The staff of Hopeville Primary School, colleagues, friends and family of Benny Maistry (former principal), gave him a memorable send off at a grand farewell dinner as he retired from the Department of Education after serving the community of Phoenix for 40 years.

In his address, SSS Lushozi, CES, Circuit Management of Mafukuzela Gandhi CMC said, “Mr Maistry became the pinnacle of Hopeville Primary School, having turned what was just another school into an institution it is today and for that we salute him. Mr Hopeville thank you for the multitudes of lives that you touched as a teacher as well as a principal in the last 40 years. Indeed, your generosity and selflessness has been evidenced and felt by so many even beyond the boundaries of Phoenix.

“I am talking about the donations you made to so many schools in KwaMashu and Inanda to name a few. Your supportive attitude and good heart has seen a lot of your colleagues as principals looking up to you for assistance and guidance in the field of educational management.”

Circuit manager, Dr LP Swartz said, “A truly great principal is hard to find, difficult to part with and impossible to forget. One of the greatest lessons that Benny has shown us is that he really cared for everyone he came into contact with, thereby earning their trust and respect.
“Benny leaves a campus which is the envy of surrounding schools, admired for its academic excellence, co-curricular and extra-curricular prowess and excellent discipline that will be a model for many other
primary schools in both the circuit and district.”

Sending well wishes to Maistry, MP Pravin Gordhan said, “I join many thousands of parents and young South Africans in saluting your contribution to education, the well-being of our youth and the community at large. I always fondly remember your courage and commitment over the early years when Phoenix was still being established. “Those were difficult times which required leadership, courage and a profound commitment to the welfare of the community. We salute your courage and principled stance as we evolved into the vibrant democracy we have today. Happy retirement to you and your family, but do continue to make your contribution to building a great democracy and a vibrant community.”

Acting principal of Hopeville , S Soobramoney said, “Mr Maistry left no stone unturned in paving the way for this institution to become a beacon of light which radiates in Phoenix, and even in Verulam and Tongaat. He toiled literally and figuratively to transform Hopeville Primary into a highly sought after school in Phoenix so much so that we are the envy of other schools accusing us of leaving their classrooms almost empty. The never ending queues and camp overs for admission bears testimony to my utterances.”Maistry was lavished with gifts from staff, friends and family including a trip to an exotic island and a Mercedes AMG from his son, Dr Wovehsen Maistry.

The evening culminated with educators, friends and family letting their hair down and joining Maistry as he danced to his favourite songs on the dance floor.