By Sihle Jack
Founder’s and reunion weekends are meant to be events we look forward to as past scholars of our respective schools. Past and present learners of Victoria Girls’ High School and Graeme College seemed to happily take on this excitement and made both schools’ recent reunion celebrations very successful.
However, these weekends do not always suit everyone who plans to go back to see their old school and reconnect with lost friends. I went out to talk to some old girls and boys to find out why, even though they are based in Grahamstown, they were unable to attend and how they feel about that.
Talking to Langa Nyanda, who matriculated with the 2012 class I gathered that he was sad that he was unable to go. Nyanda mentioned that his reason for not attending can strictly be blamed on Rhodes University, as he was doing school related work. “I was actually going to participate in the tennis, where old boys play against the current 1st team but I had a tut,” said Nyanda who still keeps up with what is happening at the school.
“The ideal time for me to go back would be in 20 years; if life’s good in 10 years’ time then I’ll go,” Nyanda mentioned, after stating that this that reunion weekends were for “flexing”.
Carlyn Coetzee, a VG old girl shared slightly less enthusiasm than Nyanda. “I haven’t gone to founders weekend since finishing school in 2012 and I don’t feel anything per say but I do always feel bad a bit during that time because I know that I should go back.” Coetzee said that if a group of them had organised to go back to the school during the weekend then she definitely would have gone.
It was an apparent trend that all of the old girls and boys I spoke to felt terrible about not going back to visit their schools. Zandile Hoyi, Human Kinetics and Ergonomics masters student and stooge and Victoria Primary School said that now that she is closely affiliated with the school again she felt part of the celebrations. What Hoyi misses most about Founder’s Weekend are the different inter-house events that take place. She also misses the matches played between the 1st team and old girls.
The big decade reunions are reunions that they all say they want to attend. Xabiso Kroqwana who matriculated from GC in 2008 said that he still keeps up with what happens at the school and that having not gone back was sad.
All the old girls and boys spoken to all mentioned that they would like to give back to their schools in the future and attend more events at the schools. “Giving back to the school would mean a lot to me as they have done so much for me while at school,” expressed Kroqwana.
Looking back to when they were all still in school, the things that they miss most about Founder’s Weekend would have to be the treats they got and all the fun activities which help to build school spirit.