Friday, October 14, 2011

CBH Head Prefect's Celebration Speech - Oct '11

Good evening Mr and Mrs Cassar, Mr and Mrs De Korte, teachers, parents, honoured guests, and pupils of Camps Bay High.

Celebration, 2011. It’s already here. The end of this year has crept up out of nowhere, and now it is staring us right in the face.

And looking back on this year, there are countless memories, and moments that I will never forget. Moments of joy, disappointment, and immense pride. But it also brings me to realise that every moment I spend at my beloved school, is a moment closer to the moment that my incredible peers and I will leave this beautiful place – and I will cherish these moments forever.

But before I start living in the moment too much, I would just like to give you a bit of a recap of what we have accomplished this year.

Camps Bay has been strong in every part of school life for as long as even the legendary Mr Tucker can remember, and 2011 was no exception.

Academically we produced the goods as always, with close battles for the top 10 spots throughout the grades, and the healthy competition resulted in fantastic marks across the board.

We took part in numerous national Olympiads including Maths, Science, and English to name a few, and produced gold medals in the Western Cape Science Expo and strong silver medals at nationals in Nicholas Ngcobo and Xolani Jelemsi. We’re now also looking forward to seeing a strong Matric group push through a third year of 100% pass rates in a row.

Culturally, Camps Bay showed its strengths in many ways. This year’s interpretation of Pieter Dirk Uys’ Karnavaal, and the brilliant Interhouse Play Competition caused an awesome community response, and wowed the audiences that were privileged enough to watch them – some were even selected to represent the school at a provincial competition – not to mention the numerous Eisteddfod awards that were won by our brilliant drama department, and the release of Spud: The Movie which featured a role by our very own, and ruthlessly talented Alex McGregor.

Success was also found in the Music Department, where we saw Nicholas Rous win a national classical guitar competition, which was followed closely by a Battle of The Bands win by Forefront, who thus managed to score themselves some valuable studio time and recognition. Ruben De Girardier left many of us speechless in all of his outstanding clarinet performances, and our Camps Bay’s Got Talent winner Aaqib Simons left our throats sore from screaming after his awesome Elvis impersonations.

Debating junior and senior teams earned spots in the Rotary League quarter finals, and produced a number one province speaker in the truly remarkable form of Hannah Fagan.

Athletically, we were dominant. Camps Bay in itself has earned a name as a force on the sports field through the sportsmen and sportswomen that play their matches in a way that characterises the undying spirit of our wonderful school.

Star individuals like Ntsika Shushu, who represented us in his always gentlemanly fashion in the Western Province U19 cricket team, Brode Gleeson and Luke Kitchin who bodyboarded at this year’s SA champs, and Dominic Seeber who is now a part of the South African junior Olympic team for gymnastics. Boys’ tennis was promoted to the A league, soccer had successful seasons, the swimmers did us proud at the Newlands Gala, and first XV rugby lead our school to impressive wins at the Westerford and Groote Schuur derby. Teams that had considered us as pushovers were left begging for mercy by the end of our matches.

Our performances have been fantastic, but they would have been impossible without the support we have received from the school – the Kudu mascot has gone with us to every big match day and the dedicated pupils and parents have put in a massive contribution to show our teams that they care, and I would like to thank everyone for that.

Camps Bay High is run by exceptionally special groups of people. People that inspire us to be the best we can by giving us all the opportunities they can possibly put forward to us.

To the Governing Body – our beautiful school could not function without the huge effort each of you put into the things that are done around the school. The Governing Body has done an especially brilliant job of making our school look good this year, upgrading the technologies around the school and making sure that our school environment is enjoyable for the pupils. Thank you.

To our unique and diligent Teachers – sure, we might complain about how much English homework you gave us, or sometimes we’ll take a chill pill in class rather than get to work on the past papers we should be working through, but we appreciate everything you do for us. Every moment you put an enormous effort into teaching classes, and still find the patience to deal with our individual struggles. I thank you for the enormous amount of work that goes into our education, and that each of you have your own way of touching the hearts of your students.

To the Ground Staff of Camps Bay – these are the people that get the work done behind the scenes, making sure the corridors are clean while we’re in class, that the rugby field is good to play on come Saturday, and that our school looks as good as it does every single day. To Mr Van Heerden and the team, thank you.

To our Secretaries and Bursars, Librarians and Bookkeepers, thank you for the work you do to make sure we run smoothly, and for putting up with the nonsense we sometimes give you.

To my family – thank you for your constant and vigilant support. The love and care you have given me during my time at school is what has pushed me through and motivated me to grab on and do the things I might not have thought I was capable of, the countless packed school lunches, early morning wake ups, lifts and support on match days and performances is what has made my time so bearable. You are my rock, and I thank you for that.

Obviously – thank you to the magnificent Pupils of Camps Bay High. You have made it a pleasure to lead all of you through this awesome year. You are something I will never forget. And to the utterly sterling, superb, invaluable Matrics of 2011, thank you for the support you have shown to me and to each other, as a whole, WE lead the school with pride, WE showed the example that the school should follow and WE set a mark for those that will follow to aim for. You are incredible.

To Fabienne, Tim, and the Prefect Body of 2011. Each of you who played your intricate parts of a bigger plan made the job simple. We are blessed by something special to have raced through the year the way we did, and we have set our legacy in stone.

Our message to the prefects of 2012 – being a prefect is a big job, much bigger than you often expect, but as long as you take each job on as a team, nothing will be able to stop you. Be motivated, see each task as a step to a new level, because each time you are successful, there is a sense of pride and achievement that is indescribable. Remember to set the example, lead from the front. Harold McAlindon once said, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

We wish you all the best for an incredible year ahead.

I always describe Camps Bay High as a “special place” – cool, we have great fields in an incredible area and a sick view of Glen Beach from maths class. Groovy, we have what is probably the world’s best tuck shop and an awesome pool. These things are awesome, but what really makes us special is the people, and the vibe we create within our school, our view and fields are just a bonus. The people here at Camps Bay High have this edge. Something completely different. Something unique. They have this special way of making everyone feel welcome, like they belong. Camps Bay pupils show love to one another in a way that cannot be seen or heard, but felt.

I have decided that being a Camps Bay pupil is a feeling. You are a Camps Bay student when you feel like things are better every time you walk through our doors. You are a Camps Bay student when you are able to capture the energy in this incredible place, and share it with other people. Camps Bay High is the place that motivates you to do the absolute best you can, to “Strive For The Highest” in every way possible. Camps Bay High is not just where you went to school. It defines who you are.

Thank you

Taylor Jackson
Head Prefect 2011