Presidential Honour for Mr Brian Ingpen

In November 2021, Mr Brian Ingpen – the driving force behind our maritime programme and a man who has made a significant and positive impact on many young lives – received the National Order of the Baobab Silver Award from President Cyril Ramaphosa for his contribution to education.

More than two decades ago, Mr Ingpen co-founded Simon’s Town School’s Maritime Studies Programme, a donor-funded, specialist education programme that aims to prepare youngsters for a career in the maritime industry, while they are still at school.

He also compiled the National Senior Certificate-approved Maritime Economics curriculum for Grades 10, 11 and 12 which is taught at Simon’s Town School’s Lawhill Maritime Centre ( and at select schools in KwaZulu Natal, the Eastern Cape and Gauteng.

It November 2021, he received a National Order for his contribution to maritime education.

The National Orders are the highest recognition that the country can award citizens and eminent foreign nationals who have contributed towards the advancement of democracy and have made a significant impact on improving the lives of South Africans.

The National Orders also recognise the contributions made by individuals towards building a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous country.

‘I was privileged to receive this award,” commented Mr Ingpen, “but I must also point to the wonderful team of energetic, enthusiastic and dedicated people in the Lawhill team and also to the encouragement, support and generosity of sponsors from the local and international shipping industry who made it all possible. So any successes were the result of a team effort.’

Mr Ingpen, who spent 46 years in education before retiring from active teaching at the end of 2019, had an interest in shipping and all things maritime related since childhood.  This led to him teaching Maritime Economics for 23 years as well as authoring nine maritime books for some large shipping companies. He also writes a weekly shipping column in a local daily newspaper.

In 2020, to support learners impacted by the pandemic, Mr Ingpen worked with a video production team to turn the Maritime Economics curriculum into short, informative, multi-sensory videos, a project sponsored by the internationally renowned TK Foundation.

The three years of lessons, totalling around 157+ hours of teaching time, were captured into 84 videos and produced in just 10 months.  These videos can be viewed free of charge via the website:

The National Order of the Boabab Silver Award for Mr Ingpen has been endorsed and echoed by many shipping companies and luminaries in the maritime industry as well as maritime media, fellow educators and past and present learners, many of whom have embarked on worthwhile careers in the maritime industry thanks to his mentorship and teachings.

brian ingpen DECEMBER 2021`



Story published courtesy of the Lawhill Maritime Educational Trust.