On 22 January the Wynberg Girls' High and Junior Schools launched their 125th anniversary celebrations.
The proceedings, simply, but flawlessly conceived, began with the ringing of the first school bell. At that point, beautiful strains of the school song silenced guests and gave a great many gooseflesh. Buyelwa Xundu and Lauren Granger bearing the South African and school flags respectively made their way to the front of the hall… so marked the beginning of an evening in which we were invited reflect briefly on the remarkable journey our schools had travelled.
Speakers were Mrs Harding, principal of Wynberg Girls’ High, and Mr Jonathan Law, Acting Chairperson of the Governing Body. While Mrs Harding spoke of some of changes which had taken place within the school, Mr Law spoke of the broader changes which had taken place in the world. Both however focussed on the fact that while Wynberg may have changed to meet the needs of a fast-paced and changing world, there were certain constants. These included
- the pioneering spirit of her women
- the provision of excellent education
- the ability to recognise what is important and valuable
- the ability to meet the needs of the market
Special guests included members of the EMCD, Mrs Prudence Demas, Mr Naidoo, former chair of Wynberg Old Girls’ Union, Barbara Fay, principals of Wynberg Boys’ High and Girls’ Junior schools, staff members and parents, both past and present and members of Wynberg Photography Society and the 2009 school council. While people mingled and chatted easily, members of the school council served delicious snacks prepared for the occasion.
To mark our 125th year, there were wonderful memorabilia to be bought: these include diaries, badges, pens, aprons and key rings. In a hall filled with beautiful flowers, excellent wine (and fruit juice) and fabulous music performed by Lester le Roux, it was not surprising that people needed to be reminded to go home as Tessa Granger (a past pupil herself, and mother of Lauren Granger, 2009 Head of School) spontaneously rang the school bell.
What a wonderful evening in which those who share a love and pride in this extraordinary school could mark the start of the 2009 125th birthday celebrations.