Wynberg Girls’ High Past Pupil honoured by Bergvliet High

On December 5th, 2013, posted in: Achievement, Culture, Featured, Music, News, Past Pupils by

Tags: ,

Citation courtesy of Bergvliet High:

Miss Iona Gilmore, retires from Bergvliet High School after 41 years and it is with great pride that Bergvliet High School presents her with the Astris Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Music.

After matriculating from Wynberg Girls High School  and graduating from UCT, where she studied classical piano and violin, Iona began teaching in 1970 at Rustenburg Girls’ High. Within 3 years she moved to Bergvliet High and for close on 41 years she has taught Piano, Harmony, Theory, Aural, History and GMK.

Her abiding memories are of the wonderful School musical productions in which she played her part as répétiteur and accompanist. At School, performances of the Pirates of Penzance, The Boyfriend and Peach Brandy, written by Veronica Spengler, in which she collaborated with her colleagues, Dr Stuart Young and Allan Cliff, hold special memories for her. In 2002 she began to accompany the “Bergvliet Singers”.

She became active in the Music fraternity of Cape Town and held numerous positions including Treasurer of the SASMT, Secretary on the National Executive, Secretary of the Cape Town Eisteddfod, and even a stint on the Kaapse Afrikaanse Eisteddfod. She served these organisations for close on 20 years.

In 1978 she discovered that Bergvliet High did not have a First Aid team and for over 24 years she organised the service at the School. She became a Gold Medal First Aider and National First Aid Instructor and worked at the Red Cross Hospital, Conradie Hospital Casualty and was a member of the Civil Emergency Training Unit. She trained hundreds of pupils to become First Aiders and she is proud that some entered the medical profession after school.

In 1996 Iona took over as Head of Music and for 7 years she steered the Music Department through a very uncertain transition period having lost 3 long serving staff in quick succession. Not daunted by this she introduced the Electronic Keyboard into the curriculum and also assisted with the music component of the Arts & Culture curriculum when it was first introduced.

In the last 9 years she served both as a register teacher and assisted with Social Tennis. She has loved this part of her role. But her greatest achievement, she feels, of her entire career is her pupils. This is her legacy to the history of Bergvliet High. She bursts with pride as she speaks of them. Her eyes light up as she remembers their achievements. And Iona has countless past pupils who absolutely adore her. She counts some of them as her closest friends today.

Iona is a living legend of Bergvliet High. 44 years in teaching, 41 years at Bergvliet High. A truly remarkable achievement by a truly unforgettable woman. Her loyalty and commitment knows no bounds when it comes to Bergvliet High, her pupils and her passion…Music. We have to be richer for knowing this tireless champion.

Bergvliet High School is proud of you for what you have achieved in your career and in life. We confer upon you, Iona Gilmore, the Astris Award. You are a true star of Bergvliet High and a worthy recipient of the Astris Award.