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Posted: 24 November 2007

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 the school.

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 Province.


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 achieve".

Then he told me about the feeling of touching the World Cup - the very same World Cup, he said, the Springboks had won in France.

"It is real gold," he said. "Because we are the champions."

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 the world.

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.


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Posted: 24 November 2007

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 student!

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!

Brendon Brady

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 2007

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 first test.

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 hours up.

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 coaching softball.

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 (michaelecreech@gmail.com)


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Posted: 24 November 2007

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 by history.

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 seventies.
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 possible scenarios.

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 human.

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 learn."

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 respect.
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, well-functioning society.

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 shall be.

David Aschman


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Posted: 24 November 2007

Junior School Headmaster's Report
by Stuart Anderson

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 the school!

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 the year.

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 Cape Town.

Our focus this year was, “We’ve Got the Spirit in 2007!” Congratulations to all - We achieved precisely that!


Stuart Anderson


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Posted: 24 November 2007

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 ever had.

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 Webb.

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 respectively.

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 fielded 8teams!

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 men…

Thank you for every tackle, every try, every goal, every save.

Thank you for every wicket, every run, every stroke, every metre, every second and every moment.


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Posted: 24 November 2007

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 industry.

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 deeds.”

Sean Day ('66)

Spectemur Agendo Award 2007
Acceptance Speech by Sean Day

Good evening!

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 immeasurably.

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.

Thank you.

 

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Posted: 31 October 2007

Prize Giving Speech - October 2007 by Ken Ball



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 tertiary studies!


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 doing so!)


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!


Thank You!


K R BALL

HEADMASTER


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Posted: 31 October 2007

Prize Giving - Cutural & Academic Report
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 June.

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 100%.

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.

Thank you

 

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Posted: 31 October 2007

Valedictory Speech by Head Boy - Mike Newdigate

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 goodbye.

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 a group.

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 shaped you.

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.

Thank you.

Valedictory

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 online:

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 2007
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 tradition.

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 Kurt Masur.

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 Marin Schuring.

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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

Editors note:
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.

Contact information:
3Poles
Ray D. Chaplin
Tel: 072-637-2866
E-mail: ray@3poles.co.za
Web: www.3poles.co.za

 

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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 shareholders’ vote.”

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 evaluation.”

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 seven” times.

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 before.

“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 about.”

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 is.”

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 process”.

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

Academics
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 English.

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


Cultural
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!


Sport
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 August.
  • 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 inconvenience.)

 

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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 African legend.

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 Naas Botha.

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 1998.

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 record.

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 rugby.

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 talent.

"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 sense.

"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 gone on.

"He has always kept in touch with SACS. He has never let his successes go to his head, and he has always retained his old mates.

"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 disadvantaged backgrounds

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 many years.

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 regular occurrence!

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.

Stanley Moss

 

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Posted: 31 May 2007

Emergency Numbers
By Mark Chambers (’85) and Russell Edwards (’85) 

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) Campaign.

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 as "ICE".

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 made it!!!
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 paying off.

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 marathons.

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 the way.

For further information, please visit:

Editors note:

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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