Individuals who have served and supported the Kingswood community with distinction and who are not themselves Old Kingswoodians may be proposed and then accepted as Honorary Old Kingswoodians.

Denise Eloise Distin, fondly known as Dee was born on the 24th of June 1959 in PE. She grew up in Cradock and started her schooling in the then, Port Elizabeth, now Gqeberha. She matriculated at Collegiate Girls High School and went on to study radiography at Groote Schuur, in Cape Town.

It was here that she met Carey. They were married in 1981 and began their married life on Hardwood, the Hobson family farm just outside Klipplaat in the Karoo, where Dee worked as a radiographer in the TB Clinic in Jansenville.

In 1987, their eldest son, Brett was born, and 3 years later, their daughter Candice was born. A few years later, an extremely skeptical Dee bundled her son up, and drove him the 4 hours from home, to attend Kingswood as the 3rd generation of Hobsons. She admits that this was something she grappled with for years, as she could not grasp the charm that Kingswood had cast over her married family. But she relented, and off to boarding school they went.

In 1998, Carey and Dee made the difficult decision to leave their much-loved family farm and moved to Grahamstown/Makhanda to manage the Wyvern. They spent 4 happy years in this role, when the call for a new challenge presented itself, and they found themselves the proud new owners of Colonel Graham Guesthouse in Landsdowne Road.

It was here that Dee birthed the brainchild of a school shop for Kingswood. From 2004 to 2011, Dee successfully managed the guest house as well as her very own Kingswood school clothing shop from home whilst at the same time tirelessly giving of her time to accompany Carey on Old Kingswoodian trips across the country.

In 2011, once again a new challenge posed itself, and Dee and Carey sold their guesthouse and moved into Jacques House on campus, where Dee was the Houseperson for 6 years. It was here that Dee’s nurturing nature truly shone. She was synonymous with a happy house – and her firm but fair approach as a Houseperson made for a happy space, where Kingswood girls were able to thrive.

Whilst running Jacques House, Dee also took on the role as OK Club Administrator – a role which she made look effortless. It is arguable that one of Dee’s greatest loves took on a life of its own in this role – flower arranging. If ever there was an arrangement needed on campus, you would find Dee there, creating beauty wherever she went.

Many may not know, but Dee was also instrumental in the success of the school’s 125 Jubilee Celebrations in 2019. With Carey by her side, there were many late nights and Dee quickly became the expert at event planning on campus – quietly going about the mammoth task, in her ever-calm manner.

Dee’s involvement in numerous OK functions over the years, has earned her the deserved respect and love among the OK community across the country. She has kept up with OKs throughout generations and continues to foster these relationships despite no longer coordinating all the events.

Today, Dee continues to run the school shop with great efficiency, as well as manage the OK Club’s finances, ensuring transparency and accuracy. Her organisational skills, and ability to effectively manage time are commendable, and a credit to her.

Dee epitomizes what it means to be a Kingswoodian. Her grit, determination and hard work have placed her as one of our school’s greatest treasures. She has become one of Kingswood’s greatest supporters – and was even caught on camera as a culprit of the pitch invasion after Kingswood’s 1st XV Rugby’s famous 2023 victory. She radiates Kingswood passion and has served both the school and the Old Kingswoodian Club with the highest standard of excellence.

Today, we honour you, and thank you for serving the Kingswood community so well. You have been a watcher of the beacon, and for that, the Old Kingswoodian Club is proud to bestow one of its highest honours on you – an Honorary Old Kingswoodian Award. Congratulations Dee!