The Ridge School
No. 10 APRIL 2013
It has been yet another busy term at The Ridge School, with academics and weekly practices and matches in
swimming, cricket, rugby, waterpolo, athletics, kayaking, rock climbing, art and various musical activities all contributing to making our school the special place that it is. It is always so pleasing to see how the boys, despite
their numerous commitments, continuously rise to the challenge and manage effortlessly and enthusiastically to
fit so much into their school day.
Mr. du Preez and his team of coaches have worked tirelessly to ensure that the boys have been getting the
most out of their sports activities and the boys have been excellent ambassadors to the school, displaying
good results and sportsmanship both on and off the field. The build-up to the school play, The Lion King, is in
full swing, with Mrs. Fox and her team dedicating much time and energy towards creating a production of epic
proportions (as only Mrs. Fox can!).
We hope that the children, families and staff who celebrated Easter and Pesach had a restful and enjoyable
break and we wish everyone a safe and happy April holiday. We look forward to welcoming you back in the
second term.
The Horizons Team
I have another birthday approaching soon; they seem to come
around with unnerving regularity! One thing, though, the older I
get the more I am aware of the miraculous process of creation
and there are “wonders” each day that I am so appreciative of.
The story of Sachi as told by Dan Millman illustrates a point I
would like to make:
Soon after her brother was born, little Sachi began to ask her parents to leave her alone with the new baby. They worried that like
most four-year-olds, she might feel jealous and want to hit or shake
him, so they said no. But she showed no signs of jealousy. She
Mr Channon as drawn by Luke Camerer, Grade 0
Private Bag X10 Parkview, 212 2
26 Woolston Road, Westcliff, Johannesburg
Telephone (011) 481 580 0
Fax 086 299 1964
Website www.ridgeschool.co. za
Email [email protected]
treated the baby with kindness and her pleas to be left alone with him became more urgent. They decided to allow it.
Elated, she went into the baby’s room and shut the door, but it opened a crack – enough for her curious parents to
peek in and listen. They saw little Sachi walk quietly up to her baby brother, put her face close to his and say quietly, “
Baby, tell me what God feels like. I’m starting to forget.”
The concept of this kind of “wonder” is a powerful one, but sadly we as parents tend to lose it as our children
grow older, losing ourselves in the details and the rush of everyday life. We need to remember to make the
time to appreciate the joy of having children. The nature of the society we live in would rather have us pushing our children to meet some constantly moving ideal: physically, intellectually, socially and so on (although
not often morally as, strangely, moral ideals do not seem part of the package pushed by the media and other
influential groups!).
My point is that when we start worrying about which team our son is playing in or why he lost marks in a certain test, we have moved away from the world of wonder to the world of judgment and criticism. Love was
never meant to be a conditional issue; we offer it unconditionally, or so we should. Too often in my 35 years
of teaching I have seen children battling with poor self-esteem, and often it is because they feel (consciously or
subconsciously) that they have in some way not lived up to their parents’ expectations. To quote from a song I
have heard often, in which the theme is father/son relationships, we should never let our children be “hostage
to our hopes and fears”. Children pick up messages we may not even be aware we are giving. What may
seem like a little joke at a child’s expense may well be taken to heart and agonised over for ages.
Appreciation and love need to be expressed often and well. Boys may not like to be embraced in the car park
in front of their mates, but many, even we big boys, need to be hugged often to know we matter. I suggest that,
if more families gave more hugs, there would be fewer fragile adults around seeking solace in some or other
dubious fashion. As I often quote, “It’s easier to build a healthy child than fix a damaged adult.”
Paul Channon
As we come to the end of our cricket season, I would like to provide some feedback as to how we as a school
have fared thus far:
At the time of writing this article, we had played 92 matches; we had won 50, drew 16 and lost 26. The results
recorded were based on all U10, U11 and open matches, as well as the U9A and B fixtures. Our first cricket
side participated in the annual Prep Schools’ Festival over half term and performed really well. They played 4
matches over the weekend, winning 3 and drawing the other. A huge thanks to Mr Snyman and Mr Buckley for
giving up their time to accompany the boys. A special mention must made of the 1st team who finished the
season unbeaten, a brilliant way to end the season. Well done.
We competed well in all the swimming galas we attended; with the A team finishing 3rd and then 2nd on two
occasions; whilst the B side won all 3 galas they participated in. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all
the staff involved in assisting with both the cricket and the swimming.
We now head into an extremely short and compact athletics season, in which the boys who make the teams
will run in about 4 meetings before the compulsory inter-house on 6 April. Our waterpolo boys will also be
playing every Friday until 5 April. After attending the last 2 weeks fixtures, our boys seem to be having a great
time in the pool.
Whilst all the swimming, cricket, waterpolo and athletics have been going on, we have had a couple of boys
attending hockey trials for which started last year. These trials have now been completed and I would like to
congratulate the following boys for being selected to the following sides:
• John Turner and Tobin Versfeld were selected for the U12 D9 side
• Michael Brownlee has been selected to represent the Gauteng U13 side
Well done to these boys and I wish you all the best for the hockey that lies ahead. I also wish those U12 and
U13 boys currently attending the Johannesburg North East Area cricket trials, the best of luck.
Bennie du Preez
On Friday 15th March the Grade 0 teachers and boys hosted the annual Grandparents’ Tea Party. The day was
clear and bright and the air was full of excitement. Grandparents had come from far and near and aunts, uncles,
friends and neighbours filled in for those who were too far away to make the trip. We have some grandparents
living in Bulgaria, Canada and America.
After a warm welcome from Ms Herold, the visitors were treated to a concert in the gym where the boys
sang songs from yesteryear and played percussion instruments to some
olden day melodies. There were very few dry eyes in the room while
the grandparents listened with obvious pride and emotion. Thank you
to Mrs. Middlewick for all her hard work with our boys.
The boys then led their guests up to the classrooms and presented
them with handmade chocolates and bookmarks made with love and
care. The boys had made collages of their Grannies and Grandpas and
dictated information for the teacher to record. Hearty chuckles and
gasps of surprise could be heard around the room as these stories
were read!
Finally, it was tea time and while the boys had a well- deserved cupcake
and juice, the adults enjoyed a sumptuous tea provided by the Grade 0
parents. The verandah was set out beautifully and the décor was one of
nostalgia, with beautiful ginger jars full of hydrangeas, reminiscent of high
teas in days gone by.
Private Bag X10 Parkview, 212 2
26 Woolston Road, Westcliff, Johannesburg
Telephone (011) 481 580 0
Fax 086 299 1964
Website www.ridgeschool.co. za
Email [email protected]
Thank you to all who helped to make this a day that memories are made of!
The Grade 0 Teachers
The Grade 4 - 7 boys were treated to a performance of Horn of Sorrow in our hall, along with the girls from
St Katharine’s and APPS. Needless to say, the play deals with the broader issues of conservation, and specifically with the current crisis around rhino poaching. Ironically, the play was scripted in the 80’s, by renowned
playwright / actor, Nicholas Ellenbogen and a team including Brendon Grealy, a former parent at The Ridge.
Grealy both directs and acts in the current production which received rave reviews at the Edinburgh, Grahamstown and Hilton Arts Festivals. The message is more relevant today than ever before.
The children were thrilled by this wonderful example of physical theatre, performed by six artists who changed
character, danced, rolled, sang and narrated their way through the story. The comical vulture was chief narrator,
observing the shenanigans whereby villagers are tempted to become informers in aiding poaching, and consequently reporting to the audience. The enactment of shooting a baby rhino shocked the boys and girls.
Engaging with some of our boys afterwards, it was interesting to hear their comments. These ranged from the
shock factor at the reality of the situation, especially as the play ended with stats quoted on the live, up- to- the
moment situation; to sadness that so much cruelty exists in our world, and towards animals; admiration for
the actors whose physical antics entertained for close on an hour; and outrage at the reason for poaching the
We can be proud of our boys that they are not afraid to express that they felt ‘sadness’. The challenge for us all
now is, how can we make a difference?
Bev Schultz
Private Bag X10 Parkview, 212 2
26 Woolston Road, Westcliff, Johannesburg
Telephone (011) 481 580 0
Fax 086 299 1964
Website www.ridgeschool.co. za
Email [email protected]
Our Marimba boys were in very good form for the annual fundraiser for Cansa at the Shavathon held
at Melrose Arch on Saturday 2 March. They entertained the crowds and helped raise R37.000 for
Cansa. This was broadcast live on Khaya FM.
We have completed the audition process for our Lion King production which will take place next
term. The Grade 7 boys have been allocated the main parts in the production and they all seem
thrilled with the parts they have been given. We are now ready to make a start with our rehearsing.
Parents will be kept informed regarding rehearsals and costumes. If parents would like to be involved,
please contact Mrs Van Der Poel on [email protected]
The Grade 5 to Grade 7 children from 3 schools: The Ridge School, Auckland Park Prep and Salvazione, entertained their families and friends with a lively programme of stories, poems, songs, marimbas,
gumboot dancing, and other traditional dances on Friday 8th March 2013. The parents enjoyed their
picnic at the surrounding tables and joined in from time to time in the singing. Salvazione learners told
some exciting stories that were acted out in a humorous fashion. The Apps girls presented a wellrehearsed, young maiden, snake dance and sang some foot- tapping songs, with a pulsating rhythm and
beat. The highlight of The Ridge boys’ presentations was the grade 7 traditional dance, “indlamu”. The
boys wore traditional costumes and Mr Sipho Dhlomo, led them onto the stage, creating quite a stir
when the audience spotted him, also dressed in his traditional clothes. Mr Dhlomo, who was one of
the original creators of The Fireside Tales festival, is moving on to St Stithians Girls College at the end
of the term. We will remember him next year at the annual Fireside Tales function.
Hamba kahle ‘numzane. Sizokhumbusa ‘numzane.
Sipho Dhlomo & Shannon Rowlings
Private Bag X10 Parkview, 212 2
26 Woolston Road, Westcliff, Johannesburg
Telephone (011) 481 580 0
Fax 086 299 1964
Website www.ridgeschool.co. za
Email [email protected]
Andrew Gilbert (Grade7) has just been accepted as a 1st Violinist in the MIAGI Orchestra for 2013
and 2014. This is sponsored by the European Community and is a most prestigious achievement. He
is the youngest member of the orchestra by far. Andrew is also the lead Violinist in the Johannesburg
Youth Orchestra (JYO). He is being groomed to be the future Concert Master of the Orchestra. This
is some achievement and we are hugely proud of all Andrew does and achieves. Congratulations Andrew! Seldom does one see this sort of talent, ability and achievement.
Congratulations to Lizzie Rennie, (The Ridge School violin and viola teacher) who won a prestigious
Fiesta award for, “Prestasie in Klassieke Musiek” at the 2013 Kyknet Fiestas, held at the State Theatre
last Thursday evening. She was nominated for her performance in, “Trio with a Twist” at Clover Aardklop Festival, held in Potchefstroom, in October 2012. The award came as a wonderful surprise to Ms
Rennie, who was not expecting to win as she was up against serious competition!
“Music is enough for a lifetime but a lifetime is not enough for music” Sergei Rachmaninov
“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” Victor Hugo
Janet Van Der Poel
The Grade 6s went on an outing to The Adler Museum of Medicine, to learn about the history of
medicine through the ages.
The Adler Museum of Medicine was founded in 1962 and was situated in the grounds of the South
African Institute for Medical Research, Johannesburg. In 1974 the co-founders, Dr Cyril and Ester donated it to the Wits University.
The Museum contains interesting and invaluable collections depicting the history of medicine, dentistry
and pharmacy through the ages. Apart from the hundreds of items of medical historical interest on
display, there are also documents, sculptures, pictures, videos and philatelic and medallion collections
relating to medical history, as well as the history of allied health sciences.
Items of historical interest on display include microscopes and other scientific instruments, early bleeding and cupping equipment including an exquisitely crafted incision knife, ceramic pharmacy jars dating
back to the 17th century, an exquisite collection of bone china and ceramic feeding cups, some dating
from the 18th and 19th centuries, an early 19th century wooden handled amputation set in a wooden
case, diagnostic and surgical instruments which include items such as stethoscopes, sphygmomanometers and X-ray equipment; treatment apparatus, including electrical apparatus, patent magnetic electrical machine for nervous diseases, used by Queen Victoria to ease her rheumatism (19th century)
and the first electrocardiograph machine (1917) used in the Johannesburg General Hospital, early
anesthetic apparatus, including chloroform bottle and mask in leather case, ear trumpets and brass ear
syringes (early 20th century), equipment relating to cardiology which include early portable ECG machines and different generations of heart lung machines; hospital and nursing equipment and medical
ephemera; obstetric and gynecological instruments such as forceps, cranial crushers and specula; and a
significant ophthalmology section which includes optical lenses, colour-blindness test kits, stereoscopes,
spectacles, ophthalmoscopes and surgical instruments. The boys were eager to learn about medicine
and how it was practiced many years ago. They listened attentively to the presenters who spoke to
them and also showed them how some of the instrument worked.
The boys perspective on the trip.
Private Bag X10 Parkview, 212 2
26 Woolston Road, Westcliff, Johannesburg
Telephone (011) 481 580 0
Fax 086 299 1964
Website www.ridgeschool.co. za
Email [email protected]
Kutloano Modisaesi, “I learnt that in the olden days there was a disease called Polio. It affected ones
muscles especially your legs and arms. Once you suffered from the disease your legs would grow thinner and you would lose the ability to use that arm or leg. The way they treated it was to put you in a
machine called the ‘Iron Lung Machine’ which would help you to breath and allow people to observe
you. There was a woman who spent 35 years inside the machine”
Christian Claasen, “I thought the Adler Museum was very interesting and inspirational, because we
learnt a lot about the history of medicine and the development of equipment. Types of diseases that I
have never heard off.”
Jacob Entoven, “Going to the Adler Museum was a spectacular event. I learnt about the Iron Lung Machine, the development of equipment and advances in treatment. How myths changed to real science.
It was an event I learnt a lot from.”
Oliver Newell, “I was excited to go on the outing. At first it looked a little too fancy, but the lady
explained and guided us around the museum explaining all we needed to know. The Dröger iron Lung
Machine that actually had people that had to lie in there the whole time to help them breath.”
Muhammad Laher, “This trip was very educational and inspirational. We learnt about many diseases
like; Polio, Smallpox and the Bubonic plague. We learnt about the pharmacies and opticians in the middle ages and many other cures and medical inventions. What a great trip.”
Brett Greensill
The Show
I follow the road. This dull, decaying road. The gravel finds its way into my shoes. Into my socks, between my toes. This road lies untouched, unaffected by the constant battering of weather. As this
thought entrances me, the clouds close in. They cast a shadow across the land. A distant rumbling
distorts the peace. The breeze adapts to violence. The wind lifts my hair, causing me to struggle against
its assaults.
Light invades the darkness as a crackling attack leaps from the heavens. That was merely the start of
this land’s punishment. All silence is lost as the storm reaches its extraordinary crescendo. The sand
and litter of the desert perform. They dance with the wind and dive with the thunder. It is a magnificent show.
The symphony starts its gradual closing. Each instrument dies down on its own accord as the curtain
closes. The storm slowly moves to its next victim. The music lulls and dies and becomes an already
forgotten memory. In the distance, a show of lights play. Lightening pummels unknown territory. The
horizon provides the only contrast to this eerie darkness.
Suddenly above me, clouds recede. A pillar of light descends from the sky. I feel a long forgotten
warmth. I give way to exhaustion and collapse onto the road. The gravel feels soft in my hands. The
dampness retreats. The desert becomes a barren wasteland once again. A solitary man stands. He
resumes his journey.
Jesse Elk
Sagrada Familia
We are moving like snails around the Sagrada Familia along with thousands of other irritating tourists. The only escape is the towering cathedral with its spires that seems to reach up into the clouds.
These spires are crusted with mosaics which are bursting with colours like deeps reds, bright yellows
and earthy browns. Just alongside them are cranes which are still building since the foundations was
laid in 1882.
We are finally inside the cathedral. There is an unearthly silence. It smells like old wood. As I look up
at the sky high ceiling it feels like I am in a stone forest. Tree-like columns and branches spread high
above me. The light pours through even higher windows. Spiral staircases snake up the massive trunks
like vines.
The eastern side of the building is covered in a nativity scene. The sculptures show the birth of Christ.
It is as if the stone is alive given the amazingly details work. The hundreds of plants, birds and animals
look like they are celebrating the birth.
As we approach the western side the sun is setting. This is appropriate given the gloomy scene portrayed. The angular sculptures of the crucifixion is very gripping. Christ is slumped under a heavy
cross while the futuristic guards and cubic men look on. Ghost-like creatures step out of the flat stone
I felt enriched and enlightened by the experience. The cathedral dwarfed us as we walked away.
Thomas Theron
Private Bag X10 Parkview, 212 2
26 Woolston Road, Westcliff, Johannesburg
Telephone (011) 481 580 0
Fax 086 299 1964
Website www.ridgeschool.co. za
Email [email protected]
Liz Wallis (PA to the Headmaster, Mr Channon) relates an incident which occurred this week:
“This is an amazing little story. Melissa Krause popped into the office this afternoon with an old
photograph taken at The Ridge in about 1954. She was going through her old photos with her son,
Thomas on his tenth birthday, 12 March, and they found this photograph of The Ridge, recognising the
sandstone pillars at the main entrance. She then looked on the back of the photo to find that her
father, who had died when she was about 12 years old was an Old Ridge boy and was ten, in Standard
2 when the photograph had been taken! She was never aware of this before seeing the photograph.
His name was Michael A Kerr.”
Nicholas (Nick) Gray Leng (2000) writes “Hi, I now live just north of San Francisco in the town of
Petaluma CA. I am currently at Point Loma University in San Diego as a Music major.” Nick’s email address is: [email protected]
His brother Thomas Richard Leng (2000), sent us his news: “I live just north of San Francisco in the
town of Petaluma CA and am presently at Wheaton College just outside Chicago where I am a Philosophy major.” Hi email contact is: [email protected]
Maric Cowen’s (2008) mother, Francis, received the following email about Maric’s Community Service,
from St Andrew’s College where her son is at school.
Tim Barnard commented: “You have an awesome son, who, quite frankly, is a saint. On
Sunday, he gave up six hours of his free time
to teach a member of the Tiger Titans to
swim. One of their leading boys drowned
during the holidays.”
We are proud to claim Maric as an Old Boy.
Jabulani Magubane (2008) [email protected] sent us this message “I am an old
boy who is currently in his last year of high
school and would like to stay in touch with
the school.”
Connor van der Heever (2010) wrote “Dear
Ridge school, It has been a very long time since I have heard about my old school and I would just like
to thank the school and all the teachers for helping me get to where I am today in my Hilton career.”
Email Address - [email protected]
Every time a new Horizons goes out we receive at least 5 – 10 new submissions from Old Boys. This
is so heartening. It is wonderful that our data base is ever increasing and we are thrilled with the Old
Boys’ interest in The Ridge. Please keep sending us your updates and news.
Joshua Frost
“To know him was to love him”
In January 2001 an excited but slightly wary Joshua Frost entered the doors of The Ridge School and
joined Grade 0 in his smart, room-to-grow, brand new school uniform. It was not long before his initial
wariness gave way to a gentle confidence in his new environment. He was quick to make friends with
the boys, parents and teachers. Joshua touched people in different ways. His peer group respected his
gentle, friendly nature and happily included him in all the activities and business of the normal school
day. The parents dropping off and collecting their own boys were always keen to have a ’wee chat’
with this young man to check he was having a good day. And then there was the staff… no-one could
pass him by, teachers from other classes, teachers from other disciplines, gardeners, cleaners and therapists, all knew and loved Joshua. Frequently, he would be found in the playground with one or other
staff member having a cheerful chat and they always came away with a smile on their face, all the better for having shared time with him. He truly was an ‘old soul in a young body’, and he happily shared
his wisdom with us all.
Sadly, his stay at The Ridge was only one short year. The Ridge family was so very sad to see him leave,
but all of those who had known Joshua were so much the richer and wiser for having spent that quality time in his presence.
We offer our deepest sympathies to his beloved mum Natasha and devoted dad David and precious
brother Eamonn, we surround you all with our love and our prayers. We will all treasure the memory
of Joshua.
Trishie Parker
Private Bag X10 Parkview, 212 2
26 Woolston Road, Westcliff, Johannesburg
Telephone (011) 481 580 0
Fax 086 299 1964
Website www.ridgeschool.co. za
Email [email protected]