Headmaster’s Letter to Old Boys

Headmaster Keith Richardson talks to our Old Boys:

Wynberg Boys' High School Headmaster's Letter to Old Boys, June 2015

 

Dear Old Boys

For some years, we as a school have been sending out a quarterly Online Magazine to Old Boys around the world. This has included videos, pictures and extensive reports of the activities of the school over the previous term. However, it has been decided to replace it with a quarterly briefing, this being the first edition. Please note that our school Website and Facebook pages are updated regularly and give a superb ongoing commentary of the activities at your old school.

Wynberg Boys’ High School website

Wynberg Boys’ High School Social Media Platforms

There have been numerous highlights during a term that was filled with sport, concerts and eisteddfods before finishing up with the vitally important June exams. The results so far of this matric class put them ahead of other recent classes at this stage of the year and we are quietly optimistic of quality results in December. In addition, we have held our Matric Dance this term which was hosted at Suikerbossie Restaurant – always a popular venue. My personal highlights within each of the four pillars of the school are as follows:

Academic

The highlight of the term was undoubtedly our best ever performance in the UCT Maths Olympiad. Our aim is to constantly place in the Top Ten participating schools – which is a highly commendable achievement bearing in mind the number and quality of schools which enter. 2015 saw us achieve our best ever position of 5th – with three of our boys achieving gold medals.

UCT base their Olympiads not only on mathematical ability but also on whether the participants can think out of the box to solve problems. Full marks should be awarded to our maths teachers who have been working hard with our top maths pupils. We have been establishing a firm Maths base amongst our pupils and are now happy to report that 95% of our boys have opted to write Maths instead of the much easier Maths Literacy in this year’s Matric exam.

We insist that the Matric boys who are struggling do approximately four extra hours of Maths a week at school and are confident that every boy will pass Matric Maths this year.

For the second year running, we have held an Interhouse Maths competition – based on the format of the UCT Maths Olympiad. Chris Murison, past Headmaster of Rondebosch, and himself an outstanding Maths teacher, drew up the problems to be solved. Twenty boys per house i.e. 160 boys took part in this year’s competition and it was great to hear the buzz, the chatter and the discussion at the tea afterwards as boys compared notes.

Culture
Wynberg Boys' High School - Drama Production, A Comedy of Errors

Wynberg Boys’ High School – view photos on Facebook

After the school production of Comedy of Errors in the first term, rehearsals are in full swing for the Campus production of The Man Who Came To Dinner, which will take place in September.

The past term saw the school host a Choir Festival in the City Hall and the musicians a Campus Band Concert in our Clegg Hall. The bands also participated in concerts in various venues across the Peninsula.

Wynberg Boys' High School - Steel Band

Wynberg Boys’ High School – view photos on Facebook

However, the highlight of the term was the Eisteddfod results. For the first time in my tenure, all our bands, as well as our Choir and Vocal Ensemble, received Diplomas. In addition, every individual member of the Vocal Ensemble received a personal Diploma. That is an unprecedented achievement for the school. Some of the members of our Drama Club also excelled at the Eisteddfod, earning a Diploma in the Creative Advert section. Larry Moser,

Some of the members of our Drama Club also excelled at the Eisteddfod, earning a Diploma in the Creative Advert section.

Larry Moser, master in charge of chess, would be unhappy if I did not tell you that our Chess second team has been promoted to the first league next year. A proud moment for our chess boys.

Service

Many years ago, we changed our prefect system and made them all chairmen of portfolios. Service was one of the flagship portfolios that just took off as a result of this new responsibility. This year under Liam Arendse is no exception. Our boys are seen all over the Peninsula giving up their time and assisting others. ‘Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of being at Wynberg’ is certainly something that is taken to heart by Wynberg boys.

Sport

We started off the term with the news from Supersport Schools that Wynberg was rated number three in the country for its sport in 2014 – behind Grey PE and Grey Bloem. We were very proud of this ranking. Hockey, rugby, cricket and waterpolo were the sports on which this rating was based.

All our sports, fixtures & results may be viewed on our website

Wynberg Boys' High School 1st XV Rugby

Wynberg Boys’ High School – view photos on Facebook

However, we have found this standard difficult to sustain this term and our first teams have struggled in all the winter sports. Our rugby recorded good wins at the St Stithians Festival over Easter and with a little more self-belief could have turned some of their results around this term.

In rugby, once again we hosted a very successful Festival and are most appreciative of the sponsorship of Standard Bank. With over 1200 players taking part, it must be one of the biggest rugby festivals in the country.

In hockey, we appointed Old Boy of 1991, Paul Revington, past SA Men’s Coach, as our high-performance coach this year. He has been continually emphasising to the boys that the only way to reach the top is through hard work. This sentiment is backed up by Justin van Winkel, the coach of our u15A rugby team, with his mantra (which he continually emphasises), that ‘talent has a ceiling, but hard work doesn’t’.

Wynberg Boys' High School Kyle Verreynne

Wynberg Boys’ High School Kyle Verreynne – Follow the Wynberg Flag on Facebook

There is so much potential at Wynberg in all the age groups in all sports. It is a pleasure to watch our squash and cross country boys who are also putting in the work to make a name for themselves.

There were two outstanding individual results this term. Kyle Verreynne was selected as a member of the SA u19 World Cup cricket team which played in Bangladesh and Nathan van der Westhuyzen went to Malaysia as a member of the SA u16 squash team.

Entrepreneurs’ Day

Entrepreneurs’ Day at Wynberg 25th June: As this event will be happening after the writing of this newsletter, I can only inform you at this stage, of an exciting occasion which should completely revolutionise the thinking of most of our boys. The future of South Africa depends on the development of an entrepreneurial awareness amongst our youth. We are calling this event S. E. E D – Social and Environmental Entrepreneurship Day.

The objective is to devote a day to creating awareness of social entrepreneurship with presentations and workshops which will inspire our boys to think and engage differently regarding their lives, their future and their role in society. Laura Bergh is co-ordinating this event for us. She has had fifteen years in corporate leadership and has recently completed her Master’s degree in Sustainability Leadership from Cambridge University. She is currently assisting a number of social enterprises and non-profit organisations with business plans and strategies and her experience will be of immense value to us as we test the waters in this new venture for the school.

Holiday Tours

During the June/July holidays, a number of boys will be representing their province while others have exciting trips lined up.

Wynberg Boys' High School Economics & History Tour to the USA

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Mike Engelbrecht is taking a group of boys on an ‘economics’ tour of the eastern seaboard of the United States. The highlight will be a visit to Wall Street. He is hoping to meet up with Old Boys in New York for a function on 13 July.

Warren Grobler is taking eight boys to Vietnam where they will be helping out at a rural school by performing a variety of activities – including teaching the children English.

Julian Taylor is taking two groups of boys (including me!) on the White Rhino Trail in the Umfolosi Game Reserve.

The Jazz Band (Blake Hellaby) and senior Steel Drum Band (Keenan Oliphant) will be displaying their musical talents at the Grahamstown Festival.

Justin van Winkel is leading a cultural tour with a difference when he takes eight boys on his annual surfing trip to Elands Bay.

The Golf team will be taking part in the annual Cape Schools Week which takes place on various Garden Route courses.

Arin Long, current World Champion, will be defending his title at the Tera World Sailing Championships in the Netherlands in July.

Three of our boys will be travelling to Norway to take part in the International Scout Jamboree.

The Wynberg 175 Flag is scheduled to be flown proudly in many cities around the world this holiday!

A number of our staff will be attending an International Boys’ School Conference taking place at Bishops in early July. The theme of the conference is: Lessons from Madiba. 600 delegates are flying in from all over the world and it will be a wonderful opportunity for our teachers to ensure that we are well on track with our oft-stated mantra: We Understand Boys.

175 Celebrations

The arrangements for the 175 Celebrations during 2016 are coming together and excitement is certainly mounting. The first of the events took place recently at Buitenverwachting Wine Estate where there was a private tasting of the 175 Oude Wijnberg Shiraz which had been grown on the school campus and produced by Old Boy, Stuart Botha of Eagles Nest, assisted by the Wynberg Boys’ Viticultural Society.

Click here to view the provisional Wynberg 175 Event Calendar

The coffee table book on Wynberg 175 is now largely complete and final proof-readings are taking place. This three-year project has been authored by Neil Veitch with the final production in the competent hands of Derrick Fine – Old Boy of 1976.

The Oude Wijnberg Museum is constantly being improved by our onsite curator, Tania Robbertze. When you are in the area (adjacent to the swimming pool), do come along and see the new WBHS illuminated window as well as the display ‘From Verwoerd to Feinstein’.

Wynberg Boys' High School - Wynberg 175 Walkway of Names

Click to find out more

The plans for the 175 Walkway have been finalised by our school architect and the first plaque has been manufactured to use as a prototype for Parents and Old Boys. The updated drawing of the walkway appears above.

A 175 Tie has been designed and will be available for purchase later this year.

Wynberg Boys' High School Follow the FlagThe 175 commemorative Recipe Book is almost ready to go to print and will also be on sale later in the year.

The 175 Flag, which was presented by the school to WOBU at last year’s Founders’ Day, is currently in Australia. We are hoping to see it wing its way shortly to New Zealand and later the Far East. Click here to Follow the Wynberg Flag on Facebook

Jean Doyle, Cape Town’s most eminent sculptor, whose Grandfather, Father, Son and Grandson were at WBHS, has agreed to work with the art boys in making a 175 Commemorative Frieze. This will be placed on the wall at the far end of the foyer.

Our 175 Club (click here for more info) meets every month in the Bill Bowden where a draw for R10 000 cash prizes is done. Members give a monthly subscription of R175 which helps to raise funds for the organisation of the 175 celebrations. The Club is open to anyone. Should you wish to join, kindly contact Mrs Jeanette Muller at jmuller@wbhs.org.za

Our Supera Moras Trust, which now has tax exemption status, has been finalised. The school acknowledges the Herculean efforts of Barry Jessop in this regard in that it has taken years of bureaucratic wrangling with various government departments. This trust will now allow anyone wishing to donate money to the 175 celebrations to receive a tax donation. The trustees are Judge Owen Rogers, Andrew Feinstein, Michael Lewis, Michael Ward and Fritz Bing. The day to day management of the Trust’s affairs on behalf of its trustees will be looked after by Dorrington Jessop Attorneys in conjunction with the trust’s auditor.

All details regarding the 175 Celebrations and how purchases can be made can be found on our 175 Website which is due to be launched next month. In the interim, you can contact the 175 Co-Ordinator, Ann Coltham at email : 175@wbhs.org.za

The words of the school song echo in everything we do at this school: Brothers in an Endless Chain. The aim of the school in the 175 Celebrations is to invite every old boy to renew his links in the endless chain and to visit the school at least once during this special year.

All four pillars of the school will be well represented by a number of events during the year. If any Old Boy has queries on any of the above, he must please contact the Co-ordinator of our 175 Celebrations, Ann Coltham: 175@wbhs.org.za

Wynberg Boys' High School Campus

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The Campus

The winter rains have now arrived and our campus is looking splendid in its green hue. Do pop in when you are in the area. The Coffee Shop in the Bill Bowden is a good place to chat before you wander round the campus and admire the changes and improvements which have taken place since you left.

Coffee Shop hours: 07:30 – 20:00 during the school term 14:00 – 20:00 during school holidays.

Please remember that no visit to your old school is complete without checking in at the Oude Wijnberg Museum. Museum opening times: Tuesdays & Wednesdays 14:3 -17:00 during the school term.

All about you! Please send us your stories and photos – we like to keep track of what our Old Boys are doing. Please remember to update your details if you make changes. Email 175@wbhs.org.za

I am going to take this opportunity to congratulate Ian Liddle on behalf of the school on his appointment as CEO of Allan Gray. In 1991 (our 150th Year) he came third in the provincial matric rankings. To date, he is the only Wynberg boy ever to achieve a Top Ten ranking. Now there is a challenge for the current pupils in the school!

View our School Calendar of Events

Please note that Old Boys are warmly welcome at all these occasions.

Best Regards

Keith Richardson

Headmaster