School nets R1m in help from company

HAPPY DAY: Gelvandale’s Papenkuil Primary School principal Neil Deerling, Oceana Group director Lea Conrad, and Oceana Group representative Renzke Treu get a special thank you from pupil Hope Salter, aged nine. Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI
HAPPY DAY: Gelvandale’s Papenkuil Primary School principal Neil Deerling, Oceana Group director Lea Conrad, and Oceana Group representative Renzke Treu get a special thank you from pupil Hope Salter, aged nine. Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI

Fishing group a lifesaver for employees’ children

A DEDICATED principal realised a dream yesterday when a R1-million renovation project at his school was unveiled. Papenkuil Primary School head Neil Deerling said the school had undergone a complete metamorphosis in the last three years.

“I can’t believe how this school looks now,” he said.

Deerling said the school’s transformation came at a great time for both pupils and staff.

“I had a vision of having the school refurbished before I retire. It was a constant struggle to get people on board to assist us in doing all the necessary upgrades,” he said.

The school makeover was done by the Oceana Group fishing company through its recently established Oceana Foundation.

It took the better part of three years to complete the makeover, costing more than R1-million, at the school.

Some of the refurbishments included building perimeter fencing, painting roofs and walls, replacing window frames and renovating the bathrooms. Oceana director Lea Conrad said the company chose the school because lots of its Port Elizabeth employees’ children walked the hallways.

“The commitment of the staff and headmaster to teach is testament to their love and dedication to their profession,” Conrad said. An addition to the school is the Oceana Group Media Centre, which contains about 20 desktop computers and tons of reading material.

Grade 3 pupil Hope Salter, 9, said: “I am so glad the toilets have been upgraded – now we can flush them.”

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