St Johns clock in their 67 minutes

Grade 5s Mohammed Ganchi and Riley Elliott make sandwiches for Bethesda Methodist Church.


The St John’s College boys gave back to their local community on Mandela Day.

Spokesperson for the college in Houghton, Jacqui Deeks, said the boys gave back in various ways, including knitting scarves or clocking in time at Bethesda Methodist Church’s kitchen. Each grade participated in their own project for the day.

Deeks said, “The college and Sixth Form students, who are writing their mid-year exams, were also encouraged to join us at Kingsmead College as a great way to take a break between morning exams and an afternoon study session.”

Ronan Lynch stirs a big pot of delicious soup.

They took part in Kingsmead College’s project to make upcycled sleeping bags, which are developed from recycled canvas, newspaper and industrial plastic.

The Grade 7 class mobilised the St John’s community into knitting scarves for their Mandela Day initiative. Deeks said,”The boys were astounded by the response they received from the community when more than 200 scarves were collected.”

The scarves were hung on the railing along Joe Slovo Drive, with a message, ‘I am not lost! If you need me, please take me’ attached to each scarf.

Deeks added, “It was wonderful to see the surprise on people’s faces as they realised they could help themselves to a warm, woolly scarf. The boys were there to help the traffic wardens, police, taxi drivers and commuters and pedestrians claim scarves in the spirit Mandela Day.”

The Grade 5 and pre-preparatory youngsters entered the church’s kitchen for their initiative, making sandwiches for the Houghton-based church which feeds people in the surrounding communities. Deeks said, “The Grade 0 boys made big batches beef and potato, and chicken and vegetable soup.

Grade 5s Mohammed Ganchi and Riley Elliott make sandwiches for Bethesda Methodist Church.

“The Grade 1 kids made a variety of cheese, ham, marmite and jam sandwiches and the Grade 2s iced and decorated cupcakes. Everything was frozen and sent to Kids’ Haven in Benoni.

“The Grade 4 prep boys enjoyed their 67 Minutes for Mandela Day by decorating flower pots and planting seedlings for the children at CHOC. They learned about CHOC and childhood cancer and how we hope these flower pots will brighten the CHOC children’s day.”


Read: Feeding the future for Mandela Day

Tell us what your school did on Mandela Day by emailing

By Andrei van Wyk

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