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Reunion Report Backs

BY Administrator

Class of 1954

 

By Ria Botha Meyer 

 

50 years, that’s half a century, which has flown by.   We grew up without television, computers or cellphones, but we were probably no different to the teenagers of today, perhaps a little more naïve without outside influences – we went to school, did homework and talked about boys – simple.

 

I attended Founder’s Day in 2013, as I 

do every year, and joined the class of 1963, who were celebrating their 50th reunion for lunch.   It was a real treat to see them meeting and greeting each other, many of whom had not seen each other for 50 years.   I decided that our class should enjoy the same experience.  

 

It is difficult tracing classmates after all this time.   Women change their names, which makes the exercise doubly difficult.   You need to know where to look, but also who you are looking for.   Facebook is a wonderful thing, I don’t know where I would have been without it.   Once I got the ball rolling, it gathered momentum and girls were contacting me with information about classmates.   Believe me, this is not something one can do alone, and without the help of classmates and Wendy Robinson Collier, Burleigh Lombard Tunbridge and Valme Combrink Rogers from the class of 1963, this reunion would not have happened.

 

On Thursday evening several classmates met at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club for sundowners and supper.   This was a wonderful opportunity to meet before the emotional uproar of Founders Day at the school.   We had had a 25 year reunion in 1989 and had little contact with each other since, so there was a lot of talking to be done.  

 

Friday 9th May dawned, a beautiful autumn day, windless and sunny, Uitenhage at it’s very best.   Jenny Allen Anderson and I had made a memories board in the foyer of the school on the Tuesday before Founders Day, and we were gratified to see it being appreciated by our classmates.   We had tea in the student centre amid much talk and laughter and greeting Old Girls who were not in our class, but well known to most of us.

 

The Founders Day assembly was, as always, a moving experience, beginning with the school song, and what a good idea to sing it twice,  the” In Memorium”  the wonderful Riebeek choir, the guest speaker’s address and ending with the National Anthem.   It was, and always is, a wonderful experience, so much so that the local classmates have undertaken to attend next year’s Founders Day, and I shall hold them to it.   Well done to the reunion group who initiated a resounding 3 cheers at the end of the assembly, it was richly deserved.

 

Lunch at the Golf Club was a noisy affair, to say the least.   This must surely have been close to what it sounded like at the Tower of Babel!     The food was good and the company excellent, we didn’t want it to end and several of us stayed until the very end, encouraged by that junior school girl who now occupies the lady principal’s office (well done Marilyn, we are proud of you).

 

On Saturday we gathered at the home of Irma Venter Bezuidenhout in Port Elizabeth for a “bring and share” lunch.    The conversation was reminiscent of break time at Riebeek.   Teachers were discussed, naughtiness revisited and tales of old boyfriends told.   There was also a lot of “whatever happened to so and so”   Several classmates were accompanied by partners, who were all old Uitenhagers, so they could entertain themselves while the girls had the time of their lives.

 

And so our weekend drew to a close.   What a wonderful time we had and how sorry we were to see it end.   Thanks to Mrs Woods, the staff and pupils Riebeek for allowing us to create total mayhem at the school and a special thanks to Mrs Natalie Stear for establishing Founder’s Day as a tradition at Riebeek.

 

Class of

1974

 

ByLynne Thomas Griffiths

 

The day began with a very warm welcome by some young ladies at the door with whom we had photographs.  Into the foyer where it was great to see an old class mate , Linda, Strydom Killian,  and next there was Mr Hoare to give me a big hug.  Linda and I walked through the quad with an amazing array of plantation to the upper hockey field to watch the hockey match.  The tea was held in the new (to us)   clubhouse        where Ann, Louis ,Lesley , Bev, Paulette  and Seugnet, joined us for a good chat. Memories came flooding back to all of us and many questions were asked about our fellow classmates that had been unable to attend.

 

The assembly , held in the Sholto McIntrye Hall, was quite a moving event, to stand there and  listening to the choir singing was just too beautiful.  Being able to remember the school song and sing it was also very emotional.  The different old girl’s classes were introduced  - they were sitting in the balcony (also new to us).   2 of our teachers were present Mrs Watts Potgieter and Mrs Swart.  Mrs Woods was not one of our class teachers but was the std 3 teacher in the prefab next to us(our history class Mrs Rump) and also our hockey

coach.

 

I had the privilege and honour to be part of the stage party.  Being able to address the whole assembly after 40 years was quite something and hope that it was enjoyed by all and that my message of encouragement to take each challenge, give your best  and grow all ways would be useful to a few of the girls present. 

 

After assembly we mingled a bit in the foyer looking at the posters that each class had made for the reunion – so many photos of the past.  Lunch at the golf course was next on the agenda – a delicious meal and a chance to chat some more.

 

Our class met the next morning for breakfast at Brioche – we nearly stayed for lunch too.  This was a great time to chat, show photos, ask questions and exchange numbers and addresses – thank goodness for facebook and email.  I thank all the girls that were able to attend and make this a memorable 40 th year reunion.

 

We look forward to our next reunion and hope that all the families are kept safe and blessed until we meet again

 

 

 June 03, 2014
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