Saturday, October 15, 2011

CBHS Head Prefect's Valedictory Speech - Oct '11

Good morning Mr and Mrs Cassar, Mr and Mrs De Korte, teachers, honoured guests, pupils, and the brilliant matrics of 2011.

Here we are, Bay. This is the very last time the Matrics of 2011 will be sitting in this quad, sharing the pride we have in the school and in each other with the glorious people that are joining us here today. And however sad, or scary it may feel for us, it is exciting.

Camps Bay High is an incredibly special place. It is a place that accepts people of all shapes and sizes, races and creeds, personalities and talents, and welcomes them with open arms, makes them feel at home. I mean, they took me in, so that has to mean something.

If a person who was not familiar with us were to look at the names of the Matrics of 2011, and analyse their achievements, one would quickly find a large number of incredible talents. Whether it’s on stage performing music or acting, on the sports field beating strong opponents, or in a quiet room writing their thoughts down on paper. What one will never see from that view, is the morale, enthusiasm, passion and ambition that drives us, and backs the success we enjoy as a grade.

I told my awesome grade at the Matric Ball that I could easily remember when I moved into this new world, and was so quickly accepted by the people around me and made to feel at home. It’s a feeling, being from Camps Bay High, and our grade truly captures the essence of what being a Camps Bay pupil is.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I am so so tremendously proud to just be a part of such a diverse, talented, brilliant group of people. Our grade is well rounded and balanced out to the extreme point where spontaneity is actually expected: Rous walking down the corridors playing the accordion, Nathane and Sive singing beautiful choir melodies in the Matric garden at break, Nicky joining the grade nines for touch, Twakkie actually wearing an All Blacks beanie, and Jerome sporting a Borat mankini on a civvies day – we’re able to pull it out of the hat and brighten the day of anyone around the school.

In our groups we are strong, as a grade we were unstoppable, and as individuals in future I know that each and every one of you will play your part, and be exciting people who live your lives with the right attitudes, and make a difference to the people around you. I know that each and every single person in this grade has the potential to do something amazing with their lives. High school was only the beginning.

Of course, credit for our success has to go to our mentors: the comedy from Mr Cunliffe, our mathematic and organisational skills from the calm and calculated Mr Mostert, our creative insights from Ms Martens and Ms Kawalsky, our ability to handle any situation thrown at us is covered by none other than Mr De Korte, and my passion for dance is fuelled by Mr Cottle and Mr Taylor.

If one thing is valued in our grade, it is the individual. Every person here is completely unique. Entirely unique. And I believe that the reason we are so successful as a grade, is because of our mindset. You’re allowed to be different because nobody is going to judge you for it. Simbulele is allowed to read The Crucible for 3 hours on a Friday night. Ruben is allowed to like classical music. Rous and Deen are allowed to be ginger.

Our individuality counts for tons, and the reeeeeeaaally special thing about it, is that when we all join forces, we kick ass.

So what I’m sure most of us are thinking is, “What now?”

I’ll tell you what. We’re going to go out into the big wide world and be the people we want to be, live our lives the way we are capable of living them, and achieve the unachievable.

It’s just that being around these people is humbling. The happy-go-lucky attitude that is captured by their greatness is something touching.

The message my grade effortlessly brings across – quoted from Oscar Wilde - is that you must be yourself, because everyone else is taken anyway.

Matrics of 2011, YOU have set the bar. YOU have left a legacy that will last forever. YOU are outstanding.

Let’s leave Camps Bay with one last great day. Let’s keep our chins up and look straight ahead at the future. Let’s use our strengths to do good, for ourselves and for others, and let’s let our “Strive For The Highest” mindset live on forever. Altissimis Nitor. You are all incredible.

Taylor Jackson
Head Prefect 2011