Riebeek College ‘Old Girls’ to celebrate 141st year

2018-05-03 06:01

“THERE is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

With these words of the late Nelson Mandela, Riebeek College Girls High School invites all their “Old Girls” to the school’s 141st year and Founder’s Day celebrations tomorrow, Friday, May 4th.

This year Riebeek boasts its Ubuntu theme with its Mandela Legacy Project to commemorate the Mandela centenary year: Mandela100@Riebeek100 acts of kindness. It is thus fitting that the theme of their Founder’s Day is the abovementioned quote from Nelson Mandela.

The guest speaker for this 30th Founder’s Day is none other than the founder of Founder’s Day, Natalie Stear, principal of Riebeek College 1988-2000. She oversaw Riebeek being the first then Model C school to vote to open her doors to all races in 1990.

Included in the reunion groups are Marilyn Dodd Woods (principal of Riebeek College 2007-2016) of the Class of 1968 who celebrates with her class their 50 year reunion, and Professor Kerry-Lynn Thomson (associate professor of the Nelson Mandela University School of ICT) of the Class of 1998 celebrating their 20 year reunion. Other reunion groups include the 40, 35, 30, 25 and 10 year groups.

All past pupils of Riebeek are invited to attend all the events of the day, with the reunion groups especially requested to attend. Old Girls did not have to matriculate with their class to be part of their reunion group.

The traditional hockey match between the school’s 1st team and an Old Girls’ team will be played at 08:15 on the College Field. Tea will be served in the Beehive Student Centre at 09:30 and the official reunion photographs will be taken between 09:30 and 10:00. The special assembly is at 10:30 in the Sholto McIntyre Hall and the Old Girls’ Lunch will be at the Uitenhage Golf Club at 13:00.

Kieran Stear, the 15th principal of Riebeek College Girls’ High School said, “How wonderful it is to have the opportunity of uniting the past and the present by honouring our roots, our past history.

“Our 141st year is a time when we remember with gratitude the founder of Riebeek, Dominee Braam Steytler, who gave his name to the town of Steytlerville. He planted the seeds and gave Riebeek her roots in his drive to establish a quality school for girls.”

Women were only admitted into universities for the first time in the 1870s and Riebeek is proud that one of its principals, Agnes Thomson, was the first woman in South Africa to gain her Masters degree. - REPORTER

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