Wynberg 175: Blessing Service & Tree Planting

Wynberg Boys' High School 175 Blessing Service

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Wynberg 175 Launch Week: Blessing Service & Tree Planting, Saturday 30 January 2016

Wynberg Boys’ Junior School hosted an intimate and moving early morning service to officially launch the Schools’ 175th anniversary year. The Heads of the four Wynberg Campus Schools were joined by representatives of the Wynberg Old Boys’ Union, the Boys’ High and Junior Schools and folk who’d been involved in the planning of  the ‘Wynberg 175’ celebrations for 2016.

After a welcome by WBJS Headmaster, Mr Cedric Poleman, the guests were treated to short addresses by WBJS Grade 7,  Keiron Adams and Mr Justin van Winkel, WBHS teacher and former Head Boy, who spoke proudly of the environment and ethos of the schools that nurture the qualities of a ‘Wynberg Man’ and his role in society.

A ‘Scottish Blessing’ by Ms Dee Cawcutt of Wynberg Girls’ Junior School, a nod to Wynberg’s 1st Headmaster, Mr John McNaughton’s Scottish roots, was followed by the emotive “I am an African” read by Mrs Shirley Harding of Wynberg Girls’ High.

The choice of the Boys’ Junior School ‘Old Hall’ for the service is significant in the history of the Wynberg Boys Schools: built in 1892, the hall is the oldest part of the Wynberg Boys’ Campus, part of the then ‘new site development’ to accommodate the School’s increasing enrollment from its humble beginnings in Glebe Cottage, via the soon outgrown Bryndewyn building in Aliwal Road. When the High School relocated to its current premises in 1981, the Boys’ Junior School expanded into the High School’s old buildings to become its new custodians.

Wynberg Boys' High School 175 Tree Planting

A symbolic planting of a Milkwood tree in the Junior School Quad by Mr Poleman, Mr Jan de Waal (WBHS Headmaster), Keiron Adams and Mr van Winkel sealed the morning and the spirit of Wynberg 175: firmly rooted in Cape history, and alive with the prospect of new growth.

To quote from the School Song: “Firm its roots and broad its branches, best of schools it stands alone”.

Excerpt from “I am an African” by Wayne Visser. (Last two verses as read by Mrs Harding)

When the music of Africa beats in the wind
My blood pulses to its rhythm
And I become the essence of sound
When the colours of Africa dazzle in the sun
My senses drink in its rainbow
And I become the palette of nature
When the stories of Africa echo round the fire
My feet walk in its pathways
And I become the footprints of history

I am an African
Because she is the cradle of our birth
And nurtures an ancient wisdom
I am an African
Because she lives in the world’s shadow
And bursts with a radiant luminosity
I am an African
Because she is the land of tomorrow
And I recognise her gifts as sacred

Chris Merrington