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Secretary celebrates 40 years’ service at school

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“I registered my first Sub A pupil, Caroline Adams, on the third day of my job.”

VANESSA Fredericks was this week proud to celebrate 40 years of service as the school secretary at Roodepan Primary School.

On Tuesday she celebrated with her colleagues the day when she walked into the school staff room as a young woman in 1980.

According to Fredericks, she was fresh out of school when she got the job, which she says boosted her maturity level a great deal.

“I did not know what to expect and met the school principal, Charles Kesonk, who was very strict,” she revealed.

Fredericks completed her matric at the age of 18 in 1979 at William Pescod High School. She then got a part-time job at Pick * Pay for the holidays, before being invited to an interview at the school.

“I remember how lucky I regarded myself after beating the other six candidates during the interview and got the job. The interview was at Templar Court in town. The panel told me I stood a better chance because I had work experience and it was clear that I was a hard worker,” she said proudly.

“I registered my first Sub A pupil, Caroline Adams, on the third day of my job.”

According to Fredericks, her first principal was so strict that you could hear a pin fall on the floor in the staff room. “That is how quiet and peaceful the staff room was.

“I later worked with other principals, like Phillip Ross, Joey Pinetown, Keith Hartzenburg, Stanley McKenzie and Steve Drude.”

Fredericks is referred to as the ‘vrou met die kop vol nommers’ (the woman with a head full of numbers) by her colleagues.

Fredericks will be going on retirement later this year, in July. “I cannot wait to go on retirement to sleep late after my many years of working late,” she laughed.

She concluded by saying how sad it is to her that the Department of Education seems not to take the position of secretary seriously. “You will be surprised how much this job can change many lives.”