Principal's party - matric 2020

BY Azraa Rockman

The Matric Class of 2020 left no room for bad vibes on the last celebration before the approaching Trial Examinations.  With the questionable cold weather leading up to our Matric 40 Days, being greeted by sunshine and blue skies was more than enough to add to the excitement for our Picnic with the Stars (not the night time ones, but the ones who are amazing people making their mark). This year of unfortunate events had wounded our final year and robbed it of most of its prescribed festivities, so the Matrics were adamant to make this event one that would not be easily forgotten.
Nothing could extinguish our burning enthusiasm by the time we had arrived at school, especially considering the great efforts made by Mrs Stear and our teachers as to ensure that we would be walking into school in high spirits for the day ahead of us. The matrics were pleasantly surprised to find our principal at her usual morning post, but this time, decked out as our school’s most beloved bee mascot. One could not miss Mrs Stroebel’s electrifying presence as Thing 1 from Dr Seuss’s A Cat in the Hat, nor Mrs Gerber, fresh off the Harry Potter movie set. Mrs Mapoma looked absolutely stunning as Princess Diana. The staff welcomed us into the school grounds all dressed up. The matrics rose to the occasion too.  Brazil Kilian and Zaraa Isaacs looked invincible in their matching outfits, twinning as the masked figures from the hit show, Money Heist. Our childhood heroes were thankfully able to feature in the festivities, with Kayla Kriega dressed as Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender and Chaneal Labercensie as Violet from the Incredibles. Other costumes stood out as being a bit more close to home, such as that of Sibahle Mtyingizane, who geared up as a Richard Parker look-alike from our setwork novel, Life of Pi. Our favourite Disney Princesses paid us a visit, with Robyn Minnaar as Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Samantha van Jaarsveld as Snow White and Sisipho Vumazonke as Cinderella.  Even villains were allowed their time to shine, with Danita Prag as Maleficent and Lisakhanya Maseti as the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. Kelly Wildskut’s Kim Kardashian getup earned a chuckle or two, and while Amber du Plessis claimed that she was uncertain about who she had dressed up as, and we  collectively agreed that she made a very good Ariana Grande impersonator.
Even with social distancing standards preventing us from renting a jumping castle, the matrics took on new and innovative approaches to make the day extraordinary. 10:30 marked the beginning of our festivities as we began to spread out on the top hockey field. Each matric received her party pack and a picnic spot.  Eager to have our outfits photographed, we were also given the opportunity to visit the beautiful Social Distancing Photo Booth, where Joanne Miller and Chaneal Labercensie had carefully coordinated the tying up of balloons to the hockey goalposts earlier that morning.
About an hour into the proceedings, Vishani Patel, dressed as Severus Snape from Harry Potter, took to the 40 Days stage and stole the show with her musical item, performing a “Bella Ciao” remix by Sound of Legends, with Zaraa Isaacs and Brazil Killian stepping in as her devoted backup dancers.  Mr Hartley made his debut in the entertainment industry, showing off his wealth of knowledge in the properties of metals and other chemical substances with outdoor science experiments. As a result, the matrics had fire and smoke as our backdrop!
With our time together gradually depleting, we were suddenly taken on a bitter-sweet trip back to our childhood as we listened to the theme songs of all the hit television shows that made our younger days brighter. A sense of unity befell us as we belted out the lyrics to the opening themes of Finneas and Ferb, Hannah Montana and the like, albeit slightly off-key. To add to the rising nostalgic atmosphere, we were finally given the opportunity to open up the Time Capsules that dated back to Grade 7. While the moment itself was enough to bring about bright smiles of recollection of the early days, it became quite clear that remembering the past had us fighting off the sudden tear or two.  Remembering the times where we were 13-year-olds with big dreams was a special and sentimental addition to the afternoon’s happenings, and one that will continue to hold a dear place in our hearts.
Our Picnic with the Stars could not have possibly been a success without those who had worked hard to make it so. A special thank you goes to OK Mini Mart Mosel for their generous sponsorship of the party packs for the Matrics, and to Mrs Razya Nathoo for her contributions towards co-ordinating the arrangement of the treats. We extend a warm thank you to Mrs Darweesha Rockman for the efforts made in organising the goodies and for her efforts in ensuring that the packs arrived safely at school.
A special mention must be made to all those who had assisted in the process of organising this special event. The matrics would like to use this platform to thank Mrs Stear for allowing us the opportunity to host a 40 Days Celebration amid the circumstances we are faced with. Thank you, Miss Oliphant, for your help in the planning process of the 40 Days Celebration, and for printing and laminating the invitations. A huge thank you goes to Mrs Stroebel for overseeing the arrangements and for arranging the teacher duty roster and the programme for the day. We appreciate the teachers on duty who  supervised the celebration so well. With Mrs Gerber, Mr Weidemann, Joanne Miller and Romesa Muhammad constantly on standby with cameras at the ready, the matrics were able to have the best moments captured and we thank our photographers for the day.  We also thank Joanne Miller, Mr Calitz and Mr Weidemann for the  technical assistance for the event. A word of thanks also goes to Chaneal Labercensie, Tarryn Barry, Justine Matthys, Alexandra Dennis and Lisakhanya Maseti for their assistance in providing music, decorations, as well as the design and distribution of invitations as the Matric 40 Days Planning Committee.
I would love to finally thank my fellow Matrics for sharing this beautiful moment with me as a memory to take into the future. I hope that we can continue to share moments like these, because it is in sharing something that binds us to one another. And surely, by being bound, we will never really lose each other, even beyond the walls of Riebeek. For now, however, I wish you all a safe and sound study period in these weeks leading to Trials. May we always remember that it is in what we do now that will map out what awaits us tomorrow.

 August 23, 2020
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Azraa Rockman

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