February 2012‎ > ‎

4 - Well-Deserved Honours

Honorary Doctorates

"I am what I am because of what the ICS invested in me."

The 2012 Convocation is quickly approaching, and this year the ICS will be awarding two very well deserved honorary doctorates to individuals whose work in their respective communities has been vital to the vision and support of those communities. These two people are Balanganani Samson Makhado and Fred Reinders.

Fred Reinders is known for his work as an engineer and for his commitment to integrity, education, and giving back to the community. Born in the Netherlands, he immigrated to Canada in the 1950s, where in 1967 he founded two companies, Maple Engineering and Construction, and F.J. Reinders and Associates.

Reinders has modelled leadership as an important businessman in construction and engineering, and in his role as a strong voice in community development. Though Reinders is now retired, Maple is still going strong, as Maple Reinders. The company has been involved in the construction of an airport and schools, and environmentally related municipal projects, such as composting, wastewater treatment and renewable energy sources. It was recently ranked among the top 50 employers for small- to medium- size businesses in Canada for its commitment to employees and the responsible manner in which it undertakes its projects. Reinders established this ethos of integrity and community involvement as he developed the company out of the basement of his home to where it is today, with one of his sons as the president. His leadership has truly been an example that others have been able to build on.

Reinders has been a generous supporter of many different organizations and institutions, those of Christian higher learning in particular. He was a member of the ICS Board of Trustees in the 1980s and '90s, eventually serving as Chair; he was also Chair of the ICS Regeneration campaign. He has served on the King's University College Board and as Chair of the Board of Christian Studies International. For his expert leadership in these roles, to name but a few, and his deep commitment to Christian education, he is well deserving of this recognition.

Balanganani Samson Makhado is the Africa Director for the Association of Christian Schools International, in which role he supports the work of tens of thousands of schools serving hundreds of thousands of students across the continent. He was raised in poverty in South Africa, where apartheid legislation was enacted the year after he was born. More damaging than going to school under a tree for the first five years, Makhado recalls, was the "educational bondage of Bantu education." He nonetheless "managed to manoeuvre through," qualifying to teach in 1973 and serving in public schools at the primary and secondary levels and then as principal of Vele Secondary. A founder of Tshikevha Christian School, he became its principal in 1990.

Supported by an ICS scholarship, Makhado earned a Master of Worldview Studies with a focus on Christian Education in 1994. He goes so far as to say, "I am what I am because of what ICS invested in me." Makhado's stewardship of that investment is the real story, though. As someone who has worked with him closely in recent years has said, "He is probably doing more at this time in Africa to spread the good news that Christ transforms all of life than anyone else I know and his message is being well received." And he has taken that message around the globe, sharing it at colleges and conferences at the same time as he shares the struggles and the joys of Christian schooling on his own continent, imploring others to "come over" and serve.

With a characteristically mischievous twinkle, Makhado last year shocked an international conference of Christian teachers with the revelation that he was raised to be a "witchdoctor." More significant by far than his escape from educational bondage was his emergence into spiritual freedom in Christ. "It was at that conference that an English colleague remarked how wonderful it was to hear someone speak in such non-dualist and anti-individualistic terms."