Introducing the Reunion Groups
Introduction of Reunion Groups 2013
It is said that we grow old by deserting our ideals and that years may wrinkle the skin but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. It gives us great pleasure to introduce to you the reunion groups of 2013 who have not deserted their ideals nor their enthusiasm. As for those wrinkles, we’ll say that due to the Protection of Information Bill, we’re not going to discuss them. Instead, what enthusiasm they have shown! Allow me to demonstrate by telling you a bit about each class.
The Class of 1953 celebrate their 60 year reunion with 8 of the class attending Founder’s Day. Denise Smith Swift is the reunion co-ordinator. They noted at the 50 year reunion that they met promptly, definitive proof that they had improved with age. Eleanor Bleksley MacKensie who was living in Nova Scotia, Canada, sent a handcrafted quilted wall hanging depicting the class of 1953 for that golden reunion. It can be viewed in the glass cabinets in the foyer. Their 40 year reunion saw them surprised by a new verse having been added to the school song and the camera shy at reunions being cured. The school building in their time was in upper Church Street. They were terrified of principal Miss Miller but recognised her fairness. This class is proud that no other reunion group here today can boast about being at school during World War Two. Sirens for bomb drill would sound during the school day and so they went to school wearing a string threaded with an eraser. The eraser would serve to cushion their teeth in case a bomb was dropped. Seventeen girls matriculated as in those days many class mates would leave school at the end of Grade 10.
The Class of 1963 celebrate their 50 year reunion with the reunion co-ordinator being Wendy Robinson Collier and 18 of the class attending. It is a joy for Mrs Collier that her daughter, Debbie Collier Reid from Cape Town, is here today too celebrating her twenty five year reunion. One of the movies of 1963 was the original The Nutty Professor and Mrs Collier could not have known watching it in matric that her hugely successful daughter, nicknamed Loskop at school, would become a nutty professor of law at the University of Cape Town. An amazing co-incidence is that Mrs Burleigh Lombard Tunbridge, also from the Class of 1963, also has a daughter in the class of 1988 who is also residing in Cape Town. Mrs Sally Watson Potgieter was headgirl of this class and was the guest speaker at the reunion of 2003. She was deputy principal and an English teacher at Riebeek for many years and respected by the girls she taught. Without ipads, magic tricks, sweet bribes, youtube clips and all the gimmicks of technology employed by teachers today to grab the attention of learners, Mrs Potgieter would have the girls spellbound by her mere presence, quiet control and wealth of knowledge. The late Yvonne Lemley Hoare was in this class as was Mr Hoare’s sister, Anne, before her parents moved. Matriculating at a time of Martin Luther King Junior’s I have a dream speech and the song Blowing in the Wind being popular, this group have done well to fulfill their dreams and find life’s answers other than in the wind.
The Class of 1978 celebrate their 35 year reunion. The reunion co-ordinator is Allison Pearce Watson and 23 ladies are attending today. This is the class that came to school on their last day on a fire engine. This fiery group would tease their sensitive Miss Springer, the science teacher, by taking off their blazers one by one row by row and then cardigans one by one row by row. We do hope that it ended on cardigans! …and we hope that the present learners don’t get any ideas about trying this out. Lesley Ann Skinner Gilbert from this class and mother of Joslyn Gilbert Oosthuizen and Rozan Gilbert, also Old Girls, remembers the late Mrs Lewey, the typing teacher, telling the girls to walk in single spacing down the corridor instead of single file. This group will be travelling to Lalibela for the weekend after lunch.
The Class of 1988 celebrate their 25 year reunion with 19 girls attending and the reunion organiser being headgirl Ingrid Lunow McFarlane. This class can proudly boast of keeping Riebeek’s flag flying through the generations : Ingrid’s daughter, Lindsey is in Grade 10 at Riebeek. Michelle Crouse McAuley’s daughters are in high school at Riebeek and Sally Schimper Leach’s daughter Kirsten is in Grade 10. Carole Murphy Dawson raised two young men and has a niece at Riebeek teaching Grade 5s: Miss Theresa Bezuidenhout (Class of 2007 ). At the other end of the parenting spectrum are those whose little ones are still in nappies or racing through toddlerhood – Sharon McArthy Peo and Sandra Myburgh Gerber, amongst others, who hope to score parenting tips from their more experienced classmates, who have raised teenagers while keeping their sanity intact. The class of 1988 remember huge compulsory maroon underwear checked during regular inspections. The school levy which was not compulsory was R8 a term, a house badge cost 15c and the cost for dances was R4 a couple. They were issued with government regulation material for needlework, travelled to the Muir Riebeek SCA camp at Sumcay by train, learnt to drive on the school’s VW sponsored blue citi golf and were in matric when the new principal Mrs Stear took over the helm of the school. Mistakenly believing that they would need to teach her about Riebeek, the Class of 1988 soon came to realise who knew more! The 1988 headgirl and deputy headgirl Cheryl McFarlane Corcoran started a tradition of the headgirl marrying the brother of the deputy and though this has not really taken off, we encourage the Prince and Ballie familes to reconsider this in the spirit of tradition. In Grade 9 Mrs Gillian Bennet Bean took the class to J Bay for a weekend and was adored for the way she made newcomers feel safe when they did the walk of shame from HG Mathematics down to her classroom in the bottom corridor for SG Mathematics. This class gave Miss Rose, now Mrs Hickson, a kitchen tea and loads of recipes and in return she gave them hell on earth in gruelling phys ed classes. Taught by Mrs Woods for two years – their Grade 5 and Grade 7 years, they were the lucky charms that led to the birth of her first son in 1983. The grass mound was a stage and orals and history plays were presented in props room costumes. Mrs Woods took the class to Brigitta Daniel’s farm for a class weekend and dared all to run to the graveyard and back in the dark. They survived the nightmares! A special thanks to the Hellman sisters for joining us from Germany: Heike (Class of 1988) and Frauke (Class of 1986.)
The Class of 1993 celebrate their 20 year reunion with Mary Anne Medley Logan as reunion co-ordinator . Though their matric farewell theme was THE LOST CITY, WE ARE PLEASED THAT 34 OF THEM, the largest reunion group, MANAGED TO NOT GET LOST AND FIND THEIR WAY HERE TODAY. Mary Anne is the head of department of English at Woodridge. It is a testimony to the quality of our headgirls that Christine Eksteen of this class (and the International Associate Director of Medical Affairs for Shire Pharmaceutical) said recently of Mary Anne: “a high achiever and popular at school, Mary Ann inspired me because as popular and bright as she was, she was always friendly and polite and had time for everyone in the school. Even today she remains an encouraging voice among our peer group.”
Describing themselves as diverse and colourful as a bag of liquorice all sorts, they remember the sight of their Captain Mrs Stear peeping over glasses to give the signal for silence in assembly and wearing a gas mask in class to teach a war poem. They loved their expedition to the Knysna forest and Mrs Janet Skeates of the Class of 1977 (then Maasdorp) teaching them to knit. They remember gazing at the stars in astronomy club and Mrs Woods’s passion for drama and dance. They forced teachers to do the hula on their desks and tortured unsuspecting victims with Mrs Schwechheimer’s stuffed bottled lizard. Again, we hope the present learners don’t get any ideas…
The Class of 2003 are the babies of the reunion groups celebrating their ten year reunion with headgirl Dr Michaela Hopley Lotz being unable to attend but involved in the planning and Shelley Biggins, the Miss Personality of her year, as the reunion co-ordinator. 26 of this class are joining us today. While their matric farewell theme was Passage to India, there was no long passage or journey for Miss Algery van Aardt (a student teacher) and Miss Jayde Inggs (grade head and Grade 7 teacher) as, being on staff, they were here anyway. Miss Inggs remembers this class as being an Ubuntu bunch with all the girls getting on and no cliques in the class. Also from this class is Mrs Woods’ daughter in law, Elana Coates Woods, daughter of Mrs Vermaak, Bianca Vermaak van Eck, and Dr Janny Myburg Fook, daughter of Mrs Myburg. Another member of this class is deputy headgirl Dr Donne Niewoudt completing the trio of doctors from this group. Its louder members included Joy Mkuja, Jenny Cuyler Cohen and Leanne Condon Coetsee.
In addition, there are a number of Old Girls here today who are not part of official reunion groups and we welcome them warmly.
It is a great joy to us that the following formidable English teachers are gathered here today as they are truly in a class of their own: Mrs Marilyn Dodd Woods (Class of 1968), Lesley Bright Young (class of 1977), Sally Watson Potgieter (class of 1963), Anne Wates Peltason (class of 1965) and Mrs Natalie Stear (former headmistress). These iconic Riebeek teachers played inspirational roles among Riebeek girls resulting in many of them choosing careers that allowed them to spread the love of the English language.
They instilled in us the notion that the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players with their exits and entrances. What a difference the ladies of these reunion groups introduced to you have made on the stage of life and as they make their entrances at our reunion celebrations we salute their enthusiasm and ideals. Their souls are certainly unwrinkled.
Mrs S. Woods, reunion co-ordinator, at work
The RCOGA office
“Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigour.” (Charles Dickens)
Old Girl News...
Lorna O’Donnell Rowntree (Class of 1989) graduated from the Uitenhage Technical College in 1995 with a National Secretarial Diploma. She worked at Hella in Uitenhage until her move to London in 1997 and she married Paul in 2001. She is blessed with 5 wonderful children. Riebeek has been a blessing in her life as it taught her the value of respect.
Hermoine Thomas Marcus (Class of 2007) is currently finishing her B.Ed (Intermediate Phase: Maths and Science) at NMMU. In June she married to Logan, a welder at Dynaform, which she considers as one of the major blessings she has experienced since matriculating from Riebeek. Hermoine feels that attending Riebeek has made her the woman that she is today and, because it is such a reputable school, awarded her many opportunities.
Fatima Matroos (Class of 1999) graduated from NMMU with a B.A (Psychology) degree in 2006. She has worked at First National Bank and is currently blessed to be a Sales Consultant at Nedbank Personal Loans. She feels blessed to have attended Riebeek as it taught her self–respect and integrity which are values that she carries with her throughout her daily life as the Chairperson of the ANC Youth League (Ward 44) and teaching Latin American and Ballroom dancing in her community hall.
Vatiswa Rabie (Class of 2006) studied Fashion Design at the Walter Sisulu University and graduated in 2010. The friends she made at school were real blessings as they have shared many unforgettable moments together.
Cindy Klassen (Class of 2002) is blessed with an enriching job at Independent Newspapers in Cape Town working in marketing, events and promotions. She completed her degree at NMMU and did a post-graduate diploma at the Red and Yellow Advertising School in Cape Town. She was blessed to be chosen for the Exchange Student Programme at NMMU where she attended the St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, America. Riebeek taught her discipline and respect for others. She experienced her greatest blessings in 2010 when she completed both the Comrades and Two-Oceans Marathons. She remembers Miss MacArthur’s great sense of humour which always made Geography lessons special.
Natalie van Aardt (Class of 2002) completed her degree in B.Tech (Industrial Engineering) in 2009 at NMMU. She is the Packaging Team Leader at South African Breweries. She feels blessed when she is able to spend time with her family because of her challenging career wherein she commits to hard working hours. She knows that Riebeek has laid the good foundation which allowed her the great opportunities that helped her develop and grow. Her happiest moments at Riebeek include break times when she had to share her lunch with friends, Erin and Danielle.
Siphesihle Sowazi (Class of 2008) is currently completing her studies in LLB at NMMU. She believes that it is important to empower woman and always embraces challenges with a gallant heart. She feels most blessed to have attended Riebeek which allowed her to grow as an individual, learn respect and meet wonderful people. She remembers Public Speaking with Mrs Peltason and being awarded the Deportment Award in 2007.
Natasha Naidoo (Class of 2007) is currently in her 5th year of completing her MBChB (Medicine) degree at the University of Cape Town. She believes that everyday is a blessing and will appreciate it even more so when she is a qualified doctor and is able to save lives and make a difference.
Nadia Baderoon Liberty (Class of 1995) graduated from NMMU with a ND in Financial Information Systems and is currently working as an IT Buyer. In 2005 she married Rayhaan, a Logistics Manager, and together they have a three-year old daughter, Iman. She is blessed to have a supportive , loving and caring family.
Cherise Lowe Swanepoel (Class of 2004) attained a BA degree in English and Psychology. She loves teaching at Riebeek as it gives her the opportunity to help, guide and entertain a variety of people every day. She married Vincent, a Civil Engineer, in 2010.
Zandile Mjekula (Class of 2010) is a free-spirited, talkative and loving socialite that studies at AFDA (South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance). Her most blessed memories at Riebeek were the Drama Productions and rehearsals. She loved working with the cast and crew who always created a strong sisterly bond.
Samantha Zealand-Smith (Class of 2002) graduated from the University of Stellenbosch with a MBChB degree, did her internship and community service at the Uitenhage Provincial Hospital and is employed as a full-time doctor by the Uitenhage Provincial Hospital. In 2011 she married Navian and had a beautiful daughter, Kelsey. She feels blessed to have become a qualified doctor and have a wonderful family.
Unathi Vumazonke (Class of 2008) was practising as a Nursing Student through Netcare Education in 2009 when she decided to change courses and is now completing her studies in Psychology at NMMU. Riebeek introduced her to the concept of unity in an environment where sisters were made and her fondest memories were created in the Xhosa classes.
Jaishal Gajjar (Class of 2010) is doing B.Com Accounting at NMMU and was recognised as one of the top students in her first year class. Riebeek has been a blessing in her life as it taught her many morals and values which moulded her into the young lady she is today.
Cyrilene Constable (Class of 2004) studied Nature Conservation at NMMU. Her blessed memories at Riebeek include Dr Boucher’s life lessons, Mrs Peltason’s English classes and break times with friends.
Tarryn Travill (Class of 2004) studied B.Comm and LLB at Rhodes University and is currently completing her Masters in Taxation at NMMU. She works as a regional Credit Administrator at Goodyear SA. She is blessed to be engaged to Angus Bruintjies and have great friends. She enjoyed Accounting classes with Mr Ossher and his crazy jokes and feels blessed to have attended Riebeek as she formed close bonds with many people. She enjoys reading a good book whilst drinking a glass of wine. She believes that she has been graced with many great opportunities and becoming a young educated woman is a blessing.
Noluvo Nongubo (Class of 2007) is completing her LLB studies at the University of Fort Hare. Riebeek taught her to treat others with respect and equality. She enjoys watching hockey, playing netball, laughing and sharing jokes. Her favourite memories were made in the Xhosa classes. She feels blessed to have a supportive mother and believes that it is always important to appreciate others.
Toral Gajjar Talati (Class of 2005) studied B.Com Accounting at NMMU and works as an Admin Manager at Kapitan Trading. She married Timir , Manager of Kwa Cash and Carry, and had their daughter, Vidhi, who is now two. She believes that Riebeek is the reason for her current success. Her special moments were made at the annual Drama Productions and being elected Head of Drama. It has been a blessing for her to have her family stand by her and support her through hard times.
Zola Yonke (Class of 2010) is a bubbly person who loves meeting new people and is currently studying Beauty Health and Skin Care Therapy at the Elizabeth Beauty School. Attending Riebeek has been a blessing in her life because it enabled her to meet the wonderful teachers and matriculate with a great bunch of girls.
Lana Panagis (Class of 2004) is currently completing of her MTech Chiropractic degree at the University of Johannesburg and works at the University’s onsite clinic for experience. She spent a year in Minnesota, America in 2006. She has travelled the East and West Coast in America, made many life-long friends and has been settled in Johannesburg for the past six years. Riebeek was a blessing in her life as it taught her to be confident and always put in hard work and effort . Her blessed memories include singing in the choir from Grades 6-12. She lives by the Bible verse, Matthew 11:28-30.
Ingrid Kosaber Potgieter (Class of 1996) remembers the moment when she was announced as headgirl. She studied Dietary at NMMU. She works as a pharmacy rep and feels blessed to have this job as it allows her to travel a lot. She married Stefan, a Police Officer, in 2010 and has a stepson, Eithen. They currently stay on a farm in Belgium and this helps her stay active and spend quality time with her family.
Catherine du Plooy Botha (Class of 2006) studied for three years at the Elizabeth Beauty School in Port Elizabeth and opened her own Beauty Salon in Summerstrand. In 2010 she became the wife of Andrew, who works for Honda PE. She particularly loves travelling and time with family. At Riebeek, her Afrikaans classes and break times brought a lot of fun for her.
Lauren Friedberg (Class of 2005) believes that blessings are the tiny things we receive when we are patient enough. She received her BA degree in Media, Communications and Culture with a major in Public Relations in 2008 and in 2009 she completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Education. She is a teacher at Muir College and is currently doing her BEd Honours part-time. Her job is a blessing as she contributes to a better society. She teaches Ballroom and Latin dancing to boys and girls in Grades 10-12 and has a love for photography. Riebeek has empowered her as a woman and has taught her diligence. Her most special moments at Riebeek were being in the Drama Productions.
Irene Woodburn Fish (Class of 1980) is a Lecturer at EMC FET College. In 1988 she married Leon, Manager of VWSA (PE Plant), and together they had three children; Matthew (22) and twins Megan and Sarah (18). She enjoys doing yoga and travelling overseas. Riebeek was a blessing in her life as it provided her with a sound foundation. She is blessed to have a great family and good health and believes that the blessed are those who can recognise and be grateful for their blessings.
Lu-Marsha van Aardt (Class of 2001) completed her BCom degree and Post Graduate Certificate in Education at NMMU. She is a people’s person who loves helping others which led her to resign as a Lecturer and teach at a school in her community. She is engaged to be married.
Founder's Day 2012
Our Newest Old Girls
The Class of 2012
Grade 4 Welcome Board for visitors at Founder's Day
Keep in Touch
LET US KNOW IF YOU HEAR OF THE SAD NEWS OF A RIEBEEK OLD GIRL PASSING AWAY. WE REALLY DO WANT TO HONOUR THEIR LIVES BY LISTING THEM IN OUR IN MEMORIUM LIST.
We need the following information of the dearly departed:
Name, Maiden Surname, Married Surname and Year of Matriculating .
You can use the form below filling in only the fields you need to get the news to us or you can contact us by emailing or phoning - see the CONTACT US section of our website. We thank you for your help in this regard.
In Memorium 2012
updated annually at the end of each year
Joyce Smith Strydom
Ziporah (Fanny) Slominsky Kaplan
Lesley Ann Paxton van Schoor
Dorothy Gillson Abbott
Michelle Schmidt Johnson
Irene Margaret Muller van der Westhuizen
Erna Hansen Taylor
Geraldine Naude Smith
Nanette Vermaak Lewey
Gillian McGillivray Carter
Gloria Tee Oelofse
Jennifer Hartley Snyman
Milicent Milne Emslie
Family Members of Staff and Learners:
Sister of Sarah Werth
Mother of Gordon McAuley
Father of Sisipho Jantjies
Husband of Mrs Violet Armoed
Father of Siviwe Nongubo
Father of Anesipho Makina
Mother-in-law of Mrs Vivien Stevens
Father of Miss Sandy Arthur
Husband of Mrs Marilyn Woods
After the clouds, the sunshine,
Old Girls' News
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