We are here today to pay tribute to Bertha, Jannie’s wife, his life’s partner, his companion, his friend and mother and grandmother to their family. Jannie, I am sure, would agree that his success at Kearsney College and the many achievements of his own in life must, to a great extent, be due to the support and love of Bertha.
Bertha, had a reputation of being an excellent teacher and had, on a number of occasions, taught at Kearsney College filling in during periods when teaching staff were absent in the Afrikaans Department. In addition to her academic support Bertha also assisted with swimming at Kearsney.
She also completely involved herself in the community life at Kearsney College and I think, in particular, of the effort she put in to the gardens at Kearsney, the flowers in the Chapel, at our fetes and Country Fairs for which Jannie and Bertha were fondly remembered as the “A” team in running the Jumble Sales at Kearsney Carnivals.
As Housemaster of Haley/Junior House, Jannie was ably assisted by Bertha. I still encounter Old Boys who talk so fondly of the caring and homely atmosphere as Second or even first formers, far away from home who found solace in the Storm household and kindness from the mother figure that Bertha fulfilled.
She always had interesting and amusing anecdotes to share. My first introduction to Bertha was on Founders Day 2001. After introducing myself as the new headmaster, keen to make a good impression on this couple, she took me aside and said, “Here on Bothas Hill it is very humid and moist. Fungus grows on food stains if clothes are left in dark cupboards. You have a patch of fungus on your tie – I suggest you look carefully at your clothes in the morning.
Jannie and Bertha were loyal supporters at many of the Old Boy functions, South Coast functions and contributors towards the Kearsney Foundation Bursary Fund. She and he were always so keen to find out how things were going at Kearsney
We will fondly remember Bertha for her cheerful and loving presence on campus. We are here today to pay our respects to her and also to rejoice at the knowledge that we have walked a while with a unique human being.
And while she lies in peaceful sleep
Her memory we shall always keep.