Introduction of Reunion Groups 2019

BY Administrator

Riebeek has a reputation of being a place of stars; and today is more Hollywood than Uitenhage. The movie A Star is Born resonates with the reputation of Riebeek producing stars. Jackson says in the film “All you’ve got is you and what you have to say to people.” and today the volume and excitement in the corridors have proved you have a lot to say, reunion groups. We are pleased to introduce you as you have gone out into the world with what you have to say and made positive, awesome contributions.
Introducing and welcoming our reunion groups is a bit like a movie. It’s “lights, camera and action” in that we will shine a light, metaphorically, on each reunion group. The camera moment is them standing as we gawk at them like fans of movie stars. The action part is where we give them a round of applause.
Our most mature group is the Class of 1969 who celebrate their golden 50th reunion. The reunion co-ordinators are Denise Mowatt du Plooy and Bev Serfontein Fourie and 10 ladies join us with Jenny Inggs Elliot from Australia. They remember humming in Afrikaans class and telling the confused teacher that it was bees. If this group were to be a movie, you might think Driving Miss Daisy, but they are Fast and Furious as they are not your typical retirees with class get togethers, an active Facebook group page and much spirit with Denise Mowatt du Plooy, who travelled from Johannesburg arranging a reunion for Gauteng ladies later this month.
Class of 1969, please stand.
The Class of 1979’s perfect movie fit would be Lost in Translation or Finding Nemo without the finding part as we have searched for them for their 30th and 40th year reunions. If you find them, tell them the hall was rebuilt after it burnt down in their matric year and let them know to find us here for their 50th.
The Class of 1989 celebrate their 30 year reunion with Lauren Gouws Frueholz serving as reunion co-ordinator of the 11 ladies. Natalie Bright Wilmot joins us and will be back soon as Elizabeth House Day guest speaker as an autism awareness advocate. Hendrin Hamilton Germishuys’ self named nickname was DUMB BLONDE – we are pleased to report that career-wise she is a high ranking supervisor and the nickname was not self-fulfilling. She was the cover girl of the 1989 school magazine, and admits she is still a social butterfly. Lauren and Hendrin remember that it was a challenge to pinch extra sarmies from the boarder girls sandwich box when they felt they had not packed in enough. If we were to give this lively group a movie title, it would be Dirty Dancing encapsulating some of their school antics and the nostalgia they carry about their school days. Like Baby in the film, nobody puts the members of the class of 1989 in a corner. They are too active for that! They have, however, in spite of their Dirty Dancing label, cleaned up their act well.
Class of 1989, please stand.
The Class of 1994 celebrate their 25 year reunion with Suzanne Rudman Dixie as head girl and reunion co-ordinator with a function last night for 10 and 4 attending today. In her first year at Riebeek, Miss Krohn, newly appointed English teacher, took on the editorship of the school magazine and as proof that she survived this horror, we are pleased to welcome her from New Zealand on her first visit back after 20 years. Sharing their anniversary of leaving school with the anniversary of the 1994 elections probably makes Long Walk to Freedom their movie. But for the first time in 22 years after long years of swimming, in 1994, Eleanor finally won a gala.
Class of 1994, please stand
Celebrating their 20 year reunion is the 18 ladies of the Class of 1999. Reunion co-ordinator Dr Janelle Vermaak is a lecturer at NMU and recently presented a workshop to our media girls on fanship. The school motto was Great Expectations so the did great as expected. This class is no Silence of the Lambs movie as they are horrifically good at remembering the gossip and low down of their teachers at school.
Class of 1999, please stand.
The Class of 2004 celebrate their 15 year reunion with Cindy Rabie Emmett as head girl and reunion co-ordinator and 6 ladies in attendance. Cindy van Deemter Watson is the daughter of our loyal Governing Body chairman Danie van Deemter and a farmer’s wife having settled somewhere near the middle of nowhere. Cherise Louw Swanepoel is our former English teacher spreading love in pastor work and as mom to her precious one year daughter. Anthea du Preez Wepener is mom to a Riebeek grade 4. Ma-asha Ismail switched recently from a successful career in journalism with its bad news crime reporting to the good news creating of being a school teacher. This group’s movie would have to be Dead Poet’s Society as so many of them were inspired by Old Girl, journalist and a Riebeek teacher, Beth Cooper Howell; and because of their dramatic school antics.
Class of 2004, please stand.
The Class of 2009 celebrate their 10 year reunion with Dr Lisa Dondashe, head girl, reunion co-ordinator and guest speaker, and 19 ladies in attendance. This group is a bit like the movie Titanic – larger than life, doing things on a grand scale, heading off on grand adventures, defying things the way they were done before and filled with eccentricity. Unlike the doomed Titanic, with global warming we feel confident no iceberg will get in their way. From this class comes the warm Miss Caryn van der Westhuizen, our Grade 6 teacher. In their matric year, they took part in the drama production Take Me Home complete with an impressive airport scene and a big plane. It is good to have them home today.
Class of 2009, please stand.
Also attending today are Old Girls not in official reunion groups.
Seventy years later, Mrs Rose Minty Young from the Class of 1949 is back at school, brought here by her son, Mr Dave Emslie.
Four ladies from the Class of 1984 are here including head girl Dennise Mattioda Shaberg and deputy head girl Penny Lithauer. Cathy Simpson, one of our most loyal Founder’s Day supporters, was driven here by “hart se punt” Mrs Myburg, our well travelled LO teacher. It must have been quite a trip this morning! There are a number of shy staff who are Old Girls reluctant to stand when we ask in case the girls research their age. And there some Old Girls here as guests or moms. This motley crew can collectively be thought of as the Braveheart movie cast, as they loyally support us.
We ask all Old Girls here today who have not already stood to be recognized to please stand now.
Susan Gale said, “Life should be like a good movie, a little drama, a little romance and a lot of laughter.” May today, reunion groups, feel like a 5 star feel good movie. Whatever role you play, remember your alma mater believes in your bright stardom as you are part of our star studded cast.

 May 05, 2019
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