St Marcellin Champagnat was a brave man; he was a man of vision and determination. He was also the founder of the Little Brothers of Mary in France some 200 years ago. Today we celebrate being a part of this Marist family carrying forward his vision in more than 81 countries across the world. St David's Marist Inanda is one of five Marist schools in South Africa; each with its own distinct identity but unmistakably Marist and guided by the Marist Brothers, a teaching order of the Catholic Church.
We find ourselves today in the bustling hub of Sandton in the frenetic development of the early 21st century, a far cry from the French countryside that guided St Marcellin's vision. The demands of boys, parents and staff are guided by these pressures and yet, the Marist vision of 200 years ago is as relevant today as it was then.
What makes our Marist approach to education unique? The global Marist characteristics of Presence, Simplicity, Family Spirit, a Love of Work and in the Way of Mary shape our approach. These characteristics provide a yardstick against which we regularly measure ourselves in caring for the young men entrusted to our care.
I look with humble appreciation at the men and women in the staffroom of St David's today. These are men and women who are drawn to and guided by our Marist roots and ethos of humility, modesty and simplicity. Difficult ideals to strive for in the materialistic world of today but ideals valuable beyond measure. Ideals that parents identify as what they want for their sons and delivered by a committed and dedicated staff.
Daily, more than 1250 boys from Grade 00 to Grade 12 walk through our gates to continue along their path of growth in a way that keeps faith, culture and life in harmony. They are given the opportunity to achieve to the best of their ability in the classroom, in the sports arena, on the stage and in the community. They go on to become men of character who take their rightful place in society in every sphere. We are proud of our alumni who in turn are rightfully proud of their school.
The relentless development and growth surrounding St David's mirrors our own development of our campus and facilities. We continue to remain relevant in providing a quality education that gives every boy a niche he can call his own in the spirit of humility, modesty and simplicity.
I invite you to visit us to experience 'Marist' in the heart of Sandton. You will find a welcome that has not changed and will not change.
Mr Mike Thiel