Presidential award for maritime educator

Brian Ingpen received the National Order of the Baobab Silver Award from President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Tokai resident Brian Ingpen recently received a 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 selected schools in KwaZulu Natal, the Eastern Cape and Gauteng.

Late last month at an event held in Pretoria, this award was bestowed on Mr Ingpen for his dedicated 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.

Mr Ingen said he was privileged to receive the award.

“I must also point to the wonderful team of energetic, enthusiastic and dedicated people at Lawhill 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,” he said.

Mr Ingpen, who spent 46 years in education before retiring from active teaching at the end of 2019, has 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 writing nine maritime books for 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 more than 157 hours of teaching time, were captured into 84 videos and produced in just 10 months.

These videos can be viewed free of charge on the website:

The National Order of the Baobab 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.