We are deeply saddened by the news of Jeff’s death. Jeff was truly one of the handful of kids who inspired us to get involved and more importantly, to stay involved with children and young people in the Franschhoek valley.
Jeff brought with him a unique charm, openness and warmth to any meeting, announcing himself with his incredible bright smile.
He bought into the idea of both self-improvement and community improvement right from the start. He never lost his positive outlook nor his belief that things could get better, that indeed, things could be better. As a kid Jeff was always prepared to volunteer for extra classes – our Dream Team – and for any other initiatives to assist others in the community, especially with younger children. He took his attitude with him into young adulthood in founding a small charity to provide assistance to families with small children in need.
Like others in that special group of kids we worked with in the early years, Jeff stayed in touch with us. We will miss this young man with his positive spirit of hope and belief in a better future.
Rest in Peace Jeff
Few things in life that are truly worth having or achieving come easily. Raising a family, mastering the violin, running a marathon, surfing a wave, passing your final exams or climbing a mountain all take plenty of good old fashioned hard work. There are times when you feel disheartened as you see little reward for your efforts but, in the end, you enjoy a family dinner, ride that wave, cross the finish line, graduate or reach the summit.
Much of the spirit of our times is about luxury, ease and convenience. ‘Simpler, better faster’. We expect replies to our messages in minutes. We aspire to and come to expect business class, VIP parking, air conditioned comfort.
Children do not learn perseverance, tenacity and grit by themselves. It is human nature to give up in the face of adversity. We need to plan those lessons, as we do others. It starts with giving them responsibilities around the house that are appropriate for their age. A four year-old can help carry the shopping in to the house and by five should be able to help you pack it away. They should be able to feed the dog or cat and help water the garden. By 7 or 8 they should be able to fry an egg and bake a muffin. By ten they can cook a meal for the family. In so doing they learn to be responsible for something, knowing that it is an important task and that it needs to be done reliably and with pride. Quitting or making excuses isn’t an option. Later on in life, they will have the skills of self-mastery to be able to study for exams, practice a musical instrument, or train for a sport.
Important life lessons must be planned into the curriculum. Children must learn that in order to enjoy a tomato you have to plant it and water it every day. It takes weeks for the plant to grow and there is a small but real sense of accomplishment when they see the fruit ripening.
One of my favourite quotes is from Robert Schuller: ‘Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.’
Andy Wood, Green School South Africa’s Head of School.
On 7 March 2020, guests from all over, arrived in style on the Grande Provence red carpet, showcasing their glamourous sequins, satins and silks in support of the Grand Met – the Franschhoek Hospitality Academy’s annual benefit in proud association with Franschhoek Life and Grande Provence.