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The Man at the Gate

Very often it comes to my attention That friendly people are scarce Not very often, you come across a stranger Who will greet you with a smile Or a sincere wave Everyone is moving about With a grumpy face and They aren’t concerned With the lives of the people around them And what is most sad Is when a gentle hello is ignored . . .

A sincere wave unattended Everytime I’m harshly ignored I dream a little – I think of some people . . . People like that friendly man The one who works at school, The man at the gate.

He never got tired of greeting Everyone was the same to him He treated us equally No matter who came along He would smile and offer his hand, Article by Piet Retief High School He has a sincere handshake Which at times I took for granted Yet now I realise With all the mean people We need people like that man!

The Man at the Gate
Mr Toni Furtado, Berrie Bouwer and Phillip Serfontein

The man at the gate! By: Wandile Bob Nkonyane When a High School student writes poetry in his free time, one would expect it to be about the life and struggles of teenagers. However when a student writes a poem about the person who opens the gate at the school, then you know that that person opening the gate, must be very special. Piet Retief High School is blessed to have the friendly face of Willem Janse van Rensburg on board.

He opens the gate with a smile every day. What makes this article more than the usual “feel good story” is Willem’s everyday greeting and smiling encourages a positive vibe. Parents thought it a good idea to sponsor Willem with shirts and a jacket. Thank you to T’s Tools from Swaziland for this kind gesture. Willem portrays honest, unconditional kindness and it inspired the Furtado’s to pay it forward.

Together with the jacket and shirts, T’s Tools also sponsored a Husqvarna Leaf Blower. The gates are still opened by ‘The Man at the Gate’, now looking ever so smart and not a stray leaf in sight. May this inspire you too to pay it forward.

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