School traditions under threat, says principal

Anthony van Eyssen plays the bagpipes during a wreath-laying ceremony at Wynberg Boys’ High School. The school held it’s founder’s day last Friday. Also pictured, from left, are matric pupils Mudathir Solomon and Shukri Abrahams.

School traditions and camaraderie are under threat from the impact of Covid-19, Wynberg Boys’ High School principal Jan de Waal said at the school’s founder’s day ceremony last Friday.

With almost half of Wynberg Boys’ junior and high schools’ pupils having not experienced a normal school year, there was the danger of the boys losing touch with the the schools’ ethos and missing out on the sense of brotherhood that generations of pupils before them had experienced, he said in his address to matric pupils and online guests.

At the ceremony on Friday, the school’s pipe major Anthony van Eyssen played the national anthem as four matric pupils raised flags. The day before, the junior school held a flag-raising ceremony to commemorate the founding of the Wynberg Boys’ schools 180 years ago.

Mr De Waal said the ceremony honoured the thousands of people, living and dead, who had contributed to the development of the schools.

He acknowledged a painful period in the school’s history when certain races had been excluded. The school was opened to all from 1991.

Karl Wetvig, the guest speaker, was head prefect in 1988. He said a lot of tradition was built by those who had contributed back to the school. “Find your way back, serve in some way, such as in sports or mentoring students,” he said.

He added that the Wynberg Old Boys’ Union planned to launch a legacy fund in the coming months. “So that other boys can enjoy the school, brothers in an endless chain, giving back and making the chain longer and stronger,” he said in reference to the school song, Brothers in an Endless Chain.

After the roll of honour, a pandemic tribute and Peter Catzavelos playing the Last Post, four wreaths were laid in the school’s Garden of Remembrance and then at the Founders Gate.

Wynberg matrics Shukri Abrahams, Alexander Clarke and Clyde Theunissen taking part in the wreath-laying ceremony.
Pipe major Anthony van Eyssen, Wynberg Old Boys Union president Matthew Thomson, headmaster Jan de Waal, head prefect Zayd Louw and deputy headmaster Larry Moser.
Wreaths are laid at the Wynberg Boys’ High School’s Garden of Remembrance. From left, are school pipe major Anthony van Eyssen, headmaster Jan de Waal, deputy headmaster Larry Moser, Wynberg Old Boys’ Union president Matthew Thomson and head prefect Zayd Louw.