LETTER FROM THE CAMPUS HEAD

Dear St George’s Family

I have attended a number of High School prize-givings and other functions recently.  At one of these functions, the Headboy shared the following story that I have previously read and would like to share with you.

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.  One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to receive his daily medical treatment.  His bed was next to the room’s only window.  The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.  The men talked for hours on end.  They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, and where they had been on vacation. Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.  The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by the description of activity and colour of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a beautiful lake.  Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats.  Young lovers held hands and walked amidst flowers of every colour of the rainbow.  Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.  As the man described his view from the window in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing through the park.  Although the other man could not hear the band, he could see the parade in his mind’s eye, as the gentleman by the window developed a detailed picture with his descriptive words.

One morning, the nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.  She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.  Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside.  Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself.  He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.  To his surprise, the window faced a brick wall.

The man called for the nurse and asked what could have compelled his deceased roommate to describe such wonderful things outside this window.  The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.  She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

The moral of the story is there is tremendous joy in making others happy, despite our own situations.  Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

I have recently returned from Johanneburg after attending the annual SAHISA (South African Heads of Independent Schools Association) Conference. Over and above all the plenary and break away sessions, and the wonderful keynote speakers addresses, this is always a good time to reconnect with other Heads and to chat about shared experiences.  As the story mentioned, “Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.” I was very pleased to share my happiness with the wonderful school and city I am privileged to work in and with.  The Marimba Band and dancers, and even the wind that was blowing as I walked out the airport on Monday evening further compounded my feelings of happiness.

So whilst I literally do look out to a rather large white brick wall from my study, I choose to see a different view. My view is the girls in their bright red pinnies, the boys in their grey shorts and white shirts (many with just a badge and no tie now), the views of the Indian Ocean, the lack of traffic on our roads and the happiness on the faces of many people who share this landscape with me, and that certainly does double my happiness.  I hope and trust that many of our boys and girls, teachers and parents feel the same way too!

May your week ahead be a happy one!

Kind regards
Alex Hall – Campus Head
Twitter- @AlexHallZA 
Linkedin- za.linkedin.com/in/alexhallza
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/AlexHallZA

STAFF NEWS

It is with a sense of sadness that we bid farewell to Mrs Shareen Combe, Head of the Pre-Prep. Shareen has decided to take a break from work and to spend more time at home with her children in the New Year. We are obviously very sad to be losing her as the Head of the Pre-Prep but we are sincerely happy for Shareen that she will now have this opportunity to focus on her family.  Shareen certainly has added enormous value, firstly as a Grade R teacher at the Pre-Prep for five years and then as the Head of the Pre-Prep for the past two years. I know the children, staff and parents will miss her bubbly presence next year and will no doubt join me in wishing her the very best of luck.

Mr Curtis Samboer has been appointed as the new Grade 5 teacher for 2019 in place of Mr Bruce Campbell. Curtis joined us at the beginning of the year as an additional Intern, although he was already a qualified teacher.  Curtis not only is an accomplished sportsman himself (SA Schools Hockey player, and Provincial cricket player) but he has gained experience at Summerwood Primary coaching both their 1st XI Hockey and Cricket teams, and more recently with us here at St George’s as a coach and teacher of our foreign pupils’ bridging English classes.  The eagerness our pupils display whilst “running” to his current class is something we are looking forward to witnessing in the Grade 5 passage. We have no doubt that Curtis will continue to add much value in his new role as Grade 5 class teacher.

SCHOOL NEWS

African Penguin Awareness Day – Friday 12 October 2018

St George’s raised just over R5,000 for Sanccob EC on 12 October!!  This money will contribute to their continued work of rescuing and rehabilitating sea birds – Many thanks to our families that supported this worthy cause.

Book Launch of “A Hyena’s Tail” – Thursday 25 October 2018

St George’s Prep is hosting the Book Launch of “Tales from the Waterhole 2 – A Hyena’s Tail” which will take place tonight, Thursday 25 October, 17h00 for 17h30, in the Library at the Carol Arts & Media Centre.  Children are welcome.

The Author, Max Hoppe and the Illustrator, Jeannine Dickie will be there to sign books and read to the children.  Copies of the book will be on sale at a cost of R180.  Jeannine Dickie’s original illustrations and prints will also be on sale.  A lucky draw will be held with art and book prizes.  Light refreshments will also be served.

“Another fun, beautifully illustrated children’s book, set in the African bush” has been published.  It is a great uniquely South African gift to send to children in other parts of the world for Christmas!

“A Hyena’s Tail – Harry and Henry, the hungry hyenas, discover that just because an animal looks small and helpless, it is not always easy prey!  Many the Mongoose and Gilbert the Ground Squirrel come up with a crafty plan, to make sure Manny doesn’t become their next meal!  Featuring a checklist to help identify African animals you might encounter”.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE FIRST 2 WEEKS OF TERM 4

School Events: 26 October – 9 November 2018
Day Team Start Time Opposition Venue Estimated Finish
Friday 26 October Animal Welfare Drive – Monday 22 to Friday 26 October

Animal Welfare will be talking to pupils in Assembly about how the organisation helps animals in need.

Junior Prep Athletics Day 11h00 Daverin Field 13h00
Saturday 27 October B League Gala 08h00 Newton Park ±12h30
Monday 29 October
Tuesday 30 October Trinity Music Exams
Wednesday 31 Oct
Thursday 1 Nov Grade 7 Business Day 10h00 Pupils only 12h00
Gr R Graduation Photos
Friday 2 November U13A Cricket vs Holy Cross tba Union B tba
Kingswood Girls Waterpolo Festival – 2+3 November
Saturday 3 Nov Kingswood Girls Waterpolo Festival – 2+3 November
Herbert Hurd U9 Mini Cricket Festival (times tba)
C League Gala at Cape Recife (08h00 – ±12h30)
Monday 5 Nov KNET EXAMS – Grade 4
Colgate Visit to SGP 11h00 Junior Prep 12h00
Tuesday 6 Nov KNET EXAMS – Grade 5
  Grade 1 2019

Orientation Evening

17h30 Jan Immelman Hall 19h00
Wednesday 7 Nov KNET EXAMS – Grade 6
Thursday 8 Nov KNET EXAMS – Grade 7
  Summerwood Christmas Choir Festival 18h30 SGP Senior Choir will be participating Summerwood 20h00
Friday 9 Nov Soapbox Derby 08h30 MacIntosh Road 09h30

UPCOMING EVENTS

Animal Welfare Collection Drive : Collection of items –  Friday 26 October 2018

Over the years, St George’s Prep has had an ongoing relationship with Animal Welfare.  We wanted to uphold this relationship by holding a collection drive throughout this week, including the R5 Animal Welfare Civvies Day today to help raise funds for animal medication.

Tomorrow, Friday, is the final day that St George’s will be collecting items needed by Animal Welfare and the class who collects the most items will be rewarded with an outing to Animal Welfare where they will help walk, bath and play with the animals.

Items that are needed:

  • Cat Food
  • Cat Litter
  • Towels
  • Cat & Dog toys
  • Blankets
  • Dog beds
  • Bowls
  • Vets Choice for Puppies, Adult Dog Food for Large breeds and Small breeds.

We would like to thank all those parents and pupils who generously support our outreach projects throughout the year!

Junior Prep Athletics Day – Friday 26 October 2018

Our Junior Prep Athletics Day, which will take place tomorrow, Friday 26 October from 11:00 – 13:00 on the Daverin Field.  Pupils will have a normal school day in the classroom until the event begins and will return to their classrooms at the close of the Athletics Day and will be dismissed thereafter.

Aftercare will continue as usual and lunch will be provided for the Grade 3 and Aftercare pupils who remain at school. There will still be Spotlight Drama and Judo for Grade 1 & 2 pupils from 13h00 – 13h55, Grade 3 Extra Art from 14h00-15h00 and Grade 3 Spotlight Drama and Judo from 14h15 – 15h15.

For further details please refer to your email or the d6 Communicator.

A PEEK AROUND THE SCHOOL

Reading Week – and what a success it was! Highlights were lots of buddy reading, the pop-up bookshop in the Library and dressing-up as Where’s Wally characters

Past & present Deputy Heads – Mr Barry Lane has had a long association with the Prep, he started as a pupil in 1943 (has known all the Prep Headmaster’s) and went on to be Deputy Head from 1984-2000

Robotics morning for the Grade 7s creating a maze challenge and swimming races in the pool using the Sphero Robotic balls and their iPads

Well done to all our staff members and parents who supported the first round of the Nelson Mandela Bay Chargers Super Fives Hockey this past weekend!

Soapbox Derby preparations have begun … our Grade 7s are busy designing and building their go-karts

Summer has arrived – our first swimming extramural of Term 4

Wow, well done to our St George’s girls, well represented at the recent SA Champions Irish Dancing