Trees commemorate Wembley’s founder on its 20th anniversary

2017-09-06 06:01
Brian Corbishley’s memory will live on in the trees planted on Founder’s Day.

Brian Corbishley’s memory will live on in the trees planted on Founder’s Day.

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LOUISE YEADON 

TREES are a part of our school landscape and heritage.  Dot and Brian Corbishley valued planting trees on the school estate. Our 20 anniversary Founder’s Day celebration took place this weekend in September, which is Arbor Month and the tree of the year was planted on the school grounds. Unfortunately, this year shortly before turning 80, our founder, Brian Corbishley, died.   

This year the tree of the year is the Buffalo thorn, Ziziphus mucronata, umLahlabuntu (Zulu), Blink-blaar-wag-’n-bietjie (Afrikaans). 
Historically the Zulus planted a Buffalo Thorn on the grave of a deceased chief as a symbol of where the chief was buried. Even today a branch from the Buffalo Thorn is used to retrieve the spirit of a deceased person from where he died.
A family member will go to the place where the death occurred carrying a branch of the Buffalo Thorn which the spirit is able to hold onto. This will be taken back to the deceased’s homestead and the spirit will be given a new resting place. 
During the transportation of the spirit, the carrier will not look backwards. He will pay for two seats on a bus or a taxi and communicate with the spirit explaining exactly where it is going. If they are to cross a river, the holder will tell the spirit, “We are now crossing the river. We will get a lift to the other side.”

Can we believe that Mr Corbishley willingly listened to the carrier? I think he told the carrier where his spirit needed to go. His spirit is now back on the hilltops of Wembley where he will watch over our school protecting us and willing us on. Dot Corbishley brought a number of Buffalo Thorn trees which were planted during our 20th Founder’s Day celebration this weekend. 

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