It is a rare privilege to pay tribute to a School celebrating its official 50th (in reality 101st) Anniversary.
While this is primarily a tribute to our founder Principals, Teachers, Parents and Learners, a little of my own story does not seem out of place. I was appointed as a grade 5 (then standard 3) teacher in 1976, and such have been the opportunities here, that I assumed responsibility as Principal ten years ago.
It is here that I was given the opportunities and nurtured into a leadership position. It is here that I have worked with children and adults who have risen to prominence in widely varying fields. More especially, it is here that I learnt the joy of everyday achievements, the sorrow of defeat and loss and the importance of beginning afresh.
Ours is a rich historical tapestry. From humble beginnings in a Church Hall, in Bellville Flats Public School was established in 1909. From political ideology forcing a move to a dual medium preparatory school situated close by, to our establishment on a vacant piece of land in Boston, a pioneering spirit has been evident. The dedication of our parent-body and the will of founder learners to overcome their embarrassing nickname "Pienk Varkies" speak eloquently of determination. The rapid development of the School, the official recognition and the will of our parents to embrace all population groups in 1991 are further indications of this spirit. While there have been many tribulations along our golden path, the strong conviction to inspire children has remained ever present.
Our School remains a progressive, forward-thinking establishment. We need to be mindful of our legacy to ensure that education here continues to be relevant and effective; that compassion for others and the building up of that which is good remains central and that the nurturing of responsible young people remains sharply in focus. Like our founders, let us accept responsibility for continuing the notion that learners will confidently and proudly be able to say "It's because I went to Boston".
Wonderful though it may be, nobody here can merely rely on the work, or reputations of those who went before us. For our School to remain relevant, it is important that each of us not only uses the opportunities provided, but also adds our unique individual contribution, so that those who follow will be able to say of us, "It's because they went toBoston !'.