Champion athlete Meyer pays tribute to teacher and design icon Carrol Boyes

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BY CLEMENT DU PLESSIS

MULTIPLE champion athlete Roslyn Meyer (Williams) paid tribute to her school teacher and internationally known artist and designer Carrol Boyes who passed on this week after a short illness.

Before Boyes became the founder and CEO of the world-renowned Carrol Boyes design brand in Cape Town, she worked as an English and Art teacher at Sentinel Intermediate School in Hout Bay.

“I was very fortunate to be in Ms Boyes’ English and Art classes from 1983-1987,” Meyer says. “She remained at the school after I had left in 1987 to attend Heathfield High School. I remember her always saying, ‘Think outside the box. Draw outside the lines – it does not have to be perfect’.”

Meyer, who was born into a broken family, remembers Boyes as the teacher who sponsored her first outfit. She gave Meyer a blank cheque to purchase an outfit so that she could attend the school prom at Sentinel. (Sentinel went up to Std 8/grade 10.)

Roslyn Meyer, the athlete.

Meyer explains how this happened.

 “I was my in final year at Sentinel when Ms Boyes made a significant impact in my life. The senior students were busy getting ready for the year-end function and I remember chatting to Ms Boyes, telling her that I didn’t think I would be able to make it to the party. When she asked me why, I responded that I didn’t have money to buy an outfit. The next day, she came to me and said, ‘you are not staying away because you don’t have an outfit’. She gave me a blank cheque and said, ‘you can get yourself an entire outfit, I will pay for it’.

Meyer recalls how she and her best friend, Ingrid Phillips, went and purchased everything at Truworths in Cape Town.

‘She trusted me more than I trusted myself’

“I was in Grade 10. She gave me a blank cheque and trusted me. It was many years later that I just realised how much she trusted me… At the time she trusted me more than I trusted myself. She believed in me more than I believed in myself.”

In 2008, Meyer finally reached out to Boyes to thank her for what she had done for her.

“I contacted her via e-mail and thanked her for having belief in me. She still remembered me and said, ‘You were a special one. There was no doubt in my mind that you could not be trusted’.”

Meyer continues: “When someone believes in you, feelings of fear, of not being good enough, decrease. Confidence, hope and dreams increase. Ms Boyes increased my confidence and my belief in myself. I am really sad and cut up that Ms Boyes has passed on.”

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