardua Ad Alta, The Prize Was Really Worth The Pain. Bye, Mrs Keizer, say hello to all the other teachers for me when you meet in heaven.

On behalf of all the students of 1965- 1970, it was a job well done; you paid the price, you finished the task. Rest in peace.

Cerena Toney Billingy

GHS (1965-1970)