- 1995-11-03 (Creation)
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Your Majesty Queen Noor;
Ladies and gentlemen;
Students of UWC colleges.
It is a great pleasure to be free of the work of government and to relax in such convivial surroundings with those who share so many commitments in common.
The presence of so many eminent leaders of business, from South Africa and outside; of educationists; and of past and present students of United World Colleges, bodes well for the future of the UWC.
I would like to extend a very warm welcome to our visitors from outside South Africa. Just as the UWC has made so many thousands of people from all over the world feel part of one family, I trust you will feel you are at home among us.
You have come at a time of great joy for us. No doubt you have sensed the excitement and the pride which South Africans are feeling, with the successful establishment of democracy at local government level.
This also helps make us feel that we have justified the faith in South Africa which the international community, including the UWC, displayed for so many years.
My links with the UWC go much further and deeper than enjoying the privilege of office. My daughters were educated in one of the colleges - like the children of many of my colleagues.
The reasons were simply - if the history was painful. The apartheid authorities harassed the family to the point that Waterford Kamhlaba school was the only feasible option.
The price exacted by the evil system was that they lived away from the family. When I saw Zindzi at the age of fifteen - for the first time since she was a three-year-old child - she was a student of Waterford. Perhaps I should take this opportunity to thank you, on behalf of my own family and many others, that in Waterford they found a caring family
UWC as a force for educational development
For many of us, Waterford was an island of non-racialism in the sea of apartheid. That is the virtue and the strength of the UWC - it provides small but powerful cells of innovation, catalysts for change, breaking barriers of habit and opening up broader vistas of experience for both pupils and educationists.
For all those reasons I am most pleased as well as honoured to become President of the International Council of the UWC, and stand alongside Queen Noor as the International President of the UWC itself.
For the same reasons I hope that all those who support the UWC will continue to do so and that they will be joined by more.