Thursday 21 October 2021: Valedictorian’s Address, by Justin Sangster.
A famous quote by Mark Twain states that one should never let their schooling get in the way of their education and I think that each one of us can relate to this to some degree because of our time at this school over the past five years.
I started my journey along with most of you at Wynberg 5 years ago as the last of three Sangster brothers to attend this school. I fell in love with the school and its traditions. The cheering, joking, and camaraderie among the boys was infectious yet in my first two or three weeks of Grade 8 I remember feeling like I didn’t quite belong. I had a doubt that I wasn’t going to fit in and find long-lasting friendships like my brothers had because I didn’t really seem to click with anyone apart from the other Sweet Valley boys I already knew.
I loved the school and what it stood for, but I didn’t always love coming to school in those early days. But as I started getting more involved with sport and becoming more familiar with my classmates in 8C it began to change. For me, school became a place where I could be myself and have the opportunity to better myself. I got involved in committees, sport, and various other activities that the school offered, and I really started to feel like a Wynberg Boy.
The years rolled by and just as we were warned in 2017 when we sat in the hall for the first time as a grade our time at this school has really flown by in the blink of an eye. I have memories from Grade 9 that are so vivid it seems as though they happened last week, but to think that those things happened about 3 years ago is pretty scary to me. We all have memories from our time here over the past few years and as we all go our separate ways and get caught up in the journey and challenges of life, we may drift away from even our closest of school mates but the memories we have created and the challenges we have overcome together will never leave us.
On the 26th of March when we were forced into lockdown as a nation, I don’t think any of us would have realised that we would never get the opportunity to sing Donoughts and Juice after the Founders’ Day assembly again; that Dylan and the culture committee would not have the opportunity to organise a normal multi-day Concert in the Quad or be in another school production; the boys in the chess team would not be able to tour to Bloemfontein in their matric year; Curtly would never get the opportunity to sing OO Trollie Lollie in front of the school on a Friday night and none of us would get to play Grey for the final time in our matric year.
Gents, as a Grade we have been faced with challenges and hardship throughout these last two years, we have stayed in the fight and weathered the storm and here we all are. We have made it. We are a group of vastly different individuals that arrived here in 2017 as a collection of boys from different primary schools but we are leaving here today as the Wynberg Boys’ High School Matric Class of 2021, and that will forever bind us together.
This school has offered us so much more than what we may realise as we sit here today but I’m sure when we reflect on our time here we will all be thankful for at least something that this school provided us with, whether it was the opportunity to excel on the sports field, on the stage in the Alf Morris Centre, or in the art classrooms in the E block, there was truly something for everyone and this is what makes me proud to say I am a Wynberg Man.
There have been ups and there have been downs but I can say with a smile on my face and a feeling of gratitude that it is because of each and every one of you that I have loved my time at this school, I mentioned earlier in the speech about being the last of three Sangster brothers that would walk through these doors, but I can happily say that I am walking alongside 160 of my other brothers.
Thank you for being the best Grade that anyone could ask for and I encourage you to take in and remember this moment because as we go down our different paths in life we don’t know when we will meet again. In the words of Dr Suess:
Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
So goodbye and thank you again gents and until we meet again remember the two words that have been ingrained into our character, Supera Moras.