Rest now, my lady, you led your village well
Special Features
February 22, 2013

Rest now, my lady, you led your village well

Fri Feb 22, 2013

by Rosanne Small-Morgan

Today, I thought it appropriate to share how the late Norma Keizer played such a profound role in my life – and I hope that after reading this testimony, you, that lonely, hurt or confused teenager, may realize that you too may also have a Norma Keizer in your corner.{{more}}

Of course, like everyone else who entered the portals of GHS, I had heard about and was in awe of the legend Mrs Keizer. She had that all-knowing look, a slow, sly smile, as if she were sizing up a new opponent, yet you knew there was NO winning. This lady was not to be messed with, yet like young fools (my hand is up for this one) we tried, only to be thoroughly clipped and checked back into place.

Believe me, I understand the phrase: “It takes a village to raise a child”; in my case it was an army. Outside of my home (of already a powerful line-up of mainly women) came Norma Keizer; I was NOT going to catch a break. She let me know early on that she knew my parents and family very well, she was a close primary school friend to my father, Claude “Charlie” Small, and my mother and aunt, Mrs Pauline Young, were just a phone call away. No, I was NOT going to catch a break!

On frequent occasions, she would see the need to intervene in my life. I was pulled into her office, scolded, guided and counselled. With me she had an open door policy, for which I am forever grateful. She explained that my behaviour was not acceptable there at GHS, outside of its walls, with my family and moreover, I was not living up to my truest potential. She went on to explain that running away from my problems was not the answer, because they would only be there waiting for me. So, accepting responsibility for my actions was an important lesson I learned very early.

Norma Keizer and my mother made me feel as though I could soar. There was nothing I couldn’t do, even when my own vision was limited. She helped me recognize my skills; she got me into fund-raising and giving back, by letting me organize many successful school skits. You see my friends, the gift is not in the ripping apart of our troubled youth, but to have the insight to see their potential, cultivating it and letting them come into their own.

Later on, when I had moved abroad and Mrs Keizer became the Editor in Chief of “Searchlight,” she said she wanted me to do an article for the newspaper. I was scared and avoided doing it for years; then I stopped avoiding my assignment when I realized that it was my turn to give back and share what I was taught by the many incredible women before me, especially her.

My dear reader, you may think that teacher, aunt, older sibling, neighbour is a pest; but in this day and age we need these leaders in your “village”; they are your angels among you. Remember not everyone cares enough to be real with you. So, be smart enough to know that you are blessed. Look around you and start discerning those who can show you the safe path. I was helped by Norma Keizer. Rest now my lady, you led your village well.