Posted: 24 November
Mark Keohane Compliments SACS
This article was originally published on page 18
of Cape Argus on November 06, 2007
SMy son Oliver is seven years old and attends
SACS. Monday morning was no ordinary one. His tie had to be just right.
So too the rest of his school gear because Percy
Montgomery, Springbok World Cup winner and a SACS old boy, was to visit
When I got home Oliver was at karate, but on the
table was a picture he had drawn of Percy, himself and the World Cup.
There was also a note telling me about the experience and that all the
boys had got to touch the World Cup!
Later that evening he enthusiastically went
through everything again. He even informed me that after Monty's
eight-month stint in France he would be returning to play for Western
He told me every one of his observations about Monty and then the most
significant line of his speech. Or at least I assumed that because he
did confess to only remembering this one: "Percy said nothing comes
easily in life and we have to work very hard for everything we want to
Then he told me about the feeling of touching the
World Cup - the very same World Cup, he said, the Springboks had won in
"It is real gold," he said. "Because we are the
Oliver idolises Percy Montgomery and among his
many ambitions is to become a goalkicker. In the last two months he has
perfected the Montgomery "hands in prayer and two step" kicking style,
if not the accuracy of Monty.
Why am I telling you this? Because Oliver is one
of millions of young boys whose idea of what a Springbok rugby player
represents must be protected and cannot be tarnished by an
administration seemingly out of touch with just what the World Cup
victory meant to South Africans.
The boys at SACS junior know more about Monty than
they do about any administrator who has ever served or been a
disservice to the game. And that's the way it should stay.
In a time when television commercials urge kids to
get outside, away from PlayStation, television and computer games,
nothing can make a young boy's mind and legs race for the freedom of
the outdoors quite like the feeling that he too can be a champion of
This past week the game's administration has again
stolen valuable column inches when that precious space should have been
dedicated to the joy young South African boys (and girls) are feeling,
the patriotism that seems as real as touching the World Cup and the
sense that anything is possible.
Last night my boy toasted Percy Montgomery for
winning the World Cup at dinner and I am sure there are many parents
out there who can tell a similar story.
I tell this story because he is seven years old
and his generation represents the future of the Springboks. The loyalty
to the Springboks is there from the next generation, but it is there
because of what Springbok players and coaches achieved in France.
And that is what the game's administration in
their pursuit for misplaced power just won't acknowledge.
Last week this administration held a two-day
seminar to plot the next 10 years of rugby in South Africa. Had they
been at SACS on Monday, by way of just one example, they'd have seen
the power and healthy state of Springbok rugby.
And he wasn't wearing a suit, talking about
process, protocol, power or a 10-year plan.
back to top
Posted: 24 November
A Vet's Life
by Brendon Brady
So you've always fancied the idea of being a vet.
You love animals. You've read the James Herriot books until it feels
like you actually grew up in the Yorkshire Dales. You can't tear
yourself away from Animal Planet, except to feed your iguanas. You like
the medical field, but prefer the idea of being a vet as you don't
really like people that much. You don’t fancy the idea of sitting
in an office cubicle pushing papers around and beating numbers into
submission all day long. (For me, it was a decision taken so long ago
now that I can’t even remember what first inspired me!) Whatever
your reason, you're considering Veterinary Science as a career option.
Here's a bit of info on the matter, from the
horse's mouth so to speak. I'm in my final year of my Bachelor of
Veterinary Science (BVSc) at the University of Pretoria at the moment,
and barring any major disasters I'll be returning to Cape Town and
ministering to the animal population at large by the end of this year.
Thank goodness, because 6 years is an awfully long time to be a broke
May I start off by including some hard, but
important, truths. There are much easier, quicker and more glamourous
ways to make money. This job will see you get covered in animal bodily
fluids of every description on a fairly regular basis. (Pig and goat
are pretty tenacious smells that can linger for days despite your best
efforts...) The hours are long and demanding, particularly while
studying (you can forget much of that exhuberant care-free student
social life). The career inevitable involves significant amounts of
dealing both with animals in pain and suffering, and with their
concerned or even bereaved owners. All animals have owners and after
all, they are the ones who will be paying you. It's vital that you are
prepared to deal with them and all their emotions and idiosyncrasies!
But, despite all of that it's not all bad news!
The BVSc degree (and the Veterinary Nursing diploma, also offered at
UP) is a magnificent golden key that opens the doors of a multitude of
careers to you, from clinical work in companion animals (pets and
horses) and production animals (pigs, cows, goats, sheep, chickens
etc), State Vet work (the management of Controlled Diseases, import and
export of animals, rural agricultural development) to research and work
in the veterinary and para-veterinary industries (pharmaceuticals,
foods, pet products - the list is very long). Above all, it can be an
enormously fulfilling and rewarding profession. You should never get
bored by it, and throughout your career there will always be more
things for you to learn and to keep you on your toes.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to enter the
Veterinary field, consider your decision very carefully. As with any
career choice, it's a serious decision to be made. You'll be investing
a lot of time, sweat, tears and money. Currently, the Vet Nursing
Diploma is 2 years and the Veterinary Science degree is comprised of 3
years BSc and then 4 years BVSc (all at UP). Both qualifications are
widely recognized internationally, including the UK, Australia and New
Zealand. As the name implies, the BVSc course is heavily science-based
and a solid grounding in mathematics and science/biology is a
prerequisite. The early years of the course slowly build up your basic
knowledge of general science and the veterinary field, before you
progress to the theoretical and practical aspects of first Pathology,
Pharmacology, Toxicology, Parasites, Microbiology and then the
nutrition, health and surgical/medical management of the specific
species in the later years. The course is rounded off with a superb
hands-on clinical year, spent mostly in the Onderstepoort Veterinary
Academic Hospital. Here you work punishing hours, but you get the
chance to hone your practical skills and substantiate your theory in
order to become a competent graduate (this year is widely praised for
its excellence by overseas Faculties and visiting foreign students are
common). It’s indescribably fulfilling to finally put all the
years of sitting behind a desk into actual practice. The first time you
send a cured patient home will certainly be a cherished memory.
If you’re looking for more information on
the career, then a good place to start is probably the University of
Pretoria’s Academic Administration on 012 420 4111 or the faculty
page on the UP website, www.up.ac.za. Read up about it as much as you
can there and elsewhere, but more importantly, experience it for
yourself. Spend some time with your local vet, or at one of the Animal
Welfare organizations. Get your hands dirty, get involved, dispel any
romantic misconceptions and find out what it’s really all about.
And if you’ve decided this is the life for you, then good luck
and get ready to pack you bags for Pretoria!
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Posted: 24 November
Michael Creech ('65) Writes from the USA
Thank you for asking me to write a few lines about
my family and I. The years have certainly flown by since I left SACS in
1962 and moved to Stellenbosch where I attended Paul Roos Gymnasium
where I leaned amongst other things to speak Afrikaans quite well!
After spending one year at Stellenbosch University I switched to the
Cape Town Technical College where I studied for an Engineering Dilploma
in Electronics. This took 4 years with 6 months being spent in the
field and 6 months on academics. I worked mainly for Standard
Telephones and cables in Boksburg on telephone cable systems.
From 1972 – 1987 worked at the University
of Cape Town in various capacities. First I was working for the audio
visual department. And then in the then Teaching Methods Unit. I then
transferred to the Chemistry Department and had the privelege of
working for the late Professor David Thornton. It was at this time that
I worked and obtained a BSc Ifrom UNISA in Computer Science and Physics
In 1987 I left UCT and took up a position at Boston University where I
currently hold a position in the Chemistry department here.
On a more personal note Carol (nee Promnitz ) and
I have been married since 1975. She came from East London and is of
German settler descent. Carol did her BA in History and Geography from
Rhodes as well as the UED. She taught at Queenstown Girls High , at
Victory Park High and and St Georges Preparitory school in Port
Elizabeth after which she left for Cape Town and taught at Rustenburg
Girls High.She then did her Higher Diploma in librarianship at UCT and
worked at the Cape Education Department Library until we started a
family. For cricket buffs Carol’s late father Henry Promnitz
represented South Africa on the springbok cricket team that played
England in 1927- 1928. He was known as the mystery bowler. In that
disguise the direction in which the ball spun. He took 5 for 58 in the
We have 4 children three sons and a daughter. Our
eldest son Tim and his wife live in Quincy and we are expecting our
first grandchild in february. Tim is an accountant and Aleta works in
the Harvard business school as a recruiter. Tim is an accountant
working in property management and is a graduate from the business
school at Boston University.
Our second son Andrew first studied and worked as
an auto-mechanic but had to give this up three years ago because of a
medical problem caused repetitive use of his right arm. He now works
for our chiropractor. Our daughter Janet also graduated from Boston
University in early childhood development and now is in here final year
in a masters program at Worcester state college in speech and language
pathology. This is an hours drive to the west of us. She eventually
hopes to work with young children.
Our youngest son Jonathan graduated from
LeTourneau University with a BSc in aeronautical science and he wants
to fly. This university is situated in Texas on the eastern side near
Loisiana. He is presently working as a flight instructor as he gets his
In July we travelled to Longview once more for his
wedding to Sarah Ricks. They met at this university and Sarah is a
history teacher at a local school and also does a fair amount of
When we first moved to America we lived in Newton
which is part of greater Boston. After three years we moved to
Arlington which is due north of the city and about 10 miles from it.
Our house is situated on the Lexington town line which is well known
for its role in the Revolutionary war of 1775.
It is along this road Massachusetts ave (unpaved
then) that Paul Revere rode his horse to warn the local Minutemen (the
colonial soldiers that had to be ready at a ‘minutes
notice’) along the way from Boston to Concord (two towns west of
Lexington) and that include the villiage of Menotomy which took place
between the redcoats and the local minutemen.
The Jasson Russell house where this battle took
place is located ½ a mile from our house. It is well preserved
museum but one can still see the bullet holes in the walls.
Each year the town of Lexington has re-enactment
of this battle on their villiage green, It takes place on Patriots day
in April and and the oppossing Minutemen and Redcoats gather at the
dawn’s early light in the usually brisk spring air to do battle.
Muskets are fired and ring out during this mock battle.
It is with nostalgia now that I look back on my
time at SACS. Last year while staying with friends in Rondebosch Carol
and I walked through the grounds and I was able to show her the
boarding house where I attended class in Std 5 when SJ Hunter was still
principal. It was great seeing the rugfby fields. I do still have
wonderful memories of Mr Heanor who taught me me English in Stsd 6 and
7 before leaving for Tasmania. And you John with your history lessons
on the boer war. (those British were everywhere!)
Thank you for the warm memories and for the way
you always added dignity to our activities.
With Best wishes,
Michael Creech (email@example.com)
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Posted: 24 November
Then, Now and the Five R's - Prize Giving Address
3 October 2006
by David Aschman - Professor of Physics,
University of Cape Town
David Aschman ('65) and classmate Simon Perkin
SACS men, manne, amadoda! I address you directly,
for my message is primarily to you, but I hope your wise teachers and
parents here tonight will be interested too.
So, boys and girls... but there are no girls, of
course, since SACS is a boys' school, and perhaps we should ask why
that is. We can strive to be a great school for boys, but should we not
try to be a great school for all?
In October 1983 I stood right here and spoke at
prize giving. My daughter, Gray, was a baby, 3 weeks old, and was
carried by the boys as my wife, Lynne, handed out the prizes. No-one
remembers what I said. No-one remembers prizegiving speeches. I don't
remember what I said, but I think I asked: "Are we a great school"?
Lynne recalls some members of the governing body looking tense.
I don't remember any of the many speeches I heard
at school, but I do remember one occasion. There was a rumbling in the
ceiling above - there were presumably workmen in the roof - as some guy
on stage was going on about honour and duty to school, country and to
God - he turned his eyes upwards at this point. There was a splintering
crack as a foot, a leg and then the lower half of a workman crashed
through the ceiling! Some cursing, and the body of the workman withdrew
into the gaping hole to howls of laughter from us boys. We don't
remember what was said, but we remember the occasion. So if I can raise
some questions here tonight, that is enough.
We must always question, always let in the
sunlight, so I ask: "Are we a great school?" Are we a great school? The
oldest, certainly. Are we a great country? In some sense the newest
country. You, and I, nearly two generations apart, are both privileged
In 1965 I sat where you are and listened - again,
I have no idea what the guy up on stage said - speeches at prize-giving
are just a formality, a necessary prelude to the main business of the
evening, which is the recognition of individual academic and sporting
excellence. These are human qualities most easily measured, but there
are other qualities, which often become apparent only long after we
have left school.
In the sixties - they say if you can remember the
sixties you were not really there - we emerged from the repressive
fifties; bound by race, class and colonialism to experience a birth of
ideas, freedom of expression and behaviour, freedom from the bonds of
convention; new music, new thoughts, new awareness of the the body - in
short "sex, drugs and rock 'n roll". Drugs, mild then, just dagga,
would prove to be a cul-de-sac. They provided no path to creativity,
insight, wisdom or happiness.
At SACS in 1965 we (I was in the same matric year
as your teachers Simon Perkin and Geoff Olivier) were fortunate to have
had some splendid teachers: men such as Doug Brown, John Ince and
others who were people of energy, aesthestic sense and forthright
honesty. We had been given a good start to life, and we knew it.
Despite the self-doubt of adolescence, we were confident we could make
our way in the world. And we did.. now we are doctors, researchers,
lawyers, businessmen, art historians, architects, accountants,
scientists, engineers.... Thank you to SACS for giving us this
start....in a sick South Africa.
The purity of ideals became polluted in the
Then came the greed of the eighties, the age of the "yuppie". At the
end of that decade came the collapse of communism. Do you remember
that? Capitalism is a system where man exploits man. Under communism,
of course, it is the other way around. Communism collapsed under the
stress of competing in the arms race, while TV inspired greed for
Western consumer goods, imported inflation into their rigid economic
system in which individual merit and hard work were not rewarded: "we
pretend to work and they pretend to pay us".
In the nineties our baby boom generation came into
full power. With the increase in productivity due to the PC and the
internet based knowledge/information revolution, the investment of the
boomers' retirement funds, and globalisation, the world entered a
decade of prosperity.
At the end of the 80's South Africa was in deep
trouble: apartheid was an evil shambles, the economy faltering, the
security forces and ANC's Umkhonto locked in deadly embrace - a
stalemate. White South Africa was forced to negotiate. So, just as many
of you were born, the nation was given the gift of a rebirth. But at
what cost in brave lives, misery, suffering, waste of human potential
and loss of individual liberty by detention without trial. Let us pause
to remember those who gave so much that we might all be free.
Then came the miracle of 1994. The election in which all could vote,
Mandela as president, and the beginnings of reconcilation. It would
take hard work to achieve "a better life for all". What exciting years!
So full of promise. Now looms the spectre of non-delivery, and the
country, in frustration, turning, in 2009, to a populist.
The salvation of this country lies in the building
of social capital, and preventing social exclusion. In the short term,
we must provide jobs, housing, health and social security. In the
longer term, we must provide education.
This brings us to now. Let us, you the privileged
generation, born on the cusp of history, look forward: there are three
1: It comes right, magically. We don't have to do
anything. The black politicians are in charge, and we, the affluent
(old and new) stay behind our walls, watch our Kreepy-Krawleys clean
our swimming pools, and phone our stockbrokers. The rich get richer,
and the poor stay poor.
2: It goes wrong. We are racked by poverty, AIDS,
crime, unemployment, poor schooling and hopelessness. Black domination
replaces white. There is loss of skills due to young people
emmigrating. The poor stay poor, and the rich leave.
3: We all pitch in, and help to build this nation.
You work hard. You get a good world-class education here. You go
abroad, so you can fully grow and develop - you are a citizen of the
world. You are able to judge this country from without. You return and
work hard. You educate your children, and, by giving, help educate
those of others. And you engage with matters of the day! If things are
not to your liking, don't sulk, don't grumble. Argue, debate! Protest
at mistakes! Speak out! March! And remember: as long as they, the poor,
don't eat, you, the privileged, will not sleep well.
Which scenario will turn out to be the myth, and
which the reality? I do not know. It is in your, our, hands.
What can school teach us? The 3 r's (small letter
r's) i.e. the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic? Yes, but
it must do more. It must give us the time and space to become fully
Rabbi Hillel, a famous sage, was once asked to
recite the essence of God’s laws while standing on one leg - they
wanted a really brief summary! He said: "Do not do unto others as you
would not have them do unto you. All the rest is commentary. Go and
Basically that is it! It simple: treat others with
with respect. So here is my summary of what school should do. It should
instill the 5 R's - capital letters. R stands for respect. We know the
word respect: it comes from the Latin: re- meaning back, and specere -
to look. To look back at something with a sense of awe and admiration.
It is the same word root as in our motto "Spectamur agendo" - Let us be
judged (looked at) by our deeds. Respect is the quality demanded in
street slang: "Don't diss me" means don't disrespect me, show me some
These are the 5 R's.
1 Respect for your (our) environment. It is a
common good. It belongs to all of us, but any one of us can wreck it.
The tragedy of the commons refers to the effect of people not
respecting a common good, but, because it is there for everyone, some
one decides to abuse it before others can abuse it. Soon, it is gone
for all. So pick up your trash, preserve the wilderness, plan urban
growth, consume less material and less fuel (spurn your enormous SUV
vehicles you SACS ums, for do you really need them to negotiate the
treacherous conditions in the Cavendish shopping mall parking lots?).
2 Respect for all people. ALL people. You may
dislike some people, you may hate some, you may fight some - but they
are people. If you are religous, remember they are God's people. If you
a secular humanist, remember that they are people like you. You must
respect them. Never degrade them. Genocide, torture, deprivation and
humiliation of people are all bad, because they degrade other people,
and in so doing they degrade you.
People are different. Value this diversity. We are
not machines, not clones. We are humans. 99.99 percent of our DNA is
the same. The physical laws of the universe (quantum mechanics?) allow
for free will, and individual action. Our individuality is our gift.
That is why our political, legal and constitutional system is based on
individual rights. We have the right to be treated the same (we are all
equal before the law), but also we have the right to be different. We
have freedom of conscience, religion, and association. Of course with
these rights goes responsibility - the responsibility to uphold the
rights of others.
But why do we treat each other so badly? Why is
there such rudeness, drunkenness, swearing, fighting, reckless driving;
petty theft, lying, corruption, robbery, rape, murder? Why do we almost
expect such behaviour from each other? Why do we put up with it? Why do
we remain mostly silent? Where did we lose our way?
3 Respect for your community, and that of others.
Community provides a sense of belonging and worth. You know your
community. You are, like it or not, one of them. Some in your community
will be fine and admirable, some greedy, some lazy, some dishonest.
Most will be ordinary. They are like you. They are a group, and we feel
comfortable within a group. But never let group rights trample on
individual rights. Never say because I am a SACS man I can punch or
kick or swear at someone from another school or group.
But are we, in the magnificent diversity of our
nation, truly tolerant of other communities? Or do we feel, openly or
secretly, that "we" are better than "them"?
Our school is a community. Tonight we celebarate
and reward the best. But there are others, whose qualities are yet to
show, who will not receive prizes tonight. They are no less admirable.
My friend received no prizes at school. But in sub A (grade 1) we all
got prizes. Mine was for "general knowledge." My friend received a
prize for "gentlemanliness" (note the quaint 1950's reverence for
class). They got that right. He is today a finer human being than I am.
4 Respect for your parents. They brought you into
this world, they gave you your greatest gift - the gift of life. They
gave you your DNA and your initial culture and values. Treasure them.
5 Respect for yourself. Perhaps this is the most
important. You, and I, are imperfect beings, but we can change
ourselves. Self-esteem and a sense of self-worth are keys to happiness.
Everyone, in his or her own way, is special. Find that way, first in
others, and then in yourself. When you can say to yourself: "I am
trying to do better to others, and to myself. I am a better person than
I was", then you will develop self-respect. Then you will insist on
treating yourself well, and you will insist on your treating others
likewise. And if they respect themselves, they will respect you. This
is the key to Rabbi Hillel's distillation of the laws for a just,
At school, do we instill these five respects? Are
we too competitive, too driven by pride in the group? Do we demand
conformity? Do we suppress the diversity of individuals? Do we silence
the heretic, do we devalue the maverick? Does our adherence to
"tradition", and "values" prevent full development of the individual?
We must raise these questions.
As I look out from here, seeing all your faces, I
ask you to think about what the school has given you - and is still
giving. I must tell you that you are privileged to be in a fine school,
in a fine country.
Just as in 1965 we looked out at this new era
about to begin, and felt that shiver of excited anticipation, so too do
we now, in 2006, with our new born democracy maturing into adolescence,
look forward to a time of huge possibilities, but also the certainty
that the road ahead will not be easy.
We can ask ourselves: Are we great? A great
school, in a great country?
- I think my answer is: No, not yet. - But we
back to top
Posted: 24 November
Junior School Headmaster's Report
by Stuart Anderson
Our 178th year of existence will go down in the
school records as one of the most spirited ones. If ever the four major
components of the school (Staff, Parents, Old Boys and Boys) pulled
together with some extra “gees”, it was in 2007!
The staff play, “The Spirit of SACS”,
epitomized the true commitment and mass participation of teachers and
secretaries towards the school. The hilarious production involving
every single employee turned out to be staff development at its very
best. What a cast of talented people! My gratitude to the staff for
giving their most amusing best in a difficult year for education
throughout the country. It proved once again that we have a dedicated
staff of professionals loyal to SACS. The 2007 staff, with an average
of 40, has an excellent blend of youthful energy and wise experience
– with no signs of a mid-life crisis!
Finding male teachers in Primary school education
is becoming a serious concern. We believe that they play a vital part
as role models in a boys only environment and it is very worrying to
know that too many men have left SACS since 1996. 1 has retired, 1 took
the severance package, 2 to teach at High Schools, 4 to Private
Schools, 7 have gone Overseas and 9 have joined the Corporate world.
The current male staff of 15 is an exception when considering the staff
establishments in Cape Town’s primary schools where male numbers
vary from 0 to an average of about 4 men on the staff.
Academically we remain very strong, striving at
all times for the highest standards. When it comes to Maths and
English, I like to compare our standards to a prestigious girls school
in our neighbourhood. Each year we get vital feedback on Grade 3 and
Grade 6 departmental assessments. I am always so impressed by the
excellent results and the close correlation between the two schools.
This is the evidence which shows that boys are able to work just as
hard as girls!
Talking of academics, let’s talk about
music, because it plays a vital role in the cognitive development of
the boys. Music is not only fun and enjoyable, it undoubtedly
stimulates the cells of both hemispheres of our brains! Congratulations
to the super teams of choirs, bands and individuals for performing
superbly at concerts and competitions this year. I think immediately of
our band at the Sans Souci facets festival and the stunning singing of
our choirs in our very own schools choir festival in the Hofmeyr hall.
The boys remain our top ambassadors and public relation officers for
Our very wide extra-mural programme which offers
17 different activities remains a vital part of the curriculum in which
boys can develop their self esteem and develop their identities. Mr
John Ince can vouch for so many old boys who were not too academic at
school, but who still succeeded in life owing to a SACS all round
education which vigorously encourages both team work and individual
excellence. Springbok icon, Percy Montgomery is living proof of this.
Whilst at the junior School, he was always such a humble, but committed
SACS boy who always put his school first. He remains the same today! We
firmly believe that Percy was able to slot over those incredible
pressurized world cup winning kicks simply because he had developed a
strong self-belief whilst at SACS. Well done Percy!
We have again had a very spirited sports year and
my congratulations go to the coaches for their extra hours whether it
be on the astro, admiring the mountain view whilst umpiring, avoiding
Egyptian geese at the pools, enduring the deafening whistles of
waterpolo referees, or running with the boys through 20 cms of mud and
slush during one of CT’s most severe winters! The boys gave it
their best shot! _whether it was for an A team or an E team! In this
regard, congratulations to the unbeaten Under 12C Rugby team for
winning the coveted Peter Berry trophy for the most successful team of
Old Boys can read about all these sporting
successes the magazine, but special mention should be made of some of
the highlights. In no particular order, here with my selection of the
Big Five: 1. SACS wins the pentagular inter-schools gala for the 8th
consecutive year. 2. The massive inter-schools mini Rugby festivals
(involving some 150 SACS 7 and 8 year olds!) hosted by us and organized
by our Foundation Phase teachers. 3. The SACS water polo national
festival involving 17 schools. 4. The two fine U11A and U13A Cricket
victories over our Eastern Cape rivals, Grey junior School, and, 5. The
growth of Hockey to 17 league teams, the most out of all the schools in
Our focus this year was, “We’ve Got
the Spirit in 2007!” Congratulations to all - We achieved
back to top
Posted: 24 November
High School Prize Giving - Sports Report
by Deputy Head Boy Keegan Clay
Good evening Mr Ball, Dr Wood, Mrs Wood, honoured
guests, staff, parents and you, my fellow SACS men.
This year has seen SACS sport climb to new heights
– achieving victories we once thought were unachievable (like our
1st fifteens’ desecration of Paul Roos Gymnasium; but I’ll
get to that a little later). This last sporting season bore witness to
the grit and determination of the SACS character as a whole – the
men of SACS stood out amongst their rivals, outclassing them in
sportsmanship, uniformity and spirit. It is no exaggeration to say that
this has been one of the greatest all round sporting years SACS has
SACS cricket has experienced overwhelming success.
Our 1st eleven annihilated all competition – fighting their way
to an unprecedented 94% winning rate. This year – WE were the
best of the best. Carson Lederle powered through his season with
authority, finishing 4th on the National Bowling Rankings and Colin
Sher attained a no1 on the National Fielders Ranking. The U14A’s
have also shone, emerging from the end of their season with their
unbeaten record intact.
Excellence was shown by our basketball players
this past season – our U14A’s, u16A’s and 1st team
produced a 90% win rate. Nani Matthews showed great character in
captaining his team to victory after victory after victory.
Our swimming this year seemed to improve in leaps
and bounds with talents like Sebastiaan Rosseau, Alex Dovale and Digby
Sebastiaan lead the way with a memorable victory
at the SA Senior National Swimming Champs 200m Butterfly event. He
eventually achieved a position in the SA National Men’s Swimming
team. This is an incredible honour, worthy of a SACS man.
Athletics got off to a fantastic start this year
at the Paarl Boys Athletics Meeting in February. We achieved four 3rd
places, four 2nd places and two 1st places. However, the Paarl
Athletics was far more than these results indicate. 450 SACS men
attended – proudly swelling the fame of this school. Those of you
that were there will agree that SACS WAS that tournament. The very
essence of SACS pride and spirit was echoed in the cheering voices of
our men that night – especially when Brendan and Leroy clocked
our opposition on the track!
Over the past few years, SACS has built a
reputation as one of the strongest waterpolo schools in the country
– and this year was no exception. Although our men didn’t
do as well as they expected at the King Edwards College and SACS
tournaments, they still maintain their standing as the top Waterpolo
team in the Western Cape and indeed the entire country. Our waterpolo
men won most of their league games and our 1st team once again claimed
the prestigious Mazinter Cup for the 3rd consecutive year.
This year, SACS has emerged as one of the top
Rowing schools in the country. Our oarsmen kick-started their season
when the 1st eight attained a Bronze in the Port Alfred 6.2km Boat Race
– this is the best result SACS has ever achieved in this
particular regatta. Our men further proved their worth when they were
invited to the exclusive River Vaal Regatta where they were placed
third once again. We cleaned up at all our local regattas, leaving
Bishops and Rondebosch quite literally in our wake! This winning
attitude carried forward at the annual Selbourne Sprint Regatta –
when our 1st eight once again dominated in the face of elite
competition. They not only won the sprint race but also set a new
record on that course. However, Vincent De Mynk and his oarsmen did not
stop there; they ended their season by claiming 18 medals at the SA
National Championships, finishing 7th out of 42 schools.
Our Hockey this year has seen a definitive
improvement since last season. Our men proved themselves by defeating a
seemingly unbeatable Rondebosch team – this shocked many of the
rugby jocks and most of us were forced to swallow our crude hockey
comments. Well done boys;)
Cross – country boomed this year, becoming
SACS’ most popular sport. Exceptional results have been achieved
thanks to superb leadership by Carson Lederle and amazing endurance by
Brendon Lombard – its no wonder cross – country was awarded
so many ‘SPUR team of the weeks’.
Sailing produced two amazing talents in Matthew
Whitehead and Matthew Shaw who, along with their fathers (both SACS old
boys) won the Cape Point Challenge and All Africa Games event
The final sport that I wish to focus on is rugby.
In my preparations for this speech, I decided to leave SACS rugby for
last, as it is the sport closest to my heart and I want what I say
about our rugby to COME from my heart.
I personally have had to miss virtually my entire
season, due to various injuries. Nevertheless, I had plenty of
opportunities to witness many of the SACS men in action.
Men like Zack Beukman, Dugald Robertson, Adam
Norman and Dean Holland or as we like to call him “the DH”
– the DEVASTATING HANDOFF. These men have become heroes within
the four walls of this Hall and beyond – “spreading the
name and swelling the fame” as they propelled our 1st Fifteen to
an awesome 60% win rate. This is a massive achievement seeing as we
play in a particularly tough league.
The Sacs 1st Fifteen seemed to defy all odds when
they took down Paul Roos Gymnasium and DREW to mighty Bishops. Our men
ploughed through traditional rivals Rondebosch and Wynberg, battering
each both times they met.
We ended our season destroying Wynberg on our own
grounds, repaying our loses from last year – the message was
simple: “SACS is here to win”.
SACS men jumped in to the rugby spirit this
here…there has been an explosion amongst the U19 section which
Never forget, it is you who have achieved this
excellence. It’s not exclusively the first teams and the top
athletes who make the name of this school great. But rather your
combined participation, which uplifts our name.
Therefore, in conclusion – I who have been
too injured to fully participate this year want to thank you, the SACS
Thank you for every tackle, every try, every goal,
Thank you for every wicket, every run, every
stroke, every metre, every second and every moment.
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Posted: 24 November
Spectemur Agendo Award 2007
Citation by Matt Guiney (Deputy Headmaster)
Mr Sean Day, it is with great pride that your alma
mater, the South African College School, honours you tonight with the
Spectemur Agendo Award for your contribution to business, especially
the international maritime industry, and for your support of many
charitable and educational projects.
Born in Knysna, you arrived at Dryfe House as a
boarder in grade 2. You moved through J.E de Villiers House, Michaelis
House and then on to Rosedale where you lived a full life, taking part
in rugby, swimming and debating. You achieved a 1st Class matric in
1966 having been a school prefect, head of Rosedale, and the recipient
of the Best Speaker’s Cup in the debating society.
It was at Rosedale that your interest in, and love
for, the sea grew. Here, as a young man, you avidly followed the
Shipping News in the Cape Times and would make every effort at weekends
to visit these ships in the docks. By the time you matriculated, you
knew the names of most of the world’s international trading
companies and their ships that sailed the oceans.
You proceeded to UCT where you qualified with a
B.Bus.Sc. degree, and during your time there, you were a participant in
the first Cape Town to Rio Yacht Race in 1970. Because of your academic
success and special personal qualities you were awarded a Rhodes
Scholarship. After your two year Law Degree at Oxford you joined the
legendary Scottish trading house Jardine Matheson, spending two years
as commercial manager of the ship-owning group, the Indo China Steam
Navigation Company. After a short time in Canada with the shipping
group FEDNAV you married Ginny and moved to America. Here, under your
leadership, the Navios Shipping Company became a world leader in the
emerging freight business. In 1999 you were appointed Chairman of
Teekay Shipping Corporation and the international private equity
investment company, the Compass Group.
You are Chairman of four international companies
where your knowledge and expertise has been sought. In 2005 you were
awarded the prestigious Connecticut Maritime Association’s
Commodore Award in the United States, for your contribution to
international shipping and the growth of the international maritime
It is, however, not only in the world of business
that you have made a difference. Your qualities of character,
integrity, dedication and support for many social, charitable and
educational projects have seen you influence the lives of many of the
less privileged. Your belief that a good education is of prime
importance for achieving in life, has resulted in your support for the
‘Prep for Prep’ and ‘Reach’ educational
projects in America. Here underprivileged children, especially the
gifted, are uplifted and given the opportunity to succeed, firstly at
school, then at university and thereafter in the workplace.
In South Africa you established FOSAS (Friends of
South African Schools) to assist talented youngsters attend top schools
in the Western and Eastern Cape. You have not forgotten your alma mater
and have helped benefit the Academic Support programme at the Junior
School, especially in the tuition of English and Mathematics. With
declining government funding for top schools your strong support for
SACS and the Old Boys’ Union, has been a special goal of yours,
assisting your old school not only to expand, attract good teachers and
offer scholarships, but remain a leading educational institution for
all in South Africa.
Sean Day, you are an outstanding philanthropic
businessman. Your financial acumen and influence in these circles,
through organizations such as the Young President’s Organization,
has seen you positively influence the lives of many young people. Your
alma mater is proud to honour you for what you have achieved and
continue to achieve in life.
The South African College Schools bestows upon you
the “Spectemur Agendo” award-“Let us be judged by our
Sean Day ('66)
Spectemur Agendo Award 2007
Acceptance Speech by Sean Day
I am deeply honoured to be recognized with this
award by my old school.
It is over 50 years since I arrived at SACS on the
steam train from Knysna. I was 7 years old and I was the youngest
boarder in Dryfe House, the old hostel above the Gardens in Cape Town.
And to this day, I remember vividly an incident on my first weekend
there. I was miserable. I was sitting on my bed in my dormitory when in
walked a man with a great big smile and an infectious laugh, whom I had
not seen previously. He could see that I was homesick and lonely, and
he immediately came over and cheerfully put his arm around my
shoulders. He befriended me and talked to me, and cheered me up
That man has remained a great friend and mentor to
me ever since, and he is here tonight – John Ince. John –
your enthusiasm, your optimism and your respect for all has always been
an inspiration to me, and I thank you for that.
Many others have also given me a hand up at
critical moments in my career. I was privileged to have a wonderful
tutor during my years at Oxford. And he said something to me as I was
preparing to leave Oxford that has stuck with me ever since. At our
final dinner together, he looked me in the eye and he said “Sean
– I have no doubt that you are going to do well.” And then
he shook his head slowly and said “But I am not so sure that you
are going to do good!”
Those words have haunted me, and have inspired me
to try to look for ways to make the world a better place and to help
those who come behind me. And so I want to say a few words tonight
about doing good, in addition to doing well.
I have lived most of my adult life in the United
States and I have been fortunate to have been associated through my
wife and my four daughters with some of the world’s great schools
and universities there. And what I have learned is that the best
institutions thrive because their graduates, their old boys and old
girls, continue to support these institutions for the rest of their
lives. Those who benefit from the riches of those schools become
committed to giving a hand up to those who follow them. I believe that
this virtuous circle of great schools producing leaders who use their
talents and success to help those that follow them, is at the core of
the success of the best schools and universities. As somebody once
said, we all need to “learn, earn and return”.
This evening’s event is prize-giving. But
what most of you probably don’t realize yet, is that each one of
you has already won first prize. Each of you is one of the privileged
few in the world who are getting a world class education with all of
the extraordinary enrichment that a SACS education provides. I know
that because I have been very lucky in my life and my career, but my
greatest good fortune of all was getting a SACS education.
You are heading out into a very exciting world. My
businesses are global and I can tell you that what is happening in the
world today is truly extraordinary. You should look beyond the gloomy
headlines that one reads in the newspapers. The truth is that we live
in the most prosperous time in history and the opportunities for all of
you are exciting and limitless. The world economy is currently
experiencing a level of growth unsurpassed in human history. But you
will also confront a world still beset with great challenges and
problems, and many others who are not so fortunate, starting right here
in South Africa. Far too many young South Africans are not getting the
education and the skills that they need to compete in this 21st century
boom. The need for schools like SACS to continue to prosper has never
been greater. It is crucial to the future of this country. And so I
challenge each of you to look at your country and at the world, and
think about how you might make it better, and I would like to suggest
that you can start right here with SACS. Your life-long commitment to
SACS can help to ensure that many generations more will follow you in
getting an excellent education which is so critical to reducing the
skills shortage in this country.
Our school motto demands action, and not just lip
service. Spectemur Agendo – let us be judged by our actions.
Caring is good, but action is better. It is better that people say of
you “Well done” rather than just “Well said”.
Go out and make this a better world!
In closing, I would also like to mention some
other SACS Old Boys who are making a difference. Over the past 10 years
since I started our fund to support children at South African schools,
Ian Glenday and Steven and Andrew Wayland have been great contributors
and collaborators. Trevor Norwitz is another SACS Old Boy living in New
York who has been unstinting in his support of SACS, UCT and Ikamva
Labantu. I have also had the privilege of working with Brian Ingpen for
a number of years – Brian started the Maritime Studies department
at Simon’s Town High School which does wonderful work in
preparing lesser privileged children for a career in the maritime
industry. I tip my hat to all of these fellow Old Boys for their
willingness to offer their talents and time to give a hand up to those
that follow them.
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Posted: 31 October
Prize Giving Speech - October 2007 by Ken
Ken Ball and His Wife Bev
Good evening Mr Chairman; our special guests; Dr
and Mrs Woods; Mr Sean Day, Mr Brent Walsh – chairman of the SACS
OBU; Mr John Ince – executive director the OBU; members of the
SGB; Committee members of the OBU; Mr Stuart Anderson, Headmaster of
SACS Junior and Mrs Anderson; other special guests; parents; members of
staff and, most importantly SACS men.
In a few moments, our Headboy, Michael Newdigate and Deputy head boy,
Keagan Clay, will deliver their reports, highlighting academic,
cultural, sporting and other achievements. Before they take to the
stage, however, I wish to make special mention of the matric results of
2006, which were, once again, quite outstanding: The 122 candidates all
passed, 119 of them with matric endorsement, 102 with aggregates higher
than 60% and 33 with A-aggregates. Vinesh Rajpaul was placed 2nd in the
Western Cape and 3rd in South Africa, earning himself an all-expenses
paid scholarship from President Mbeki for the next 4 years of his
This news provided immediate impetus to the academic year and, whilst
we extended our congratulations to the class of 2006, we need to make
special mention of our staff – a highly-committed, exceptionally
experienced and highly qualified group of professional people –
educationalists out of the top-drawer, who deserve special praise
– I congratulate them one-and-all! (and ask you to join me in
At this stage, I would like to welcome the outgoing Deputy Headboy,
Keagan Clay, to the stage to give his sports report. He will be
followed by Headboy, Michael Newdigate, who will tell us about the
academic and cultural achievements of 2007.
DEPUTY HEAD BOY’S REPORT
HEAD BOY’S REPORT
HEADMASTER’S REPORT (Continued)
Thank you to these fine young SACS men –
they have led the prefects and school with distinction, pride,
enthusiasm and loyalty. The achievements they have reported on, in
fact, bare a strong correlation between their leadership and the
excellence displayed on all fronts. I also wish to congratulate the
other prefects on the role they played in leading the school this year,
as well as the entire matric class – they have been a spirited
group who have got themselves heavily-involved – we wish them
much success in their final exams, and will say more about them at
tomorrow’s Valedictory Ceremony.
Ladies and Gentlemen, you have gleaned from the reports of our Headboy
and his Deputy, that SACS men have enjoyed successes on a broad front
– it is obvious that we are living up to our mission of providing
an excellent all-round education for our young men. Visitors from
abroad would say it is a world-class education. We unashamedly strive
for excellence in a balanced set of activities, but we are not so
naïve as to believe that we have a 100% “buy-in” from
all, or a 100% success-rate. But, the fact remains that we are
succeeding in our mission.
Now, this does not just “happen” – there are many
reasons for the positive state-of-affairs, but one of the biggest is,
undoubtedly, the staff at SACS. Grounds staff, cleaning staff,
administrative staff all play a key role, and I thank and congratulate
them. However, I wish to focus on the teaching staff – a group of
people who belong to a disgracefully-remunerated profession; a group of
people who see colleagues exciting the profession in droves; a group of
people who belong to a profession, which is battling valiantly to
retain dignity and gain (and preserve) some form of esteem and
recognition for what they do, from the public-at-large.
During the public servants strike, earlier this year, 80% of the SACS
staff were on duty at all times – there was no derailment of your
sons’ education, whatsoever, not a single day’s teaching
was lost and it has not been necessary to implement the “Recovery
Plans” that the Education Department, in its normal haphazard and
unprepared and “panicked” state, attempted to place into
action, as a remedial plan.
At more than 90% of public schools in South Africa, teaching days were
lost. Again, I say that this did not occur at SACS – something
that I am not so sure all the parents and the boys, in particular,
truly appreciate. I am therefore addressing parents and encouraging you
to appreciate the role that teachers play in your sons’ lives at
SACS, we are not perfect, but we are professional, highly committed and
do our best! Always give positive support to these ladies and
gentleman, as they commit themselves to providing only the very best
education for your sons.
I am pleased to say that at SACS our Academic staff continues to meet
the challenges, which face us on an ever-increasing scale. We continue
to adjust, successfully, to changing curriculum and assessment methods,
without compromising our standards and quality of teaching. The G.E.T
and F.E.T bands have been negotiated seamlessly.
I also encourage the SACS men to realize that your
success will depend on how consistently and diligently you work right
from the beginning of each year, and that each preceding year lays the
foundation for the next academic year. I need to inform you that,
already, universities are setting their own entrance exams –
hence SACS must ensure that our boys cope with these exams, that THAT
is why our expectations, academically, are so high.
At the end of the day, parents, boys and staff must be reminded that
successes could not be achieved without the contribution of each and
every member of the team – we need alignment of vision and
purpose from all role players. The famous American basketball-player,
Magic Johnson, put it thus:
“Everybody on a championship team doesn’t get publicity,
but everyone can say he’s a champion”.
Therefore, let ALL of us work towards being members of that
championship team, that is SACS!
K R BALL
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Posted: 31 October
Prize Giving - Cutural & Academic
by Head Boy - Mike Newdigate
Tonight, Ishall deliver the academic and cultural
report – giving credit to the fine academics, the intelligentsia
of SACS, and then of course to the artists, the musicians, the actors,
the poets – those creative people who give our school its soul.
Whereas keagan has spoken about the uh, the jocks.
As long as the tradition of Prize Giving has been
in place, so has the academic and cultural report. However, a tradition
that has tagged along with this report is its sleep inducing influence
on the audience.
It is, as though, in the balance of this evening
– the report should serve as a ‘power-nap’ before
proceeding on to the awards. Whether or not I maintain this fine
tradition tonight will be for you to decide.
Academic life is, of course, the central part of
our school and we were fortunate to have a high standard set for us by
our previous matrics at the end of last year: 100% pass rate, 33
A-aggregates, with Vinesh Rajpaul being placed 2nd in the province, 3rd
in the country, nationally coming first in Latin, biology, maths,
admaths, slipping to second in English. it seems that every year, we
see at least one super star like vinesh; you will remember from the
previous year, an academic like simon scott – getting 106% in
matric, 18th in the province. And now the pressure of attaining these
results is on us, the matrics; of getting over 100% in the final exams
– we look to the our very own academic jocks we look to rayhaan
khatieb, chris loetscher, tim egan, abdul oldey.
So through this pressure from the previous year,
the school rose to the challenge, and in late March – the
academic scholarships were awarded. The World War II scholarships go to
the top student in each grade: In Grade 9, Fergus Wegener; in Grade 10,
Darren Brookbanks; in Grade 11, Matthew Davey; and in Grade 12, Rayhaan
Khatieb. The Victoria Scholarships, as you will see on your right, went
to Christopher Loetscher and Matthew Davey – this being based on
the internal scholarship exams, written earlier this year. The World
War I Scholarship – Junior Section - also based on internal
examination, went to Jerrard D’alton in first place.
The Grade 8s have proved to be academically
strong, making the transition from junior school to high school with
little difficulty - the top achievers in the midyear exams being
Christopher Sharwood in third place, Daniel Goldstone in second and
Anant Dole in first place, averaging 90%.
Mr. Ludwig was the master-in-charge of SACS
involvement in the annual JSE/Liberty Life Investment Challenge –
in which students play the stock markets, and try to maximize their
given money. SACS, with a team made up of Frederico Lorenzi, Akshay
Samjee and Chris Bobbert managed to ACHIEVE 1st place in the month of
In the World Knowledge Olympiad, we had 41 SACS
men representing their school – Within the Western Cape we had
Larry Stent taking 3rd place, Scott Elkin in Second, and James Stent, a
SACS Matric, in first place.
With regards to us matrics, a target has been set
for us by our headmaster, and that is to achieve over 50 A –
aggregates in our grade in our final examinations. I have spoken to
most of our grade’s top ten, and it does seem as though this
year, we will have a high number of matrics with an aggregate of over
We, the matrics, met with our parents in this hall
at the beginning of the year – where Justin Groeneweld, a Prefect
of 2006, gave us his understanding of the way to approach Matric and
the final exams. He spoke about participation in your final year; he
spoke about leading a balanced life at school – but of course
with an academic focus – and I think whether or not we fully
heeded his advice at that time, we did have a fantastic year: on the
sports field as Keagan has/will tell you, and in terms of all-round
involvement in our school – to me, it seems as though we have
lived a full SACS life in 2007.
When one speaks of culture at SACs, one speaks of
our music department, cabarets, productions, other societies within
sacs, perhaps even SACS traditions – Commemoration day, the
matric dance – that form our own SACS culture on campus. we can
speak of these traditions with pride this year.
Our jazz band and madrigal ensemble were shipped
off to represent us in the Grahamstown Arts Festival, where they
competed against rival schools in their respective competitions.
We enjoyed customary music fixtures throughout the
year; the marching band’s role in the uct rag procession; our
choirs and jazz band singing and playing at the waterfront
amphitheatre; the jazz in the gardens earlier this year; the recent
sacs spring celebration concert; even the marching bands involvement in
our commemoration day.
We are often given a taste of our jazz
band’s repertoire in our friday assemblies, often before they
head off to play in a competition over the weekend – and i think
there’s a wonderful feeling of constancy when the band plays on
our friday mornings… amid our sometimes stressful lives, we are
asked for 5 minutes just to sit back and enjoy a piece of music played
by our very own. and we have mr walton, his music staff, and stefan
maharage – head of the music society - TO thank for not only our
five minute morning retreats, but also the co-ordination of music at
sacs as it continues to strengthen, continues to be a credit to sacs,
and continues to jazz-up our daily routines.
This year’s musical, sweeny todd, produced
by mr schoeman, mr walton and ms blythe – was regarded as a great
achievement by its audiences. a technically difficult production to
execute, the cast lead by Johnathon Duguid, Chad Groenmeyer, Ian Mc
Nair, Matthew Rightford and Michael Campbell succeeded in reaching
those notes, reaching their audiences, and pulling off a complicated
production with class.
THE WALTER SWANSON BUSARY COMPETITION FOR MUSIC
WAS ADJUDICATED BY ALAN STEPHENSON THIS YEAR – THE WINNER BEING
MATTHEW RIGHTFORD, ON SAXOPHONE AND VOICE.
THE ANNUAL CHRISTOPHER BROWN CONCERT ALWAYS SEEMS
TO BRING OUT THE TRUE MUSCIAL TALENT THERE IS AT SACS – LUSANDA
ZIBAYA, WHO WE HEARD SING IN THIS HALL A FEW WEEKS AGO, WON THE VOCAL
COMPETITION AND DANIEL GAD WAS THE WINNER OF THE INSTRUMENTAL SECTION
FOR HIS DEXTERITY ON THE PIANO.
THE ANNUAL HOUSEPLAYS WERE WON BY BAXTER HOUSE
WITH MICHAEL NEWDIGATE as best actor, proving that bribery is alive and
well. Grant macalgan of baxter won the parachute debate this year with
his impersonation of jan hendrik hofmeyer.
THE AFRIKAANS AND ENGLISH BEST SPEAKER’S
competition took place at the close of last term, jason wicht winning
in the junior section of the afrikaans best speaker’s and dAAniel
cloete in the senior section. in The english best speaker’s
competition, sibusisu mbonambi won the junior section, and michael
newdigate the senior section, again that bottle of whiskey to the
judges doing the job.
So from my side, congratulations to all of those
who have been involved in and supporters of, the OCCAsIONS that make up
a RICH culture at SACS. Congratulations to the scholarship winners of
2007 and best of luck to our matrics as we approach our final exams
with total confidence.
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Posted: 31 October
Valedictory Speech by Head Boy - Mike
Good morning Mr Ball, staff, parents, and SACS men.
Once a year, someone stands where I’m
standing now and says goodbye to the SACS family on behalf of the
matrics. of COURSE, we know little of what lies ahead, we see the
example of other sacs old boys, and hope that we can, in some way,
measure up to them. but the path ahead is, by its very nature, one that
we have not travelled before.
What we do know – and what we feel with
confidence – is that this school has provided us with a solid
groundwork. More, that SACS takes boys and develops them, develops us
into young men, ready. and this perhaps is the strength of our school
– that by the collective effort of our staff and our friends, we
are helped to reach our full potential. you can be certain that the
talents within you will be nurtured and built upon.
On a personal note, I know I was not SACS’s
best grade 8, nor sacs’s best grade 9 for that matter. Indeed
myself, a portly pubescent, would meet up regularly with the
headmaster; discuss my outlook on life; engage in the usual light
chatter about the attraction of other schools in the greater Cape Town
area, and perhaps my interest in them. But, there were teachers at SACS
who did not give up on me, and for that – Ithank them.
One can’t generalise about the influence of
all SACS staff on all sacs men. each one of us has been influenced by
certain staff members in particular ways. But there is one man that,
this YEAR has had a tremendous influence on the school as a whole, and
on me in particular.
Each weekday morning, keagan and i would meet our
headmaster in his office at twenty to eight.
We would discuss details of the day ahead and
matters of concern. but throughout, we had the absolute certainty that
we had his total confidence, his total support. he gave us the
self-belief to achieve whatever we have managed to achieve this year.
I’m told that there was a previous legendary
headmaster of sacs – before our time – who had the
nickname, the boss. it is perhaps no coincidence that this nickname has
now attached itself to our present headmaster, mr. ken ball. to us, he
is the boss – (no question). Mr ball, thank you.
What remains for me, is to give thanks: to our
outstanding and dedicated staff who have taught and guided us. To our
parents, who supported us. and to our fellow sacs men. those, who in
the years to follow will also stand in this hall and say thank you and
I need to say some personal thank yous; to the two
deputy headmasters: mr guiney and mr jones. Mr guiney for your solid
support of the whole matric body this year. mr jones for your insights
and for your inspiration, mr simon perkin, for your management of the
prefects. we have learnt valuable lessons from you: LESSONS THAT we are
fortunate to have learnt at this early stage in our lives.
Then to my fellow prefects, my source of strength
this year. i couldn’t have asked for a more committed group. stu,
keags, zacky, spens, holly, timbo, ashman, jakey, chrissyboy, rodz,
baas, rob, rossy, and pav. you have been the deserving leaders of this
school – i thank you for your friendship and for your loyalty.
And to all my fellow matrics who have helped to
make 2007 a great year. its not often a year which is so filled with
individual talent can gel together and produce constant excellence, as
To the incoming prefects, we have spoken at length
about the demands with which a successful year will come. the job is
difficult, you will be tested greatly, but you will grow from it and
treasure both the good and the bad times – as both will have
The lifestyle is challenging but what i do KNOW,
is that the prefects will need your full support, as you have given us.
i know too, that the outgoing prefects have had a brilliant year, but i
truly want the new prefects to be better than us, to outdo us –
because i believe in the progression of this school, and i have a deep
faith in its new leaders.
My matrics. i know that it would be clichéd
to say that this year has gone so fast. but i know that we will all
still hold the memories it has given us – memories of our group
of friends, our prego roll wednesdays, the miracle that is icebites.
These memories, these good times – we will
hold them very close to our hearts. the unity of our grade has been
unbreakable this year and we have achieved much. and i sincerely
believe in each one of you, i believe your abilities are extraordinary,
and will take you far.
I know you shall not forget a place that has for
years, completed you. a place you can always call home. and so maybe
the soul of our grade is born not from skill or talent among us, but
built from love.
SACS, you have carried me, believed in me and made
me who i am today.
The 2007 matric gift to sacs is something that we
feel is rather special. dylan lewis, the world famous sculptor and sacs
old boy of 1982, has been commissioned to design and create a work of
art of his choice for this school.
This will be presented to the school upon
completion in the new year. for this i’d like to thank the
matrics, mr olivier – for this arrangement, and of COURSE mr
lewis. thank you.
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Posted: 1 September 2007
Old Boy Rugby Stars in the Media
Percival Montgomery ('93) has been
mentioned in the media recently. Below are some links to the articles
Another SACS Old Boy, Isma-eel Dollie ('02) has
also been featured in an article online recently:
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Posted: 1 September 2007
SACS High Music Tour to Grahamstown – July
By John Walton
At the end of the second term the high school
music department embarked on a tour to Grahamstown participating in the
annual Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival. SACS was the only
school (one of six) to perform in uniform and the chaps played
magnificently and really looked unbelievably smart. Standard Band (the
sponsors) were in attendance at our performance and I’m sure
noted that we hold our traditions dear i.e. – no sloppiness!
Three staff: Antoinette Blyth, Alistair McDonald and John Walton, plus
Old Boy Alexei du Bois accompanied the 29 chaps that included both our
Jazz Band and Madrigal Ensemble who performed as individual groups and
then combined to sing some Manhattan Transfer numbers. The cherry on
top was that four of our chaps (out of about 350 who attended the
course) were chosen for the National Schools Band that comprises 18
members. The lads are Blake Hellaby (Piano), Joe “Mackie”
MacMillan (Trombone), Stefan Maharage (Trumpet) and James
“Dynamite” McClure who was chosen to play lead trumpet for
the band – i.e. the best in S.A.!!! Old Boy (’06) Sisonke
Xonti was chosen to play in the National Youth Jazz Band. All in all a
remarkable achievement by our lads and I know that many of them had
their musical epiphany during the festival. They were mentored by some
of the greatest musicians in the world and I know that this experience
will contribute to the further building up of our already strong music
Specific Music Dates:
- Wed 12 Sept – Christopher Brown Concert
at 19.30 in the Hofmeyr Hall. Awesome talent on show!!!
- Sun 16 Sept – Jazz In The Gardens at
16.00 in the Memorial Quad (Bring a blanket and picnic). This will be a
humdinger featuring all ensembles (Vocal and instrumental) plus a guest
appearance by the Junior School Jazz Band
- Wed 31 October – Grade 8 – 10 Music
Concert at 19.00 in the Junior School Auditorium. This is a concert
organized and run by our Grade 11’s and showcases the wonderful
young talent we have.
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Posted: 01 August 2007
Music News from the USA
NEWS ABOUT ERIK BEHR (1996) – becoming
Principle Oboe at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in the U.S.A.
(This news article appeared on www.rpo.org/s_3/s_31/p_580/Erik_Behr
Erik Behr was appointed acting principal oboe as
of May 1, 2007, and on September 1, 2007, he formally will assume the
principal oboe position. Prior to joining the RPO, he was principal
oboe of the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet. Mr. Behr performed
as a guest principal with the Atlanta Symphony, as a guest with the
Seattle Symphony and since 2004 as substitute oboe and English horn
with the Houston Symphony. He also performed at the Spoleto Festival,
with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, as principal oboe with the
Haddonfield (NJ) Symphony, with the New York Opera Festival, at the
Casals Festival and with the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra under
In addition, Mr. Behr was the solo English horn in
the recording of Honegger’s Concerto da Camera with the RTV
Slovenia Orchestra, performed as solo oboe in Mozart’s Sinfonia
Concertante on tour with the Irish National Youth Orchestra, and as a
member of the World Wind Quintet performing at the Edinburgh
International Festival, Kilkenny Festival and Maribor Festival.
A native of Cape Town, South Africa, he began his
oboe studies at the age of 13 and at 18 came to this country for his
undergraduate college education, having gotten a taste of the U.S. as a
16-year-old participant in oboe master classes by John Mack in Carmel,
California. Mr. Behr received his bachelor’s degree at Arizona
State University in 2001, his master’s from Temple University in
2003 and currently is a doctoral candidate at Rice University. His
principal teachers have been Robert Atherholt, Richard Woodhams and
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Posted: 16 July 2007
Pedalling Our Way to Housing a Nation
Cape Town adventurer to cycle non-stop for
57,5hrs to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity.
Starting in the early hours of Friday 27 July,
long before most are even awake, Ray D. Chaplin will start his weekend
of pedalling in an attempt to raise sufficient funds to build houses
through the housing organisation Habitat for Humanity.
“With a house costing R57,500, I am setting
out to pedal an hour for every R1000 required. In fact, the target is
R172,000… enough to build three houses” he says.
Everyone is invited to come down to the Technogym
Wellness Centre to cycle with and help make a difference in the lives
of others. By making a small donation of just R50 donors will also be
entered into an exciting virtual cycling competition where they will
cycle against others in the same category, which include Men &
Ladies [with various age groups], Corporate, Media, Pro, Schools.
Each participant in the cycle race will be given a
set amount of time to cycle and the goal is to cover as much distance
as possible in that time period, as some great prizes have been made
available by generous sponsors. Prizes include eyewear, footwear, bags
& packs, cycling apparel, outdoor adventure gear, gym memberships,
bicycle services and more.
Having towed a shack for the Two Oceans Half
Marathon earlier this year and recently over 2400km from Cape Town to
Johannesburg, Ray is no stranger to long hours of physical endurance
and mental stamina.
“One goes through many difficult patches
during the set time period, but knowing that you are making a positive
and tangible difference in the lives of others helps get through
it” says the 26-year old.
He continues “In a country where millions
live in informal settlements and sub-standard housing, we need to work
together and help make a difference. Innovative fund-raisers like the
cyclethon are great ways to have fun while involving the donors.
Event details are:
Start: 5:15am, Friday 27 July
Finish: 2:45pm, Sunday 29 July
Prize-giving: 3:00pm, Sunday 29 July
Venue: Technogym Wellness Centre, CycleLab, Fourways, Gauteng
The cyclethon acts as the final preparation before Ray sets off on a
journey of over 4600km around South Africa by bicycle… pulling a
shack behind him. His target there is to raise over R1-million for
Habitat for Humanity during the three months on the road.
Ray D. Chaplin
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Posted: 01 July 2007
A Capitalist Cut of the Finest Cloth
From Business Day - published on page 11, In Edition
13/06/07 (click here to download the
article in PDF format).
John Tudor, Rhodes scholar and Oxford and
Harvard graduate, spent almost a year sewing up the sale of retailer
Edcon for Bain Capital, writes Michael Bleby.
EDCON now has foreign owners. The retail chain that listed on the JSE
in 1946 suspended its shares last month ahead of a delisting as a
result of its purchase by Bain Capital. The R25bn deal was the
second-largest foreign purchase of a South African company and the
largest foreign private equity acquisition yet.
The person behind the Edgars Consolidated buyout,
however, was not foreign. Cape Town-born and bred John Tudor led the
Bain team that researched the purchase and presented it to the
Boston-based firm’s board of MDs.
“I started working on the deal during the
course of 2006, mid-year,” he says. “We signed the deal at
the start of February. Once a deal is signed, there’s a lot more
work to close. When you sign you agree to buy it for a certain amount,
but once that’s done, you need to finalise your financing, go
through the necessary regulatory review process and the
John Tudor ('87)
Given that Tudor has only worked in private equity
since 2000, it seems like a short period to rise to a position where
you direct a deal of that size. The graduate of Newlands’ Sacs
school and UCT says that is not the case. Like him, many people in
private equity have previous experience. And anyway, financial services
is known for thrusting responsibility upon people early, he says.
Tudor initially had no such ambitions. With
graduation in business science at UCT on the horizon in 1991, he had
his sights set on becoming a chartered accountant. “It was a
pretty standard trajectory into business in SA,” he says.
Winning a Rhodes scholarship, however, sent him to
Oxford, where he studied a second bachelor’s degree, in politics,
philosophy and economics. Tudor then joined the London office of
Monitor Group, a strategy consultancy with offices all over the world.
With them he would end up back in SA, he figured. It was not to be.
Tudor ended up studying again, this time at
Harvard Business School, where he spent two years doing an MBA. The
lure of university life remained strong and he spent another year as a
research assistant for Michael Porter, a Harvard-based academic whose
texts on competition and strategy are read widely.
As Tudor prepared to return to consulting, a
friend working at Bain suggested he try private equity. He did, and
stayed. He is now one of a few principals at the firm with $40bn under
management. He reveals his adopted culture when he describes the role
of a principal as the “quarterback” on any deal.
“A principal is the point person on making
sure business diligence is completed, making sure financing is
arranged, and making sure the transaction structure is set up
appropriately. As principal you’re the manager of the team that
takes the potential investment to the rest of the firm for final
In the Edcon case, Tudor oversaw the team they set
up in Johannesburg to scrutinise and prepare for the transaction. He
himself did not stay, but flew in from Boston “six or
The wave of transactions that has thrust private
equity into the spotlight, garnering both excitement and hostility, is
a new phenomenon for the industry. This is certainly the case in SA,
where last year alone, the value of funds under management jumped by
almost a third to R56,2bn, according to Southern African Venture
Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) figures.
The success of the Edcon deal was followed soon
after by the failure of an attempted private buyout of supermarket
chain Shoprite and this has sparked a wave of anger and accusations of
greed towards those pushing the attempt. In Australia, a buyout bid of
airline Qantas, widely scolded for being underpriced, failed, last
month claiming the scalp of the chairwoman.
It is new for the private equity industry to be so
exposed to the court of public opinion, Tudor says. While it has been
around for decades, recent years have seen more scrutiny than ever
“What’s driven that is a fairly rapid
increase in private equity funds. People are able to put a lot of money
to work. They can buy bigger companies”.
As a result, even those outside the financial
services industry have become aware of it. “People have become
familiar with it because companies are being bought that they know
Tudor disagrees with a suggestion that the rising
tide of the past few years has lifted all stock markets and boosted the
number of bloated companies that are ripe for taking private and making
lean. Different ownership suits different companies, he says.
“Not all the time is public ownership the
best answer. It’s not that there’s one form that’s
better than the other, it’s really that there’s a balance.
And right now, the capital markets are trying to find what that balance
He also plays a very straight bat when asked why
private equity deals fail.
“A private equity transaction is a very
complex transaction. Whether you’re buying from a private owner,
or buying from a public market. It’s kind of like any other big
transaction. You think of everything that can go wrong when you buy a
house. You hope the house hasn’t had a flood or been struck by
lightning. You also hope the seller hasn’t looked at their house
in the light of day and seen the pretty flowers and changed their mind.
Every one of those elements could happen in a private equity
transaction. People have opinions and those may change during a sale
Whatever its failings, the wave of private equity
investment seems set to continue for the time being. There is
increasing foreign investment, too. A quarter of the private equity
funds raised last year came from overseas, up from 21% in 2005, and
last year’s figure excludes the Edcon sale.
Tudor won’t give away any idea of what
he’s now working on — “most of the deals we work on
are public companies, so confidentiality is very important”
— but if work doesn’t bring him back this way any time
soon, it is likely to bring others.
“When we found the Edcon transaction, we
were very excited. It was a great investment. As our transaction was
closing, there’s been a lot of foreign interest expressed in
SA,” he says.
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Posted: 19 June 2007
SACS’s own adventurer takes on TheLifeCycle
SACS's own up & coming adventurer, Ray D.
Chaplin ('98), left home on Friday 4 May with the goal of cycling to
Pretoria to promote non-motorised and environmentally sustainable
transportation via the bicycle.
Ray's transport for TheLifeCycle
Towing a small trailer behind his bicycle,
TheLifeCycle took Ray along the scenic Route 62 until Port Elizabeth,
and then head up the escarpment to Bloemfontein, before heading across
to Johannesburg and Pretoria... covering more than 2400km over a period
of 41 days, with a total of four rest days in that. After a first day
of 105km, distances covered thereafter ranged from 30km to 95km per
day, including some rather long and steep passes.
He had this to say: "While the going was tough,
especially with the additional weight of up to 50kg in the trailer,
knowing that my journey was making a difference and inspiring others
was a great boost to help get over the passes and cover the great
distances. In Barrydale, a group of teenagers came out on their bikes
to cycle the last 5km and welcome me into town. After five hours of
climbing the Op de Tradouw pass, it gave me such energy we even raced
each other into town."
The trip, in conjunction with the Bicycling
Empowerment Network, the Department of Transport and the South African
National Roads Agency, allowed Ray to interact first-hand with
communities along his route and assist in setting up sustainable
employment opportunities along his way.
A little support from the sposors
Ray was caught between Jeffreys Bay and Port
Elizabeth when the big chill moved through, blowing him off the road
and forcing him to seek refuge in his tent alongside the N2 for 18
hours. From there Ray was heading for the snowy passes, so getting
clothes dry and himself was a priority.
The climb up the escarpment took its toll, with
major climbs day after day... getting colder and colder as he climbed.
One night, unable to find a suitable place to pitch his tent, Ray even
climbed over a farm fence and camped in a meadow amongst some cows, and
a whole lot of ice and snow. However, waking to find ice inside his
tent in Ventersburg was undoubtedly the coldest morning of the trip.
While Ray could not reach his ultimate goal of
Union Buildings in Pretoria due to the ongoing strikes, the destination
was changed to the Voortrekker Monument which he thought was a worthy
and symbolic stand-in.
Rest stop on day 9
Now resting at Hartebeespoort Dam, Ray will be
working in Johannesburg in the coming weeks and delivering
presentations to schools and businesses on his epic adventure. There
will also be a public presentation on Tuesday 19 June at the CAPESTORM
store in Bryanston.
For more information on TheLifeCycle or
presentation dates, please visit www.thelifecycle.co.za
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Posted: 04 June 2007
Headmaster's Report - May 2007
By Ken Ball
I am happy to inform SACS Old Boys that the School
has had a very positive start to the year and the 1st five months have
yielded a great deal of positivity.
High School Headmaster Ken Ball with wife, Bev
The 2006 Matric results were outstanding and can
be summarised as follows:
Number of Candidates: 122
Number passes: 122 (100%)
Number of Endorsements (University Acceptance) 119 (98%)
Number of A-Aggregates (80% and above) 34
Number of Merit passes (60-79% Aggregate) 66
Number of Subject Distinctions 154
Vinesh Rajpaul was 2nd in the Western Cape, 3rd in
South Africa and the 1st time a SACS man has achieved this honour in
“Democratic Times”, as it were. He was 1st in Additional
Maths, 1st in Latin and Biology, joint 1st in Maths and joint 2nd in
Ziyaad Jakoet and James Kramer were joint 2nd in
Accounting, whilst 16 lads achieved 4 or more subject distinctions. The
best results came from:
Vinesh Rajpaul - 8A’s
Daniel Schwartzkopff - 7A’s
Brian Willis - 6A’s, 1B
Thabit Nacerodien - 5A’s, 2B’s
Justin Groenewald - 6A’s
The Music Department, as always, is a great advert for SACS and the
JAZZ Band has performed with great distinction at the V & A
Waterfront, the OBU Centennial Cocktail, and at “JAZZ in the
Garden”. The Choirs and Madrigal Ensemble have also proved their
worth on the same occasions.
The Drama Production, “Sweeney Todd”
ran for 3 nights to packed audiences and the feedback has been, again,
very positive – John Ince, Doug Brown and Brent Walsh have all
noted that the complexity of the music and vocal requirements, was
outstandingly – handled by the SACs men – great tributes!
Peter Kirsten reports that the 1st term has produced some of the best
results in many a year – the 1st Cricket Team won 16 consecutive
matches (beating Rondebosch and Bishops), the 1st Rowing 8 won the
Selborne Sprint for the 1st time in our history and the oarsmen brought
back 18 medals from the SA Championships. The U14A, U16A and 1st
Waterpolo teams all played in the finals of the Mazinter Cup (SACS was
the only school to be represented in the finals of all 3 age groups),
the 1st Team winning the Mazinter Cup (named after SACS’ Rodney
Mazinter) for the 3rd consecutive year, by disposing of Rondebosch.
The Winter Season is in “early” days
but the 1st Rugby and Hockey teams both beat Rondebosch two weeks ago
and the following individuals have gained National recognition this
year, thus far.
- Andrew Gillard won the SA U14 Squash Title and
will represent SA in Malaysia next month.
- Anant Dole, who is U14 and in Grade 8, won the
SA U16 Chess Championships and will represent SA U16 in Singapore in
- Sebastian Rousseau won the Men’s 200m
Butterfly at the SA National Senior Swimming Championships in Durban.
- Matthew Whitehead (Grade 8) and his father,
Colin (SACS Old Boy) filled 2nd position in the SA Hobie 16 National
Championships in Durban and both have been selected to represent SA at
the World Championships in Fiji in October.
So, SACS Old Boys can rest assured that their alma
mater is “alive and flourishing” – Spectemur Agendo!
(Due to a technical problem, this report was
excluded from the May 2007 Newsletter. We apologise for the
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Posted: 31 May 2007
Birth of a Legend
By Chris Waldburger
Percival Colin Montgomery is on the cusp of
becoming more than a great Springbok rugby player, but rather a South
If all goes to plan this year, Percy could end his
Springbok career as statistically the greatest South African rugby
player, if not sportsman, of all time.
And Saturday may just be the first step towards
ending his career in iconic style.
He is already the highest points-scorer of
Springbok history, sitting at 654 points, a full 342 points ahead of
He has won two Tri-Nations with the Springboks in
1998 and 2004, the only Bok to have been there twice, and he was also
the fullback during the world-record 17 unbeaten Tests from 1997 to
He has also won a Currie Cup-winners medal three
times, with Western Province in 1997, 2000 and 2001.
What's left for the celebrated fullback?
Percival Montgomery preparing for the
Tri-Nations final against the Bulls
He is nine caps short of Joost van der
Westhuizen's record 89 caps, and only two trophies elude him, namely
the Super rugby title, and the big one, the Rugby World Cup.
Saturday may just see the completion of goal one,
if Monty's Sharks sides can hold out the Bulls.
The Springboks are set to play seven Tests ahead
of the World Cup, and if they go to the Final that will be another
seven Tests. Monty will need to play in 10 of these 14 to hold the
And with his superlative Super 14 form which has
left any supporters of upstart-Francois Steyn speechless, one wouldn't
bet against Jake White banking on the sturdy goalkicker and defender as
his starting number fifteen throughout the year.
Only having to rest a game or injury will bar him
from becoming South Africa's most experienced international player.
But Monty has not always had things his way.
At one stage he was so unpopular with South
African crowds that he would be mercilessly booed by home crowds at
Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
He was heavily maligned as part of the Cape cabal
so dominant during Nick Mallett's era, and he quickly fell out of
favour at the end of Harry Viljoen's reign.
After the dust had settled on that stormy era in
Springbok history, new coach Jake White brought the player back from
Newport, Wales to be his starting fullback, and, with his one-step
kicking action generally demonstrative of a sharper, and harder style
of play, Montgomery has become the most reliable fullback in world
And now Saturday is poised to be the beginning of
a year of destiny for the Springbok dynamo.
Simon Perkin the South African College School
(SACS) rugby master, who, along with legendary Springbok fullback HO de
Villiers oversaw the boy genius's rugby tuition, remembers watching the
maestro play for the first time at the primary school of SACS.
Monty was a boarder at the historic Cape Town
school, which is nestled under the imposing Devil's Peak.
"It was obvious even then that this was a real
"I had been teaching at Rondebosch Boys' High,"
Perkin continued," when I moved to SACS and became Monty's coach when
he was under 16. I then coached him for four years.
"HO de Villiers used to help me with the backs,
and him and Percy became real kindred spirits. If there is such a thing
as a sixth sense, then HO and Percy could communicate in that sixth
"HO is not the type of guy who will say of a young
player, 'This guy's got it,' but with Percy he was quite categorical.
"Percy just had amazing flair and sense of space.
He was superb on the counter-attack, which is probably something he has
lost a bit with a decline in pace.
"But he still throws those long passes which were
his trademark as a schoolboy.
"Percy played two years of Craven Week for Western
Province, captaining them the second year. In both those years he
played South African schools.
"He also played provincial waterpolo, and would
have made South African schools had it not been for a rugby tour we had
"He has always kept in touch with SACS. He has
never let his successes go to his head, and he has always retained his
"He has always just been Monty.
"And seeing him as a father, it is clear that he
has grown up to be a fine human being."
Perkin also reflected that Montgomery had been by
no means an academic, that his favourite subject had been first break,
and his next favourite second break.
He also remembered that out of all the schoolboy
rugby players he had come across, none of them had worked as hard at
his rugby as Percy.
Percy, along with André Joubert and HO de
Villiers, forms part of a triumvirate of legendary Bok fullbacks.
Perhaps the fact that Percy was mentored by the
great HO attributes to some of his success.
HO doesn't see it that way.
"I wouldn't say I was influential upon him. I
taught him a little bit of what I had learnt, and I also learnt a great
deal from him.
"The guy had a lot of talent, and a lot of natural
ability. He was also incredibly quick, and I always thought he would
have had as distinctive a career if he had played wing.
"He has been a great Springbok and it will be a
sad day when he retires.
"When I first met him, I told him that I don't
profess to know it all, but what we would do is mix some of my ideas
with some of his, and he was always very keen to listen, and very
dedicated. Rugby was his obsession and that, I guess, is what's
required in the professional age."
Perkin noted that one of the chief qualities of
Montgomery has been the fact that he seems to play each game as if it
were his last.
This year promises to be the year Monty does pull
on that green and gold for the last time, and this weekend, when he
runs out a Shark in the bid for that first taste of Super rugby glory,
Percy will know that he is walking with Springbok giants.
And no matter what the year holds, we all realise
that we have witnessed the career of a player who has enthused those
who watched him with blinding natural talent at first, and then finally
with a mature blossoming of grit and the guts to overcome obstacles in
the unending bid for Springbok, and for rugby, greatness.
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Posted: 31 May 2007
SACS OBU 175 Appeal
By Chairman of the OBU 175 Appeal Campaign
Committee Steve McKenzie (’89)
Onward and upward we go. A big thank you to those
who have contacted us, and made contributions. Our total is creeping up
slowly and currently sits at R2 525 862.62 (pledged and
received). To make participation easy, we have set up a debit
order facility (see attached for a debit order form) and can also
accept credit card contributions. If large numbers of Old Boys make
modest monthly contributions, it really will make a huge difference.
The London chapter of the SACS Old Boys will be hosting a cocktail
evening on Tuesday 10 July (see separate report) where we hope to get
some good support from our ‘pound-earning-brethren.’ I
appeal to those of you willing and able to help to please make contact
with us. Realistically we can only touch a finite number of individuals
and really do rely on proactive behaviour on your part.
As previously mentioned, schools such as SACS
receive very limited funds from the Department of Education and hence
rely on school fees and Old Boys contributions. Under the leadership of
Mr Ken Ball and Mr Stuart Anderson, both schools continue to excel and
in order to ensure they prosper, they need our help. The main aims of
the campaign are to;
1. Attract and retain quality staff
2. Invest in projects of a capital nature (facilities)
3. Offer scholarships for boys of talent (academic, sporting, cultural,
etc) and excellence as well as assisting boys of excellence from
To this end we need to ensure that the
contributions continue to roll in. I appeal to all of you to
consider what SACS has given you and then look at what you can give
back. If you are able to help us in any way (both financially and or
with your time), please be proactive and get in touch with us through
the Old Boys office.
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Posted: 31 May 2007
The Child is father of the Man
By Doug Brown
When, for the May issue of the newsletter last
year, I chose this title for my book-appeal, it was with the thought in
mind that school influences contribute towards the sort of people we
turn out to be. My choice of career, for instance, and the attention I
gave to the marking of written compositions as an English teacher,
stemmed directly from the encouraging remarks I received for one essay
from a young teacher in my Std VIII year. I still have it. And so, I
conjecture, could seeds of aspiration be sown in the minds of many a
SACS pupil down the years were he to come across in the school library,
the collected works of SACS Old Boys who once trod exactly the path
that he is treading. This is the thought that lies behind my appeal to
Old Boys who know of SACS Old Boys that have published works of
fiction, or non fiction covering any branch of the arts, or of science
or technology, biography or auto-biography – to let me know of
this so that I can follow them up, and try to procure a copy for the
school library (We already have 57 such copies). They will be displayed
in a special glass-fronted book case, to inform boys and teachers alike
of this rich variety of authors with a SACS background. Such a
collection will, I believe, be an inspiration to many a budding author.
We are looking for a suitable display cabinet.
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Posted: 31 May 2007
Memories of SACS
By Stanley Moss
Before I lose my marbles, I thought I would record
my early memories of SACS in the hope that some of my ex-classmates
could add some anecdotes!
My father was away for a while during World War
II, as a Bren Gun instructor at Roberts Heights, which became
Voortrekkerhoogte. I was uncontrollable at home, so I was duly enrolled
as a boarder at SACS Junior in Wandel Street, Gardens, in January,
l944, at the age of 9. I was a boarder until the end of l946, but
remained at SACS until the end of l952, as a Day Scholar, when our
family moved to P.E. The following boys were boarders with me:
Martin ABRO, "Ted" Henry Edward A'Becket ROWAN, Davis BUIRSKIE, Michael
BRAUDE, Lionel BLUMENTHAL, Andrew DEMAS, Jean-Pierre ENSLIN, Cyril
FISHER, Ernest FINBERG, Kenny FINBERG, Tony FEINTUCH, Gert GUTTMANN,
John INCE, Charlie JOSMAN, Chtistopher JACKSON, Francis JURGENS, Manny
KATZEFF, Peter HODSON-MOSS, Basil MYERS, Johnny MYERS, Brian MacNALLY,
Stanley MILLER, Roy MEINTJIES, Colin MERRY, Robin MERRY, Peter
NEUKIRSCHER, Kenny PENKIN, Brian (Kitty) KRAMER, Desmond KRAMER, Louis
RAFF, Michael PORTER, Peter REES, Benny RABINOWITZ, Jack RABINOWITZ,
Trevor ROBINSON, Albie SACHS, Johnny SACHS, Roger STEVENS, Michael
STEVENS, Barry SLOGROVE, Raymond SIVE, Natie SHIFFMAN, Owen TUDOR,
Morrie VELK, Michael VASS, Arthur VASS, Peter van DIGGELEN, Brian van
HOLDT, Rob-Roy van HOLDT, Mark WINDISH, WOODERSON, Harry WIGGETT, Natie
WOPNICK, A. WALKER, ZINMANN.
Would anybody like to add to this list? We were
spread into 3 areas around the school. At first the small boys were
placed in a large dormitory at the school. We were then moved to
Mentone House in Hatfield Street and then on to the ex-Army Barracks
next to the Mount Nelson Hotel, Dryfe House. Our Housemaster was Nobby
Knowles, while the Housekeeper was Mrs MacNally - both were very
strict, quite understandable, having had their hands full with a crowd
of naughty little boys! Mr. van Holdt was our Junior School Principal,
and he and his wife, who was very kind to us, lived at the school. They
had 3 children, Brian, my classmate, then Rob-Roy and Heather, who went
to St. Cyprian's.
Our teacher in Std. 2 was Sylvia Pope-Hennessy,
who left after the 3rd term to get married. In Std. 3 we had Mr Marsh,
in Std. 4 we had Mrs Smit, in Std. 5 we had Nobby Knowles and for one
term we had as Mrs. Kewer, who taught us the poem, "The Fighting
Temeraire". In Std. 6 we had Mr van Zyl for Afrikaans, Mr Westall for
English and Mr Striever for Art.
Gym was taught by Mr Ruger and later Mr Morrison.
Woodwork, and Rugby Coaching were handled by Mr Weidemann. Our
pocket-money was 6d. per week and we would immediately head for Kappy's
shop on the corner of Wandel and Hatfield Streets. In l944 Mr Kaplan,
owner of the shop, received the tragic news that his son had died in a
Japanese concentration camp, after having been taken prisoner in Burma.
He was a really wonderful old man and looked after the boarders for so
Every Saturday afternoon all the boarders were
marched up the slopes of Table Mountain to spend an afternoon playing
in the forest. Our favourite game was "Lost Commanders, which was taken
from the wartime comic, "SPITFIRE". The leader of the game was Kenny
Finberg! We had lots of fun but were very mischievous and cuts were a
I am still in regular contact with the Rev Harry
Wiggett, who was my best friend, and who attended Hebrew lessons with
me at Mr Kuperman, until his mother received the account and wanted to
know what was going on! As my friend he had not wanted to be left out!
During the war, the South African Defence Force
commandeered our playground, called the Paddock, and built
approximately twenty bungalows for the use of the military. When the
war ended and the Army families moved out, they did not immediately
demolish the bungalows, so a number of boarders, including the
Principal's son, Brian van Holdt, decided to speed things up by
collecting buckets of rocks and smashing all the windows - we made a
very good job of it! No doubt we were all reported, as the following
morning, all boarders involved were told to queue up at the Principal's
office. We were all given six of the best and gated for the weekend. \
On another occasion, in l945, we were all starving
from having been subjected to wartime rations, and decided to go on a
bread binge in the dining-room. We demanded more bread and just kept on
eating until all stocks ran out in the kitchen , regardless of how
bloated we were!
I could give you more stories, but this is
probably long enough! Hope you enjoyed all of this! With kindest
regards to you and and all at the School.
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Posted: 31 May 2007
By Mark Chambers (’85) and Russell Edwards
We all carry our mobile phones with names &
numbers stored in it's memory but nobody, other than ourselves, knows
which of these numbers belong to our closest family or friends. If we
were to be involved in an accident or were taken ill, the people
attending us would have our mobile phone but wouldn't know who to call.
Yes, there are hundreds of numbers stored but which one is the contact
person in case of an emergency? Hence this "ICE" (In Case of Emergency)
The concept of "ICE" is catching on quickly. It
is a method of contact during emergency situations. As cell phones are
carried by the majority of the population, all you need to do is store
the number of a contact person or persons who should be contacted
during emergency under the name "ICE" (In Case Of Emergency).
The idea was thought up by a paramedic who found
that when he went to the scenes of accidents, there were always mobile
phones with patients, but they didn't know which number to call. He
therefore thought that it would be a good idea if there was a
nationally recognized name for this purpose. In an emergency situation,
Emergency Service personnel and hospital staff would be able to quickly
contact the right person by simply dialling the number you have stored
Please forward this. It won't take too many
"forwards" before everybody will know about it. It really could save
your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest. For more than one contact
name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3etc. A great idea that will make a
difference! Let's spread the concept of ICE by storing an ICE number in
our mobile phones TODAY!
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Posted: 17 April 2007
Two Oceans Half Marathon… with a shack. I
By Ray D. Chaplin
Whether it was cross-country, athletics or hockey
training, running was always something I tried to avoid at school. So
you can just imagine my reaction when my media people suggested that I
run the Two Oceans Half Marathon… with a shack.
With delays in getting the relevant permission to
pull a shack from Cape Town to Pretoria in our X-SA project which is
aid of Habitat for Humanity, I finally agreed to give it a go. But I
promised nothing, because my training was designed for slow and steady
endurance like pulling a 4x4 tyre 50km a day… not a quick three
hour sprint around a short course. Besides, I’d never built a
shack on wheels before…
Ray with the shack, close to the start of the
marathon, before sunrise
The pressure mounted quickly as race organisers
flooded the media with releases and they all wanted to see the shack
which was still only a rough sketch. Then after the first dilemma of
the shack being ripped apart due to strong winds in the first press
photo shoot, we had serious problems!
We made a whole load of modifications and the
shack was strengthened, but I didn’t have much confidence in the
flimsy fibreglass structure which barely survived the car ride to the
start line in the early hours on race day… after all, I
hadn’t even had time to run around the block with it since
it’d been finished.
The gun went off and the runners were got
underway… slowly, very slowly. Not being known for my patience,
I tried pushing through to get going [and warm] but was quickly hauled
back by race officials because I had to remain at the back with the
shack. But I couldn’t stick at 5km/h – I wouldn’t
make the cutoff at that pace! No ways was I going to be told to pack it
in just 3km from the finish because I had been too slow!
I made it off the Main Road with my legs feeling a
little funny, purely because they just aren’t used to running,
but otherwise feeling fine. But oops – downhill! How would the
shack handle downhill, with speed bumps? Just fine actually, although I
ended up having to pull it right for the rest of the race because I
buckled one of the axles outside Wynberg Girls.
The support from the crowds was amazing along the
way, and I had an amazing time until Constantia Village shopping centre
was passed. Unfortunately it was time for Southern Cross Drive! Another
big concern here was that I had a radio station calling in for an
interview during the race – so I needed to sound as though I was
at least managing the race.
But time seemed to be on my side by the time I got
to the top of Southern Cross, and the legs were feeling surprisingly
well. Clearly those long sessions up and down Table Mountain were
Still looking strong later in the race, after
the sun had risen
But then it happened – a sharp pain in the
groin. Reduced to a pained walk and time now ticking by quickly, a plan
had to be made. But I couldn’t bail. There was no ways I was
going to live that one down. After all, I was the one who suggested I
walk to Pretoria pulling a shack large enough to live in. What would
they say if I couldn’t even finished 21km?
And this is where the mental training and the
ability to put pain out of ones mind comes into play. With time running
out, a quick calculation was made of how “near” the finish
was and the “huge” amount of time I had to get there. With
my GPS on my arm keeping track of pace, I just had to keep above the
required speed and go for it. The physio can deal with the groin and
any damage I may do! After all it’s mind over matter – if
you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
Kirstenbosch Gardens flew past, and my only wish
of the day was that the brass band could have continued to the finish
with me. But the numbers on the markers were dropping quickly now, and
seeing Marcello da Silva cheering us all on was just another kick to
keep going and push on.
Turning onto Rhodes Drive was a great moment,
knowing that both the finish and the physio were not far away. Past
more DJ’s and bands and cheerleaders, I swept down onto the UCT
rugby fields to find two sharp turns – a little difficult with a
shack which has a mind of its own. And what would happen along the
bumpy grass? Speed… that’s what! My legs [and mind] pushed
to finish strong and I made it across the finish line with the clock
rapidly approaching the three hour cutoff.
But I made it, and that’s all that
mattered… I had gone out there and done it.
Crowded running field
So what is next? Well, my brother [Ian Chaplin,
class of ‘93] and I have already chatted about the London
marathon with the shack… as well as the Sydney and New York
But right now I’m preparing for a 2100km
cycling trip from Cape Town to Pretoria, along Route 62 via Port
Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Potchefstroom. It is partly a scouting
mission for the X-SA Shack Pull, as well as a promotion of NMT
[non-motorised transportation] with the Bicycling Empowerment Network.
We’ll be promoting the greener alternative
and healthier lifestyle associated with cycling, and will be inviting
[read: challenging] the local mayors along the way to cycle to work
with myself and Andrew Wheeldon [MD of BEN] in an effort to help speed
up NMT initiatives in the regions. Through BEN, we will be distributing
bikes to previously disadvantaged communities along the route, as well
as laying foundations for bicycle development centres where locals will
be empowered to setup their own cycling-related business.
Except for the few days when Andrew joins me for
the inner city activities, I’ll be travelling completely
alone… just me, my bike and my trailer. Oh, and a 3G internet
connection… so you’ll definitely be hearing from me along
For further information, please visit:
3Poles… is a Cape Town-based adventure and
community outreach company aimed at making a difference in the lives of
South Africans by undertaking local and international expeditions to
help raise awareness and funds in support of best practice
organisations, while empowering people with the knowledge that they can
achieve anything they dream of and put their minds to.
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Posted: 26 March 2007
Ray Chaplin (’98) to Run Two Oceans Half
Marathon - with a Shack
Capetonian Ray Chaplin will be running the Old
Mutual Two Oceans half marathon on Easter Saturday 7 April to raise
much-needed funds for the event’s official charity, Habitat for
Humanity South Africa.
Ray Chaplin ('98)
Chaplin will be dragging a makeshift shack around
with him to raise awareness and funds for Habitat for Humanity South
Africa. Chaplin feels that this is his way of contributing towards
increasing awareness and raising additional funds for Habitat for
Humanity South Africa. “It’s definitely won’t be an
easy accomplishment for me but that’s part of the deal.
It’s a challenge and it certainly attracts attention, which helps
the charity in terms of overall awareness.”
Chaplin is the founder of 3Poles, a Cape
Town-based adventure and community outreach company aimed at making a
difference in the lives of South Africans by undertaking local and
international expeditions to help raise awareness and funds in support
of best practice organisations, while empowering people with the
knowledge that they can achieve.
According to Chaplin, he chooses events that will
create the maximum amount of media coverage as possible, by being
relevant and newsworthy. “This helps the sponsors, who receive
exposure, as well as the communities and organisations that benefit
through our fundraising activities.
Ray during one of his training sessions
“Habitat for Humanity South Africa is the
official charity for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon and another
event we are involved with – the X-SA Shack Pull. It made sense
for me to enter the half marathon as well to help Habitat raise much
needed funds,” said Chaplin.
Chaplin will start the race towards the back and
make his way through the 10 000 plus participants, dragging his bright
yellow shack. Chaplin says it is extremely tough to run 21 km with this
shack and to navigate it through all the other runners.
Habitat for Humanity South Africa is a non-profit
Christian organisation that works in partnership with communities to
help families living in poverty housing to build and own simple, decent
and affordable houses. Since 1996, the organisation has built close to
1 800 houses in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal. Eastern Cape and
Gauteng/North West provinces, providing shelter for 8 000 people across
the country and bringing together people across racial, economic,
cultural and social boundaries.
Those wishing to contribute towards
Habitat’s cause can visit their website at www.habitat.org.za.
Ray with training buddy 'Tony'
You can find out more about Ray's past and future
adventures on his site www.3poles.co.za. Ray aims to reach the North and
South Pole, as well as summit Mt Everest in order to raise awareness
about housing in the country.
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