Founders' Day 2018
Founders’ Day is a truly special day on the St Stithians calendar every year. It is our annual celebration of the Founders of our school, which has grown into a college of seven schools – the Junior Preparatory, the Boys’ Preparatory, the Girls’ Preparatory, the Boys’ College, the Girls’ College, Kamoka Bush School and the Thandulwazi Maths and Science Academy. The day is always marked by remarkable guest speakers, incredible performances and a coming together of One and All to celebrate and give thanks for our beautiful school.
The theme of Founders’ Day 2018 was ‘Saints Character’, encompassing the Honour Code – Honour God, Honour Others, Honour Self – the statement of Saints Character that is at the core of our educational principles and encourages us to know ourserlves, be ourselves and to make our contribution. Founders' Day this year also paid tribute to Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding President of our democratic South Africa, in this, his centenary year.
Deputy Chair of the St Stithians College Council, Ntombi Langa-Royds warmly welcomed guests on what turned out to be a beautiful, crisp and clear winter morning, setting the scene and tone for the rest of the morning’s proceedings. Dr Tim Nuttall, the Rector, inspired the gathering with his speech which incorporated the reading of Madiba 9 – a poem written by Ruth Everson of the Girls’ College and read by Vuyolwethu Khuluse (Boys’ College) and Bongi Dhlomo (Girls’ College) as well as an Acapella version of Asimbonanga, composed by Johnny Clegg and arranged by Yvette Schoeman, performed by soloists Emma Schipholt, Tshepang Letsie, Jason Brown and Mihlali Jiya.Rector's Address Founders' Day
Music is always central to Founders’ Day and this year’s musical items did not disappoint. The Junior Prep performed Weeping by Bright Blue under the enthusiastic guidance of Music Director, Linda Glass and the One and All Musical Item, You’re the Voice by John Farnham, arranged by Yvette Schoeman included soloists Joda Kgosi, Kirthana Arran, Fletcher Brown and Tafara M’Kombe.
Our Deputy Head Girl, Chantelle Guise-Brown and Deputy Head Boy, Jason Brown, gave the first and second scripture lesson, respectively, while the third scripture lesson was delivered by two of our Junior Preparatory children, Ndlazi Mkhari and James van Tonder. Our Girls' Preparatory and Boys' Preparatory students read specific prayers for our school and our community of belonging. The guest speaker was welcomed by our Head Boy Tafara M’Kombe, and the vote of thanks was given by our Head Girl, Rutendo Samakande.
St Stithians Alumnus, Ben Kodisang (1987) was the esteemed guest speaker this year and his address was true to the theme of ‘Saints Character’, highlighting his years at the College and the impact that the school has had on his life. Once a Saint, Always a Saint.
His speech epitomised his humility and he talked about living a life of choice. His parting message left One and All inspired by these words;
“I have learned the courage to take ownership for the choices I make.
I, therefore Choose,
To live by choice, not by chance.
To make changes, not excuses.
To be motivated, not manipulated.
To be useful, not used.
To excel, not to compete.
I choose self-esteem, not self-pity.
I choose to listen to my inner voice, not the random opinion of others.
I chose to Honour God, Honour Others and Honour Self.
I thank You…”Guest Speaker's Address Founders' Day
After singing the College song, all that was left was for Carel Nolte, Chair of the St Stithians College Council to conclude with his eloquent remarks and thanks.
One and All – the College motto, speaks at once of unique individuality, diversity, collective togetherness, a spiritual unity, the single and the multiple, the whole and the parts making up the whole, and the power of combination. Founders’ Day epitomises all of this and more.
Thank you to all of those who worked tirelessly to make this event happen. Thank you to our parents who support us every day, thank you to our students who make us proud, thank you to our alumni who continue to make us proud years after they have left school, thank you to our staff who enable our students to become the best they can be. To every member of the Saints community, thank you for living out Saints Character, thank you for inspiring excellence and making a world of difference.
The service concluded with heart-felt war cries shouted by all our students.