De La Salle Holy Cross College Junior School bids farewell to headmistress

Lindy Hammond waves goodbye to De La Salle Holy Cross College after 25 years of service.

Tears were flowing at De La Salle Holy Cross College Junior School’s last day as some would say goodbye not only for the holidays but for good.

The school not only said goodbye to teachers such as Lindy Hammond who has been at the school for 25 years and assistant teachers but to their headmistress, Mary Hyam, as well.

Hyam will be retiring as headmistress of the junior school and while it seems like goodbye for some, it’s ‘see you later’ for others.

Mary Hyam opens a gift during her send-off on the last day of school.

She may be leaving her position at the junior school but will move to the high school and will take on a different position involving learner support and religious education programmes at the college.

Hyam has been at the school for 22 years. She told Northcliff Melville Times she initially started at the school as a Grade 2 teacher and later moved up to be a learner support specialist, deputy principal and in 2014 she became the headmistress.

She said her biggest achievement at the school was the establishment of a school-based support team which since inception has grown from one to eight people specialising in development.

“The team can function without me now and I suppose that’s what one has to strive for as a leader,” she said.

Her send-off was held in the junior school hall and only some of the many people’s lives she had touched were present, including her family who has played a large role in the school during her time there.


De La Salle Holy Cross College Junior School deputy principal, Carren Ilsley, talks about her time with teacher Lindy Hammond and how the staffroom door is always open for her.

Hyam said she felt like a bit of a cheat as she won’t really be leaving, however, she would miss those she had worked with as headmistress dearly.

While Hyam is due for retirement, the school asked her to stay on but take on a different position. “Quite honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to sit at home and not do anything,” she laughed.

Hyam will be succeeded by Neil Berndsen who will take up the position of headmaster of the junior school in January next year.

De La Salle Holy Cross College principal, Debbie Harris, talks about her time working with Mary Hyam.

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