College Newsletter - 24-04-2015 - Newsletters

No 13
24 March 2015
“Live to serve” - Africa Regional Round
Square Conference in Kenya
This year, the Round Square Africa Regional Conference was held at Starehe Boys’ Centre and
School in Nairobi in Kenya.
The Bridge House delegation, Mr Russell, Mrs Watson, Jordan Michel, Bryony Cannon, Sam
Stevens, Emma Fourie and Andie Pols, together with Dainfern, St Stithian’s Boys and Girls, St
George’s, Cape Town, and St Cyprian’s enjoyed a pre-conference tour in the Maasai Mara before the
start of conference. This experience initiated friendships among students from our schools and we felt
privileged to visit this famous wild life reserve.
The Conference at Starehe was a busy time of riikas, barazas, cultural evenings, project
presentations, visits to local sites, service projects with local communities and keynote speakers.
The keynote speakers were all Kenyans. Mr Polycarp Igathe, managing director, VIVO energy Kenya
addressed the delegates on the theme of the conference, “Live to Serve.” His talk resonated with our
own ethos of servant leadership and he offered us advice as human beings and for leadership. Mr
Anthony Waborne, CEO AG group, presented a balanced view on sustainable energy at the
geothermal facility outside Nairobi. The last keynote speaker, Mrs Christine Asiko, founder of Strive
International was a past Starehe pupil and she enthralled us with her storytelling of a young boy at
school who “is a square peg trying to be pushed into a round hole. Not only is this process frustrating
but we end up with a “damaged peg” .
We left Kenya tired, stimulated, challenged and with a lot of new friends.
Mrs Debbie Watson
Notes from Kenya, Part One - Mike Russell
I enjoyed the huge privilege of accompanying Mrs Debbie Watson and the Bridge House delegation
to the recent Africa Regional Round Square Conference from 4 to 12 April. Our party joined up with
groups from St Stithian’s Boys and Girls, St George’s Grammar, St Cyprian’s and Dainfern College
for a two-day pre-conference visit to the Maasai Mara. We then spent five days sharing the
conference experience with an additional 12 school delegations from all over Africa at Starehe Boy’s
Centre in Nairobi.
Nairobi and Kenya are tense as we arrive. It’s two days only since the Garissa massacre, and the
country is hurting and angry. There is armed military presence all around.
What follows are some reflections on
this unforgettable experience drawn
from notes sent home to my wife and
family. I think they capture my take on
the week far better than a document in
the form of a report. I hope you enjoy
them too.
A retrospective catch-up mail
home: 9 April, Starehe Boys’
It seems a long time since I left home,
and there are now only a couple of
conference days left. It's been a very
busy time. Yesterday was the opening
ceremony and a day full of adult
meetings, right through until after 10pm. I have tried to Whatsapp home on the bus between the
Parklands Club and Starehe and on the way back as well, but the roads are very bumpy, the traffic is
just unbelievable and the driving is pretty hectic, so I’m never sure if anything makes sense or if the
connectivity has stayed in place long enough for the messages to go through!
The drive out of Nairobi, early in the morning after a tossing-turning Saturday night in the 680 Sentrim
Hotel – downtown in the heart of Nairobi’s nightlife – takes us down the escarpment of the Great Rift
Valley to the Mara. From just beyond a bustling town called Narok (which brings me strong memories
of Xai-Xai in Mocambique, and Stonetown and Malindi, with chickens and goats and dust and mud
and motorbikes with three passengers or seven huge sacks of charcoal and people and rich smells of
spice and decay and fresh produce on rickety wooden stalls) the tar ends and we hit a chiropractor’s
dream of a dirt road, tackled at around 75km/h for the duration of its 90kms, through tiny villages,
informal shops, lots of tiny schools, and past vast herds of cattle under the watchful eye of a solo,
luminescent scarlet Maasai herdsman. Africa. Africa. Africa at its most quintessentially African. It is
good for the soul.
The Mara’s light and vastness are nothing short of
bewitching. It just stretches in every direction further than the
eye can see. Africa. Africa. Africa. Africa: the real deal, at its
most beautiful and spellbinding. It's a month or so to the
migration, so the animals are assembling as if someone has
sent out a “save-the-date” to them all. Seas of zebra and
wildebeest, all plodding along with some vaguely defined
purpose towards something, somewhere, getting ready,
grazing, picking up fat, getting into peak condition, building
up the strength of the numerous foals and calves in the
herds, waiting for the "go". On Monday (6 April), we spent a
full day out on a drive and had a walk along the Mara River at one of the migration crossing spots.
Hippos by the dozen – we get magic photos of a month-old baby, but the crocs are currently all some
kilometres downstream. They will start returning to the crossing point any day now, as if they know
when to come for the crush and thrash of animals soon to be in the water. We learn from the guides
that the gathering of the herds follows a strict order: zebra and wildebeest first, because they graze
only the tops of the grass, then the others who eat lower on the grass, so nature makes sure there's
enough grazing for all of them. And then the crocs down the river somehow get the message that
feeding time is on upstream. Nature is just incomprehensible.
We had fantastic sightings: countless birds, hyena, black rhino, lions on the hunt and lions mating,
cheetah, meerkats, eland, zebra, gazelles, impalas, buffalo, hippo, monitor lizard, hartebeest,
waterbuck, giraffe, elephant, topi (like a tsessebe), kudu, monkeys, baboons -- all "right there" and
easily sighted. Michael Ngema and the crew of driver/guides were fantastic guys (my kiSwahili is
improving all the time!) and in the park, a sighting means frantic staccato radio messages and a
headlong rush to the gathered vehicles. Road? What road? Just straight across the veld. Not sure of
the legality, or the green-ness, but my word you do get right on top of the animals. The lion and
cheetah sightings were from about 5 metres. At the lion sighting, the Park Rangers arrived.
Apparently some shillings were exchanged, and the next thing was they had gone and we moved in
on the pair of lions for fantastic pictures.
On Tuesday (7 April), we had a dawn drive prior to breakfast and departure, and could see the hot-air
balloons rising in pastel majesty from the plains about 15kms away in the muted sunlight. That's when
we saw the black rhino, but not from close. On the way back to Nairobi, we stopped at a Maasai
village (the real thing) and got the dances, jumping and visits inside huts. Amazing people with an
existence and belief-system trapped forever in time. Yet, in the bystanders from the village there’s a
nine-year-old boy called Daniel. He’s in a school jersey. Clean, but threadbare. There’s a special light
in his eyes as we converse in perfect English. He’s going to be a doctor. I have no doubt he will. This
is a little boy in a mud-hut village literally in the middle of nowhere. His English is fluent. His
confidence is obvious. He has a vision.
And all the time, warm, everywhere we go, friendly people at peace with themselves, who just light
up at "Jambo! Habari?”
I’m now utterly convinced about the value of a pre-conference tour such as this, given the bonding
among the children and the adults of the touring party.
Next instalment: Nairobi and conference reflections.
Mr Mike Russell
Photos taken at the opening of the conference and during the conference. Bryony Cannon was the Bridge House flagbearer
On Saturday at the Bedouin Ball,
the theatre had been
transformed into a magical
scene from Arabian Nights; the
Grade 11 hosts and waiters
looked fantastic in their Bedouin
costumes and did a great job of
waiting on the guests at the
dance; the weather was perfect;
the girls and boys looked
absolutely stunning in their ball
gowns and smart suits and
everyone agreed that the 2015
Matric Dance was a fabulous
A lot of planning, preparation
and hard work goes into an
event like this and we would like
to thank Mrs Elmarie de Kock
and the parent committee:
Jennie Wessels, Sandra Buys,
Tanya Glazer, Christine Stevens, Wendy Ellis,
Kirsten Blumers and Yvonne Holmes, for everything
they did to make it such a wonderful occasion. Their
attention to detail and readiness to work so hard and
put in so much effort is very much appreciated.
Deena Solanki did the henna for the waiters and
Yolanda de Villiers helped with the décor - thank
you to them. Thank you also to Just Trees for
lending us their beautiful trees for
the occasion. This certainly added flair to the décor and helped
to keep costs down.
Bedouin waiters and waitresses
We extend our sincere condolences to Bridge House Canoeing Coach, Mr Wayne August, on the tragic death
of his brother. Wayne, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Newsletter next week
Please note that because of the short week with two public holidays, Monday 27 April and Friday 1 May, there
will be no newsletter next week.
You will have received the notice via email about the PA AGM which takes place on Tuesday 12 May in the
Prep Hall at 18h00. If you would like to add a specific item to the agenda for this meeting please contact the
PA on [email protected], no later than Thursday, 7 May 2015. To nominate a parent as a member of
the committee, please fill in the form which was sent to you and place it in the box at College reception before
12h00 on Friday 8 May.
Outside Scholarship Tests – 23 May
Applicants who are in Grade 7 outside Bridge House and who would like to write the scholarship tests for
Grade 8 scholarships on offer in 2016, should contact Gill Malcolm 021 874 8100 [email protected]
for the details about the tests to be written on Saturday 23 May.
Pre-primary Open Day postponed to 29 May
Please note that the Pre-primary Open Day which is advertised on the Term calendar for Friday 15 May has
been postponed to Friday 29 May because Marc Barrow will be attending the Young Round Square
Conference in Namibia at that time.
Please invite your friends who have children wanting to join our Pre-primary to contact Sam Ruiters 021 874
8100 or [email protected] about the details for the Open Day. We extend a warm welcome to all
prospective parents to come and see the Pre-primary in action and to hear about our new Pre-primary
buildings, which are due to open in July, and which will create extra capacity for children wanting to join our
school at both Playschool and Pre-primary level.
Mr Shaun Kirk - Apple Distinguished Educator
Congratulations to Mr Shaun Kirk, Director of the Learning Commons on being awarded the status of Apple
Distinguished Educator. Shaun is one of the first people in South Africa to have been accepted to this
programme. The Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Program began in 1994, when Apple recognized K-12
and higher education pioneers who are using a variety of Apple products to transform teaching and learning in
powerful ways. Today it has grown into a worldwide community of over 2,000 visionary educators and
innovative leaders who are doing amazing things with Apple technology in and out of the classroom. Apple is
pleased to welcome Shaun Kirk to the ADE Class of 2015. Learn more about this group of innovative
educators online at
Calling all Bridge House Mountain-Biking families
The first of what we hope to be regular Bridge House Mountain-Biking mornings will be held on Saturday 9
May at 8:30 at Bridge House. There will be a looped track on campus of about 1 km for the younger nippers
and two outrides of between 10 km and 25 km for parents and older children. All rides will include adult
supervision and “sweep” riders.
The purpose is for us to meet as a Bridge House Cycling Community to discuss the potential for cycling as a
sport at Bridge House. At the same time we will get onto our bikes and enjoy the lovely setting and
surrounding mountains. The intention is to ride for no more than 90 minutes and for 30 mins thereafter to meet
and chat. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require further details or clarification on 0724973576.
Mr Pieter van Deemter
Sports Results
The U14 girls had a very productive
day at the Table View U14
Tournament. Their results were as
 Edgemead. drew 1-1. Player of
the game Alexandra Visser
 Fairbairn A. won 8-0. Player of
the game Kayleen Fortuin
 El Shaddai. won 2-0. Player of
the game: Jessica Dendy-Young
 Player of the Day: Noa Stolk
We look forward to an exciting season.
The U/14 boys had a good
start to the season.
Results from the festival at
Table View:
 Drew 0-0 against
 Won 1-0 against El
Shaddai (Goal
scored by Timothy
 Won 4-0 against
CBC (Goals scored
by Ross Millard,
Timothy Swart, Josh
Riddle x2)
 Man of the festival:
Ross Millard
Well done to all the athletes who participated at Huguenot High School on Wednesday. We managed
to score 9 points on the day and look forward to the following meeting at Boland Landbou next week.
The U16A Boys Hockey team kicked off their season with an impressive 2-0 win against Hermanus
on the Maties astro. The boys played an attractive brand of hockey and looked threatening on attack.
The goals were scored by Thomas Pretorius and Sidney Gray, but this really was an all-round team
effort. Well done to the boys on the win and we look forward to tracking their progress throughout the
The U16A girls also started their season well with a 2-2 draw vs Hermanus. The girls were leading 21 with a few minutes to go, when Hermanus scored to equalize and draw the game. Bridge House
goals were scored by Meeka Cohen and Brenda Liman.
Unfortunately all the teams lost their matches. Sadly
Nicholas-John Jansen fractured his tibia during the 1st
team game. He underwent surgery yesterday. We wish
him a speedy recovery.
Tuesday 28 April
Wednesday 29 April
Thursday 30 April
Hockey Girls U18 IPT trials Bloemhof 15:30 – 18:00
Hockey Boys U16 IPT trials Maties B astro 15:00 – 17:00
Hockey Girls U16 IPT trials Rhenish 15:30 – 18:00
Hockey Girls U18 IPT trials Bloemhof 15:30 – 18:00
Hockey Boys U16 IPT trials Maties B astro 15:00 – 17:00
Hockey Girls U16 IPT trials Rhenish 15:30 – 18:00
Cross Country Boland Meeting at Boland Landbou 15:00
Soccer Boys vs Stellenzicht at Bridge House – 15:00
Hockey Boys U14 Boland regional trials Maties B astro 15:30 – 17:30
Hockey Girls U14 Boland regional trials Paarl GHS 15:30 – 18:00
Best wishes to James Horner who is participating in the South African Schools Canoeing Sprint
Championships in Pretoria over the long weekend.
The Boys & Girls 1st Hockey teams leave on Thursday 30 April to participate in the annual Oakhill
Festival in Knysna. We wish them a safe trip and all the best for the tournament.
“Lightning they say, sometimes strikes twice. And that’s exactly what
young Giordano Lupini will be hoping for when he goes into battle with
his Junior Max rivals at Killarney’s opening Rotax Max Challenge SA
national championship karting races on Saturday.
Lightning certainly did strike for 14-year old Franschhoek lad Lupini
when the Bridge House scholar shocked the karting establishment by
winning on his national debut in the same meeting in the smaller 60cc
Maxterino class at a stormy Killarney three years ago.
And while winning is on Saturday not completely out of the question, Giordano is rather looking for a good points haul in
his home race, his bright new CRG chassis is sure to bring a little lightning to the races in its brand new colours
celebrating Franschhoek sponsors La Vie de Luc mineral water, CIR Construction, La Couronne Estate, DWT Transport,
Takis Place and AutoWeek newspaper, along with Cape Town’s Bob-Ric Motors.
“It’s going to be a tough, tough weekend,” fourth generation racer Lupini promised. “Junior Max is a most competitive
class and none of the guys are going to give an inch this weekend, but I can’t wait — we have made great progress with
our new chassis and as we have learned well before, anything can happen…”
Parents who would like to be involved in any way please contact David
Foster on 084 827 3986 or [email protected]
We are looking for assistance with back stage, musical direction (we’ll even
give you a title PRODUCTION & MUSICAL DIRECTOR – put that on your
CV!!), lighting, ACTS ACTS and more ACTS.
Happy Valley Road Studio
Apartments for rent
Luxury studio apartments available from 1 June on very quiet rural location 4 kilometers from
Franschhoek suitable for quiet, discerning professional person seeking easy living surrounded by
spectacular panoramic mountains and within easy travelling distance of Stellenbosch and Paarl.
Superbly furnished room with kitchenette and stunning bathroom and own stoep.
R6000 plus electricity per month/ No smoking/No pets
Contact Kim on 082 5875172
Wings for Life World Run
Here is a way for you to increase your Fittest School kilometres and at the
same time raise funds for spinal cord research. All the proceeds go to
towards Wings for Life, whose mission it is to find a cure for spinal cord
injuries. Read all about it here