Founders’ Day – celebrating our 132nd birthday

On Friday the 16th September 2016, our school celebrated its 132nd birthday – Founders’ Day – with a number of exciting events. Traditionally, the celebrations start with a cocktail party organised by the Past Pupils of Wynberg – it’s always an event that is light-hearted, where conversations and liquids flow, gastronomical delights are enjoyed, and the achievements of our Wynberg women are acknowledged and honoured and memories shared.

2016 - Past Pupils' Cocktail Party

This is generally followed by more formal celebrations in the form of an assembly which is attended by staff, pupils and past pupils. This year, there were a number of special groups of Wynberg women who matriculated severally in 1986, 1976, 1966, 1956 and our most special guests, in 1946!

The day began with the arrival of our past pupils. As part of their reunion, they were given a tour around the school campus. They were shown the school’s building project, which includes eight new classrooms and a spectacular, new quad, the hostel, library, computer labs our swimming pools and astroturfs.

Thereafter, they were provided with a magnificent tea in our tuckshop, the Wynburger. In addition, the 70 year reunion group, the matriculants of 1946, participated in a podcast radio recording with Grade 11 learners Stacy Goliath and Robyn van Dam. In this discussion they shared their experiences of the school when they were pupils and there is very little doubt that they believed that the opportunities afforded learners these days are infinitely greater than those they had.  All were delighted to be invited back to the school (we had got wind  of the fact that eight of the 1946 Matriculants still living in Cape Town had had a reunion a few months earlier) after so many years. In fact, so delighted were they with the developments in their Alma Mater, they phoned the next day to say that they concurred that they would love to return to school for two months!

Finally, it was time for the school’s annual Founder’s Day Assembly. Various guests were invited to this special assembly, including the principles of the Wynberg Campus of Schools, a number of Past Pupils, guest speakers, as well as the Grade 1 and Grade 7 learners from Wynberg Girls’ Junior School. The assembly opened with the traditional flag procession, during which Lara Harris, the 2016 Head of School, and a Grade 7 pupil from Wynberg Girls’ Junior School brought the school flag and South African flag into the hall. This was followed by a candle-lighting ceremony in which we recalled those who had gone before us. The candle was lit by 2016 Head of RCL Zolisa Capa and a Grade 1 pupil from the junior school. The assembly then carried on with singing of the School Song, our National Anthem, prayers, performances by our Choir (Prayer of the Children and our Founders’ Day Song)  and the Wynberg Girls’ Junior Vocal Ensemble (The Great Southland) and guest speeches.

sh-guest-1966-headgirl-speaker

Mrs Lynn Jooste was the guest speaker for the morning and was introduced by Mrs Cawcutt, principal of Wynberg Girls’ Junior School. Mrs Jooste was Head Girl in 1986 and was an exemplary Wynberg Girl. Not only did she support Wynberg through her leadership skills but also was a proud Wynberg Girl on the sports field and in her various other extracurricular activities. She spoke about her experiences at Wynberg Girls’ High School, what she learnt from Wynberg and how Wynberg inspired her to reach her full potential.  The day ended with a favourite Wynberg tradition:  doughnuts! This is something every current learner at Wynberg celebrates! In the mystifying minds of teenagers and the wise words of David Lynch – “New mysteries. New day. Fresh doughnuts.” Mmmm.