the first founder's day

BY Valentina Longari

As the 30th Founder’s Day draws near, we invite you to read an extract from the article that will appear in the school magazine of 2018 reviewing our Founder’s Day ceremonies.
The History of Founder’s Day
By Valentina Longari
It is a day where past and present collide; where the new meets the old and the hallowed halls and corridors of Riebeek College experience the trod of long gone steps. It is celebrated on the first Friday of May, although the first ceremony was in May and a June date was utilised for a while. The Old Girls come together and reminisce about their schooldays, renew friendships and remember those that are here no more.
We owe the celebration of Founder’s Day to Mrs Natalie Stear, the twelfth principal of Riebeek College. It was celebrated on Friday 25th March 1988 and was masterfully organised within two months of her being at the helm of the school. The tradition of the learners receiving something sweet to celebrate the school’s birthday (much to the enjoyment of the current learners who receive doughnuts) began, while the Old Girls enjoy tea.
The Founder’s Day of 1988 was graced with guest speaker, Miss Marjorie Hill who attended Riebeek from 1916 to 1921. She graduated first in the class and her name is on the Honours Board at the school. Mrs Natalie Stear described her: “.I found yellowed sheet music of “The Riebeek March” composed in the 1890’s by Quintus James, a music teacher at the school. Mrs Betty Lynch, head of the music department, played the march while the girls assembled in the hall on Founder’s Day. My school principal at Clarendon Girl’s High was an Old Girl of Riebeek. She never married. She served in World War 2 as a captain and was stationed at Wynberg Bottery Cape. When I was at school, we were told that she taught the soldiers how to shoot. She was a brilliant Maths teacher.” Mrs Natalie Stear at the ceremony made mention of 98 year old Mrs Evans who was the oldest Old Girl present.
Mrs Hutton sent flowers for that first ceremony to be placed in the foyer. Telegrams were received from the Head Girls of Riebeek to indicate their acceptance or apologies in response to invitations sent to the them. The hymn was “All people that on earth do dwell”. The prayer was by Dominee van Niekerk representing the NG Kerk. Application had to be made to the Uitenhage School Board for permission for the 25 year reunion group to have a Cheese and Wine function in the staff room. Old Girls were asked to sign the Visitor’s Book. The Head Girl, Ingrid Lunow McFarlane (mother of Sarah in Grade 8 and Lindsay, Old Girl) appeared in a photograph in the newspaper of the platform party.

 April 27, 2018
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2018 continued
Valentina Longari

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