Alumni News – please share your news with us via email at email@example.com.
Amia Benge has completed her three year undergraduate degree at Rhodes University in Grahamstown and obtained her Bachelor of Social Sciences degree, majoring in Organisational Psychology and Industrial Sociology. This year, 2020, she is completing her Honours in Organisational/Industrial Psychology at Rhodes.
“Merrifield had definitely provided me with a great foundation which prepared me well for University and life outside of school. The friends I made at school I still hold very close to my heart. We all still chat often and make plans to catchup when ever we are all back in East London. I will forever be grateful for attending a school like Merrifield!” (Class of 2016)
Mitchell Basin is currently doing a Year of Service (religious volunteer work) at the Baha’i World Centre in Isreal, Haifa. He is serving in the Department of Security. He was serving as a Rotational officer at the beginning of my service and is now serving as a dispatcher. (Class of 2019)
Warren Canning has his own business in Johannesburg and develops business solution apps for the retail and property industries. He studied a Bachelor of Fine Art Honours, triple majoring in Computer Science at Rhodes University, and graduated in 2012. (Class of 2007)
Vuyo Gabelana studied Politics, International Relations and Industrial Psychology at Rhodes University. He works at ASEM (Varsity Cup & Varsity Sport) as the assistant Marketing Manager and lives in Cape Town. (Class of 2007)
Liam Costello is a Business Unit Controller for a Swiss bank in Zürich, Switzerland. He is a Chartered Accountant. (Class of 2007)
Patricia (Trish) Ledzinski is a Group Financial Manager. She studied a Bachelor of Business Science: Honours in Accounting and Finance at UCT (2008-2011), and then did a Postgraduate certificate in Accounting at Wits (2012). (Class of 2007)
Rishaad Motala completed a BCom Degree and majored in Economics and Business Management at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). (Class of 2007)
After school Megan Pollock spent a gap year working at a summer camp in North America. She then completed a Bachelors in Architectural Studies at NMMU, taught English in South Korea in 2012, then between 2013 and 2015 she studied for a Masters in Architecture while working at Osmond Lange Architects and Planners in East London. She has been working for Osmond Lange Architects and Planners based in East London and Port Elizabeth since she qualified. (Class of 2007)
Nicky Willmers is currently teaching Life Sciences at an independent girls school, St John’s DSG, in Pietermaritzburg. Nicky first studied nature conservation and worked in that field for a few years, specialising in environmental education as well as crane and wetland conservation. She then completed her PGCE. (Class of 2007)
Dylan Wood lives in East London. He has his own company, Apogee Studios, and also runs a family business which is a 12 room guesthouse in Bunkers Hill. (Class of 2007)
Lara Kelly works as a psychometrist in Cape Town after studying a BCom Honours in Industrial Psychology. (Class of 2007)
Casey Blomkamp earned her LLB degree in 2012 and was admitted as an attorney in 2013. During 2014 and 2015 Casey did a lot of travelling, spending time in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Austria, Slovakia, Israel, Greece, Italy and Germany. In March this year she was admitted as a Conveyancer and will soon be admitted as a Notary. Casey is currently the head of the Conveyancing Department at Moroka Attorneys in Bloemfontein and is engaged to Tomas Vetrik who has his PhD in Mathematics and is an Associate Professor at the University of the Free State. (Class of 2006)
Fiona Camden-Smith works at Klinkradt Murphy in East London as a chartered accountant. Fiona was the guest speaker at the 2016 Merrifield College Founders’ Day. (Class of 2006)
After matric Jeff Atkinson travelled to the USA where he spent a few months working as a counsellor at the YMCA Camp Flaming Arrow in Hunt, Texas. He then studied graphic design at Damelin and then worked for a few years at “PrinterBoyz Solutions” as a graphic designer in East London. While working as a graphic designer, he studied in Sales and Marketing and computer programming. In 2014 Jeff moved to Durban to work for Wonderware Southern Africa as a Sales Account Manager. In June last year Jeff became a Technical Support Engineer, travelling around South Africa to present training courses on Wonderware’s software material. (Class of 2006)
Mireille Barnard moved back to East London a few months ago and is currently relief teaching at Hudson Park High School, raising her baby daughter and giving HypnoBirthing classes. After school she completed her Honours degree (cum laude) at Stellenbosch University and then moved to Pretoria when her husband got transferred, completing her Masters in Sociology (cum laude) last year. (Class of 2006)
Tara Wentworth completed her Masters degree in Psychology at Rhodes University and is currently living in Australia. (Class of 2006)
Lana Kowarski has had an extremely adventurous decade! After a gap year she travelled around the UK for a year before returning to South Africa in 2008 to start a Visual Communication degree at NMMU. After finishing her first year, she moved with her family to Australia and continued her degree at the University of Technology Sydney and graduated straight into a job in the music industry. Between then and now she has worked in the music festival industry, travelled through America, Mexico and South America, lived in Melbourne, travelled through the Himalayas and is now planning to start a turtle hatchery in the South of Sri Lanka. She’s also planning a road trip around New Zealand in December, keeping to her motto in life: “We must take adventures in order to find where we truly belong”. (Class of 2006)
Thandi Kasibe: “I am Nomthandazo Kasibe, also known as Thandi, a 2014 matriculant from Merrifield. I am currently doing my second year in Bachelor of Accounting Sciences at Wits University.I came to Merrifield in Grade 10 through a scholarship and, being used to getting high marks from my previous school, I found myself being humbled and learning the IEB-kind-of-thinking. This skill paid off very well in varsity as I didn’t see the huge difference between it and high school. I’ve also kept the four pillars (which I obtained through doing the President’s Award) to heart and these are sport, community service, cultural activities and leadership. I thank God for having given me the opportunity to meet the wonderful people from Merrifield and I strongly feel that had I not gotten the opportunity to finish off my high school at Merrifield, varsity would be a different story.” (Class of 2014)
Sarah Taylor (2012) and Louisa Taylor (2014) “Just a note of thank you. Louisa did very well in first year and was registered for Medicine at UCT last week, showing true strength in the face of adversity. Her excellent first year marks played an important role and these were achieved on the basis of an excellent education base at Merrifield. 85% for her one full major i.e. Chemistry and all firsts – I am very proud of her. Sarah passed her BSc (majoring in Maths and Applied Maths) with firsts in both and was awarded her degree with distinction. She has enrolled for Hons in Mathematics and still wants to go to Oxford!! She is chairperson of the UCT Maths society and feeling her way through life. Kind regards and thanks again, Steve Taylor”.
Christopher Fielding, (2010) is at the forefront of an initiative aimed at distributing veterinary text books, journals and other educational tools to veterinary faculties in a number of countries in southern and central Africa. “Vet Books for Africa” is a truly unique, student-run initiative that was established in 1993. Christopher, in his fourth year at Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital in Pretoria, is the vice-chair of the project team for 2015/16. The team consists of eight veterinary students undertaking a six week road trip during the November and December months to the countries of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique and Malawi. Merrifield has, through the Eric and Mary Merrifield Centenary Prize, contributed R2000 towards this worthwhile initiative.
Felix Ruess (2011) has finished his Bachelor in International Finance in Germany, achieving an A-Grade. He has started his first job at a company responsible for importing metal parts from China, and is currently preparing his application to start a Masters in Business Administration.
Tristan Wentworth, who finished his Grade 10 year in 2007 at Merrifield, was named a finalist in the prestigious Parmigiani Spirit Award for 2015. This World Rowing award is given to someone who embodies the spirit of rowing, and while Tristan did not eventually win the overall award, to be named one of six finalists from around the world is a massive achievement. He also represented South Africa in the SA universities rowing team in South Korea.
Chace Collett (2015): Chace continues to dominate the dancing scene in South Africa, winning overall senior performer of South Africa at the South African Championships of Performing Arts in Rustenburg in April with her prize being an all expenses paid trip to the world championships in Los Angeles in July this year. At the World Championships she won 14 gold medals, 2 silver and 2 bronze and clinched an amazing 13 overall world champion awards and a millennium scholarship. She is a finalist in Miss Teen SA and has auditioned at Cirque du Soleil. In 2019 she was crowned Miss Continents.
- We would love to hear more from Merrifield Alumni. Send your news to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Taralyn Mclean on 043-748-6094.