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‘Life is a gift from God. Joan Williamson's life was a gift to God.' - Jan Odendaal
Tuesday 9 April 2019: It is only fitting that Wynberg Boys’ High honours the memory of Joan Williamson who recently died at the venerable age of 98.
’She was an icon in South African education,’ said Jan Odendaal after her Requiem Mass on Wednesday 4th April. Jan was in charge of adult education in the WCED when Bruce Probyn, then Headmaster of Wynberg, accepted his request to host the adult night school which had outgrown its premises at the Catholic Church of Constantia. ’She showed how education should be run and how it could change lives.’ Joan has been changing lives ever since she started her evening classes in her garage in Constantia where she was helped by people who were competent educators and were doing it for the right reasons - and receiving no remuneration in the process.
From garage, to church, to Wynberg. The big move to the school took place in 1996 with Wynberg staff providing many of the early teachers who undertook these teaching duties even though having put in a full day’s teaching. ‘It was called CWESI,’ Jan continued, ‘Constantia Wynberg Sharing Initiative. At the WCED, we called CWESI the Rolls Royce of Adult Education in the Western Cape.'
’She came across as a quiet and placid,’ said John Young who ran the Night School for 13 years taking over from the then teacher-in-charge, Jan de Waal, 'but if you read the letters which she wrote to the apartheid officials, you will soon see her strength of character. She shamed those officials into allowing the school to continue.’ These letters are currently stored in the CWESI offices at the school appropriately called the Joan Williamson Centre.
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Monday 8 April 2019: Since 1996 our Wynberg Boys’ Schools have shared a weekend exchange of cultural and sporting activities with our friends and rivals in the Eastern Cape, The Grey. Alternating hosting the event annually, 2019 sees Wynberg Boys’ Junior and High getting ready to welcome Grey Junior and High on Thursday 25 April.
With 41 fixtures in place for WBHS alone: Squash, Hockey, Debating, Chess, Cycling, Golf, Surfing, and Rugby, a quick calculation of players, coaches, managers, and staff gives an indication of the sheer scale of this traveling show - it’s an event of massive planning that relies on goodwill, volunteers, and passion for our Wynberg commitment to build on our good traditions of the past. And this Wynberg Grey Weekend, born in the ‘new South Africa’ is a tradition we hold dear, as do our old boys, and our students who’ve competed against one another, and made friends for life.
For the vast majority of students, this weekend is the only chance they will have to tour in any of their 5 years at either Grey or Wynberg - it’s what makes this exchange unique, all age groups and teams meet in rivalry and competition.
It’s in this spirit of exchange that we appeal to our Wynberg Families to open their homes and hearts to our friends from Port Elizabeth - hosting is both ‘paying forward’ and returning the generosity of the famously friendly families from Grey.
Glebe Cottage, circa 1880, photo submitted by David Lopes, Class of 1977
Wednesday 11 April 2018, Bill Bowden Pavilion: the AGM of the Wynberg Old Boys' Union will be held at 18h00 to report back on Union activities and finances since May 2017.
Our 2017 AGM will be remarked on in years to come as a watershed moment in the history of our Union, the year a quorum of old boys voted to move our historic organisational efforts in support of our Schools’ and all our brothers onto a business footing.
A performance-based two-year volunteer appointment of EXCO members was approved, who through their work, were tasked to present a fresh vision, develop achievable short goals, deliver, succeed, and replace themselves after two years.
This AGM will be a feedback on what has been achieved, what remains in progress, and what lies in store.
View the photos on Flickr
On Saturday 10 March 2018 Wynberg hosted the first ever WOW - Women of Wynberg - event at Kaplan House to honour our women in a morning of connecting, upliftment, and celebration.
Rounding off a week in which WBHS marked International Women’s Day with powerful and thought-provoking workshops with the boys on respecting women and their valuable contribution to society, the WOW morning was attended by 250 Wynberg mothers, teachers, and other influential women, in an exuberant celebration of our Women of Worth.
An inspirational address by Wynberg mom, Portia van Staden, honoured the guests and reminded them of their inner strengths, their beauty, and capabilities.
Portia, with the aid of a R50 note dropped, crumpled, trodden on and ground into the dirt, demonstrated the fundamental fact: the note did not lose its value, it retained its full worth:
Wynberg Old Boys' Union Newsletters are distributed to all Old Wynbergians by email. #WynbergMedia #SuperaMoras #OldBoysUnite
Vernon Wood, Rest In Peace
Saturday 17 February 2018: it was with profound shock and deep sadness that the School and Wynberg Old Boys' Union learnt of the sudden passing of Old Boy, Vernon Wood, former principal of both Bergvliet High School and Bishops. Our deepest condolences to the Wood family.
Keith Richardson, former Wynberg Boys' High School Educator and Headmaster, writes:
I well remember Vernon Wood as a schoolboy at Wynberg. He threw himself with enthusiasm into all he did, had a cheery smile and made friends easily. He finished off his Wynberg career in 1977 as prop for the first rugby team as well as serving as school prefect.
It came as no surprise, when together with classmates Greg Brown and Chris Luman, also future principals, he decided to attend UCT and become a teacher. He started off his teaching career at Queens College before moving up the ranks, returning to Cape Town as a HOD at Muizenberg High School. From the beginning of his career, he impressed all with his enthusiasm for the teaching profession and his ability to relate to everyone from parents, to school management, to pupils at the school.