"Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to follow its path.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul."
For all who have been threaded into the remarkable, visionary ways, lifeskills and arts of Alexander’s work, and touched by the healing-therapeutic-educational and inspiring perspectives and practice brought through my own work over the years, I offer, today, media information which I hope will serve to encourage you to deepen and integrate this path of exploration and ‘personal cultivation’.
CHANCELLOR’S MEDALLION, University of the Free State,
awarded to MARGUERITE (Osler) van der MERWE
Marguerite (Osler) van der Merwe, a resident of KLeinmond, near Cape Town, was awarded the prestigious CHANCELLOR’S MEDALLION at a graduation ceremony, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, on Thursday 30 June, 2016, for “Exceptional service to South Africa and the world beyond our borders.” The award is in recognition of her many years of dedicated work in teaching and promoting the F.M. Alexander Technique in this country.
Says Cheryl Herbert, chairperson of SASTAT (South African Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique) “I am so gladdened by the news of Marguerite’s extraordinary achievement in recognition of her work as an Alexander Technique teacher, and how this has met with who she is, how it has been assimilated and then lived out in all that she does as a Tai Chi instructor, poet, retreat and workshop leader, wife and mother, friend, author, walker and more besides.”
Marguerite receives the Chancellor’s Medal from Dr Khotse Mokhele
The Technique, though little-known in South Africa, is a teaching-therapeutic modality, practiced extensively internationally as a subtle, non-invasive, scientific method of restoring the body’s inherent coordination and mobility patterning, and of teaching ‘Good Use – Good body management’ in the activities of daily life. This has wide application in the fields of preventive health, health, education, the performing arts and sports, and as a psychophysical (body –mind) lifeskill for maintaining the strength , postural and movement integrity of our human design. Described by her as ‘Poise – Posture – Presence - Power’
An internationally qualified teacher ( 30 years), and of the natural arts of Tai Chi , she has recently specialized in teaching “The Art of Natural, Conscious Walking’ as an aspect of Alexander Technique, throughout the country. She is the author of two books: ’ EVE-OLUTION – Enhancing Feminine Consciousness & Body Awareness’, and ‘THE ART OF WALKING – Path to Health and the Richness of Well-Being’.
Marguerite has worked tirelessly and creatively since 1989 to teach and establish the little-known (in South Africa) Alexander Technique. Developed by F M Alexander and endorsed by such luminaries as John Dewey and Sir George Trevelyan (education), Sir Charles Sherrington, Raymond Dart (science, neuroscience, neurophysics), this is a practical, visionary, educational, preventive-restorative method that has application in many fields: good body management & awareness in daily life; enhancing all performance arts and activities; relief in a wide variety of health problems: strain, injury, pain, back/neck/arm/leg pain etc. as well as conditions of endemic anxiety, stress and over-active nervous systems. Practice in the Alexander Technique integrates teaching in the essential lifeskills of Attention, Awareness, Observation and Consciousness. All ages, all stages, children as well as adults and elders, musicians and housewives, sportspersons and technology-users, managers and office workers.
She regards this as her life’s calling and has developed unique teaching environments to include ecology, poetry and wisdom-teaching from all ages. Acknowledged for the creativity & integrity of her approach, she is also respected for her care, experience, immaculate teaching style and understanding of human nature, and her gentle guidance in remedying many imbalances caused by modern lifestyles. She has enabled hundreds of people of all ages and walks of life to become more proficient at what they do, to achieve greater natural health, to find true relaxedness in activity, and relief from pain. Her objective is to find effective ways to introduce this work widely into Education, Health and the Performing Arts as fields vital to the evolution of the country and its people.
Marguerite and Antony Osler at the Graduation Ceremony – both were presented with Chancellor’s Medals
Marguerite is the daughter of Stanley Osler, a prominent educationist in his time - and famed Springbok rugby player - who stood firm in the National Council for Education for a Single Education System. Like him, she is dedicated to an ethical path of Education based on personal intellectual, physical and leadership development. She and her brother, Antony Osler, work closely together in their related fields.
Antony received The Chancellor’s Medallion (independently, but together, at the same ceremony), in recognition of his work in the legal sphere as an advocate and arbitrator, and as a longtime teacher of the arts of Zen meditation.
Marguerite lives and works in Kleinmond. She teaches and presents Workshops nationally.
– reminders from June Newsletter:
BODY SENSE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE – McGregor, July 27-29
POETRY in McGREGOR – August 27-29
BODY SENSE – GRACE, SYMMETRY, POISE – Temenos. McGregor November 4-7
THE ART OF NATURAL, CONSCIOUS WALKING - Certificated Course 2017