1938 to 16 September 2015
Kearsney Master: 1968 to 1993
Chris Diedericks joined the staff of Kearsney College in the third term 1968, having taught previously in South West Africa (Namibia), Estcourt and Wartburg.
A man of formidable stature, he had earned his provincial colours as a forward in the South West African team. Keeping himself well-conditioned in the weights’ room he played for the Old Crocks against the Kearsney One-Stripe.
Chris taught Afrikaans at Kearsney for over twenty-five years and was the legendary Housemaster of Pembroke House from 1978 to 1987, a decade during which he ensured that the House dominated the tug o’ war.
He had a keen sense of humour and was a walking treasury of jokes and humorous stories which he enthusiastically shared with his pupils and colleagues. A great practical joker, he often caught teachers off their guard by submitting an examination script under the name of a boy who was absent from school on the day it was written. Needless to say, the answers were often creative and sometimes risqué.
Known to the boys as DD or Slomo, because of his laboured manner of walking, Chris kept an ear to the ground and was quick to discover smokers and their new dens, and to gain foreknowledge of parties which might encourage boys to bunk out.
On one occasion, such a “bunker” returned to his cube, worse for wear, in the early hours of a Sunday morning to find DD in his bed ready to apprehend him!
In a tribute paid to Chris when he retired at the end of 1993, Dave Pearse (Class of 1974) mentioned that he “always had a soft spot for the ‘rebels’ in the school and over the years was one of the few masters who won these boys’ respect and admiration. He obviously never had a great deal of a problem with discipline but it was incredible to see boys with no motivation and ambition suddenly find new direction under Chris’s guidance. I’m sure there are a few successful Kearsney Old Boys out there today who can thank Chris Diedericks for setting them on the right road.”
Chris and his wife, Marieta, retired to Philippolis where he continued teaching at the local school, soon proudly proclaiming that he was Head of English and Sotho as well as of Afrikaans!
After Marieta’s death he continued to live at Philippolis but also undertook some travelling, including a walking tour of Russia. More recently, he re-married and moved to Parys.
Chris is survived by his widow Sue Blom, his sons Ulrich, Stefan and Riaan and his daughter, Zelda.
He will be fondly remembered and sorely missed by all who knew him at Kearsney.
Rus in vrede ons dierbare DD.