ALL HANDS ON DECK ... Alderman Charles Standers, Executive
Mayor of George, did not hesitate to play his part in planting a Yellowwood
tree at the NMMU George Campus as part of the university's Mandela Day
celebrations. He was supported in true
Madiba-spirit by postgraduate Forestry students (f.l.t.r.) Tatenda Mapeto,
Hannes van Zyl and Kutelani Tshivhase, as well as Mr Trevor Botha, Municipal
Manager, Prof Jos Louw, Director of the NMMU School of Natural Resource
Management (back), and Cllr Chris Neethling.
Staff and student leaders at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan
University's George Campus were joined by guests from the Rosemore Retirement
Centre, along with representatives of the George Municipality and the George
Business Chamber to honour the legacy of the university's namesake and
international icon - Dr. Nelson Mandela!
Postgraduate students and peer helpers - students who
volunteer to be coached in order to lend support to other students - graciously
assisted senior citizens to plant a special tree in Madiba's honour. The symbiotic relationship between "town and
gown" was further cemented when the Executive Mayor of George, Alderman Charles
Standers, accompanied by the municipal manager, Mr Trevor Botha, Cllr Chris
Neethling and university staff and students planted a second yellowwood tree. Staff from the Business and Economic Sciences
Faculty also joined the George Business Chamber president, Dr Willie Cilliers
in planting a Nuxia floribunda, commonly
known as the Vlier or Forest Elder - an attractive flowering tree.
The choice of trees was steeped in symbolism, with the
characteristics of the Outeniqua Yellowwood (Kalander), described as the Big 5
of trees, linked to the values and qualities of former President Mandela. Prof Jos Louw, Director of NMMU's School of
Natural Resource Management, explained that these trees stand out above the
rest when they are mature, providing protection to the rest of the forest to
grow and prosper.
GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS ...
Dr Willie Cilliers, president
of the George Business
Chamber, assisted by (f.l.t.r.) NMMU Business and
Economic Sciences lecturers Sam Webber,
Abrie de Swardt, Arthur Peters, Dr
Martin Loubser (Operations Director), Adele Potgieter &
Elsa Myburgh (Manager: NMMU Business
School, George) honoured Madiba by planting a Forest Elder
at the NMMU
|Prof Louw, who officiated at the campus' Mandela Day
celebrations, also indicated that the
university is particularly honoured to carry the name of Nelson Mandela and
that the institution has grown considerably in national and international
stature since its inception in 2005. "The
university formulated its values of Responsibility, Excellence, Respect for
Diversity and the Natural Environment, Ubuntu and Integrity, around the person of
Madiba... we aspire to imprint the
Madiba-spirit in our students and colleagues", he said. Prof Louw reiterated that sustainability was a
central theme cutting across all programmes offered at NMMU, and that the trees
planted in honour of Dr Mandela would also support the Green Campus initiative.
The Campus Principal, Prof
Quinton Johnson, who was representing the university at a world congress at the
time, summarised the value of Madiba's inspiring example by saying "Our
greatest gift to Dr Mandela is that, as knowledge cataysts, we take
action to inspire change for a more sustainable future".