Valedictory and Prize Giving Service 2012

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”

― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

The Matric Valedictory Service and Prize Giving is the premier event on the Academic Calendar. We say farewell to our Matrics, and honour their achievements and celebrate that moment by sharing a meal together. These girls have travelled a long road together – for some of them it has been 5 years, but for others, it has been 13 years: for the latter, they have been together for almost as long as they have lived.

The ceremony is framed with the academic processing of educators to Gaudeamus Igitur, and followed on by the singing of the National Anthem. Staff, guests and students were formally welcomed by Mr Andrew Dean, Chairperson of the Governing Body. We were extremely privileged to have as our guest speaker, Ms Penny Vinjevold, Western Cape Head of Education who spoke of the inestimable value of an excellent education. Assisted by Ms C Marneweck she handed out the Academic Awards, and then, assisted by Mr Burrell, the special awards and trophies for exceptional achievement. She was thanked by Thabile Myeza, Chairperson of the RCL.

Following on from this was the speech by the Head of School, Rayne Callaghan and then the school principal. Mrs Harding’s speech included a brief description of some of the highlights of the year and superb balance of offering a little advice (of the invaluable lessons that we can learn from dogs), memories particular to this year and a tribute to the significant achievements of this group of girls. It is a tradition that the choir sings to the Grade 12’s and this year was certainly no exception. The leaders of 2012 were formally honoured as they handed over their badges and walked across the stage for the last time, marking their completion of a year’s service to the school as leaders and their walk to future endeavours and opportunities.

This year musical interludes included Duo for Clarinet and Piano. Op. 15 by N Burgmuller performed by Helen Slater and Mr Clinton Classen; a beautiful and slightly tweaked version of “Angel” by the choir, and the Matric’s song to their parents and school.

This rite of passage is completed with a final singing of the school song, and the processing of our Matric Class from the hall. It was noticeable, that the applause received by the Matrics of 2012 was for them a sobering moment – this marked the last occasion that she would be required to assemble in the Aileen Currie Hall.

While the day brings with it great loss, it also brings excitement of possibility:

In words of Dr Seuss

Congratulations!

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.