Beloved music teacher calls it a day, after four decades

Alan Katz has retired from Milnerton Primary School after 40 years as a music teacher.

Music teacher Alan Katz has retired after 40 years at Milnerton Primary School.

He said he is leaving with some great memories.

“I stared at the school in 1981 and I’ve had a magical time here. It’s my second home and it is so surreal to think that this is it. I’ve made so many lasting relationships during my time at ths school. I’m definitely going to miss this place,” he said on Friday, April 23, his final day at Milnerton Primary.

Alan Katz was in tears during a farewell evening in his honour last Thursday.

Mr Katz said his love for music started when he was a pupil in primary school.

“I was in a musical and I fell in love with music and plays. I was so lucky to have a mother who always supported what I wanted to do. She encouraged me and always wanted me to be happy at what I wanted to do. I did musicals in high school as well and I ended up studying music further at UWC (University of the Western Cape). After my studies, I came here and I’ve loved every minute of it. I will miss my students a lot,” he said.

Grade 4 teacher Michele Sacks said she had also been a pupil at the school and Mr Katz taught her music.

“I was here as a child and I have fond memories of being in Mr Katz’s music class. He left quite a big impression on his pupils because he is loved so much and he was always very inspiring. I knew him for seven years when I was a pupil here and I have now been teaching here for 21 years. When I came back to teach, he remembered me and would remind me of music classes back in the day. I will always remember how he told us, before our first choir performance, to suck on some lemons. He said that it would help clear our throats. Even to this day, when I see lemons, I think of that first choir performance. He’s a memorable character and he will definitely be missed,” she said.

Milnerton Primary School principal, Warick Middleton, said: “Mr Katz is an incredible man and an exceptional teacher. The impact of a lifetime that he has given our school, will be felt for generations.”

Mr Katz said he has no grand plans at the moment and only time will tell what’s next for him. He said that for now, he will just sit and reflect on his time at the school.

The school hall was renamed the Alan H. Katz Hall, in honour of Mr Katz’s services to the school.

In recognition of his service to the school, the school hall has been named after him. On Thursday last week the Alan H. Katz Hall was unveiled. In a section of the hall, there is a wall with pictures of his time at the school.